"should not be onerous for a corporation that helped invent" lots of things
Was that before or after they outsourced everything romotely related to IT?
Can't have it both ways you know.
The UK's Minister for Fun will rush through legislation to allow the BBC to impose a compulsory subscription on people using iPlayer to watch catchup TV. The BBC wants to plug a “loophole” that allows households that do not watch live transmissions, and do not need a TV licence, to watch BBC content. The licence costs £145.50 …
@Grease Monkey, the law agrees with him entirely.
The law is that you must have a license if you have a device that can receive live broadcast television, and is set up to do so. So, if you don't have an aerial plugged in and/or the TV isn't tuned then your TV is not set up to do so.
I have a TV. I don't have an aerial. I don't need a license. TVL agrees with me on this.
No it doesn't. According to gov.uk: "You must have a TV Licence if you watch or record programmes on a TV, computer or other device as they’re broadcast."
So, you can legally have as many TVs as you like, so long as you never watch live broadcast TV. In practical terms, this means not connecting the TV to an aerial.
Or in the old days not connecting a vcr (to an aerial) either. My dad's friend got done when he foolishly admitted he recorded tv programmes when they were transmitted and watched them the next day when he finished his night shift on a computer monitor with an composite video in (no tv/tuner). So it was the VCR that was capable of receiving a live tv broadcast.
However, if you own a TV, there is a significant likelihood that a court would judge that you were watching it. Unplugging the aerial is not likely to be convincing. The problem is that a TV has limited utility outside of watching live broadcast.
The situation with tablets and computers is different. These are also entirely capable of displaying TV as it is broadcast (via iplayer). However, they have a substantial use which is not infringing. An attempt to prosecute someone on the basis that they had a phone or tablet and therefore must have been watching iplayer would be doomed to failure
The law is not a computational specification. There is a degree of reasonable interpretation involved.
I think you'll find you're wrong. All you need to do is register that you're not going to connect it to an aerial and you can own a TV and not pay the license fee. They normally come round to do a check, but they're fine about it. You just show them the setup when they knock the door :-)
"It doesn't matter how many exclamation marks you use, I think you'll find the law disagrees with you."
Actually - we've got 2 TVs in the house and don't pay the BBC a penny. We realised we'd not used live TV for so long and BBC much longer, so we just rang and cancelled the license.
They were very nice about it, and it was all quick and painless. We just explained we used Amazon Prime and Netflix for our content, and haven't installed BBC iPlayer on either FireTV box or the smart telly, and no aerials are connected - so didn't need a license - they agreed. We actually do have a Virgin Media subscription for TV, but it was just added to reduce the cost of the broadband, and the box is at the bottom of a dusty cupboard somewhere for when they want it back.
Having experienced a BBC shakedown as a student, with constant threatening letters and visits trying to catch us out, I was half expecting to be heckled constantly about it via knocks at the door or letters, but so far all we've had is an email saying the license was expired and we could renew whenever we want.
Hopefully they won't tweak the new rules to include any and all streaming last minute - so providing we don't use any of the catch up channels we're good. Not quite sure how they'll enforce this though, without laws allowing them to get logs from your ISP or allowing them access to your tablets / smart TVs and other computers around the house how would they prove you stream from the BBC?? As the article says, it'd just be easier to go pay-per-view or subscription model for people - having a 8.99 subscription to Netflix for 2 device streaming has been perfect for us, I'm sure people who would want CBeebies, Doctor Who and the like would pay the fee.
Does the license affect radio station funding? Again, we don't use their stations... but they could go amazon prime style and include music streaming to devices too.
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Not allowed to advertise? The BBC is advertising all the time - totally irrelevant trails in the middle of specialist music programmes, other trails with gratuitous background music in between programmes, ads for "digital radio" (the initials DAB are too toxic to use), ads for the licence fees ... the list goes on.
Turning the question round, if there is going to be a licence fee, why should the BBC get it all?
Everyone who watches broadcast TV has to pay it regardless of whether they watch much, or even any, of the BBC's output. Even if someone spends all their time watching Xtreme Filth or the God Channel, then they still have to subsidize the BBC.
It probably seemed sensible in 1955 when they operated one of just two British TV channels, but now they are responsible for less than 2% of the total number of channels.
"Everyone who watches broadcast TV has to pay it regardless of whether they watch much, or even any, of the BBC's output."
"It probably seemed sensible in 1955 when they operated one of just two British TV channels, but now they are responsible for less than 2% of the total number of channels."
Just like I don't have kids, but I still have to subsidise child benefit, education, etc.
The BBC may be a tiny percentage of the total number of channels, but the total number of channels cost about £100 per month. The BBC makes up a larger percentage of the free channels, and plays an even bigger role in radio broadcasting.
It also plays a very prominent role in educational programming. So if you think it is right to pay taxes for schools, etc. for the good of the future of the country, then there are very good reasons why you should be contributing to the BBC, whether you watch any of the programmes or not.
"It also plays a very prominent role in educational programming. So if you think it is right to pay taxes for schools, etc. for the good of the future of the country, then there are very good reasons why you should be contributing to the BBC, whether you watch any of the programmes or not."
If you have no children, and your friends and relatives have no children that watch educational programmes or CBBC or CBeebies, or you have no relatives or friends, young or old, that watch BBC programmes, or listen to BBC Radio, and if you truly live in such a bubble that you are connected to absolutely nobody who benefits from the programming that the BBC provides (and of course you do not listen to any BBC Radio yourself, or watch any BBC output whatsoever, even if it is a repeat broadcast on a different channel) then yes you should have your £12 a month back.
The BBC (and the "IP" lobby in general) seem to be promoting a rather communist agenda.
Demanding that "all work must be rewarded" arrogantly presumes that it's always worthy of reward, or perhaps even more arrogantly dictates that even unworthy work must be rewarded regardless.
Surely that's not how capitalism is supposed to work.
What if someone thinks the content is worth it and pay for it and I don't consider it's worth it? Why would I have to pay if I do not want the goods?
Oh you have to because "reasons", go screw yourself with your content, I do not want it! the BBC has been blocked at home in my Firewall and local DNS cache for 14 years! I do not watch any TV whatsoever, my TVs are computer monitors with no aerials of any kind nor TV cards.
The supermarket next door doesn't force me to buy a DVD I have absolutely no interest on.
Why should they be exempted from market competition and be granted a monopoly on the UK interwebs???
Have you never thought that you are paying towards all the commercial channels every time you shop? The supermarket next door IS forcing you to pay for them (even though, apparently, you can't even get them). You don't have to pay a TV licence if you do not have a TV, but every household in Britain is paying towards commercial TV, whether they have aTV or not, and whether they can receive the service or not. now THAT IS injustice .............
Meanwhile of course, "lack of work" is rewarded in the commercial media world. We all pay towards commercial TV through the "advertising premium" which we pay on all our goods and services but if we then do not pay the exorbitant subscriptions (BSkyB profits last year over £1bn!!!) then we are paying towards TV services that (unlike the BBC which is "free to air") we cannot even receive. I get very fed up about those who scream about the "injustice" of the "tele-tax" but fail to recognise the even greater injustice of having (short of shoplifting how do you avoid it?) to pay toards something that you cannot even partake in ............
Well played BBC, I moved house about a year and a half ago and lo and behold a tv license person knocks on door with a form, the options were, I watch live tv, I watch catch-up tv and I don't watch tv If I remember correctly. What this means is that everyone that said I watch catch-up tv to get out of paying have now helpfully told the BBC that they will require a license.
I begrudgingly pay for a TV license because there are things the BBC produce that I enjoy but if they carry on the way they are going I will cancel it.
This also highlights an interesting question, previously it was the ability to receive TV that meant you had to have a license (TV and aerial) so does this mean if you have a computer and the internet you may have to pay it?
We don't have a licence, as we don't have or want live TV in the house. This makes us more selective in what we watch, and prevents us leaving the telly on blaring background noise, dumbing down the kids.
However, I've always been aware the iplayer is a loophole. For the cost of it (a fraction of what the likes of Sky charge), you get an enormous amount. Not only that but the commercial channels STILL shovel adverts down your neck, even after you've directly paid them. I don't know why people put up with that.
So, we'll pay. No issues.
"Not only that but the commercial channels STILL shovel adverts down your neck, even after you've directly paid them. I don't know why people put up with that."
Thats the thing with TV people want to watch. They are willing to pay for it and accept adverts (usually with the technology to fast forward them) to enjoy what they want. This is why the BBC has such a fear of losing public funding and the imposing license fee. The BBC has some shows which attract some viewers, but they would lose so much money from the rest of us who dont watch it but instead watch content from other channels (even with the adverts).
