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UK TV Licence law, facts without BS, remember deny ignorance?

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posted on Feb, 7 2015 @ 11:38 AM
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After reading some of the completely inaccurate posts on ATS making wild claims about the UK television laws I felt the need to present the reality of the situation here in this topic.
In all the time I've lurked and been a member, this tired old subject keeps coming up and the ignorance is unbelievable, so here is a rational critique:

Here is a photo of a demand letter I got a couple of weeks ago...

...you will note my highlighted section where 'TV Licencing' are describing the law exactly as it is.


The law.
It is a criminal offence to watch or record programmes as they're being shown on TV unless you have a licence. It doesn't matter what equipment you use: colour or black and white television; computer, mobile phone, games console; digital box; or DVD/VHS recorder.
If you watch TV, on these devices or anything else, you need a licence


IT IS NOT A CRIME TO OWN ANY DEVICE CAPABLE OF RECEIVING TV WITHOUT A LICENCE.
IT IS A CRIME TO USE ANY DEVICE TO RECEIVE BROADCAST TV WITHOUT A LICENCE.

I haven't had a TV licence for over a decade. I get letters 20 or 30 times a year, and a knock on the door every year or so.
I ignore the letters, and when the door knocks I tell the 'enforcement officers' they have zero authority over me, they are not welcome on my property, and if they do not leave immediately I will use reasonable force to eject them as they know I legally can.
One time as they left my property I was told they needed my name 'to update our records' to which I replied I couldn't give a toss what you need, until or unless you guys ever have any authority over me I'm telling you nothing.

A threat of returning with a warrant and police was laughed out of my yard as I reminded them that in order to obtain a warrant they must supply a Magistrate with 'reasonable suspicion' and it has already been established that not having a licence in itself does NOT meet the standard of reasonable suspicion that I am USING any device to watch TV as it is broadcast.
One of the guys mentioned detector vans and I laughed again reminding him that there has never been a conviction in the UK based on detector van evidence so piss off, they did.

Now the whole debate of is a licence fee fair is another matter all together, and to be honest I don't really care because all my media comes from the internet, and not 'live as broadcast'.

You can make the case that poor people can't afford the £2.80 per week licence but if they can't, they still do not need a licence if they do not USE a device to watch live broadcast TV. Even if someone has been silly enough to incriminate themselves by admitting they use a device to watch TV, all this talk of draconian fines making children starve or whatever is just sensationalist drama.

In the UK a fine for anything is not a hard punishment. Even if the amount is huge, courts will work out a repayment plan based on income after approved outgoings for housing/food/clothing/child expenses/etc, so if you are not stupid you can end up paying £5 a week or less interest free.
I've paid a few fines over the years and done exactly that with creative accounting. The fine was no punishment then, just the price of a couple of pints each week.

So folks, please get it straight, people are not prosecuted for 'not having a licence' they are prosecuted for 'using a device to receive broadcast TV without a licence. If they are prosecuted and refuse to arrange a payment plan/refuse to pay, then that is a seperate offence - Non payment of criminal fines.
Many years ago I failed to display an 'L plate' (learner) on the front of my motorbike before I passed my test and got a £25 fine. I didn't pay it, moved to another part of the UK, and unknown to myself, an arrest warrant had been issued for my non-payment of a fine. When I next had contact with the cops some years later I was arrested for the warrant and ended up 28 days in prison for non payment of a fine.
I was not sent to prison for failing to display a learner plate, I was sent to prison because with contempt I #ed the courts off and ignored their fine - That is the difference.

In closing, I look at 'TV Licensing' as a private commercial enterprise similar to say Microsoft employees turning up at your door demanding to check your operating system for authenticity. Neither have any authority over you in any way so both can be ignored and forcibly removed from your property, and both need reasonable suspicion that you are breaking the law before any magistrate will even think about issuing any warrant.
It is why I haven't had a licence since around 1999.

Deny ignorance folks. The few UK nationals who go to prison are mostly campaigning protesters refusing to pay the court after conviction as a matter of principle. With the generous UK fine payment plans they are 'won't' pay, not 'can't' pay.

Just remember, you do NOT need a licence to OWN a device capable of receiving TV, but if you USE a device to watch live broadcast TV then you do need a licence.

