back to article Beeb tech boss seeks to expand TV licence online

The BBC's technology chief has called for the licence fee to be extended so that people who only watch iPlayer will also have to pay. Erik Huggers made the call as he discussed recent comments by the BBC Trust, the national broadcaster's oversight body, that the internet means TV licensing law will need to be changed. "My …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    They should consider

    .. a licensing scheme for foreigners to watch iPlayer.

    I have many friends who like to watch the BBC but can't as they're not UK citizens. All have stated they'd be happy to pay for access, but no scheme exists.

  2. SuperTim

    I am sure he does....

    Let's see how he likes it if i charge him every time i have to watch an advert for a BBC show? I think it's advertising and therefore not allowed on BBC1 or Two.

  3. Mad Mike
    Thumb Down

    Stupid Comment

    What a stupid comment from someone who obviously doesn't understand the technology.

    What's the difference between watching programs on iPlayer and a TV set? None. So, logically the same licence fee should apply. However, trying to collect it from everyone using iPlayer is just impossible. The complexity is amazing. His logic actually calls for the licence fee to be dropped not expanded.

    About time the licence fee was given up and a funding mechanism for the 21st century introduced.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Could get overseas subscribers too

    If they are worried about overseas viewers getting content and using bandwidth they haven't paid for then why not just charge them a subscription or a one-off payment for pay-per-view

  5. Daniel

    How will we prove we don't use iPlayer?

    Many will doubtless make this point, but by having a computer with a web connection, we surely imply that we could use iPlayer, whether we wish to or not. I actually got rid of my TV when the last one packed in, and didn't replace it because there was never anything on it to watch, anyway. I never use iPlayer, because I assume that the BBC, minus my contribution to its funds, is no healthier than when last I looked at what it had to offer. This means I don't have a TV or a TV license, but by this logic, I could be forced to pay a license fee because of something I could do, because I have a computer. I didn't ask the BBC to put their content online. Why don't they just make it a damn subscription service, if they think it's worth so damn much?

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Dear Points of View

    I tuned into this article expecting a tirade of comments about 'why should we have to pay for a TV licence in 2009' and what do I see? Nothing. Raaabbish people.

    I suspect this is bbc censorship gone mad. And, not only that I can't see any 'The Apprentice' updates - and the page is covered in ADVERTS! Sacre Bleu!

  8. Deckard


    using that logic, if don't use the iPlayer and I don't watch any BBC channels I don't have to pay?

  9. nbc

    Personal opinion? My a**e!

    This is more accurately called "testing the water". If there's not sufficient outcry then the Beeb will implement it.

    Have broadband, pay BBC.

  10. Ash
    Thumb Down

    That's fine

    In which case, he can pay my fucking ISP for the bandwidth iPlayer uses.


  11. John Allison

    BBC Tax

    So Huggers doesn't believe in a free ride, consume BBC services and pay the licence. Surely then, if you don't consume BBC services Huggers must believe you don't need to pay the BBC fee. I really cannot see Huggers standing by that point of view. I rather think he would prefer every person in the country paying the BBC tax, reguardless of wether they used a TV or not.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    @ nbc

    Finally, someone that's grasped it.

  13. D@v3

    but seriously...

    ...hands up who hasnt been expecting this?

    Is slightly annoying tho, as i have been planning on keeping my analouge tv set (games, dvds etc), and ditching the freeview box when the digital switchover happens, and just watch what i want at my convienience using on demand/catch up services online.

    But there is less and less worth watching on the Beeb theese days, so maybe they are doing me a favour.

  14. David Haworth

    @How will we prove we don't use iPlayer?


    Owning a TV in the UK does not require you to own a TV license (as much as the TV licensing people hate to admit it), you only need a license to watch broadcast TV. If you TV is only plugged into a DVD player and a nintendo wii, then no license is required. (and no, you don't need to make your TV unable to receive or anything like that, just don't have it plugged into an aerial, and it would probably be wise to de-tune the channels if you can). and yes, I do know someone who did this for years. the TV was only plugged into a DVD player and 3 consoles. every year the TV licensing people would tell them they needed a license, and every year he'd tell them that he didn't need one.

    this should then work the same way with computers. if you don't use them to watch iplayer, you shouldn't need a license.

    of course all this talk of not getting a free ride seems to forget about those folk who only listen to the radio. don't they get a free ride?


  15. David

    Login to use?

    @ Daniel "How will we prove we don't use iPlayer? "

    Simple - enter your licence fee number when you register - once you register you can then access from anywhere in the world by logging on, there is no point making it more complicated than it needs to be. could even sell access outside of the UK but that would cause rights issues to non UK residents. (Sky player do something like this against your account - not subscribed at home - no access online)

  16. Matt
    Thumb Down

    opt out...

    I pay my licence... I have a TV and the amount opf BBC that I consume is minimal... the programming is so dire now that with the exception of the odd occasional show they havwe nothing to offer me... Discovery HD and my paid for sky channels suffice...

    I have also NEVER watched anything on iplayer... scaling anything streamed upto 50" is dire as is the heavily compressed sound...

    so any ideas by the bbc to tax either bandwith or up my licence for second rate web streaming is a big no!!

  17. Joe

    Obvious answer?

    Firstly, I don't have a TV licence but I do watch programmes on iPlayer. Nice and legal, but is it right? I don't watch a lot - Have I Got News For You, Screenwipe, the occasional history documentary - but is it right that I get that for free? Not really.

    A blanket broadband license would be wrong, though. I think the obvious solution is to include a username/password with the TV licence which will enable licence holders to watch iPlayer. And perhaps a pay-per-view option for those of us who don't watch much or who live abroad.

    Does that sound sensible or am I missing something?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    iplayer for linux?

    I've no idea if the iplayer is available for Linux as I've never attempted to use it, but I do remember some controversy about availability when it was released. If it still isn't available does that mean those using Linux would be exempt? Alternatively, how about a custom Linux build that makes the iplayer unavailable?

  19. Martin
    Thumb Down

    Time to change

    I Agree!! I never watch the BBC and would happily lose the channels for a saving of £12 a month. The Law needs updating for sure, but not in the way this guy says.. the license needs scrapping or sharing with other television providers.. what makes the BBC so great!!

  20. Anonymous Coward

    What a con

    "At present, a £139.50 annual TV licence is only required to view programmes as they are broadcast. " When discussing in the context of the BBC this statement is not true. All UK residents are forced to pay the annual tv licence to be able to receive ANY terrestrial analogue or digital service regardless of whether they tune their TV for and watch the BBC's channels.