Personally I am happy for them closing this loophole but I do want them to move the whole thing to a subscription model. That way only the people who bother with the BBC will pay for it. The rest of us can watch what we want without paying the competitor for nothing.
History, dear boy, history! I would expect nearly every one who visits this site is unaware that at one time there was such a thing as, wait for it, let me build up the anticipation, drum roll - Radio Licences! Yes, when radios were big boxes, which every body in the household gathered around every night, just like we used to do with TVs, for news and entertainment, householders were expected to pay 7 shilling and 6 pence per year for a license per radio with the money going to the BBC.
What happened? Er! Transistor Radios, battery operated, and yes when they first went on sale large and clunky and short power life, but within a few years, the size of some models were smaller than a match box, a reasonable battery life but having to use small earphones (and, yes, I had one).
The then government recognised the futility of trying to tax a product and service at such a level of non compliance, so raised the price of the TV licence, which in those days, were large boxes built around massive cathode ray tubes, used a lot of electricity, and, this is really hard for people to believe, I can understand this, there were only 2 channels (1 before 1955), the picture was in black and white, and the service was only available about 8 hours a day. Heck, I can even remember the fuss when morning TV shows first came on.
So, really my thoughts on this, the government and the beeb are on a hiding to nothing, it is going to cost a lot of money to enforce a law when non-compliance will become the norm. The only conceivable way for the BBC to go is to become a pay to view and/or subscription channel or both, and not restricted to the UK but really going global. Of course that will annoy the Murdoch's and their media empire so I can't see the present administration even allowing it to be discussed.
I wonder how it will pan out if you only watch netflix which if any BBC content is there has already been paid for?
This is basically a tax on anybody who can receive Iplayer content. I am quite happy to ditch BBC altogether, only shows I watched were Dr Who & Top Gear, both of which I can happily live without, Will I be given a chance ??? I doubt it very much !
"This also highlights an interesting question, previously it was the ability to receive TV that meant you had to have a license (TV and aerial) so does this mean if you have a computer and the internet you may have to pay it?"
That's what it sounds like to me. Worse, it might not just be a computer, but any household in which one person has a smart phone.
Dear Beeb: Just switch over to a subscription model and be done with it FFS.
Running a subscription model would mean their cash flow would be erratic, or non existent, as people baled out in favour of the free channels, or moved to the existing pay tv channels
Care to place a bet on how long the BBC would service?
In France, you may opt out of the tv tax by ticking a box on the equivalent of the council tax, via which the 140 euros is collected.
If you are > 60 and your income is below the tax threshold (~ 17000 euros afaik) then you don't pay at all.
Netflix has bumped up its content quality, although my major gripe is no download ability...
And a gripe against BBC iPLayer is you can't transfer from one device to another when you download...
Mobile data is expensive, I want to be able to pay for a service, then download whatever I want and transfer it to wherever I want... I'd be happy for watermarked/tagged downloads as long as there was no drm limiting my usage...
They manage it with MP3's happily, and an MP3 costs only a little less than buying a tv episode...
"Isn't the BBC content better than Netflix"
Not any more no. Amazon and Netflix have upped their game the last few years, while the BBC mostly stagnates... not been a compelling reason to watch BBC TV for a while. Plus, the occasional gem that is made by them, such as Luther and The Fall, are on NetFlix and/or Amazon Prime anyway.
I don't begrudge, I have a choice. I do enjoy BBC programmes on catch up but don't have a telly at home. It's been a pleasant loophole that has meant I've had great stuff for free, but I see viewing catch up programming as a choice rather than a right. And knowing just how much it costs to make TV, I don't mind paying rather than freeloading.
so does this mean if you have a computer and the internet you may have to pay it?
Lord alone knows, but you can be sure that the detail will be an ill considered botch with unintended consequences, simply because it will be secondary legislation, meaning that it won't be subject to proper parliamentary scrutiny.
I wouldn't be at all surprised if this just became an internet poll tax collected through ISPs. Initially they might require the ISPs to root through your viewing to find BBC sites, but then it becomes an opportunity to differentially tax information on a wider basis. Sounds a slippery slope, but these are clowns intent on greasing the Snoopers Charter into law, so expect the worst possible outcome, and then your expectations will be met.
I wish the BBC would use accounts for access to iPlayer. I know loads of Americans who pay for a VPN to get a UK IP address to watch iPlayer. This could become another income stream for the BBC if those viewers paid direct to the BBC and didn't require a VPN. I suspect the current reason the BBC leaves this untapped (in effect letting the VPN providers take the money) is that negotiating the rights to stream internationally would be complicated - but surely not impossible.
Dr Who, period drama, news, documentaries, and an archive of classic TV... That's got to be worth a few dollars a month, a la Netflix etc. That they don't go after this makes me wonder if there is another reason. Perhaps making this a monthly paid for service would make the UK licence fee untenable. The market pressure would sure be towards offering viewers in the UK the same subscription (and by extension the right NOT to pay it). If you love the BBC then it being outside of market pressures is what makes it great, if you hate the licence fee on principle then this is also the problem.
They don't block all VPNs, as I can watch iPlayer while I go on vacation back to Spain.
As for charging that much for content.. really not worth it. I would then DEMAND to have the content available after it is broadcasted.. and I mean the minute it is started to broadcast, and to remain some months.
"negotiating the rights to stream internationally would be complicated - but surely not impossible."
I suspect the beancounters have calculated that international streaming rights won't bring in as much cash as being able to sell "exclusive" first run rights to various national broadcasters.
There are apparently legal issues about making some content available outside of the UK market. Most obviously this applies to content BT licence from rights holders (like sports) which often have exclusive licensing deals across the world. However, the constraint often goes in the other direction. The BBC will licence some of its content to local broadcasters who will have exclusive rights. No doubt there is a lot of stuff that doesn't fall into either camp, but in any event, it's not as simple as it might appear due to these IPR issues.
> This also highlights an interesting question, previously it was the ability to
> receive TV that meant you had to have a license (TV and aerial) so does this
> mean if you have a computer and the internet you may have to pay it?
I'm pretty sure you only need a licence to operate the TV receiver, not to own one. Of course the TV Licensing people's presumption is that if you own a TV then you will use it, but in court it is up to them to prove that you did and that your assertion that it's only connected to the DVD player is false.
Perhaps this is the real reason for collecting all those 'connection records' that the IP Bill will require. It's to enforce the iPlayer TV licence.
> so does this mean if you have a computer and the internet you may have to pay it
That is already the case. If you use a PC to access iPlayer to watch live TV you have to have a TV licence. The new proposal extends that to catch-up.
Remember all the law changes that were rushed through to enable internet use spying? Expect those laws to now be used to track down people who access iPlayer without a licence.
"so does this mean if you have a computer and the internet you may have to pay it?"
Why would it? Presumably you'll just have to enter your license number/special key to watch though how this'll work with people owning multiple devices , some of them portable , will be interesting. I imagine it'll be something along the lines of you'll be able to link N number of devices perhaps via MAC address to a given license number.
No, it means they will put iPlayer behind a paywall, access to which will be included to license payers.
This is one aspect of iPlayer that I've always questioned, namely why they didn't ask for a tv license to enable the user to unlock extra features (eg. watch from non-UK IP address). I'm sure the additional data collected would of given them some additional insight into iPlayer's users and possible licensing models and potential revenues.
> This also highlights an interesting question, previously it was the ability to receive TV that meant you had to have a license (TV and aerial) so does this mean if you have a computer and the internet you may have to pay it?
The license has only been payable if you watch live TV (whether via broadcast or online simulcast) for quite some time. It is not longer based on whether you have equipment set up to do so.
To that end, this will continue in the same vein - if you watch live TV or catch-up iPlayer then you need a license. Simple possession of an internet connection and device-with-browser would not qualify as requiring a license.
"Whittingdale also opened fire on ad blocking companies, comparing them to a “modern day protection racket”. "
What a load of crap. Ad blockers are as much a "protection racket" as "cops" are.
This is about as stupid as the tinfoil hat brigade that claimed anti-virus companies were the ones that released all virii in the wild to sell their product. (Not that many modern security suite aren't just as bad as the malware they want to protect us from, but I disgress).
I've been bumping into sites that complain and block access unless you disable ad blockers for a few months now.
Given the number of sites that serve up objectionable ad content and offer little to no value I cannot find elsewhere I just close the tab that they're in.
Same follows for news sites behind paywalls, I don't bother.
While it may leave me uninformed about the latest inmates of I'm a Celebrity, Look at Me, I think that in the grand scheme of things my life is actually a little better for their being hidden to me.