...oh and as an aside, all TV device vendors are required to get the customer to complete a form detailing the owner so it can be sent to TV licencing. The law does not require the vendor to verify that the information provided by the customer is correct.
Last flat screen I bought with cash and wrote Mickey Mouse of no fixed abode on the form. The saleperson hesitated then chuckled and sold me the screen.




posted on Feb, 7 2015 @ 11:46 AM
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a reply to: grainofsand

Point of fact if you remove there right of access to your property they simply have no other lawful means at there disposal to pursue there extortion scheme against you.

TV detector vans simply do not exist, although given there surveillance capability's its by no means beyond the realm of possibility.

Another thing everyone should avoid is providing any retailer with your postcode when purchasing a TV or associated recording device, simply provide them with a duff postcode to avoid any unnecessary questions.
edit on 7-2-2015 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 7 2015 @ 11:48 AM
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The definition of free speech includes the word FREE.....
You Brits are bloody barmy....Defending this egregious bull# just shows how programmed you have become...
Its pathetic really......



posted on Feb, 7 2015 @ 11:49 AM
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a reply to: andy06shake
Totally true, but it must be done in writing so I can't be arsed making the effort.
...and I actually enjoy the confrontation when they knock at my door, it's always good reminding pseudo-officials that I can legally use reasonable force to kick them off my property.



posted on Feb, 7 2015 @ 11:51 AM
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a reply to: stirling
I'm not defending the licence laws, just explaining them.
Oh and I do like all the BBC national and many local radio stations (and bbc.co.uk) which do not require a licence.


edit on 7.2.2015 by grainofsand because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 7 2015 @ 11:51 AM
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I too have never payed a TV Licence...Ever!!
I dont own a TV, I have never owned a TV, I have never watched a TV, in fact i dont know what a TV Looks like.

I dont have any devices that can pick up live TV. Not even a Computer or one of dem fancy phones.
I use tin cans on a string for all my communications, this post included.



What surprises me more is when you tell people the Law and what powers they have and dont have with regards to TV Licence enforcment....They still pay.

The Sheeeple are terrified.

The Last time they came to my door it went something like this...

Hello Sir, are you the Occupier...Yes
Could i ask you why you dont have a TV Licenec....Yes

At this point the staring at each other commences..He or she waiting for a answer...Me is waiting on the question..it finally sinks in.

Why dont you have a TV Licence?.....What's a TV...More stares. Door shuts....To be continued.
edit on 7-2-2015 by Soloprotocol because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 7 2015 @ 11:52 AM
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a reply to: grainofsand

You can do it by email. Kind of defeats the purpose of anonymity all the same.
edit on 7-2-2015 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 7 2015 @ 11:57 AM
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a reply to: Soloprotocol
Haha! Just like me then Solo!
It does amaze me that people just meekly comply, but then they are maybe the ones people consider conditioned.
I have always been a pseudo-compliance type of guy myself.

a reply to: andy06shake
I enjoy that I don't even have to tell them who I am, because it winds the 'enforcement officers' right up lol



posted on Feb, 7 2015 @ 11:59 AM
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a reply to: grainofsand

Hope these videos shed some light on these fly by night extortion jockeys!





edit on 7-2-2015 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 7 2015 @ 12:02 PM
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a reply to: grainofsand

That's so dumb you need a license. When did this licensing non sense begin?



posted on Feb, 7 2015 @ 12:04 PM
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a reply to: andy06shake
I can't watch vids at the moment fella, I'm on a really crap 3G connection until I get home, will look later perhaps but may be a bit mullered as having a few pints before then.



posted on Feb, 7 2015 @ 12:06 PM
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a reply to: grainofsand

I watched NLBS yesterday and would like to follow up on the "You can't leave the country if you are in debt"(scotland)

I can't seem to find # on the subject.... Not a big fan of NLBS

I told the guy when he come to my door I don't watch BBC # go away, and why is it that the BBC don't knock on my door,why is it Capita business services, tell you why coz its a #ing con.

you don't get the mafia boss, you get the made man.



posted on Feb, 7 2015 @ 12:07 PM
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a reply to: Swills
1904 apparently to fund BBC broadcast radio. It changed to fund BBC TV at some point then radio's no longer required a licence.



