Why we're here:
This blog is to highlight the unjust persecution of legitimate non-TV users at the hands of TV Licensing. These people do not require a licence and are entitled to live without the unnecessary stress and inconvenience caused by TV Licensing's correspondence and employees.

If you use equipment to receive live broadcast television programmes then the law requires you to have a licence and we encourage you to buy one.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

BBC Newcastle: RAJAR Drinks Are On Us

BBC Newcastle

BBC Newcastle staff were each rewarded with a £50 voucher and drinks on the licence fee payer, after the station achieved bumper listening figures.

The station, which boasts broadcasting legends like Alfie Joey, Charlie Charlton and Sue Sweeney, comes from premises nicknamed the 'Pink Palace' on the city's Barrack Road. It achieved a reach of 370,000 in the last quarter of 2013, according to figures published by RAJAR.

The story has just come to light after the BBC responded to a recent Freedom of Information request by Carl Jefferson.

A BBC spokesperson said: "BBC Newcastle achieved record listening figures in the last quarter of 2013.

"As common in many organisations, it was decided to hold a small informal get together to thank the station’s hardworking staff for their contribution towards this success, and strict rules and policies keep costs low."

In a previous request Carl established that the BBC spent more than £3,000 on what it grandiosely describes as a "Synergy Wall" within the Pink Palace. The wall, which is hidden from normal public view, includes photographs of various BBC Newcastle personalities and was knocked together by some local university students.

It would appear that Carl has some insider knowledge of how the BBC operates in Newcastle and we'd very much like him to get in touch.

TV Licence: Have Internet, But No TV

An increasing number of people are abandoning conventional TV in favour of the internet, but where do they stand in terms of TV licence law?

Recent Ofcom research indicates that today's teenagers are more tech savvy than ever, with the next generation of licence-fee-payers spending less than half their viewing time watching licensable live broadcast TV programmes. 

An increasing number of younger viewers are turning to DVDs, online catch-up services and downloadable programmes, none of which require payment of the £145.50 a year TV licence fee. Furthermore, only 3% of the 16 to 24-year-olds surveyed said they would miss watching live broadcast TV programmes, compared to almost a third of those aged 65 and over.

It appears people's viewing habits are shifting dramatically with the evolution of new technology, but TV licence legislation remains pretty much as it was first drafted in the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949.

Current legislation, section 363 of the Communications Act 2003, states that a TV receiver must not be installed or used unless the property is covered by a valid TV licence. 

A TV receiver, within the meaning of the Act, is any apparatus installed or used for the purpose of receiving (whether by means of wireless telegraphy or otherwise) any TV programme service, whether or not it is installed or used for any other purpose. Quite simply, if it's not installed or used for receiving TV programmes, then it's not a TV receiver and does not need to be covered by a TV licence.

Although TV programmes are freely available only a few mouse across the web, a computer (tablet or mobile phone) is not a TV receiver unless actually used for the purpose of receiving TV programmes. That will only be the case if the person using the device actually navigates to a web page displaying TV programmes.

Mere ownership of a computer (tablet or mobile phone), or access to the web, does not therefore require a TV licence unless that device is actually used for the purposes of receiving TV programmes.

Similarly, mere ownership of a TV set does not require a TV licence, unless that set is used for the purposes of receiving TV programmes.

We'd also remind readers of the following important points:
  • In some limited circumstances a person will already be covered to view TV programmes in a property other than their normal home address. This rule is particularly useful for students.
  • The viewing of non-live catch-up services does not require a TV licence, as these fall outside the legal definition of a TV programme service.
  • The occupier of a correctly unlicensed property is under no legal obligation whatsoever to communicate or co-operate with TV Licensing and we strongly recommend they don't.
  • The occupier of a correctly unlicensed property is under no legal obligation to confirm the licensable status of their property to TV Licensing.
  • TV Licensing goons work for a private company contracted to do the BBC's dirty work. They have no more legal rights or authority than any other visitor to a property.
For further information please download our free ebook, TV Licensing Laid Bare.

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