As you can tell when you visit some websites, they know if you're using an ad-blocker. This is usually accompanied by a polite request to stop using it. So, a website owner could, if they wanted to, easily block content from anyone using a blocker. They don't though, hmmmm."
No polite request from Classic FM, I use Ghostery and can't stream from them on PC.
However, my internet radio has no problem.
Actually, that quote is pretty misleading. What he actually said was:
"Meanwhile, some of the ad-blocking companies are drawing up their own rules of acceptable advertising or offering to white list providers in return for payment. Many see such practices as akin to a modern day protection racket.".
He goes on to talk about how people tend to object to the interruption/rudeness of adverts more than their actual existence, and that if people made non-shite adverts people might use adblockers less.
Advertisers are paying for the service provider to vouch for the 'acceptability' of their adverts, buying use of the adblockers good reputation. They are perfectly free to rely on their own reputation and appeal directly to the users. After a few decades good behaviour they might earn enough trust for that to work (so really it's never going to happen).
That's not blackmail, it's a reputation repair service that costs money to deliver and no one else would ever pay for the work involved. If there's blackmail, it's entirely self inflicted.
There are certain Ad Blocking apps/companies acting like Racketeers. However, the customer demand due to the advertisers practices is generally to blame.
Unobtrusive Adverts I tend to not block. 1 bad one and I turn every add off. Why? Because I have very little time to vet other peoples adverts for offensive, distracting and obtrusive content.
Similar to news papers/magazines. A few unobtrusive adverts and I buy the mag, too many and you loose the customer. I'm no "free rider", I'll just avoid your content if it's offensive/difficult to read/listen/watch.
Oh Dear God No!
Imagine it going the way of 4oD or ITVPlayer - which I have tried to use through the Freesat box.
You have to sit through the F%(king ads - it will not fast forward - and so it defeats one of the points of time lapse..
Now it may well be that watching them on a PC would be different - my experience through the Freesat box was so horrible that I've never been brave enough to even look until just now - and I won't re-install Flash just to find out of it's worth it. (At least iPlayer was available in HTML5)
I'd much prefer to pay a modest amount on the tv license and not see ads than have the BBC descend even further.
As for other TV services, the reason you should pay for the bandwidth to view the adverts (assuming you really are paying per MB) is because that is your (indirect) contribution for paying for the thing you obviously value as being worth more than zero.
As for the BBC comments considering how many devices (smart tvs/STB/consoles/media centers etc) have integrated iplayer into them, anything they do to change how it works has a large chance of breaking those devices and so is a challenging thing to plan and execute. That said simply changing the rules without any enforcement would get a bit more revenue from those honest households who want to follow the letter of the rules.
What about us current TVL holders with multiple appliances?
I use I Player on 2 consoles, my wife uses the TV.
I HAVE to use the PS3 for shITV as their Iplayer analogue is pretty shite but worse than that missing from PS4.
IPlayer though was hopeless on my Freesat box
They don't show "adverts" for consumer items and services. With the exception of product placement (I don't know their legal requirements here) or their own DVDs.
As a media channel, I think actually showing media, and upcoming content and schedule is less "advertising" and more information.
Or are you going to tell me it's "advertising" in a book if it tells you it's one of a trilogy, and has the contents interrupt the story before the first chapter?
> The TV licence has always been per household
> This model is untenable as a method to licence mobile devices.
The licence also covers portable devices that are used away from your home (unless you plug them in surprisingly): http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-you-need-one/topics/Live-TV-and-how-you-watch-it
As for other TV services, the reason you should pay for the bandwidth to view the adverts (assuming you really are paying per MB) is because that is your (indirect) contribution for paying for the thing you obviously value as being worth more than zero.
I disagree, that is not your indirect contribution as the money goes to the mobile operator not the website or app developer or advertiser as it is download data bandwidth !
The adverts are not free to you, they use your time and resources. That is the trade off though if you do not want to pay for a product. Either the consumer pays or the advertisers pay.
For example, I will try a mobile game, if I like it enough I will pay for it to get rid of any adverts. If I only like it a little I will put up with the adverts as I am using something that someone else produced and needs to be paid for.
> And dump the ridiculous license fee
As with the others, please no - that is the worst way to go.
I think most people agree that the licence fee system is flawed - but it's significantly less flawed that the alternatives. Let me explain the outcome of making the BBC into "just another advert funded channel" ...
Advertising income depends on eyeballs, eyeballs on screen means "popular" material, popular material more often than not means "lowest common denominator". So the high quality programs that perhaps don't get huge audiences will go. In the end it'll be wall to wall dross at the level of "Strictly Come X Voice" and "East Dallasty Side Street Neighbours". As well as the type of program, quality will drop - costs will be cut, so what "period drama" does get made will be less detailed (Mr Darcy wearing a nylon shirt from M&S anyone ?)
And while the BBC are swimming frantically to the bottom of the pond, the other channels will be leading the way. Because we do have some very high quality programs, without as breaks, on the BBC - that sets some expectations, and the knock on effect is that the other channels at least have to maintain some semblance of quality if they want eyeballs on screen. Take that away, and if the BBC can get away with (say) 3off 4 minute ad breaks during a "one hour" program, ITV will figure they can get away with 5 or 6 minute breaks - or 4 minute breaks 5 or 6 times during a "one hour" program.
If you don't believe me, take a trip to the USA where you'll find a typical program starts (after an ad break) with the cold intro, then an ad break, then the title, then an ad break, then the first segment of the program, then ...
What a US import (Ice Road Truckers is a good one for the effect) and you'll eventually notice that many times the voiceover will say something along the lines of "coming up ..." quickly followed by "<someone> just did <something>" - that where in it's original form there's have been another ad break that we (thankfully) don't get.
Funny thing is the government is the closest thing I have ever seen to gangsters running a wide range of protection rackets, pay this charge/tax/fee or get locked away....
When I do not have to pay for transporting adverts that I don't want, the adverts stop being intrusive and they aren't trying to fling malware and aren't misleading then i MIGHT consider not blocking them.
Bit like being charged for every piece of junk mail that passes through my letter box, and if somebody decides to post a fire bomb through the letter box the insurance company holds me responsible
Now I can once again pay for all those soap, dancing, singing, baking, more dancing, Children in Need, quiz, phoney antique, fake builder, obscure sport, celebrity award, and brain-numbing local news programmes that I never watch.
No new Doctor Who until Christmas so there's no need to rush out for a license just yet.
Three telly channels and some radio is a side-line, running the BBC is what the BBC does best and it serves to corral a bunch of bureaucratic liberal arts Ox-bridge thirds where they can't cause damage to the wider economy, think Remploy but for nice-but-dims. Well worth the annual £3730m which is what a Licence Fee actually costs.
<<Whittingdale also opened fire on ad blocking companies, comparing them to a “modern day protection racket”.>>
So if I download an Ad-blocker off the Internet that is FREE to install and use, exactly how does that make the provider a protection racketeer? Or is Mr Whittingdale suggesting they will open their blocks to any ad-slinger who pays them, which would make it more sort of an "anti-protection" racket.
Methinks someone has gotten too used to feeding off the public and is a bit miffed that the public are beginning to bite back...
Oh, with regard to the question of would they want to impose a username and password model that would limit their income to the numberof people to sign up, if they go down the route of charging anyone with Internet access who MIGHT use iPlayer they can charge everyone in the country again.
Now, if only there was someone wanted to spy on all our Internet traffic and who could see who was and who wasn't accessing the BBC's "services"... :-)
"So if I download an Ad-blocker off the Internet that is FREE to install and use, exactly how does that make the provider a protection racketeer?"
Would it kill you to read the thread properly before launching into a rant?
>Re: Ad-BLOCKERS are a protection racket??
As he explains in the statement rather than the link bait headline.
Ad-blockers which charge companies to be on the white list are a potential abuse.
Imagine if BT installed a network wide system that replaced the ads that were paying for the sites with their own ads - there would be much grumbling on el'reg
"Or is Mr Whittingdale suggesting they will open their blocks to any ad-slinger who pays them, which would make it more sort of an "anti-protection" racket."
No that would make it a protection racket. A protection racket is when someone comes to you and says, it would be a shame if something were to happen to your establishment, there are some people out there that may want to harm it (that being them), now if you pay us, we can make sure that doesn't happen.
Adblockers just block it, causing them harm first and then either go to them or wait for the advertisers come to them. Adblockers are starting to allow "quality ads" from paid advertisers.
"As all well-informed Regtards know, it's funded by all those with a television*, regardless of whether they watch the BBC or not."
