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TV Licenses

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TV Licenses

I thought I’d have a rant about TV licences.

Do not ever let anyone from the TV licensing authority or anywhere else for that matter, tell you that you need a licence to OWN a TV set.

The scope of the TV licence is to permit the licensee to receive BROADCAST television signals. It is not the capability of the TV set, which requires a licence, but the USE to which it is put.

If you don’t use your box as a TV receiver then, you are not obliged to fork out however many hundred(s) of quid, to get permission to do so.

Obviously this is for those admittedly few of us who do own TV, sets and actually don’t ever use them to receive broadcast TV signals. But then if you are ever put in the situation where an enforcement officer is trying to issue you with a caution for a TV receiver that is never used to receive signals, then the law you need to quote is Statutory Instrument 1997 No. 290. The same information is also covered, albeit more briefly, in their own code of practice.

RANT RANT RAVE RAVE
:lol:

Tim
29 REPLIES
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TV Licenses

Someone I knew was in a Media Studies class at university, and so required a television to watch the films in her room. They tried to target her, but when she showed them how it could physically not receive any channels, they left her alone Smiley
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TV Licenses

She was studying which media, then, if she couldn't watch TV?

Watching videos recorded by other people from TV broadcasts is a bit of a dubious case, which I'm not sure has ever been tested in the courts. "Pre-recorded" tapes and DVDs are OK, of course, because they don't involve a broadcast element.
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TV Licenses

Watching tapes recorded by a third party from a broadcast signal is actually an offence committed by the third party. Unless of course that third party is licenced to distribute such tapes as, for example, a college may be.

Got to be awkward eh? Smiley
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TV Licenses

Anybody can distribute a tape legaly on the grounds of research (though only a limited portion).

This is down to copyright.
keithcalder
Grafter
Posts: 182
Registered: 03-08-2007

TV Licenses

Yes guys I'm afraid its the same old saying, pay for this pay for that. what really miffs me is having to pay the BBC for crap, then pay sky for repeats, gees where does it end. I can remember when sky first came out , if you just had sky, there was no BBC fee to pay, but the government soon fixed that. What I would like to know is why ppl have to pay a tv licence to fund the beeb when I never watch it, only sky and that costs £38 a month.

It is a rip off, way I see it, why should we have to pay for something I dont really need, ie BBC programming, which I think isn't very good. My favoutite haunts are Discovery and such programmes. The beeb doesn't really offer anything in this area, therefore to me is useless. Mind you thats if I can ever get to watch as my son loves the cartoon network, and often takes command of the tv anyway. Oh well thats my bit.

Keith
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TV Licenses

Quote
Watching tapes recorded by a third party from a broadcast signal is actually an offence committed by the third party.


OK, so what's the position if the "first party" -- Media Studies student -- while at her parents home, makes a video recording of a broadcast, and then plays that recording on her equipment at university?

According to the copyright laws, a person is quite entitled to make a recording of a TV broadcast for private and domestic use. Are they allowed to play it back on equipment for which no TV licence exists?
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TV Licenses

In the purpose of study, yes. Fur personal use, no.

Only a limited portion of a full broadcast can be copied, however, copyright law doens't give any sort of figure.

The purpose of a licence is regarding reception of broadcasts. A third-party must hold a licence to receive (to record).
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TV Licenses

Surely, what you're talking about is where someone does a review or critique, of a book or written article, for example, they're allowed to quote small portions, but are not permitted to reproduce the whole work? So, this would be equivalent to our student taking clips from the video and using them in a piece of work handed in to her supervisor.

For study purposes, clips may well be adequate for certain purposes, to illustrate points made in a lecture, for example, but in order to produce a review of a particular programme, or to comment on its production or direction, the whole programme would have to be viewed, not just snippets.

Could our hypothetical student watch the entire programme on the basis of using it for study?

(And what about Greg Dyke's [BBC's DG] recent lecture in which he announced plans for BBC content "where we own the rights, to be available to anyone in the UK to download so long as they don't use them for commercial purposes." Would that require a licence -- he speaks of a "simple licensing system" -- or would that be covered under the "study" rule, even though he may not have realised it?)
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TV Licenses

Ho boy.. can of worms or what?

My understanding was that you are allowed to record ie copy a TV programme as long as you were licenced to receive it. But that copy was/is for your personal use, not for redistribution (ie loan to 3rd parties) and must be erased within a set period.

But then I'm an awkward sod opening such a broad subject for discussion anyway. :lol:
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TV Licenses

I'm pretty certain there's nothing in the copyright acts about the length of time for which a recording may be kept, although that s70 does state it should be "solely for the purpose of enabling it to be viewed or listened to at a more convenient time". The implication, although not explicitly stated, is that once viewed or listened to, it should be overwritten (when you get round to it)

I believe there was a fair bit of debate about this when the act was formulated, and it was decided it was unworkable for the act to stipulate times or to make explicit that a tape should be re-used. A law is supposed to be enforceable, and the only way to enforce such a law would be for regular and unannounced inspections of everyone's cassette and video tapes, which would be a non-starter. So there are no time limits.

Also, regarding passing on a recording. The whole of s70 says: "The making for private and domestic use of a recording of a broadcast or cable programme solely for the purpose of enabling it to be viewed or listened to at a more convenient time does not infringe any copyright in the broadcast or cable programme or in any work included in it."

It doesn't say "The making for private and domestic use by the person making the recording". Who uses the recording is outside the scope of the law, so as far as I'm concerned, as long as it remains "for private and domestic use" and "solely for the purpose of enabling it to be viewed or listened to at a more convenient time" (and again and again if necessary!) then it's legal.

Which is how most ordinary people operate.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,878
Registered: 04-04-2007

TV Licenses

I'd agree with what Keith said earlier. If I had the option of paying £10 a month or whatever it is for a TV licence just to watch BBC I wouldnt pay it.

I think the govenrnment should do what they do best and privatise the BBC and make it an optional service like Sky or ITV.

Chris
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TV Licenses

Even if they privatised the BBC the y would still want the license fee, so you would end up paying even more.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,878
Registered: 04-04-2007

TV Licenses

That's a good point they probably would like they do with so much.

Im glad licence fees are being debated here though. Its the sort of thing that everyone seems to put up with and complain about very rarely.

Chris
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TV Licenses

I could be on my own here, but I would be happy to pay the licence fee just for BBC2 on its own. Its range of science and educational programmes (Horizon and open university to name a couple) make it worthwhile to me. I have no time for dumbed down ITV and the two gay channels (4 and 5). Sky and the like are to me also non starters.
I would hate to see adverts on the BBC as this means they would have to show programmes that attracted large audiances, which sadly means low quality, so as to appeal to a wide as possible viewer range.
However, I can understand people kicking up that they have to pay for something if they don't use it.