    Given the extra revenue that this law allows the BBC to rake in from people who do not make use of the BBC services but still have to pay the BBC for a television licence, I think it's just more greed to imply that the statistically small amount of people who watch BBC iPlayer and who don't already own a licence should have to pay for the small amount of viewing that they do over the net. Especially when you put into context that most of the UK's ISPs have not significantly large monthly download allowances, thus restricting the viewing to the occasional catch-up that would hardly be worth the near £140.

  21. Alex Pepper
    Thumb Up

    Good idea

    Restricting iPlayer would be easy, those with a TV licence can sign up for an online account, just like Sky Player or 4OD.

    Those without a TV licence could subscribe for a monthly fee.


  22. Mike Dyne

    Everyone who own a tele...

    Has to play a licence, regardless of how much / little BBC content they watch.

    Extrapolated, everyone who can access the internet has to pay a licence.

    Yeah, right.

  23. Jon

    Their content

    As long as it is opt in I think that people should pay iplayer. I pay a tv license to fund it I don't want otheres to get it for free.

    However when I was a student I didn't watch TV but still was treated as a criminal as the previous ocupier of my room had a license, if they start claiming an internet connection as "TV recieving capable" then thsi crosses the line and is unfair as why should people pay for somthing they are not using.

    So basically if you watch BBC content then pay for it, not if you don't.

  24. Mr Spoon

    @ac1 and ac2

    I think the real problem there is the beeb don't have the rights to show much of their content abroad. As I understand it even the stuff with a BBC logo isn't wholly owned by them these days, which was one of the reasons they ended up scrubbing their idea of a huge archive of old TV.

  25. Phil Bennett
    Thumb Up

    Why not...

    Why not just add a unique key to each TV licence (if it doesn't already have one). Set up an account on the beeb's site, enter your TV licence number, and viola, you've got access to BBC programs from anywhere in the world (carrot as well as stick please). If more than a certain number of accounts register with the same licence (20? 30? You're only really trying to stop massive distribution so it can be fairly high), ask the customer to give you a call to sort it out.

    Doesn't seem like too much hassle, and to its credit iPlayer is massively better than the competing services like 4oD.

  26. Col
    Paris Hilton


    "using that logic, if don't use the iPlayer and I don't watch any BBC channels I don't have to pay?"


  27. Sam C

    New invention: The Interweb!

    I wonder if some of the people posting comments have heard of this thing called the Interweb. It's client/server so you can track who's using it (as opposed to broadcast where you can't, at least not easily).

    This could lead to a fairer system for everyone, as you might only have to pay for what you watch. And, as others have pointed out, could open it up to international markets. The current system requires you to pay if you have a TV, even if you don't watch any broadcast channels subsidised by the license fee. You wouldn't have to charge people just because they had a broadband connection.

    Of course you can be cynical and say they'll screw us for everything they can... but they haven't even suggested anything yet, why not give them a chance?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Quality Assurance

    But are they willing to negotiate with ISP to ensure a basic quality of service of the product is guaranteed, after all if I'm going to pay to 'consume their services' I want to do so without choppy playback and 'fair usage' policies.

    IT? cos its questionable whether they know what they are talking about

  29. David Wood


    The BBC is a wonderful thing, but why do they add great swathes of value, but only think to ask for the money to pay for it later?

    the Licence fee used to pay for 2 TV channels, and 4 Radio.

    Now they've added 6 TV channels (not including enhanced content) the 2nd greatest website in the world, iplayer (worthy of a separate mention) about about 9 extra radio stations, as well as High Definition versions of loads of their content.

    Who asked them to do this?

    i wrote a massive blog post on this ages ago - cruise on over if you want a read...

  30. g e


    nuff said

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    and my attitude

    is that If I'm paying you for these shows, with my license fee, why cant I download them, store them, and watch them at my convenience? why should I have to pay for them on DVD?

    or am i being far to simple?

  32. Richard Johnson

    I'm clearly naive then..

    I must be very naive then - as I thought that as it stood at the moment you ought to have a TV license to watch iPlayer.

    Does anyone really think it wouldn't be possible for the BBC to ask ISPs to ask which accounts are using iPlayer as part of their bandwirth... that might be even more naive..

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I agree with the beeb

    Their content is ad free and it's creation and broadcasting does not come without associated costs so it shouldn't be for freetards.

    Now, if only they would come up with a scheme for those of us who travel a lot to use iPlayer (other than going in by VPN and risking pissing off our IT dept).

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He discredits himself

    "If you are consuming BBC services then you have to be a licence holder..."

    Right then, so if I do not own a television and tune into a few BBC radio services I have to fork out for a TV licence? Of course not. Thank you for immediately making clear how informed you are and how much attention we should pay to you. Now go away and consider your position since you clearly do not have a grasp of the issues.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    @Daniel: How will we prove we don't use iPlayer?

    "Why don't they just make it a damn subscription service, if they think it's worth so damn much?"

    Because no one would pay it, or not many. So imagine you don't need a TV licence, but to watch the beeb you just pay by subscription. Then if you just don't watch the beeb, as people say they don't now, then they would go under.

    Also, any scheme that uses the Interweb is going to fail. You can't download any content from the beeb without DRM, so I don't bother. Why would I use the iPlayer when I can't save the content? Instead I get it from YouTube, or via a freesat box, where I can put it on a USB stick (and post it to YouTube if I want -- see a pattern here?).

    If they are going to track your use via an ISP, then a system such as Tor ( is sufficient to hide who you are. Then the IP address the beeb get is not the one the ISP gives you. So how will they catch you?

    The answer, and we know it's coming, is to tax everyone, so the current BBC-tax will not change. Only if there is *significant* opposition, I mean people being really p*sssed off with the idea, will they be forced to change. It's an issue looming large, and by the time of the next charter negotiations will have become very problematic for the government.

    They can't afford to let the BBC go to the wall, it is just too big. And they can't afford to change the funding model, that would be too disruptive. So they will simply move the goalposts.

    If the British sheeple let this happen, then they will get all they deserve.

    Why a tombstone? Because people's choice is going down the pan.

  36. Tom Taylor-Duxbury
    Thumb Down


    Am I supposed to PAY to watch Mr Sugar's awful apprentice and all that other boring crap?

    Jeez they should pay me for dulling my day.

  37. SynnerCal

    Re: iPlayer for Linux

    Well, I just fired up iPlayer in Firefox ( and then picked a program) on Ubuntu 9.04UNR (Acer Aspire One) and yes it works fine. Okay I got some message about downloading Adobe Air, but apart from that it was fine - even using a T-Mobile 3G stick in a poor signal area.

    And of course, there's always iplayer-dl if you want to download to your desktop (Ubuntu 8.04 64bit in my case) and then play with MPlayer/VLC/etc. Not Gnome Media Player, because it seems to work badly on my system at least.