"You need to be covered by a TV Licence if you watch or record programmes as they're being shown on TV or live on an online TV service."
"If you only ever watch on demand programmes, you don’t need a TV Licence."
So don't watch/record live TV, and you won't need a licence.
Not Rocket Science, is it?
Does anyone who regularly watches broadcast TV not watch BBC?
For a quick news fix News 24 is still OK, and I do like checking over 2 and 4 looking for interesting programmes.
But then I watch about 1 to 1.5 hours a day, usually someting from BBC 124, C4, Film 4.
However I am wondering if the licence is worth it, no DW to Christmas, no proper Top Gear, no more of a few other programmes to next year.
I agree that iPlayer is a loophole for the current TV license. Also, you do get quite a lot for the license fee, so it's probably overall worthwhile, although I understand the annoyance of people who never consume BBC content. But is adding TV license complexity the answer? How are they going to check iPlayer use - getting ISPs to provide addresses for IP addresses that accessed it?
How about allowing the BBC to play adverts on iPlayer content.
The user can register their TV Licence if they want to avoid this pain. Or they can pay fees, say £10 for ten hours pay-as-you-view.
It's not just iPlayer.
I have known of a few people who could not afford a TV licence (perhaps a donated TV+VHS player, possibly not the roof aerial). Neighbours and friends donated recordings to them, which as not currently "live broadcasts" were fine as temporary donations (timeshifting).
Hopefully this change does not cause people too much trouble. Though I suspect a few will just drop watching TV...
No, you don't have to pay, In the same way that if I never watch any commercial TV, I don't have to pay for it in the cost of anything I ever buy that's advertised on it, or not advertised on it because competitors don't have to reduce their prices.
Australia has been there done that. I do not watch ABC or SBS, but still contribute whether I want to or not. I wish our government would remove funding for both services.
It has grown so large & powerful, pollies form both sides fear the consequences of cutting funding. It s "free" services are also canabalising sales form other news outlets, especially the ones on the same "side" as the ABC such as Fauxfacts (sorry Fairfax)
Is there anything on the Beeb that is worth watching these days?
From what I hear it is now the propaganda arm of the left wing and leans so much to the left it is a wonder it doesn't fall over.
It was impartial and followed its charter but that was very long ago. As it stands it has now outlived its usefulness and only stays in existence because of the TV tax.
"Great American Railway Journies
Eric Brown documentry
Death in Paradise
Plenty more for everyone
NOTHING there for me...
Live Moto GP coverage.... (Full season/live ) F1 Coverage...... Proper Top Gear.. all gone. The ONLY things I watched on BBC. WHY am I coerced into supporting this shower by having to buy a tv licence just so I can watch the stuff I already paid for on Sky, like the stuff up above CH 520 on my sky box or (terrestrially) re runs of Father Ted on More 4 or Family Guy on ITV2.
I used to believe the TV licence was a good thing but as BBC has failed to entertain me for some time now
Having reached the point of there being zero value in it for me, I now feel that the BBC should go subscription and sink or swim on its commercial merits.
Some people like Eastenders
Some watch MOTD
One person watches the Voice (shite)
Strictly gets huge viewing figures and is made in a way only the BBC could do. (See XCraptor for why ITV would fail)
I just wish they would keep on with series rather than pull them when they get good.
Black marks for Atlantis (pretty good) and Outcasts (not very but I wanted to know what happened)
But they peaked with Life on Mars/Ashes to ashes
You want it... you pay for it.
I don't see why I should be forced to pay an "excise duty" on my TV when I am not using it to view the output that results from that taxation. If Sky didn't have output that attracted me then I would cancel my Sub - WHY cant I do the same with the BBC?
Make the BBC subscription and let people like you pay for it, while those (like me) that it doesn't provide any attractive output to don't have to bankroll a service that isn't interested in providing us with some entertainment, It wants my money but fails to entertain me in return, it should have no right to coerce me into financing it.
I have thought about it. I keep coming back to Why am I paying for NOTHING? It offers zero value to me. It is time this "Holy Cow" was slaughtered, or at least turned out into the field with the rest of the herd to find its own way.
No doubt that's just what they will do eventually. But who is going to update all the various "smart" TVs? The manufactures don't seem to be interested in "supporting" apps on tellys over a year old and don't seem to be interested in creating an OS with standard APIs for these sort of apps.
Or just scrap the TV licence (and all the associated costs of licence enforcement infrastructure) & pay for it out of general taxation (as a beneficial by-product probably keep a few low income folks out of the criminal justice system who are currently "crims" for not paying TV licence)
The BBC works on the basis that all who watch it pay for it
Nope, that is very wrong.
It works on providing a universal service that is universally funded. The service gets its independence from the universal funding but is explicitly not quid pro quo.
It also should not be involved in collecting the licence fee. The licence fee is decided by parliament and this is what gives it its heft. If the BBC becomes involved then it becomes just another private debt that is easy to avoid. This would mean the BBC would have to devote significant resources to collecting the fee.
The alternative to a difficult to administer fee for IPlayer would be to extend the licence to cover computers. etc. as happened in Germany a few years ago.
As for a paid-for version of iPlayer: I'm sure the BBC could sell loads of those outside the UK.
If the BBC is not allowed to carry adverts, how come David Attenborough featured on a large advert on the bbc.com homepage advertising worldwide sales of BBC DVDs.
And how come other adverts feature on that page.
Anything BBC has been spawned out of license fees - so it is wrong to impose more charges to the British public while the BBC has a commercial worldwide arm which seems to be able to engage in whatever techniques for revenue generation it feels like.
Surely the BBC should now be giving back to the license payer with it's new found incomes and reducing the license fee - not finding ways of increasing it.
If the BBC wants to be a no-advertising, not-for-profit organisation, then that is what the BBC should be through and through.
Either that or ringfence all content that has been paid for by the license fee and do not allow that to be sold on the global market via BBC.com
BBC Worldwide is allowed to advertise outside of the UK.
Part of the profit from BBC DVDs sold outside the UK goes to the BBC inside the UK.
If they were to ringfence licence fee content from BBC Worldwide they would have precisely nothing to sell and so defeating the object of BBC Worldwide, which is to bring extra income to the BBC inside the UK.
i mean, i pay £6/month for netflix, which has a lot of great content and a much cheaper distribution model. The licence fee works out at about £12/month and the BBC generates a load of great content across the web, radio, internet and HD Digital tv.
£12/month with no adverts and some great content (Yeah, some great content and some stuff i don't care about, but hey, it's a bus not a taxi) still sounds pretty good to me...
"a much cheaper distribution model."
That's because you pay for the bandwidth via your ISP and unless you are on a capped or otherwise limited bandwidth, you are probably subsidising other users and services which you neither use nor want. Rather like the TV licence in some respects since that also pays a proportion of the licence fee to rent space on the broadcast infrastructure.and even to broadcast shows that not all license payers have an interest in.
All of us are free to choose not to subsidise others by not consuming, be it all TV and no license or the entire internet and no ISP fee. This is why flat fee models generally work best with what are effectively universal services. Some pay a little more than the value they get, some a pay less than the value they get, but the vast majority pay a reasonable fee for a reasonable service, especially where the amount consumed doesn't really relate to the delivery method.
@ John Brown (no body)
"That's because you pay for the bandwidth via your ISP and unless you are on a capped or otherwise limited bandwidth, you are probably subsidising other users and services which you neither use nor want"
No no just no. It is more like buying a Honda because you want a Honda and only want to use a Honda, but Ford turn up to your house anyway insisting that since you have car keys (see TV) that you must have a Ford and so insist you pay them.
If you buy a product or service you are supporting the maker of that product or service. In the case of TV you are then also forced to support the maker of products/services you do not use, do not care about, do not want to support. It is a very huge difference.
"If you buy a product or service you are supporting the maker of that product or service. In the case of TV you are then also forced to support the maker of products/services you do not use, do not care about, do not want to support. It is a very huge difference."
The difficulty with this analogy is that the BBC is a service not a product, in the same way as your local Library, Municipal Swimming Baths, Free City Council Car Park, and Street Lighting are services. Claiming that you shouldn't have to pay towards the National service the BBC provides (a public Broadcasting Service) is like saying you should have a reduction in your Council Tax because you don't use the Library, you don't swim, you don't drive a car, or walk down streets on the other side of town at night.
I'm not disabled so why should I contribute towards a wheelchair ramp at the local Council Offices? I'm not a pensioner so why should I contribute towards free bus travel for the over-65's? I'm not a school-child so why should I contribute towards free school meals?
