OT : TV licensing - must I compy?

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For about the past year or so I have been receiving increasingly
threatening letters from the TV licensing people about the fact I do
not have a license.

I'm not too fussed about buying one since I do not use the TV for
anything other than watching the occasional video.  Indeed, there is
no TV in the main living room and no aerial lead on the TV that is
upstairs.

The 'notices' are sounding increasingly nasty.  If I do not get a
license OR write to tell them I do not use a TV, then it is likely
that the skies will darken and the seas will boil etc etc.

My first question is whether I have to tell them that I do not watch
regular TV programmes?  I know you can get a fine now for not
declaring SORN on a vehicle if it is off the road, but is TV licensing
as bad as that?

Secondly, does anyone have any experience of what happens when the
inspectors call at your house?  They surely will at some point.  I
could write to tell them what they want to know, but there is that
little bit of rebel still left in me that hates conforming to the
nanny state's big brother-esque dictats.

Does the inspector actually have to register radiation, or similar,
coming from the back of my TV set to 'prove' I am watching it (not
sure how they would get on with an LCD tv)?  If so, surely I would
have to let them into my house.  Do I have to?

Also, can they tell the difference between me watching a video and a
regular TV programme?  It would be rare that my girlfriend and I would
put a video on before 11pm (sounds fun doesn't it? - the reality is
less exciting).  Surely they would not start to bang on the door at
that hour and I could be forgiven for not answering it if they did?

Cheers
Rob


Replace 'spam' with 'org' to reply

Re: OT : TV licensing - must I compy?
On 22 Dec 2004, Kalico wrote

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You need a licence if you "install *or* use" (my emphasis) equipment
which can receive broadcast programme services.  That includes not only
the tuner inside your telly, but also the tuner inside your video;  it
would also include a PC card, which is another "tuner".

In other words, if you've *installed* a TV -- or a video machine -- you
need a licence for it.  The only exception I've heard of is if you can
demonstratae that its capability for receiving programmes has been
disabled (and probably permanently disabled, by removing the tuner
and turning it into a monitor).

Basically, you need a licence for having the machines in your house --
regardless of whether or not you use them to watch broadcasts.

--
Cheers,
Harvey

Re: OT : TV licensing - must I compy?
Harvey Van Sickle wrote:

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I don't believe this is true. It is what the TV Licensing often tell
you, but that doesn't make it true.


--
Grunff

Re: OT : TV licensing - must I compy?
On 22 Dec 2004, Grunff wrote

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Well, that's what it states on the back of the licence itself, in
writing:

        You need a TV licence to install or use any equipment to
        receive television programme services -- for example a
        television set, video recorder, set-top box, PC with a
        broadcast card or any other TV receiving equipment.

So if it's an illegal statement, they're doing it in writing -- which
strikes me as unlikely, as I'd have thought it would have been
challenged in court by now.

--
Cheers,
Harvey

Re: OT : TV licensing - must I compy?
Harvey Van Sickle wrote:

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Now you made me go and look it up!

<http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/nw/index/your_world/communications/television_licences.htm#who

See the section entitled "You do not use your television set or video
recorder to watch or record authorised broadcast programmes".


--
Grunff

Re: OT : TV licensing - must I compy?

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<http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/nw/index/your_world/communications/television_licences.htm#who
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Interesting.
"... the television set and/or video recorder must be incapable
of receiving all authorised broadcast programmes. This could
be done, for example, by making sure that neither the television
set nor the video recorder are tuned into any channels and
ensuring that they are not connected to an aerial."

I'd be fascinated to know what would happen if the inspectors
came 'round and someone used this line on them.  My TVs
aren't tuned into any channels and aren't connected to aerials,
because I have cable boxes.  Theoretically I could just hide the
cable boxes and this would make me "acceptable".

Al



Re: OT : TV licensing - must I compy?
news@bat400.com says...
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Cable counts as broadcast reception, so you're liable to pay.

Re: OT : TV licensing - must I compy?
Al Reynolds wrote:

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             ^^^^^^^^^^^^
  by making sure that neither the television
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The key is to have reasonable grounds to prove that you do not use the
TV to watch programs on.

Siting it where there is obviously no aerial, and where it won't work
with rabbits ears, is a simple solution.

The license is for reception of broadcast material, not ownership of one
or more TV's.

And PC's used as Internet receivers via webcasst etc DO need a license
too...
.