  38. James


    I'd be delighted to see the TV license linked to usage of BBC services - it would save me £139.50 per year. I have a TV, I watch a dozen or so channels regularly - none of which is provided by the BBC, so WTF do I have to pay them? Sky manage to link payment to services perfectly well, it's about time the BBC got dragged kicking and screaming out of the dark ages where they were the only TV provider around. Copy Sky's system: conditional access so your services only go to those who pay, whether it's on a TV set or a laptop. Hardly rocket science.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No better purse than an endless public one.....

    This is the usual and tiresome cant from a public utility who have allowed public service to degenerate into a self-righteous virtual monopoly - as far as choice goes anyway. I can get 500 channels on my free to view satellite system - but because that includes 4 BBC channels, I have to pay more for them than the other 496. Way to go - what a business model! Tescos and other big businesses must be beside themselves with envy. Charge in advance for what you decide to provide - and no consumer choice. Outstanding!

    It's like the old joke about a husband who punches his neighbour for making love to his wife. The neighbour denies doing any such thing. Perhaps not - admits the angry husband - but she was there if you wanted to. And so with the BBC - it's there if you want it and you must pay - whether you use it or asked for it is irrelevant.

    Why in the first decade of a 21st century alive with new developments in communication, should we have to continue to accept Victorian restrictive practices such as those enjoyed by the BBC? Put them on a commercial footing and let the buggers pay their way like any other business.

  40. Ian Ferguson
    Thumb Up

    Just to counter all the other opinions

    I like what the BBC produces and hope that the licence fee system continues forever. I don't want to put up with the dross and advertising of other channels, thank you. I can appreciate that some people don't like what the BBC produces, but being a publicly funded corporation not answering to shareholders, at least they can push the barrel and try to please everyone, rather than only broadcasting what is guaranteed to make a profit.

    Long live the BBC. And stuff your advertising up your arse :-)

  41. Anonymous Coward

    Login then!

    They should use a login system then which is tied to the license. Simple. Bloody fools.

    Can I please have a discount on my license because I couldn't give a stuff about iPlayer or the BBC's other online offerings? (thought not)

  42. Daniel Snowden


    Users can pay for online services via their ISP. If we have a seperate online services charge (that way internet only users do not pay for TV broadcasting costs and those without broadband do not pay for the costs of online services) that is collected vis ISPs then we would have a fairer system that (at least for iPlayer) would be imposibble to evade as it forms part of your subscription fee.

    Of course Crapita would not like that one bit, les work for their jackbooted TVLA

  43. Richard
    Thumb Down

    No title

    What I expect will happen is that the licence fee laws will be changed so that a levy will be made on ISPs bills for broadband connections.

  44. Tom

    ....and so it begins.

    The BBC reignite their advancement towards a digital license, and use the pathetic iplayer as an excuse to start with.

    Where and when will the tiresome greed of bleeding the British public dry for a poor service. Instead of everyone paying for a license, in order to own a machine to watch DVDs, play computer games, or even monitor home/communal cctv. I think it would be much better for the BBC and other networks to go the way SKY have done, and that is for people to pay for a subscription to watch the service.

    No subcription = No service. However, you can still purchase the machine in order to watch your DVDs, family videos, and let the kids play on their games consoles.

    However, I dare say that Eric Huggers and his cronies are frightened to follow such a route, as they truth will out that no one believes the BBC is a worthy service subscribing too.

  45. Dan Silver badge


    I think the BBC is pushing for what is already being done in France and will be introduced in Spain soon, which is that ISPs 'donate' 3% of their profits to public television (or in France's case Sarkozy's mate as TF1 is privatised).

    Spain came up with the exact same 3% figure as in France, must be someone in government discovered how to use copy and paste.

    In France and Spain the excuse is the advertising downturn, but the BBC can't use that excuse.

    France's ISPs are taking it to the European court and Spain's ISPs are threatening to add another line to each customer's bill with their proportion of the charge if the government goes through with it.

  46. Sampler


    the reason we pay licence fee for having a tv is because they can't prove we're not receiving it (guilty with no chance of being able to prove innocence) - they even went as far as stripping out the subscription part of freeview when they picked it up so when the digital switchover comes they can still use the same lies instead of only giving access to those who've paid.

    Not doing so on the internet though when it's /very/ easy to do so should be more of an outcry - they want to ensure it's paid for they should put access restrictions on it. I run several websites, does that mean I can blanket charge everyone with an internet connection for access to my sites?

  47. Camilla Smythe


    People like Erik Huggers and his ilk should be put in mailbags with bricks and dumped in deep water. It is hard to believe that they believe the tripe that escapes from their gobs when they manage to open them. In fact they don't... They just spout shit because it is an opportunity for them to make money and/or keep themselves in a job..... "a former Microsoft executive". Oh so he's fairly shit at that as well....

    'Oh, hello Mr Huggers welcome to the 'real' world. Let's see now... erm, yes, yes, yes yes. Well it looks like you are qualified to be unemployed.

  48. JakeyC


    "If you are consuming BBC services then you have to be a licence holder"

    No, that's not how it should be!

    Fine, pay for what you use or subscribe to a certain level of use but not a mandatory flat fee for every citizen who happens to be capable of seeing a BBC programme.

    Replace 'BBC Services' in that statement with almost anything else to see how ridiculous and unfair this method of revenue gathering is:

    "If you are consuming utility services then you have to be a licence holder" - no, I'll pay for the gas and 'leccy I use thanks.

    "If you are consuming newspapers then you have to be a licence holder" no, I'll pay for the papers I actually read, not a flat fee just because I am able to read.

    You get the idea...

  49. Chronos

    Hate to say it

    ...but I told you so. iPlayer was and is a trojan to get this pushed through. There was simply no other rational reason for the Beeb to spend as much as they have getting their programmes onto the 'net, a medium where every byte per second is a part of a finite resource.

  50. DT
    Thumb Up

    It's called "commerce" are you unfamiliar with the purchase of goods and services?

    The transfer to digital was a missed opportunity. All digiboxes should have a CAM slot in them, many do. Beeb broadcasts should be subscription based and encrypted, like an extra Sky package.

    That would give everyone the freedom of being able to watch TV without having to buy a license. As for it being difficult to implement iplayer control? Hell no, you already have a license number and they've got your address, a simple process of device registration just like with itunes.

    As for paying for what you watch? I wait with baited breath, for an influx of pirate bay freetards with their nonsensical ethos of "free" digital content for all, despite the fact everyone else pays for it. It's equally greedy to want something for nothing.

    If it's a public service, would you rip the piss out of the NHS, or the dole system? If it's a business you'd expect to pay for it. Criticise them for their content, fair enough, but you've an apprentice level of accumen if you think that allowing your product to be consumed for free is any way to run a business.