Yes you shouldn't be expected to pay for a product you don't use (like a Ford when you have a Honda), but the BBC isn't a Product, it's a Public Service, and once we realise that and look at it this way, the original concept of a Nationwide Licence Fee makes perfect sense.
Now Sky and Virgin do provide products, as do Neflix and Amazon, but although they are Broadcasters like the BBC, they are not Public Service Broadcasters, so we should not be expected to compare them in that way. This is what people are doing when they say "I don't use this product so why should I pay for it."
"The difficulty with this analogy is that the BBC is a service not a product"
Barber, car wash, drinks bar/cafe, etc so no difficulty. You pay for the service you want, not the competitor service providers you dont use. Extremely simple.
"Claiming that you shouldn't have to pay towards the National service the BBC provides (a public Broadcasting Service) is like saying you should have a reduction in your Council Tax because you don't use the Library, you don't swim, you don't drive a car, or walk down streets on the other side of town at night."
So the BBC is an essential service? Bull that stinks extremely bad. Just as bad as if you claimed ITV, sky, virgin, etc were. Which car maker is the essential service? Which hair dressing chain? I know, I want a Ferrari so let make that the national service and charge you so we can all get subsidised cars (no I really dont want a Ferrari but they are more niche, like the BBC).
"Yes you shouldn't be expected to pay for a product you don't use (like a Ford when you have a Honda), but the BBC isn't a Product, it's a Public Service, and once we realise that and look at it this way, the original concept of a Nationwide Licence Fee makes perfect sense."
Yes if your back in the old days of little communication and only the TV to provide any content. However back to the present the BBC is not a necessary public service for anyone. The original concept was back in the day when it applied.
"Now Sky and Virgin do provide products, as do Neflix and Amazon, but although they are Broadcasters like the BBC, they are not Public Service Broadcasters, so we should not be expected to compare them in that way"
So lets dump the BBC and use whichever one is most popular! No? Why not? Because its a dumb idea thats why. And with good reason, because it is a dumb idea. Just because the BBC use a massively outdated reasoning to justify their monopoly position and tax their competition does not mean they should. If we didnt have a public service broadcaster right now and the BBC was just another service provider would we be shouting to make one and having them all compete to put their hands in our pockets? I doubt it.
"So the BBC is an essential service?"
No of course it isn't. But neither is the local library or the swimming pool, the gym and the tennis courts at my local leisure centre, but they're all subsidised by the Council Tax, which I pay even though I don't use them. I know you all want this to be black & white, but it isn't. There's essential public services, and then there's non-essential public services, but they're all still public services and as such they are generally funded the same way, By all definitions the BBC started out as, and still is (for the present) a Public Broadcaster. There's a good definition here:
Sky on the other hand is a Private Broadcaster:
Trying to say that the BBC should be funded and run along similar lines as Sky is nonsense, as they are completely different entities.
"No of course it isn't. But neither is the local library or the swimming pool, the gym and the tennis courts at my local leisure centre, but they're all subsidised by the Council Tax"
Items argued as education and health for the poor. How does that compare to the BBC charging everyone vs freeview and many other media streams we all have access to? At one time you might have had an argument, but that time has passed.
"I know you all want this to be black & white, but it isn't."
Of course it is. I have yet to see an up to date argument to keep it. It is simple, we dont need to pay for a competitor service to the one we actually choose to watch. At all.
So we have others apart from the BBC. Yet the BBC has the telly tax. Yup.
"Sky on the other hand is a Private Broadcaster:"
But we can ditch the BBC and let the private choices fight over the public money. We can do it so why not? (we dont because its a dumb idea as I said, which applies directly to the BBC too!)
"Trying to say that the BBC should be funded and run along similar lines as Sky is nonsense, as they are completely different entities."
As are the many different carwashes, barbers, etc. How many shall we make public services and which brands? And dont worry if you dont use them, other people will so you can pay for it (as you point out your happy to as long as it is arbitrarily deigned to be a public service).
Hardly rocket science.
Licence payers receive their license confirmation and it contains a user name & password.It remains unique & constant unless there is a suspicion there is abuse. When you want to add an item you enter your user name in the device and then log in to your account & approve it or enter the pin number sent to you by email.
Catchup only users pay a reduced license and receive a user key in the same way. Catchup users can be abroad if needed.
You can reduce the licence fee because of all the extra money Catchup is generating.
You monitor for abuse and disable / reissue item approvals as needed.
Amazon et al did all the hard work years ago.
Not too hard, until you remember that they no longer issue a license every year like they used to.
Yes they do, login to their website and print one off yourself and if this is too much to remember, simply ensure the email address in your account details is valid and they will send it to you every year...
And therein lies the way to ruination. Because so, so many people claim to never watch the BBC and would gladly see it move to a subscription-only model. I'm curious as to the technical details, though. Will they ship a digital key with the license now?
"so many people claim to never watch the BBC"
I don't know about ruination, but it will be fun to see how many of those claiming to never watch the BBC end up applying for an iPlayer account. It's not all on torrents or usenet.
"...it will be fun to see how many of those claiming to never watch the BBC..."
True. Very true!
Noticed the usual culprits in the press are headlining articles today with, for example, "ITV catch-up remains free, yet the BBC will charge for iPlayer", which isn't the case at all. BUT, given that the license fee is for all TVs receiving live broadcast, regardless of the source, shouldn't any change to legislation regarding TV licensing relate to all on-demand video sources, which would put the cat amongst the pigeons for sure? Or, if it's an unlock of BBC iPlayer only (and expect to see the copyright smack-downs increase), is that a seismic shift towards pay for content / a general subscription model? A move towards a general subscription model would see perhaps a CAM for BBC channels? That's a retrograde step, IMHO. A move towards funding from general taxation would see the BBC shift towards being a government-blown trumpet. Then, they perform other functions besides just making TV shows - they've got a whole network of overseas news gathering and foreign language monitoring (though I understand that's funded mostly by government grant rather than by the license fee).
One here who says they will not use it, and already does not.
I have watched ITVPlayer or 4OD or what ever Channel 5 has for precisely zero times. iPlayer gets around once a month, so I'll not really miss it.
But I am far from the target audience. But that is half the problem, if I'm not the target audience I'll not take it up because it does not provide content for me to make it worth it.
I feel no need to be pushed into that mold by force, or any desire myself. I'll buy content I want to watch/listen to. The nice thing about BBC was it's value for money. For iPlayer it was the quality. I browse it now and find little I'd actually want to watch, even with the current price of "free".
"Whittingdale said the changes would be hurried through via secondary legislation"
Thus avoiding proper parliamentary scrutiny to take out the most blatant of the problems in the hastily-written legislation.
"those who enjoy Sherlock or Bake Off"
And are too clueless to type 'Sherlock torrent' into Google.
Utter Scum - i pay it just to stop the constant threat of prosecution and basically being forced into letting these thugs into my house to then lie on their forms and say i have a TV. I dont.
Where is the option to confirm and prove that i dont watch bbc - it doesnt exist.
Where is the option to submit my IP address to show i havent viewed their service - it doesnt exist
Oh and why does tv licensing delete their evidence seemingly every year? If charities arent allowed to hound people any more - why are the bbc? I've told you i have no tv, and i'll tell you if that changes, now fuck off!
The BBC lost it's right to claim to be technological innovative years ago. They sub out pretty much anything that requires tech. Long gone are the days of world leading shenanigans such as the Radiophonic Workshop.
I've successfully managed to avoid owning a TV for pretty much my entire life to date, and in the past I've only every used iPlayer for Dr Who on catch-up. In the words of the aforementioned show... No More. This is just getting depressing. I am fine with paying for a service that delivers content that is actually enjoyable. Netflix, Amazon Prime, you watch what you want, when you want. BBC, you watch what you're told, and from everything I hear in the office every morning, viewers find 90% is garbage.
The BBC is broken to the point it cannot be fixed (certainly not by OFCOM... that's like asking an orangutang to do brain surgery, or a politician to be honest), it's biased beyond measure, produces nonsense by and large, is insanely top every.. no wonder it doesn't want to compete on an even playing field.
And don't get me started on the Capita Debt Collection Agency, sorry, I mean TVLA.
"from everything I hear in the office every morning, viewers find 90% is garbage."
If it's so bad, it makes you wonder why they still watch and watch more than any other uk channel, even ones available across identical platforms? Why do you imagine that might be with all the alternative choice available?
35% for TV alone, versus ITV channels in second position around 15% behind.
The graphic, I accept is getting towards 12 months old but is largely still accurate.
Equally, I'm amazed you're happy to rely on what is simply hearsay to justify people avoiding a sub £15 a month licence fee.
