The Communications (Television Licensing)(Amendment) Regulations 2016 - legislation designed to close the so-called iPlayer loophole - came into force on 1st September 2016.
Henceforth a TV licence is required by anyone intending to watch or download "on-demand programmes services which are provided by the BBC". In simple terms that means any visual programme available on the BBC iPlayer.
As we said at the time, the new legislation is ill-conceived, poorly written and thoroughly unenforceable. Despite our reservations we reiterated our stance that the law is the law and it should be complied with. That being the case, anyone watching or downloading on-demand programmes from the BBC iPlayer should be correctly licensed to do so.
Many people that only use the BBC iPlayer went out and bought a TV licence so they could continue downloaded and watching online without falling foul of the new legislation. Over the past week several people in that situation, who only use the BBC iPlayer, have contacted us to complain about how they have been unable to watch or download programmes broadcast by the BBC over the festive period. In particular, it would appear that the BBC does not have the rights to make many of the films it has broadcast available on-demand via the BBC iPlayer.
We agree that it is grossly unfair that BBC iPlayer users are being forced to pay for a full array of BBC services, which they are clearly not receiving.
In response to the new legislation, which the BBC fought tooth-and-nail for, the Corporation should be negotiating terms with its suppliers that allow online viewers the same experience as those viewing by conventional means.
A very Happy New Year to all our readers, apart from those at the BBC and TV Licensing.
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