    It's not the job of the license payer to subsidise programs for torrent kiddies who are cheap or broke, or high on some deluded quasi-communistic trip re: shit they think they can get away with stealing - yet they display rather less social responsibility to legitimate consumers.

  51. OneTwoThreeFour


    You guys are so negative! What's wrong with paying if you use iPlayer instead of free-riding?

    No-one's suggesting a broadband tax here!

  52. SEG

    No need for a licence at all then

    So I only have to buy a license if I watch TV as it is broadcast? So if I only watch stuff that I have recorded onto my DVD / HD recorder then I don't need a licence (after all this is what iPlayer allows me to do but the BBC record the stuff instead of me doing it). So what happens if I use the ability to pause live TV that my recorder has and then start it again 15 seconds later? At that point I am no longer watching as the stuff is being broadcast and I'm watching something that has been recorded onto my player, hence I don't need a licence.

    From now on I will watch all my BBC stuff for free.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    More than high time they got rid of this TV licence nonsense. Saved us a fortune from no more persecuting innocent non-TV owners. Or for that matter guilty freeloaders. If a nationally owned broadcaster is considered valuable (and in my opinion there is no question about it) then create a fair algorithm for working out a BBC budget, and fund it from taxation.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No Title

    As it stands you need a TV licence to watch live TV with a computer, so this isn't much of a change really.

  55. Bod


    So if they want to tax (sorry "licence") it like TVs then I'll simply watch iPlayer on my laptop on battery. No fee required.

    What about iPlayer on mobiles? Battery powered again, so no fee.

  56. TimNevins

    It's alll about surfing habits and data mining

    Current broadcast technology (Satellite,Terrestrial) means they cannot glean your viewing habits as much as they would like.

    Since iPlayer does not match up an IP to a particular user they cannot data mine the results at an individual level.

    Charging for iPlayer will allow them to do this.

    Do you know how libraries can turn over your reading list to the spooks/police if they feel you have been viewing inappropriate material or material for inappropriate use?

    Same thing. Different media.

    They need a barometer to see how dumbed down the viewing population is. When the results show only Family Guy and American Dad are being watched I am sure someone at Gov Central will be opening a bottle of bubbly.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    TV Licence? What's that then?

    You don't need a TV Licence anyway:

    4 years and a threatening letter about once every 6 weeks.

  58. Anonymous Coward

    An open letter to Erik Huggers of the BBC

    Dear Sir,

    Re: Your suggestion that the BBC should add a levy to Internet Access

    *Fuck* *Right* *Off*.

    Boom Shanka,


  59. Alex
    Black Helicopters

    Bigger issue?!

    Im surprised that some people are ignoring the bigger issue here - the fact that we have to Pay £130+ a year to watch a TV where a small fraction of the programmes on TV are through BBC channels. If the TV licence is purely for the BBC then shouldnt we have the choice not to receive the content?

    Surely this is a joke on us licence paying folk who have no option to 'opt out' or turn off the BBC related channels/content so we dont have to pay for a licence. Is that too much to ask? I dont understand the legal requirements of TV licencing but the way non payers are portrayed you would have thought they were murderers and scum of the highest order. In a democracy we should be able to choose not to watch content from the BBC and not have the pathetic few BBC channels on our TVs which would negate the iron fisted rule of TV licencing bods.

    Paying for iPlayer use? what a load of rubbish - people pay ISPs, Sky, Virgin etc etc so why on earth should people without a TV be forced to pay for iPlayer??!! Sheer greed on the part of the BBC which is spawned from the ridiculous situation regarding the Licence fee in the first place!

    can someone explain the inner workings of the TV licence and what we can and cant get away with?!

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A simple login system would work

    all you need to enter is your tv licence number, no licence number, no iplayer!

    "Why not just add a unique key to each TV licence (if it doesn't already have one). Set up an account on the beeb's site, enter your TV licence number, and viola, you've got access to BBC programs from anywhere in the world"

    What he said :P

    Make the account usable for 3-4 simulatinous logins at once to cover the family and voila, simple and effective.

    "I must be very naive then - as I thought that as it stood at the moment you ought to have a TV license to watch iPlayer."

    Its an odd situation, you both do and don't.

  61. Richard

    Not the only use for iPlayer

    I don't have a licence as I don't watch TV, even on iPlayer, but I do use iPlayer to catch up on the radio broadcasts. As good as I think radio 4 is, there is no way on this earth I'd pay to listen to a few programs that I'd missed - I might as well wait a few months and get them on Radio 7, the home of repeats....

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Guess whom he used to work for...

    "...Huggers, a former Microsoft executive, said"

    Wow, there's a surprise, eh?

  63. Anonymous Coward

    It could be worse

    I don't agree that the license fee needs to be extended to cover the iPlayerati (sorry iPlayer-tards in Reg-speak) it seems like an unworkable arrangement. Far better, imho, for parts of iPlayer to become subscription based, if the Beeb is determined that iPlayer must pay it's way.

    For example - £25-50pa (or the equivalent in local funds) get's you full access to good quality streams/downloads. Without that, you're limited to the last seven days of content in a 'low res' format. AND NO DRM!!!! (yes, I'm looking at you C4!)

    I don't use iPlayer a heck of a lot, except for taking a local copy of content that I want to refer to later, like the Grow Your Own Drugs series or Science and Islam. iPlayer-dl is just a wonderful piece of software! ;)

    They could even - horror of horrors - generate a proper access/download API so we could get a range of clients (inc Linux - yes you again C4!)

    I realise that merely suggesting paying for something is going to get me flamed - but what the heck, it's better than being forced to watch the Apprentice (barf!)

    Erik Huggers ... hee, hee - that's a funny name. :D

  64. Dominic Tristram
    Thumb Up


    Damn the moaners and their whining - the whole point of a public service is that you pay for it even if you don't use it. If the funding for the BBC had come out of (specially ringfenced) taxation in the first place rather than the licence fee then we'd have none of this fuss now.

    "Waa waaa! I don't watch the BBC! I have Sky, so why should I pay for quality television when I have as much Murdoch-produced prole-crack as I need?". Well, shut-up. You may be an idiot happy to watch American sit-com re-runs, 'Ibiza gone wild' and dumbed-down documentaries on Discovery, but thankfully at the moment you pay towards some quality television. You might not like this, but so what? Ridiculous things such as Trident cost us far more, with no positive gain. The BBC is a great thing, and once selfish twunts like you get rid of it, it will be gone for ever.

    The anti-BBC ranting is tiresome on here. Go and get a life, whiners.