You'll be telling me next you should be personally exempt from National Insurance because you hear in the office that the waiting times in A&E are shocking. :-/
"The BBC lost it's right to claim to be technological innovative years ago."
I must have imagined the work their R&D team did to bring us DVB-T2, or the work they're doing on subtitling at the moment, and 3D audio, and IP-based production, to name a few things off the top of my head.
BBC R&D is still very much alive and producing some great stuff. In some cases, like Stagebox, it's already got commercial partnerships, which will ultimately help bring more money back to the corporation.
Don't confuse contracted out IT support and such like with the real expertise that is still there in the labs
How much is this TV license for the BBC? Is it tens of pounds, or hundreds, or thousands per TV per year?
Found it online:
It costs £145.50 for a colour and £49.00 for a black and white TV Licence. In some cases, you may be entitled to a reduced fee TV Licence (see table below).
That is a non-trivial amount, but probably cheaper than any other alternative?
"That is a non-trivial amount, but probably cheaper than any other alternative?"
It isn't an alternative, that's the point. You have to pay it under pain of criminal prosecution if you watch any live tv, from any source. Even if you never watch BBC channels, you still are required to pay.
Even if you never watch BBC channels, you still are required to pay.
This is the stupid part. I actually pay the licence fee because I can afford it, and I may watch a couple of programmes a week. Though I spend more time listening to the radio and reading the BBC news website, neither of which I'm obliged to pay for.
I have always been a home cinema fan. (I had a top loading LaserVision Player first.) but never that much into live TV.
I have always had a monitor on the home cinema system, and had a separate black and white TV and a mono licence. (It was actually cheaper to buy DVDs of the few series I actually cared about, than watch them live in colour).
The catch up TV came out, and I didn't need a licence so I used it, but also kept the BW TV and continued to buy a licence.
However, they changed the distributor for the licences and it became difficult to buy a mono licence. After failing several times to renew it in several shops, I actually realised I'd watched the TV for perhaps 6 hours in the previous year, and it wasn't even plugged in. I was working away from home anyway, so I decided to leave it until I returned.
Of course then TV licensing sent me offensive letters, worded as though they were warning a criminal, so I simply got rid of the TV, and binned any further letters. Had they been polite I would have entered into a dialogue, and they could probably have helped me purchase a mono licence.
I don't have any problem with them making iPlayer non free. It was nice of them to provide it free for so long anyway.
What I hope the situation is that they weren't previously permitted to lock it to a licence. (Since it is a tax on broadcast TV reception) and this will be relaxed.
However, it isn't out of the question that UK Gov are thinking of a TV licence for all video content online. That, I would object to.
FFS It really isn't that hard is it?
Every household with a TV licence has a licence number.
If you want to view the iPlayer, you should have to log in to an account that is associated with your real name, real address, and a valid TV licence.
If you tick all the above boxes you can watch iPlayer content (from anywhere).
If you can't, then you can't*.
*Obviously there will be people hacking logins and getting access that way etc. but you can always put some threshold checks on each account to see if has been compromised.
I am missing something obvious?
You're missing the bit where they'd much rather that every
persondevice in a household pays for a separate account rather than a single TV licence for the whole building
Remember the way AV software is licensed - don't you just love the fact that for many a 'family' license is for 3 devices...
"Yes. You're missing the bit where they'd much rather that every person in a household pays for a separate account rather than a single TV licence for the whole building :/"
But how would that model work for your kids? Would they get to watch free up to the age of 5? And then a "child price" until they reach 14? In which case you'd have to provide full details of the DOB of all your kids.
Or perhaps everyone under the age of 18 has to be paid for by a nominated adult in the household? So do you then only start paying for your kids when they actually start watching TV? And what if they don't like CBeebies and only watch Nickelodeon? How about a meter on the TV that you have to feed coins in whenever you switch to a BBC channel? That'd work.
your solution is nice and simple.
Sadly, it won't work and the reason is not the fault of the BBC.
The problem lies in the 'Rights Holders' of the programmes being shown. The give the Beeb a license to broadcast it to the UK. Ok, so some parts of Eire, Belgium etc can get it for free by pointing their ariel at the nearest on on UK soil, They don't let the Beeb broadcast it to any other country. So using iplayer from say the USA to view any content that is licensed like that puts the Beeb in trouble with these license holders.
Sort of like DVD region encoding applied to TV broadcast shows.
The speech says a lot about the need to allow the BBC to make money directly from iPlayer in order to close the 'iPlayer loophole (that they created knowingly themselves, mind), but it says very little about subscription as such.
What it does do is devote a lot of words to how research has indicated that people would rather watch Ads than pay a subscription for online services.
Given that the speech seamlessly flows into condemnation of ad-blockers and their detrimental effect, I think he is actually laying the ground for a change to the BBC Charter which will allow them to show Ads.
The BBC had no choice but to create the iPlayer and other internet outlets or it would have sunk without trace years ago now. The loophole is due to the time it takes legislation to catch up; you could argue that it was the government that created the loophole by not reacting in a more timely fashion to the emergence of new technology.
There is no way that an user of iPlayer who does not watch live TV should have to pay the same amount as a TV using household.
There are many programs that never make it onto iPlayer due to licensing issues.
A reduced rate, say 50% would seem appropriate and proportional.
There are many programs that never make it onto iPlayer due to licensing issues.
There are also programs that only go out live - I seem to remember that one particular episode of Top Gear contained footage that was only shown on it's first transmission and was absent on the iPlayer version and all subsequent retransmissions of that particular show.
The BBC knew well in advance about the govt desire to move to Digital TV. And they knew well enough that there would be a change-over period when people needed set-top boxes to receive the new signals.
So, why oh why oh why, didn't someone at the BBC do the "proper" thing and ensure that all set top boxes could take a subscriber card...then if you wanted to see BBC channels, you paid the "licence fee" and received a card you plugged into the box.
If you watched via Sky, then the fee could have been added to your monthly subs.
Would have saved all this messing around now....and anyone who didn't want to watch the BBC didn't have to stump up money for something they didn't need.
What's that you say? The number of consumers buying cards would be much less ? Well, cut the cloth to suit the needs then....and get rid of overpaid execs/celebs and other wasetrels....
But the BBC failed...and now they are trying to lock the stable door after the horse has bolted and now lives in sunnier climes, without any fear of "TV detector van man" (not that I've seen any for years...and if they did exist, I doubt they are able to pick up "screen images" from LCD screens, like they "supposedly" could with CRT's (afaik)).
"So, why oh why oh why, didn't someone at the BBC do the "proper" thing and ensure that all set top boxes could take a subscriber card..."
They knew it very well, and went out of their way to ensure conditional access facilities were optional only. This was to preserve the guaranteed income that the licence in its existing form gives them.
"They knew it very well, and went out of their way to ensure conditional access facilities were optional only. This was to preserve the guaranteed income that the licence in its existing form gives them."
Quite. And hence the BBC never put in place a Plan B for the time when their "normal" annual hike in licence income would stop.
My guess is that senior management didn't expect the gravy train to stop....and hence why now that it has, they are in deep shite and having to make cuts - BBC Three now online, no F1, cutbacks in all depts....and more cuts to come, as they seek to redress all their blinkered choices from the past.
They keep very quiet about how much of the fee they keep for 'administration'.
If everyone (~99.9x%) is going to have to pay the license then someone should look at cheaper ways of collecting it. Council tax is paid per household and has systems for rebates and discounts that could be applied for those who just listen to the radio. I believe that in AUS it's added to the income tax. Neither of which are perfect but do get rid of the scum at TV Licensing
"They keep very quiet about how much of the fee they keep for 'administration'": "The TV Licensing Costs of Collection chart, below, sets out the total licence fee revenue collected and collection costs over the last five years."
How much cheaper do you think it would be to add it to the council tax, given that it would then have to be adminstered by every local authority rather than one central agency, and, as you say, you'd still have to go through the rigmarole of collecting and maintaining the extra information required?
Please ensure that the Beeb are forced to publish an API to this paid-for service, with a condition of backwards compatibility for all API versions for at least 5 years, preferably 50.
Consumer choice should extend to the software used to view the programmes as well.
[quote]Watching foreign TV in the UK does require a licence
If you watch 'live TV' from a channel that isn't broadcast in the UK (including those picked up via satellite or online), you need to be covered by a valid TV licence.
This is regardless of the country of origin or the language of the broadcast.
That's from money saving expert. So THEY can insist you to watch live TV that is never broadcast in this country, but cry over the fact that people have found a way to live without paying them for the right to watch whatever they like. Next you'll need license to watch a Top Gear DVD.