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Re: OT : TV licensing - must I compy?
On 22 Dec 2004, Grunff wrote

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Yeah, that's the bit -- it states (as I mentioned in my first post)
that you can get around it by showing that the TV is "incapable of
receiving" broadcasts:

        However, the television set and/or video recorder must be
        incapable of receiving all authorised broadcast programmes.
        This could be done, for example, by making sure that neither
        the television set nor the video recorder are tuned into any
        channels and ensuring that they are not connected to an
        aerial.

I take that to mean that it wouldn't be enough just to have no aerial
connection:  the TV -- and the video -- cannot even be tuned to pick up
a signal.  (FWIW I wouldn't be surprised if -- to qualify under that
exemption -- you had to show that the tuning mechanism was inaccessible
or otherwise disabled in some way.)


--
Cheers, Harvey

Re: OT : TV licensing - must I compy?
Harvey Van Sickle wrote:

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Wrong.
You ahve to show reasonable grounds to support your assertion that it is
not used, not that it cannot be used.

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Actually merely saying 'I don't use not for TV use' is enough. The
burden of proof is on them.

However expect then back with a warrant aat coronation street time if
you do...
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Re: OT : TV licensing - must I compy?
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<http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/nw/index/your_world/communications/television_licences.htm#who
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You can find this on the tv licence website. Straight from the horse's
mouth:  http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/information/businesses.jsp#link5

 If you don't use any equipment to receive or record TV programmes, you do
not need a licence. But we still need to hear from you. This is also the
case if you use TV sets for closed circuit monitoring, as a computer monitor
or watching pre-recorded videos only - for example, for training purposes.

You must let us know so that we can update our records to reflect your
status. This will ensure that we do not continue to contact you
unnecessarily.

We may need to confirm your situation by visiting your premises.

 


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Re: OT : TV licensing - must I compy?

snip]
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But that does not say it is a criminal offence not to let them know.


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Re: OT : TV licensing - must I compy?

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The statement is legal, you're just not reading it correctly. You do not
need a licence to install or use equipment ( such as a TV or video
recorder). You need a licence to install or use any equipment to receive
television programme services.

Spot the difference?

It's not an issue of whether the equipment is capable of receiving
television broadcast, it's one of whether the equipment is used to
receive broadcasts.
 
--
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little
 temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

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Re: OT : TV licensing - must I compy?
On 22 Dec 2004, Steve Firth wrote

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Oh, yes;  I'm well aware of that.  It's why in my first post I
mentioned that people have been exempted from licencing for non-
broadcast use -- but AFAIK only by showing that the receiving
capability had been disabled.

I'd be interested to hear of cases where someone has got off on the
basis that "The equipment is broadcast-ready, but I don't use it for
that purpose"?

My suspicion is that one's word would not be enough to carry the day in
a legal challenge -- some sort of physical evidence of disabled
receiving capability would need to be shown -- but I'm happy to be
proven wrong if a legal precedent can be pointed to.

--
Cheers,
Harvey

Re: OT : TV licensing - must I compy?
Harvey Van Sickle wrote:

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Given that our legal system still loosly clings to the ideal of
"innocent until proven guilty", one might expect that it would be up to
the authorities to prove that you were using it in violation of the
licensing terms, not that you could if you wanted. cf. You have a car
that can exceed 70 mph, therefore you are nicked for speeding.

--
Cheers,

John.

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Re: OT : TV licensing - must I compy?
On 22 Dec 2004, John Rumm wrote

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One might expect that, but I think one would be expecting too much.

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There are, sadly, many cases where one is required to prove that one
didn't do something.  (For example, I think it's still the case that if
a car registered in your name is caught by a speed camera, the onus is
on you to prove that you weren't driving it at the time of the offence,
rather than on the police to prove that you *were* driving it.)

--
Cheers,
Harvey

Re: OT : TV licensing - must I compy?
Sickle" harvey.news@ntlworld.com says...
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As the registered keeper, you are responsible for the car - if it
wasn't you driving you should know who was.

Re: OT : TV licensing - must I compy?
Rob Morley wrote:

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And also in this case, there *is* proof that an offence was commited.


--
Cheers,

John.

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Re: OT : TV licensing - must I compy?
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 But with a car you have to register it as not in use and off road
otherwise pay the tax.

--
*If a parsley farmer is sued, can they garnish his wages?

    Dave Plowman        dave@davenoise.co.uk           London SW
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Re: OT : TV licensing - must I compy?


John Rumm wrote:
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Not these days, a lot of statute law has created absolute offences where
you are guilty unless you can prove your innocence...

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