posted on Feb, 7 2015 @ 12:07 PM
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originally posted by: grainofsand
a reply to: Soloprotocol
Haha! Just like me then Solo!
It does amaze me that people just meekly comply, but then they are maybe the ones people consider conditioned.
I have always been a pseudo-compliance type of guy myself.

a reply to: andy06shake
I enjoy that I don't even have to tell them who I am, because it winds the 'enforcement officers' right up lol

What really cracks me up is that old TV detector van add they used to run, remember the speccy Guy twiddling big bakelite knobs and the ariel going around on the roof of the van. Maaayn, that looked so high tech back in them days. They have big knobs and everything, must be some serious tech in that van..#### better pay up or i'll get a £4 and 6d fine lol

Now back in the day they had everyone believe that that Van could not only detect who was watching TV, but what we were watching. When you think back.. what fools we were.

Damn you big brown Bakelite knobs, Damn you ta hell. lol



posted on Feb, 7 2015 @ 12:07 PM
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The total income from licence fees was £3.7261 billion in 2013–14, of which 607.8 million or 16.3% was provided by the Government through concessions for those over the age of 75. Thus, the licence fee made up the bulk of the BBC's total income of £5.066 billion in 2013–2014.



I thought we was led to believe that a TV Licence was for the BBC only & thus the reason for Advertisements on other Channels.

Learn something new everyday I guess.

It's criminal either way.



posted on Feb, 7 2015 @ 12:09 PM
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a reply to: grainofsand

You need more than a few pints in you to deal with the nasty little retards in question!

Then again possibly that's a bad idea considering one would most lightly end up twating the little creeps!


Have a good night!

edit on 7-2-2015 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 7 2015 @ 12:11 PM
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a reply to: RayVon
NBLS was talking sensationalist crap.
All that's happened is the Scottish Court Service have teamed up with UK border authorities to stop anyone leaving the UK if they are on record as someone who has refused to pay Criminal Court Fines. Remember Scotland has a seperate internationally recognised lehgal system.
Curious really because the English/Welsh/N.Irish court services have not done that...yet.
I won't care if they do though, any fine I get for anything I'll just make a payment arrangement, keep up to date with it and remain free to leave the UK.



posted on Feb, 7 2015 @ 12:12 PM
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Licenses for TV sounds really strange to those of us in countries that don't have such a thing.
It also sounds strange to be able to plug in a TV, and receive a TV show without first being hooked up to cable vision or satellite.
To receive the abundance of stations that I do costs us over $100 per month.
The cheapest package is still around $30.

I live in a rural area, so there's nothing but a fuzzy snowy screen without satellite.

Last time I lived in a town that had a free channel I got hooked on Coronation Street......only thing on....



posted on Feb, 7 2015 @ 12:22 PM
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originally posted by: grainofsand
a reply to: RayVon
NBLS was talking sensationalist crap.
All that's happened is the Scottish Court Service have teamed up with UK border authorities to stop anyone leaving the UK if they are on record as someone who has refused to pay Criminal Court Fines. Remember Scotland has a seperate internationally recognised lehgal system.
Curious really because the English/Welsh/N.Irish court services have not done that...yet.
I won't care if they do though, any fine I get for anything I'll just make a payment arrangement, keep up to date with it and remain free to leave the UK.


Yeah I thought so, Its a big claim to make.

I hear you. Anyway most people in debt I know don't think about holidays, last thing on they mind.

Am not a big fan as I said on NLBS, but sometimes I'll give it a watch and this ep There really was some NLBS.



posted on Feb, 7 2015 @ 12:29 PM
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a reply to: Soloprotocol
Lol, I remember those silly adverts and didn't believe it as a kid as I knew so many mates parents who didn't have a licence.

a reply to: CharlieSpeirs
Don't pay for one then, and don't allow them in your home or incriminate yourself with anything you say, it's not difficult, but then I'm a bloke who actually enjoys using reasonable force when I can justify it. I feel sorry for those less confident than I am.

a reply to: snowspirit
In the UK you can buy a 'freeview' box which provides 30 to 40 'free' TV channels...but if you connect the box and USE it to receive those channels it costs £145 per year for the licence.
You don't need a licence to purchase the box, just at the point you commence using it.



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