As far as I'm aware, it's the simple fact of having a television receiver in the house that makes one liable for a TV license. You don't need to actually use the device. The simple fact of owning a TV (or renting one, etc) is enough.
A true computer monitor is a screen, sure, but it does not feature a TV receiver within itself, therefore it is not a TV.
But it is capable of showing 'live' TV programmes via the web.
Note the use of the word 'live' there.
When you use iPlayer you get the choice of watching something that is being broadcast right now, versus waiting for 15 minutes or so after the transmission is complete to watch it.
('15 minutes'? - My estimation of the delay between end-of-transmission and 'available-for-viewing-on catch-up'. That estimation is probably wrong, but hey...)
There's really no need for so much wrath in these comments if you exercise a little patience.
I do it a lot, and watch 3-4-hours per week of Beeb's output... for which I simply refuse to pay £145 a year.
But if the Beeb and/or Whittingdale are proposing that watching live output on iPlayer is enough to warrant the payment of a license fee, then I fail to see how they'll police it effectively. Yes, ISPs records may be able to show that such-and-so a site was being accessed as such-and-so a time, but actually tracking down transgressors would almost certainly cost much more than whatever was raised with this extra bit of tax.
So it may well be a case of "Goodbye from me..."
I quit reading The Times on the web when they went behind a paywall, and I really have not suffered much deprivation. There are always other places to get your news from.
You propaganda peddling, paedophile protecting, hopelessly doomed souls...
It's not your time anymore. It's gone. Hold on to it as you might... such is the tao of things...
I was enamoured by your charms at one time, but really, you can't be allowed to exist any more. The way you protected and promoted paedophiles is fucking disgraceful. The fact you wasted all that money on a whitewash to protect yourselves, is also a fucking disgrace. In short, you are a fucking disgrace.
I noticed the rot setting in when you started all that big brother 'WE KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE' campaign. Really? Quite the 'what the fuck' moment for me. Like, are these shitheads allowed to do this? Really?
And then it was all down hill.
I won't pay to be lied to. Quite simply, your programming is boring as well. You have adopted a new format for certain types of programme, and have been rehashing it for how many years. Bore off!
Also, I despise the people you employ with a passion. I despise the fact you pay them so much even more. Not out of my pocket you won't. I haven't had a telly or watched any live broadcasts this century, so I politely decline to give you any cash.
If you make me pay for iPlayer, I will quite simply stop watching it. My will is greater than your ability to force me to watch it. What is the next step? You bring in laws that make it legal for your goons to smash down my door, strap me to a chair, and then say: "See, told you, you needed a tv license".
I defend you as an institution to those on the Left, who accuse you of being too far to the Right, because you do not pander to them. I defend you as an institution to those on the Right, who accuse you of being too far to the Left, because you don't pander to them. But really, how much cash are you losing by a few people getting this perk? Times are hard eh? Aye, so they are, for all of us. Apart from anything else, I truly can not afford it. Truly. How about cutting some of those multi-million pound salaries for the clowns you employ.
Only brain dead people sit in front of a box and lap up dead bodies, autopsies, serious sexual violence and rape. I've seen some truly stomach churning crap you have spouted and it has scarred me. The thought of paying for the privelege to be subjected to this mental torture, is anathema to me.
The latest whitewash in the child rape conspiracy you perpetrated (and may even still be perpetrating for all I know, according to the report), and were responsible for, is just the final nail in your coffin.
Getting cocky now are we that big brother is finally getting heavy with the cosh?
BAM. BOSH. BAM.
Hit 'em. Hit 'em hard. Keep hitting them. Don't stop. Shout at them. Hit them some more. Kick them. Show no mercy.
Dear BBC - FUCK OFF!
And what the hell has this got to do with anything?
Mr Whittingdale also launched a new drive to tackle ad-blocking, saying it poses a similar threat to websites that illegal file-sharing did to music and film a decade ago.
"This practice is depriving many websites and platforms of legitimate revenue," he said. "It is having an impact across the value chain, and it presents a challenge that has to be overcome. Because, quite simply, if people don't pay in some way for content, then that content will eventually no longer exist.
Wrong, wrong and.... wrong!
This witless twat calling me a thief, for using an adblocker, when you cunts are stealing my bandwidth, my electricity and my time, all in the name of bullying people even further to submit to your whims, is also another nail in the coffin. We get it. You couldn't control the internet, so you killed it. No different to the kid who takes his ball home when he's on the losing side playing footy in the park. And all these getting conflated together - BBC, Malvertising, Ad-Blockers, Data-Rape, criminal law enforcement, might confuse the general populus, but I see it for the ill-advised and ill-intentioned horse's arse that it is.
[posted sober and in good humour, but posted in sincerity, while I still can, while I am still connected to the net, while I still have my freedom, while I am still alive on this pitiful planet]
99.99% of people watch TV or use iPlayer. Since consumption is near universal, just like the NHS, schools, roads etc, i.e. everything else your taxes pay for, why the bloody hell don't the government simply scrap the licence fee, and increase VAT or income tax by an appropriate amount per capita and simply pass that on to the Beeb? They'd actually save money, because they'd scrap all the administration and enforcement bollox that goes along with it.
Ah, there is the rub. The government can not collect it as part of your taxes. The BBC is still putting their prices up every year, whilst government funded organisations are having their funds cut.
Also, by paying the BBC directly, the government would have to take responsibility for the actions of the BBC. Currently, the "contract" is between us the and the BBC. The government can sit on the sidelines and shake their heads sadly before moving on.
... comments elsewhere seem to make sense here too.
It might just be me though but here is the pasted bit:
Do we have an elected government that tells the machinery and machinations of government what to do
do we have an elected government that does what the machinery and machinations of government tell it what to do?
Or more bluntly: is it dog wagging tail or tail wagging dog?
Answers on a postcard to ... or by email to ...
I've no problem with it, since I pay my TV license. All I ask for, in return, is the ability to watch iPlayer and browse news.bbc.co.uk when I am overseas, which I am frequently (I'm writing this from a hotel in Milan). Having the BBC websites splattered with shitty adverts and getting iPlayer stuff blocked is, quite frankly, bollocks, when I am paying handsomely for the privilege of watching BBC when I am in the UK. Surely some form of authentication linked to a TV license is not beyond them?
I understand that even if you don't watch British TV (i.e. If you are of foreign extraction and only watch foreign TV in the UK via satellite), if you have a TV, as distinct from computer viewing, you still have to have a TV licence, which sounds to me only one step away from extortion!
"Yet all of these products and services – and thousands more - are the result of the creativity, hard work and financial investment of vast numbers of people"
All these services are more than paying for themselves through advertising. No one runs services as extensive as those listed above and runs them for no profit.
IMHO The BBC is one of THE finest broadcasters in the world both in terms of quality programming and news journalism. The main reason for that is the way its funded. Which is generous and independent of govt.
Here in Australia our ABC, which is no longer funded by licensing, is constantly having its budgets cut especially if it does anything that isn't in the interest of the govt of the day. If they step out of line the government announces a "productivity review" of the ABC.
Its a sorry state of affairs. Don't risk the independence and quality of the BBC once its gone you'll never get it back.
I suppose if I mentioned that bbc iplayer coming in loud and clear via Unotelly in NZ and that i haven't paid a TV license since the early 90's when I was last in the uk I'll get about 1000 downvotes from Aunties devotians! The Beeb should think about cutting off offshore expats first.
Seriously I wish the beeb just allowed for offshore content watching on a subscription basis and replicated their content to world wide CDNs to make it easily accessible from anywhere.
I tried to watch the 1984 movie Threads online the other night and only found it via Vimeo. I would quite happily pay for content if it was available easily - but the harder it is, the more likelihood of it being pirated.
So come on Auntie, just package up your content for everyone and charge people a Netflix like fee for watching and abandon the TV license entirely.
Dear Minister for Fun/BBC/Capita Debt Collection/TV Licensing/Whoever
I don't watch TV, so I have declared this to TV Licensing and have an exemption certificate, I also don't use iPlayer/4oD/ITV Player/etc, there's enough stuff on the internet, both free and paid to keep me entertained in the short time I have to myself in the evening.
In order to ensure that I am not a thieving bastard, stealing iPlayer media when I am not paying, despite reassurances, I give you my full permission to contact BT, my home internet provider, and O2, my mobile provider, and IP block all domains belonging to commercial TV and BBC services.
In return, I fully expect to be exempt from any and all accusations, implications, visitations, etc suspecting me of being a consumer of these services in which I have no interest.
I also expect to be exempt from any stealth taxes, levies or other costs in a bid to prop up BBC income due to a failing business model.
