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Thread: News - BBC licence fee may soon be mandatory for iPlayer users

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    Re: News - BBC licence fee may soon be mandatory for iPlayer users

    Quote Originally Posted by shaithis View Post
    But he is a politician....so he's allowed to omit the last part of that sentence...

    We are not going to introduce a PC licence fee, at least until will decide we will introduce one.
    True enough. We all know what political promises are worth. And politicians wonder why turnout is dire and they're so widely held in contempt.

    An obvious example would be certain LibDems 'pledging' about tuition fees.

    As it happens, I think they were hoist by their own petard on that one, thinking they could safely promise all sorts of cobblers for political expediency safe in the knowledge they'd never be required to fulfil it. But it shows what a politician's word is worth .... he'll keep it if and only if it's politically expedient. Otherwise, circumstances will have changed, or the "public interest" requires a pragmatic approach, or some other such excuse will surface. Or, of course, cabinet rotation will nullify it by them all having played musical chairs with their jobs and someone else will be in that particular hot-seat.

    I remember seeing a cynical definition of an "honest politician" in a book once (Robert Heinlein, IIRC), and it went something like .... "an honest politician is one that stays bought". It's not that far off my own view of them.

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    Re: News - BBC licence fee may soon be mandatory for iPlayer users

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    Depends on your tastes. For my tastes, Spooks, Waking the Dead, New Tricks, spring to mind (Dr Who of course!) Factual/documentsries: Life in the in the freezer, Coast, The documentary about Bletchley Park and the codebreakers If you want soap, Eastenders and Casualty are two examples. Then there is the radio output, which you don't need a licence to listen to. News gathering/reporting is another public service activity.
    I completely agree it depends on taste. And part of the BBC's mandate is to appeal to a broad church, as it were.

    Personally, I detest many forms of TV sport and wouldn't give a thanks for any football content. If you ever catch me sitting on front of the TV "watching" football, call for a coroner's van because it's pretty conclusive evidence I died in front of the TV. I personally couldn't care about Olympic coverage either, and will probably watch very little. And as for soaps, I'll leave the room rather than watch. But I agree about the Codebreakers, and about Sppoks, Top Gear and many more.

    Personally, I use the news channel, often watch Newsnight and other political and current affairs programs. I'd also add Horizon to the list, as some of those are superb. There was also "Faster than Light" recently, discussing the issues about the apparent "discovery" of neutrinos that can travel faster than light, a feat previously believed to be impossible .... and still believed to be so by many. On that program, Marcus Du Sautoy managed to do a pretty credible job of explaining the inferences from E=MC² in a way that made the unintuitive understanding to the masses, and did an astonishing job of making (aspects of) quantum mechanics and string theory accessible too.

    There was also a series (BBC4 I think) a while ago with a Harvard professor of philosophy giving basic lectures on ethical problems. That was illuminating.

    And so much of the Beeb's natural history output is absolutely superb. For example, the currently-showing Frozen Planet series.

    So we have education, entertainment and news and current affairs to inform. And that's just TV. There's also both national and local radio.

    The point, in my opinion, is that a basic service provision of public service broadcasting is a highly desirable, if not essential, public service. What individuals get out of it varies, and in large part, is up to them. But the notion that an organisation provides that base level, available to all, is a good one, and as a public service, it's got to be funded somehow.

    The argument of who pays for what is an old one. Why should those don't travel by rail pay for taxes for railways? Why should those with no kids pay for schools? Why .... the list goes on and on. The answer, of course, is that we all pay for public services that we can use them, and that they are there if we choose or need to, regardless of whether we actually do or not. So the odds are that either the BBC gets funded by licence fee, or from general taxation, and either way, the vast bulk of us are going to be paying for it. At least this way, those that never watch TV at all can avoid paying for it, which they can't if it's incorporated into general taxation, unless they also don't pay tax. Personally, I'd rather it be kept out of general taxation.

    You certainly won't catch me watching football, Eastenders or Casualty, but there's a LOT else that I do watch and would not want to lose. As you say, tastes vary.

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    Re: News - BBC licence fee may soon be mandatory for iPlayer users

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    No, the licence is to install equipment ('apparatus' in the legislation) to watch television as it is being broadcast. If you don't install equipment that enables you to do that, you don't need a licence.

    http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-you-need-one
    "television programme services" meaning *any* remote video content, that's what television means, after all. So onlive gaming, youtube, google tv, apple tv, etc, etc. And I'm sure some creative bureaucrat could manage to bend the meaning to include connecting any internet enabled consoles and TVs, without going ahead with the government's plan to relax current restrictions on the licence thugs.

    If you want to tax the whole population to provide a service whether they want it or not, creating a separate £213 million bureaucratic black hole to threaten the public with fines and jail time if they don't cough up is a stupid waste of the tax payers money. Just roll BBC funding into income tax and stop pretending you're not taxing them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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    The late but legendary peterb - Onward and Upward peterb's Avatar
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    Re: News - BBC licence fee may soon be mandatory for iPlayer users

    Quote Originally Posted by aidanjt View Post
    "television programme services" meaning *any* remote video content, that's what television means, after all. So onlive gaming, youtube, google tv, apple tv, etc, etc. And I'm sure some creative bureaucrat could manage to bend the meaning to include connecting any internet enabled consoles and TVs, without going ahead with the government's plan to relax current restrictions on the licence thugs.
    No, youtube is not a licenced broadcaster, and anyway, its content is recorded as video on demand. If you took that line, Skype would require a TV licence, and CCTV.

    Quote Originally Posted by aidanjt View Post
    If you want to tax the whole population to provide a service whether they want it or not, creating a separate £213 million bureaucratic black hole to threaten the public with fines and jail time if they don't cough up is a stupid waste of the tax payers money. Just roll BBC funding into income tax and stop pretending you're not taxing them.
    And again, no. If someone doesn't want television, they don't need to buy a licence. Adding £140 or so to everyone's income tax would remove that freedom of choice. Having the licence fee also ring fences the revenue, ensuring that it is only spent on the BBC.
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    Re: News - BBC licence fee may soon be mandatory for iPlayer users

    Some supporting content to Saracen's 2 posts above:

    Saracen's Post #1

    George Carlin on Politicians: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qL1NNJmvCmY

    Saracen's Post #2

    I recently found this: http://www.justiceharvard.org/ Is that the same guy you were referring to?

    Either way the lectures are free to watch on youtube and are brilliant.

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    Re: News - BBC licence fee may soon be mandatory for iPlayer users

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    No, youtube is not a licenced broadcaster, and anyway, its content is recorded as video on demand. If you took that line, Skype would require a TV licence, and CCTV.
    It doesn't say licensed broadcaster, it said television programme service. I didn't write the bill, that's just what it says.

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    And again, no. If someone doesn't want television, they don't need to buy a licence.
    Nearly every household is already paying for it anyway. And given that the government is going to start accosting computer owners, that'll likely drive it into every household territory.

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    Adding £140 or so to everyone's income tax would remove that freedom of choice.
    As I've already established, you have little choice regardless. And it wouldn't need to be £140 to each income tax bill since the tax is more evenly distributed across all citizens and businesses rather than a per premises basis. It'll work out roughly the same, minus the hundreds of millions wasted on an additional bureaucracy. And ease the burden on the elderly and disadvantaged at the same time.

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    Having the licence fee also ring fences the revenue, ensuring that it is only spent on the BBC.
    The BBC is going to be funded regardless.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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    Re: News - BBC licence fee may soon be mandatory for iPlayer users

    Quote Originally Posted by aidanjt View Post
    (Adding £140 or so to everyone's income tax would remove that freedom of choice) As I've already established, you have little choice regardless. And it wouldn't need to be £140 to each income tax bill since the tax is more evenly distributed across all citizens and businesses rather than a per premises basis. It'll work out roughly the same, minus the hundreds of millions wasted on an additional bureaucracy. And ease the burden on the elderly and disadvantaged at the same time.
    Correction for that last bit - the folks that are 75 and over can get free tv licenses - see http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/about/m...icence-NEWS33/. Granted that doesn't help the 65-75 group much, although I wouldn't be surprised if there was some benefit available to help there too.
    Quote Originally Posted by aidanjt View Post
    (Having the licence fee also ring fences the revenue, ensuring that it is only spent on the BBC.) The BBC is going to be funded regardless.
    I'm sorry, but without wishing to be rude, you're either naive or deluded if you believe that. The current government has made it very plain that they're at best "uncomfortable" with the Beeb, and at worst downright hostile. Part of the license fee is already going to support C4 and, in addition, S4C - that last bit really getting on my nerves. So if the "license fee" was bundled into income tax then it's guaranteed that the BBC's revenue would fall. Remember that road tax and - to a lesser extent - fuel duty was supposed to fund road and transport improvements.

    Stylistically, I think the license fee is a good idea - at least you can say "this goes to pay for the BBC". On the other hand, a deduction on your payslip is merely money disappearing into the monstrous maw of the HMRC/Treasury.

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    Re: News - BBC licence fee may soon be mandatory for iPlayer users

    aidanjt - remember that they have not said or even implied that they will start to "accost" computer owners to buy a TV licence. Indeed there should be no need to since it's so much easier to track who is accessing the feeds and if they have a valid TV licence than it is to check for a physical TV being actively used to receive channels (intact this is impossible unless you give an inspector entry to your home..which you don't have to do!).

    The whole tax argument always comes up but the fact remains that you have a choice to pay it and receive the service or to watch it, and in that way it is absolutely no different to sky or virgin. Taking that example, I get "accosted" by Virgin almost every single day here as their junk mail comes through my door with out and out lies telling me that I can get their so called amazing service. Even if their service was amazing it would still be a lie as I can't get cable in this house. I am sure that next you will argue about the tone of the letters etc but it's not exactly intimidating (having received such letters whilst I was a student) and if you feel they are, then make a complaint to the right people.

    Moaning on a tech forum complaining that the TV licence is a tax and then trying to claim that youtube is a television service just makes you sound uneducated tbh..not trying to be offensive there but really..I would take a step back and think about what you are saying..it doesn't make much sense.

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    Re: News - BBC licence fee may soon be mandatory for iPlayer users

    Tele = remote
    Vision = viewing

    Are you denying that YouTube is a remote viewing service? I'm pretty sure YouTube's storage farm is much further away than your local DVB antenna array. So it definately qualifies on the tele bit, youtube provides a visual feed, so that qualifies on the vision, is it a service? well, yes, that goes without saying. Is it programmatic? yup.

    Remember, bureaucrats aren't interested in the 'spirit of the law', only the letter of the law. That's why they've already been trying their hand at chasing down license fees from computer owners.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
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    Re: News - BBC licence fee may soon be mandatory for iPlayer users

    Quote Originally Posted by crossy View Post
    Correction for that last bit - the folks that are 75 and over can get free tv licenses - see http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/about/m...icence-NEWS33/. Granted that doesn't help the 65-75 group much, although I wouldn't be surprised if there was some benefit available to help there too.
    Even the over 75's will need to fill in paperwork annually. More waste of money.

    Quote Originally Posted by crossy View Post
    I'm sorry, but without wishing to be rude, you're either naive or deluded if you believe that. The current government has made it very plain that they're at best "uncomfortable" with the Beeb, and at worst downright hostile. Part of the license fee is already going to support C4 and, in addition, S4C - that last bit really getting on my nerves. So if the "license fee" was bundled into income tax then it's guaranteed that the BBC's revenue would fall. Remember that road tax and - to a lesser extent - fuel duty was supposed to fund road and transport improvements.
    There's no guarantees of anything. If the government really wanted to reduce license fees or the BBC's proportion, they could do it tomorrow anyway. The 'ringed fence' is a delusion. The government is the authority behind the license system in the first place. Thinking otherwise is just kidding yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by crossy View Post
    Stylistically, I think the license fee is a good idea - at least you can say "this goes to pay for the BBC". On the other hand, a deduction on your payslip is merely money disappearing into the monstrous maw of the HMRC/Treasury.
    Yes, because having three monstrous bureaucracies is better than 2, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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    Re: News - BBC licence fee may soon be mandatory for iPlayer users

    Quote Originally Posted by ExHail View Post
    ..... Is that the same guy you were referring to?
    Yup, that's him.

    And the George Carlin clip was superb, too. It's been a while since I've watched any of his stuff and I'd forgotten just how good he was. He reminds me, in terms of cynicism though not style, of Yes Minister.

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    Re: News - BBC licence fee may soon be mandatory for iPlayer users

    Quote Originally Posted by crossy View Post
    ..... Remember that road tax and - to a lesser extent - fuel duty was supposed to fund road and transport improvements.
    Never mind that. Income tax itself was a temporary measure to fund the war against Napoleon. Somebody ought to tell HMRC that the war is over ..... 200 and some years ago.

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    Re: News - BBC licence fee may soon be mandatory for iPlayer users

    As I fall into this category of not paying the licence fee and watching iplayer I can tell you how I would feel about being forced to pay the licence fee to watch iplayer.

    I wouldn't pay the fee and it would make bugger all difference to my life-style. It would stop me watching complete rubbish. There's plenty more fish in the sea as they say.

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