  65. Anonymous Coward


    ...the BBC continues to chase other revenues through projects such as Canvas. If there's any justice in the system (OK, if there WERE any...) someone would tell him he can EITHER have the licence fee OR commercial income, not both

  66. Squits

    I hate the licence fee

    But if he want's it that way, why not use a login system for members only, you have to put in your licence number to create an account to watch iPlayer.


    Or just pirate them directly through torrents, or don't bother, as most BBC programming is rubbish.

  67. James


    Those aren't commercial adverts. If they weren't shown how would you know what Ashes to Ashes was etc.? They take up all of 30 secs, if that, between programming as opposed to a commercial break.

    @James Greenhalgh - I bet if we were to observe your viewing (and listening) habits you would watch and listen to far more than you would dare admit to on a BBC bashing article.

    People seem to forget the service the BBC gives us. Without the BBC the broadcasting standards in this country would fall through the floor. Think Sky and the incessant 5 minute advert breaks.

    Think that the iPlayer wouldn't have been developed so soon and that the ITVplayer, 4OD, and Demand Five are all responses to the BBCs development.

    Radio without those annoying adverts. Programmes not particularly commercially viable or risky like the large nature series filmed over 5 years etc.

    Its not that simple that the BBC should become a public company. If the license fee was abolished what to replace it with? Tax like in Australia? This would reduce admin and collection costs certainly.

  68. Mr Nobody
    Thumb Up

    next ?

    First the music industry didn't get a clue, then KODAK, currently the dead tree press.....please..please let the BBC be next.

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: and my attitude

    @Anonymous Coward:

    " is that If I'm paying you for these shows, with my license fee, why cant I download them, store them, and watch them at my convenience? why should I have to pay for them on DVD? "

    Does that go for every show "you pay for" on a Sky subscription, or every DVD "you pay for" in a rental shop, or every film "you pay for" in the cinema or...

    " or am i being far to simple? "


    We pay for our material on how much we use it. The TV version we can watch once, at restricted times. A DVD version we can watch on repeat for a decade if we really want to. Buying the DVD means that the heavy users pay more than the light users.

  70. The Mighty Spang
    Thumb Down

    And nothing of value was lost

    i have no license. don't have a telly. have a home cinema to watch films. sometimes watch stuff on iplayer, but nowhere near enough to justify £140 as I'm skint. I've got a particular interest in comedy which is a shame as the bbc seem to have gone off the idea. rehashing reggie perrin and the aging have i got news for you feels like watching the same show over and over again if it wasnt for the stuntcasting of presenters. anything new goes on bbc3, which is aimed at toddlers and the mentally insubstantial.

    although a member of the two best uk torrent sites, havent downloaded anything for weeks. from any channel.

    even newswipe sucked arse.

    so fine, do something. register iplayer to tv license numbers. i'll just download the 3-4 shows a year i like from torrents.

    or now you can monitor on iplayer how about a PAYG service? might be worthwhile. or a teired service. seeing as i use about 1/25th of the average of the service, if i paid 1/25th of the price that'd be ok. (about an hour a week on average over the year, compared with ofcom figures of over 25 hours a week)

    btw wonder if they are trying to trap people at the moment. a couple of times i've clicked on bbc news headline links to formula 1, expecting to see some text about the race, only for it to kick off a player with a live feed. that is illegal for me (no license) but then i haven't clicked a link saying "watch live formula 1". doesn't even have a click through to the content (saying "this is live"), just auto starts. gets on my tits.

  71. Anonymous Coward

    iplayer is good - too good.

    I've had a to-and-frow with TV Licencing for the last 6 years. I really don't watch 'TV', that is via an aerial/live broadcasts. I've disconnected the Aerial. It was the best thing I ever did in my opinion.

    Axelis Sayle once clarified it - calculating the total revenue of the BBC, only to state that from this 'They made 5 good programs with it, and that includes this one' - which said it all in my opinion.

    The real problem is the licence fee is like a safe snug blanket to the BBC Trust - the revenue is vast. Far more than any subscription service would ever generate. Sky pales into insignificance in comparison.

    They have developed the iplayer and probably didn't realise how popular it would become - thinking it would be a niche product like the magazines such as Top Gear.

    I have argued with TV Licencing that it is no longer a minority of people that don't watch 'TV'. They can no longer assume everyone is watching via Aerial and not paying (which is the general theme of their correspondence)

    People today have far more means to entertain themselves - TV can no longer be said to have a monopoly on people's spare time. I'd much rather cook a nice meal and head out for coastal walk nearby, watch an up to date DVD, or watch the latest Film at the Cinema, read a good book than watch Celebrities laughing at us. Honestly - unplug it for a month this summer and see how you get on (if necessary - may a bit of iplayer) - you won't miss it.

    There aren't many Celebs that watch TV-because they have realised there are far better things to do with the majority of their time (and get paid for it in the process by us the plebs watching them)

    I actually think there is a now a significant minority that don't watch 'TV'. And of the 5 good programmes the BBC make you can now catch up on them for free on iplayer. So the idea of a TV licence is even less appealing. To state you should have a TV LIcence to watch iplayer - i'd be happy with this if it is still 'free' at the point of watching.

    This means that the BBC licence subsidies a broadband connection which can stream 2 simulataneous programmes at low definition or one HD programme continuously via my broadband connection.

    So for my monthly licence fee of say £12 a month I get Broadband access which I can either watch the BBC or surf the net. Any usage above the download limits required to Stream 1 HD Channel 24 Hours a day I pay in addition to my ISP. BBC access is controlled by the ISP. I either subscribe to this 'free' monthly licence fee - so I pay £139.50 a year or a pay a traditional monthly broadband connection separately and I don't have access to the BBC iplayer.

    Another optiion would be to use the current licence fee to subsidies this download capacity - and for the bbc to rent back spare bandwidth to ISP which they can then sell to the consumer.

    You could also keep this two licence fees separate, so you are entitled to only watch via the iplayer and pay additionally to watch via Transmitter (this payment covering the maintenance of the transmitters)

    But the idea that you should just pay a licence fee to watch the iplayer negates the savings the BBC are making from having a much cheaper distribution system. They may pay for Siemens to encode and stream their content, but in the long run it is a far cheaper model than the money that could be made auctioning off the airwaves and maintenance of the existing transmitter system. We are paying towards the transmission of programmes into our home via Broadband, so to expect us to pay a full licence is wrong.

    On the one hand the BBC want to keep the licence but on the other technology is showing them that access could be restricted by ISPs and be part of the ISP Subscription model. ISP's see the BBC as the 'freeloader', (not the customer) which has caused additonal bandwith costs, while not offering any of its licence money to help build this infractructure - leaving it to ISPs to adjust their subscription models. But ISPs aren't completely against the BBC because media content means continued broadband subscription, so it seem they might have a common model between them.

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @The anti BBCers

    Oh, do shut up.

    Every time, an article mentions the license fee it's the same: Read the article, don't bother to actually understand it, then froth away.

    All that needs to happen here is for the iPlayer site to take a serial number of a license fee, for an account to be setup, or something like that. Noone is talking about extending the license fee to become a fee for broadband.

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Welcome to the internet

    @David Haworth

    The TV license is required if you use a tv for not watching broadcasts/BBC

    Its in the terms that even if its just a DVD player plugged in you stil have to pay. You also have to pay if there is a computer in the house. As this constitues a tv(Monitor as TV, Internet TV etc)

    Its just damn stupid

    "I don't believe in a free ride."

    Welcome to the internet buddy. We pay our ISP for the access. If you dont want people to have free access to the content. Dont put it on there. SImple logic.

    The internet is about freedom to access data/information. Something he fails to seem to grasp

    Paris loves the BBC

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Re: I don't believe in a free ride

    surely working for the wrong company then...

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What about the rest of their website?

    "My view is that if you are using the iPlayer you have to be a television licence fee payer. I don't believe in a free ride. If you are consuming BBC services then you have to be a licence holder," ...

    And yet the BBC website including news, online radio, sport, games etc has been live for years and is accessible worldwide for free. How do these not qualify as "BBC services". How about some consistency...

  76. Richard Cartledge
    Thumb Down


    There is no need for conscientious objectors to have a TV license.

    They have to show that you are using equipment to watch or record TV transmissions.

    They have no right to enter your home or to question you so they would never be able to get the evidence unless you have a TV in the front windows.

    They are employees of CAPITA working on a bonus in a mock official uniform and telling you that they must caution you under Police and Criminal Evidence Act. This spooks most bored housewives.

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Online subscription fee for premium content

    A far better solution would be to charge a nominal membership fee to view "premium" content online. Premium content could be determined by viewer ratings - all the rest is free.

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pay-per-View Internet?

    Isn't this what Jonathan Zittrain predicted in his book 'The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It' predicted? It seems more and more interests (commercial, governmental, etc.) are finding the model the internet espouses not to their liking. Now the genie is out of the bottle some interests are doing their hardest to pull it back. Rupert Murdoch wants to start charging for accessing his newspapers; record companies want to cut off internet access; Australia filters web access- I think some people hate the internet. A I can see the time coming when if you want to view a website you'll have to pay a fee. Maybe I'm pessimistic but there you are.

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    From an american

    As an american who enjoys BBC shows, I wouldn't be averse to being able to pay a monthly fee to use iPlayer. It seems only fair, as we only export crap TV to the UK.

  80. B. Frank


    Got this idea from the Republic of Ireland then? There is a proposal to do just that there!

  81. B. Frank

    I'm clearly naive then..

    My understanding is that you only need the licence to watch programmes while they are beign broadcast. See the following URL for the details:-

  82. Tanuki

    Bring on the Blocklist.

    So, as someone who does not have a TV licence and does not want to watch Beeb content online, where can I go to register my personal /23 in the Beeb's Iplayer-blocklist?

    [It's taken the threat of an injunction for me to get "TV Licensing [a.k.a. Crapita]" to stop sending me the traditional monthly threatening letters & blackmail-O-grams]

  83. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Not Quite...

    I sometimes use iPlayer to watch the odd program. I dont have a TV license because I dont watch any broadcast TV...

    If they do implement a iPlayer tax... Most (including myself) will just download the actual programs they want to watch via BitTorrent.

    This idea is dead in the water if you ask me. Maybe Sky or Virgin might start charging for "Online Services" but I can't see how the BBC would profit very much on it. They probably will do it eventually (just requiring you to enter your license account number when you register for iPlayer, 4OD etc...).

    Bit fed up of the UK government trying to "police" the internet to be honest. Wont be too long before they are recording/monitoring all internet traffic.... no wait... ;-)

    AC - Obvious reasons :-D

  84. Zimmer

    @David Wood

    Spot on, David. It's as if they are hijacking the internet and ISP bandwidth to re broadcast content and then trying to apply a tax to fund it.

    If I was a SKY subscriber (I am not) I might be unhappy at paying a monthly fee to watch their content only to find people could see it on the net for free. How would one feel if SKY tried to extract a fee from every computer owner on the basis that with a computer it is possible to watch 'some' SKY content?

    My response: two words, one of which is 'off' ... (the other word could be Switch... :) )

    Note to BBC:

    If you cannot afford to run the web service then don't ! We already have the technology at home to record your broadcasts should we miss the appointed scheduled hour (and even if we forget to set the timer there is bound to be a repeat along shortly to fill up the slots made available by having 4 channels and not enough content!)

  85. This post has been deleted by its author

  86. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Overseas iPlayer would be ace

    I'm in NZ and would happily to pay to watch BBC programmes via iPlayer. Telly is shocking here! Thing is though, as someone else pointed out, this means a drastic re-think about how the fee is charged; not just adding more charges.

    Evil jobs because that icon makes me chuckle.

  87. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    MP's Expenses and the BBC

    There does seem to be a conspiracy between the Government/MP's and the BBC. The lenient approach to not replacing the the licence fee model with one more akid to the times.

    The recent debarcle regarding MP's Expenses - I wonder how many have double claimed - i.e they have an appearance on a regional BBC show say in Manchester, and meeting in their constituency the next day 10 Miles away. They claimed the overnight allowance from both the BBC and through Parliament Expenses.

    There should be a policy that they can only claim for original receipts - not photocopies.

    The BBC is a gravy train for sitting MP's - guest apperances on Have I got News for you etc. No wonder they don't want to upset the BBC - any MP vocal against them will see their own pockets hit and the BBC will probably get its way regarding the iplayer to become a tax on ISPs.

    Paris because she knows what its like to double up.

  88. Anonymous Coward

    14.37 flashback

    Man, did I speak too soon!

  89. Nick Palmer
    Thumb Up

    @Dominic Tristram

    Bravo, sir, and I'm with you 100%.

  90. Michael

    I told you so!!!

    No tuner required ... just a pc . System is already in place in Ireland

    Bring on three strikes , so I can tell em all to FOAD!!!!

  91. Trygve

    @DT, @Dominic Tristram (odd coincidence there)

    So please explain the 'public service' delivered by the BBC, which these days splits its efforts between

    -Celebrity X-Factor Apprentice on Ice, BeastEnders and other low-rent swill

    -Pointless arts programmes watched by a handful of chin-stroking arts graduates

    -Trying to be a commercial operation in the rest of the world?

    Public services are things like street lighting, healthcare, policing and so on. Ad-free radio and TV is not a public benefit that justifies confiscating money from those who are not interested in contributing voluntarily.

    If I could save £139 back in return for giving up half an hour of Radio 2 every day, I'd definitely go for it. The tiny amount of BBC TV I watch is nearly all repeats on Dave - complete with ad breaks.

    We're not great consumers of TV shows, and the vast majority of what we do watch is US imports.

  92. Anonymous Coward

    Keep the licence fee !

    Purely from a personal, self-motivated point of view. If the licence fee were to be abolished, the beeb would end up being funded by the taxpayer, and I'm sure that I, and the majority of readers of the register wouuld end up paying much more than the current £139 pa

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    What Ian Brown said.


  94. Noel Morgan
    IT Angle

    Get over yourselves

    Don't people actually read ?

    "My view is that if you are using the iPlayer you have to be a television licence fee payer. I don't believe in a free ride. If you are consuming BBC services then you have to be a licence holder,"

    For all the people complaing about a blanket tax on the internet - where does this quote mention that people who don't use iplayer should be charged?

    I have to admit - I don't watch a lot of BBC1 or 2, maybe an hour or two a MONTH, but I do not mind paying the 'Tax'.

    My children watch CBBC/Cbeebies

    I listen to Radio2 in the car for 3 hours a day (can't account for taste)

    I use the BBC website to check the news and sport.

    I use iPlayer to watch programmes that I missed (cause the kids are watching CBeebies....)

    All these are paid for through my TV license.

    I notice so many of the people saying - "I don't watch BBC - I just download what I watch from iPlayer." Do they think that the license ONLY pays for BBC1 and 2?

    Mind you I also pay SKY for 300 odd channels of which I only watch about 5. That costs me twice as much as the license.

  95. Robert E A Harvey
    Thumb Up

    @Dominic Tristram

    Well, quite. I could not agree more.

  96. OFI


    hmm good luck proving and collecting fees on that one unless they do put a login system on.

    But then as the TV License guys can't even work out that if one person in a house has a license then the partner doesn't need it I can't see a new system adding onto that working too well.

    Make it too much hassle and people will just use other methods like every other website that gets too ambitious

  97. Anonymous Coward

    Since when has comments section here become Speak your Branes?

    First of all it seems most haven't even read the article. This isn't a blanket tax for the internet, this is for iPlayer. For a supposedly tech-savvy bunch of people I'm surprised most haven't realised it'd be rather easy to tie a login to the licence.

    By Anonymous Coward Posted Thursday 14th May 2009 17:29 GMT

    'And yet the BBC website including news, online radio, sport, games etc has been live for years and is accessible worldwide for free. How do these not qualify as "BBC services". How about some consistency...'

    AC you are an idiot. If you've ever been out of little england you'd know that these sites have advertising all over them.

    BBC domestic full of adverts? Come off it, if you try to watch commercial channels you are constantly having content broken by advertising. Anyone been to the states and endured 20 minute infomercials?

    By Zimmer Posted Thursday 14th May 2009 22:43 GMT

    'If you cannot afford to run the web service then don't ! We already have the technology at home to record your broadcasts should we miss the appointed scheduled hour'

    Who the balls is 'we'? I don't have anything set up, and certainly don't know anyone that does. People like iPlayer - and I'd guess it's one of the reasons for its popularity is its simplicty.

    As a BBC employee (on his lunchbreak) I sometimes despair at attitudes towards it. It's not perfect and I personally think its remit to entertain should largely be dropped (that can be catered for by the commercial sector), but it produces some fantastic content and I'm sick of the cynical, miserable attitude that pervades public opinion - until that is, they're gone - at which point everyone gets misty eyed and begins moaning that it's not how it used to be.

  98. Peter

    Already happened in Denmark

    In Denmark they introduced a "media license" which has to be paid by everyone with an internet connection faster than a certain level (I think it's 256kb/s, but I'm not sure). That's because the public service TV/radio company decided to send its programs over the internet.

    Made a lot of people angry - especially those who didn't want to see TV and didn't want to pay a license, but now had to simply because they had an internet connection.

    The same is happening in the mother country I see. All the same arguments about "logins" etc fell on deaf ears - despite the fact that pay-to-view internet tv can apparently cope.

  99. Simon B

    They talk about fairness, how about those who DONT want BigBadCrap?

    He rabbits on about not giving us a free ride, I agree, WTF should the BBC have a free ride? If I don't WANT to watch BBC's crap WTF should I be FORCED to pay for it? I watch sky, ITV, etc etc, I PAY for the channels I WANT, I PAY for the BBC SEPERATELY when I DONT WANT IT!

    Fuck off BBC

  100. Anonymous Coward

    Fuck that

    I specifically don't have a TV license because I can't afford one. I am not going to pay to watch their crappy low resolution streams instead. I just torrent all my TV, including the one good program the BBC make, top gear.

  101. SynnerCal

    Re: Since when has comments section here become Speak your Branes?

    AC wrote:

    "By Zimmer Posted Thursday 14th May 2009 22:43 GMT-

    'If you cannot afford to run the web service then don't ! We already have the technology at home to record your broadcasts should we miss the appointed scheduled hour'

    Who the balls is 'we'? I don't have anything set up, and certainly don't know anyone that does. People like iPlayer - and I'd guess it's one of the reasons for its popularity is its simplicty."

    Don't know about you, but most folks used to have these funny things you could put plastic bricks into and setup to automatically save TV programs for later viewing, now what were they called again? Oh yes, video recorders! And of course there's PVR's and DVD-Recorders that do the same to HDD's and DVD disks respectively. :p

    "As a BBC employee (on his lunchbreak) I sometimes despair at attitudes towards it. It's not perfect and I personally think its remit to entertain should largely be dropped (that can be catered for by the commercial sector)"

    If this means less of Wossy and barrow-boy-made-good Sugar then drop the 'entertain' provision NOW! Only trouble is we'd also lose stuff like Top Gear (and I realise that some out there may also think this a price worth paying <grin>)

  102. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    License fee isn't to watch BBC content

    It is a tax to support a number of services:

    provide transmission services (including commercial stations, like ITV, Channel 4 etc)

    fund certain channels (not just BBC, but a chunk of Channel 4's income, most of S4C etc)

    You are required to pay this tax if you have TV receiver capable and set up to receive broadcasts.

    The argument that 'I dont watch BBC, all I watch is Ross Kemp on Sky 1' is bullshit. It would be the same as me refusing to pay a chunk of my council tax, because I don't have children and therefore don't need to pay the chunk that correlates to LEA contributions.

    If you want to drive on the road, you must pay road tax.

    If you want to watch TV programmes, you must pay your TV license.

    This seems obvious and simple enough, even for the sky twats on here...

    For instance, 'The mighty spang', you might want to consider that you wouldn't be so broke as to avoid tax if you hadn't spent it all on the home cinema set up...

  103. Anonymous Coward

    Paying for what you don't want/use

    The BBC Vs Sky/Cable content argument is avoiding the licencing issue. It does not matter if people prefer their viewing to be BBC or American based, what matters is that they are being forced to pay for something they don't actually want or use in the first place.

    I pay my BBC licence fee and have Sky. However as I don't watch sports, I don't pay for the sports package from Sky. I've not watched or listened to a BBC broadcast in over 15 years. This does not mean the quality is bad, it just means there is nothing there that interests me - yet year after year I continue to pay a licence fee for something I do not use. I don't have an aerial, yet because Sky are made to include the BBC broadcast in their transmission, I am forced to pay for a licence as I have the “ability” to receive live BBC broadcasts. ( I have the “ability” to receive my gas, water and electricity from other suppliers as well, but I don’t see them charging me)

    If I want to use the bus - I buy a ticket. I pay Vehicle Excise Duty because I have a car and use the roads, and I pay Sky for the channels that suit the tastes of my family and I. Irrespective of the quality of the content, the blanket "everyone must pay" licence fee has no place in modern society. I appreciate that it is this blanket-funding that enables the BBC to produce “high quality” broadcasts and documentaries, however their funding model has to be evaluated. A monthly system, enabling people to subscribe only for the months that show the programmes they wish to watch, an iPlayer only licence, and a complete opt-out solution should all be made available.

    Regarding iPlayer - it should be free to licence payers, and then pay-per-view etc. for anyone else. It's not difficult, and I am surprised the BBC have waited this long to announce adding a fee to it.

  104. neil
    Black Helicopters

    BBC, Foxtrot Oscar!

    Enough of the bullshit, the BBC (Brown's, formerly Bliars Brainwashing Colusionists) is an instrument of the state and state control, feed the proles sport & soap and keep them distracted from the reality of the state of the world. So as its part of what keeps those lying b'stards in power why not just fund the BBC from grubby-mit taxes?

    Forget the freedom of the press and the BBC's 'unbiased' reporting, the reality is neither much exist now...BBC Foxtrot Oscar!

  105. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Re: Since when has comments section here become Speak your Branes?

    "Don't know about you, but most folks used to have these funny things you could put plastic bricks into and setup to automatically save TV programs for later viewing, now what were they called again? Oh yes, video recorders!"

    And how many people still have a video recorder? I suppose the videoplus is the on-demand technology right? No sorry, that's the play button..

    "And of course there's PVR's and DVD-Recorders that do the same to HDD's and DVD disks respectively. :p"

    Yes, which are an additional cost and probably goes some way in explaining why I don't know anyone with one. The public on the other hand are far more likely to have access to the internet through a computer and flash is free.

  106. Camilla Smythe

    Wedge, meet Thin End.....

    As others have alluded that this is not about some argument as to having to pay for what you don't need or don't watch..... oh, OK, for some it is. However that is, more or less, the status quo.

    This is about tedious bunch of dirtbags squirming about in the mud slathering about how they can't provide their service for free. Therefore, ignoring the simple answer that if you can't afford it then you don't do it, someone has to pay for it and since they can't, or pretend they can't, police it then everyone should pay.

    Police it DirtBags! We Can't. Yes you can, make it subscription. Ooooh but that would be hard. No it isn't, do it like this........... Oooh but the freetards would hack our systems. What percentage of users would that be? Oooooh we don't know but they are Pirate Freetards Evil Pirate People Pirates and probably Hackers as well and Pirates, did we mention there are Pirates out there as well as Freetards and the Pirates. Not a lot then. Make it subscription! No-one would pay for it. Pardon? No-one would pay for it. So you haven't got a saleable product? Well that didn't make a difference in the past. Make it like the old licence make everyone pay us some money. We only want 6% for free. What? Elsewhere it's only 3%! Yes, seeeeee, it does work, but we need another 3% to send everyone a threatening letter each month. Slime Slime Slime Slime.

    Actually I think this IS the way to go. Good Old Auntie Beeb. Luv A Duck, where would we be wivout her? I also think that we should make sure that we don't lose Google services. After all there might be a chance that their UK advertising revenue drops so they must need a percentage too, as a retainer, maybe 6% as well. Looks like Twitter isn't making any money at the moment.... blimey.... have a heart let's sign them up for 6% as well. I've just set up an on line kool aid delivery service and it's not doing much business. Everyone gets the chance to buy some. Crumbs they can even come to look at the web site..... I'll settle for 10%. Shit!!!!!! Phucking Phorm looks like it's going to go under because all these freetards are telling them to Phuck Orf. That's not very stiff upper lip. I mean, come on now. There is this free service that could be freely available if only someone paid for it. Give them 12%.......

    That will be an interesting one.... Oh, as an aside.... How much money is the BBC, I mean the licence payer, I mean every UK citizen, paying this Erik Huggers to try and leach more money out of them? The other one being.... when he gets booted out of the Beeb womb what are the chances of him turning up as a Phorm advisor?

  107. Bod


    "It would be the same as me refusing to pay a chunk of my council tax, because I don't have children and therefore don't need to pay the chunk that correlates to LEA contributions."

    I'm all for that! There's far too much bias toward parents with kids when it comes to taxes and benefits. It just encourages over population! ;-)

    Screw them I say. They wanted kids, they can pay for them, not me (insert raspberry)

    "If you want to drive on the road, you must pay road tax."

    However I can use the road to walk or cycle without paying road tax. I can't use a TV to not watch broadcast telly or only watch TV that isn't in some way funded by the licence, without having to pay the licence fee.

    But I still say, kick Wossy out and the savings will pay for iPlayer ;). Seriously though, for a public funded service there should be an independent evaluation on what the money is spent on. Big stars should go to commercial channels if they want big salaries and the BBC should concentrate on quality content at a reasonable price.

    I mean really. In terms of wastes of public money, after MPs expenses, the BBC's expenditure should be next on the target.

  108. Winston Smith
    Thumb Down

    The BBC can go to ....

    The TV Licence is for 'receiving television programmes as they are broadcast'. The licence is NOT for owning a TV.

    I do not watch TV, my set is detuned back to factory condition, the aerial is unplugged, and I have removed the aerial socket from the wall. I do not use the BBC's online 'services' at all. My TV is used purely for watching DVDs and for a games console.

    I notified TV Licencing of this last December. Since then I have received a stream of threatening letters in demand that I buy a TV Licence, they have phoned my elderly parents who live at a totally different address. As far as I am concerned the BBC, and their Stasi attack dogs TV Licencing, can go to hell.

    I will absolutely refuse to buy a TV Licence (or BBC tax as it should be called) just because I have a computer and web connection.

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