Yours gratefully (but not hopefully)
Icon because I'm not a pirate
Sadly this means I miss out on everything "Live" because I cant watch Sky. But I don't see why BBC should get an automatic pass to my cash when I don't watch BBC stuff.
On saying that though, this is the right course of action for the BBC. I've always thought having iPlayer off the licence was unfair to the BBC, and can see now that they're trying to fix it.
However, a little quid pro quo is in order. Mr Whittingdale has also said:
"The BBC works on the basis that all who watch it pay for it. "
(according to BBC News).
If that's the case, fine. Drop the requirement for watching Sky and legally requiring a (BBC) TV Licence to do so. If that's NOT the case, Mr Whittingdale has just dropped a massive blooper as it implies that the TV Licence will either only be for BBC or will be for all kinds of catch-up TV.
However, I fear that this is the start of an "Internet Licence". Watch any kind of catchup TV (or why stop there - why not include other sources of "catchup entertainment" possibly including youtube or pr0n) and you may end up needing a BBC TV Licence.
As a result, while my ideals suggest this is a GOOD move, it could be the start of something really bad. And given that I can't BBC/TV Licencing to "do the right thing" and allow me to be a non-watcher without those annoying "heres what you can expect at court" messages (which cause marital strife if I don't intercept them before SWMBO sees them, and although I'm looking forward to my threatened day in court, it never seems to happen), I have few doubts that the BBC are on a sneaky internet land-grab here.
Anonymous because theyre currently telling "Mr. Occupier" what he should expect in court...lets see how that works out for them lol.
Whenever discussions like this start, there's always someone who mentions the £12 a month BBC license fee versus £20 or £30 per month Sky. This is usually countered by the argument that Sky has a lot more content, and includes the BBC content that you've already paid for with your licence.
However it occurs to me that maybe Sky are actually offering BBC content for free, because they get it for free. Well they probably pay the Beeb a nominal amount to provide BBC channels (in the same way that Freeview doesn't pay Sky for certain Sky channels, so you don't get them on a Freeview box).
So the "Sky £30 for everything" is a bit of a red herring, since what you're actually getting from Sky is their content plus BBC for free. Expect that if the BBC moves to a subscription model in the future, your Sky packages that include BBC will suddenly increase in price to include the BBC subscription, or remain the same and have all BBC content suddenly removed.
Actually, in the past the BBC (and other PSBs) have actually had to pay Sky to be on their platform. Which is one reason, for instance, that in the very early days of satellite, ITV wasn't there. There was an agreement reached in 2014 regarding the payments
"Actually, in the past the BBC (and other PSBs) have actually had to pay Sky to be on their platform. Which is one reason, for instance, that in the very early days of satellite, ITV wasn't there. There was an agreement reached in 2014 regarding the payments"
Well what do you know? So in fact none of your Sky package cost includes BBC content. If the BBC did move over to Subscription, Sky and Virgin packages would definitely become more expensive.
I thought the inventor of Frequency Modulation was Edwin Howard Armstrong. He was presumably working in the Manhattan branch of BBC R&D;-)
Did El Reg get it's terms mixed up? FM is a type of modulation; Transmission of radio services on the VHF band 2 - 88MHz to 100MHz was "pioneered" by the BBC in the UK some 10 years after services started in the USA. They were the only legal public broadcaster at the time, so who else could have done it?
You'll be saying they invented t'Internet next...
I say this jokingly. The Beeb has done some wonderful development in the past, shame all that talent was squandered and sold off.
I seem to remember reading somewhere that the BBC actually pays Sky £12m for the "privilege" of appearing on it's EPG. Sky should be paying the BBC huge amounts for the rights to retransmission because without the BBC programmes half their customer base would fall away ..........
"The BBC wants to plug a “loophole” that allows households that do not watch live transmissions, and do not need a TV licence, to watch BBC content. The licence costs £145.50 ($206) a year per home for the vast majority of Brits."
The only shows I watched on BBC are Doctor Who and The Voice. I used to watch Family Guy on BBC3 but that is now on ITV2 after they scrapped the whole channel. The Voice is moving to a different channel - leaving Doctor Who. My children don't watch CBeebies or CBBC anymore - they watch Netflix and YouTube. The only other BBC services I use are the radio channels. (radio 1, 2 and 4)
The idea that having an aerial means that you need to pay a licence fee is outdated.
Freeview channels can be scrambled to need a code/card to decrypt which means the BBC could provide it as a set of encrypted channels allowing people to opt in/out.
The £12.12 licence fee could be broken down into bundles - BBC1/2, soaps, childrens, on-demand and the BBC could probably charge more overall if someone took all of the bundles. They need to get with the times on user choice. We have the right to subscribe/not subscribe to other services - why should domestic TV be any different?
I actually welcome the adverts on TV channels, they give me a chance to nip out to the loo, make a cuppa, or surf the Program Guide to see what I'll watch next. I can also pause a program at its start and go to the kitchen to fix a meal, and when I return I can watch in time-slip mode, skipping on FF through the ads. That way, every hour long program can be viewed in three quarters of an hour, with a quarter of an hour away from the telly to do the things you must. I very rarely watch BBC progs, as someone else said, Dr. Who and Top Gear are about it, but I also get my news during the day from BBC News channel. On balance, twelve quid a month isn't a lot to pay to keep one's self entertained during the long cold winter nights.
Not clear why the BBC need legislation for what they are trying to achieve.
If they see people who do not have a TV licence watching catchup TV on the iPlayer as a "loophole" surely they could just make the iPlayer only available to people with a TV licence (by issuing log in credentials).
Why do they need special legislation to make it potentially a specific criminal offence to watch catchup TV on the iPlayer without a TV licence?
Why does it need to be treated any differently than, for example, someone finding a way to watch Netflix when they don't have an account? in those circumstances, Netflix would need to pursue the standard legal avenues open to a service provider when someone obtains the service without paying.
If in doubt go to the act-
Communications Act 2003
Part 4 Licensing of TV reception
363Licence required for use of TV receiver
(1)A television receiver must not be installed or used unless the installation and use of the receiver is authorised by a licence under this Part.
(2)A person who installs or uses a television receiver in contravention of subsection (1) is guilty of an offence.
(3)A person with a television receiver in his possession or under his control who—
(a)intends to install or use it in contravention of subsection (1), or
(b)knows, or has reasonable grounds for believing, that another person intends to install or use it in contravention of that subsection, is guilty of an offence.
In other words the crime is USING the tv to receive signals, not owning the tv.
They push ads at you all the time, and ad blockers don't stop them.
Why should advertisers object to ad blockers? The people who use them are likely to be so annoyed by ads that they wouldn't buy the stupid products and services anyway. A panel at one side is fine, but if you stick a pop-up window in my face a) I'll kill it straight away, and b) if I happen to notice what it's for I'll go out of my way to avoid buying the stuff at any cost. By all means make product information available - when I need it I'll look for it.
Why can't the Govt just pay the licence fee out of general taxation and reduce the income tax thresholds to compensate. That would abolish the costs of administering, collecting and enforcing the licence fee at a stroke.
And is the licence fee enforceable anyway? We used to have detector vans which could pick up what you were watching on CRT TVs. With LCD screens, tablets and smartphnes it's not quite so easy.
Also there's no such thing as live tv anymore. With digital encoding, compresing, multiplexing and buffering it's several seconds old by the time you see it.
We all pay taxes for things we don't use.
Some people don't use the health service much, others don't trouble the education system.
Some don't ever use the jails, or the rubbish collections...
That's kind of the point of taxes...
The BBC tax is somewhat anomolous because it is a flat rate - it's a per household tax, unrelated to income or wealth (at least council tax is related to the value of your home, so some loose indication of wealth)
We all pay towards commercial TV through the "advertising premium" which we pay on all our goods and services but if we then do not pay the exorbitant subscriptions (BSkyB profits last year over £1bn!!!) then we are paying towards TV services that (unlike the BBC which is "free to air") we cannot even receive. I get very fed up about those who scream about the "injustice" of the "tele-tax" but fail to recognise the even greater injustice of having (short of shoplifting how do you avoid it?) to pay (last time I worked it out is was £200+ per mean average household - well above the licence fee!!) towards something that you cannot even partake in ............
221 comments so far and nobody has pointed out the actual facts.
If you have any means at all of receiving/watching a live TV broadcast and you do then you need a licence.
Any normal internet connection lets you watch live TV, do you ever do it? If yes you need a licence.
Any smartphone lets you watch live TV, do you ever do it, even on the tube? If yes then you need a licence.
Just because you don't have a TV and/or an aerial doesn't mean you don't need a licence.
From the authourites themselves: