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I think it is only a matter of time before the UK moves to something like this. We have TV licensees to fund the BBC but with more and more of the content that they produce being available on-line though iPlayer things will have to change. I believe the BBC's charter is up for renegotiation in about four years and it would be the perfect time to make the change.

I actually think this is pretty reasonable - everybody I know consumes BBC content in some form (most of them without paying the license fee) and it's a small price to pay for the presence of an impartial news source.


I don't. I had an EyeTV card but the licensing for the software is despicable and after losing the serial number I couldn't get it reactivated after rebuilding the same Mac. I used to use BBC iPlayer instead but I don't these days, as I use a VPN and Hulu or similar sites for 80% of what I want to watch.

There's no such thing as an impartial news source[1][2][3][4][5][6]. Your best bet is to get a range and understand the biases involved. I'm not saying that bias is a bad thing with the BBC, but understanding it's existence is as important as understanding biases in the Guardian and Telegraph's reporting when it comes to consuming news.

[1] - http://biasedbbc.org/

[2] - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_the_BBC

[3] - http://www.thecommentator.com/article/1953/exclusive_bbc_lef...

[4] - http://bbcinstitutionalbias.blogspot.co.uk/

[5] - http://www.adamsmith.org/blog/media-culture/the-problem-of-b...

[6] - http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/11/bbc-libe...


How can an organization be impartial if the members of its board are appointed by the government and its funding is renegotiated every year?

We saw in 2003 what happens when the BBC disagrees with the government. The government wins. A minor mistake by a single reporter was excuse enough to get the entire BBC leadership fired for its criticism of the Iraq war.

Apparently impartiality means to shut up when the Prime Minister lies to parliament and to the nation.


I agree with this. 9 years ago when I moved to the UK (from New Zealand) I didn't quite understand the paying for the license thing. Now I realise that the BBC provides so much useful content that I'm more than happy to pay for it.


I'd have to agree.

We don't watch live to air anymore, but we do use the heck out of iPlayer.

When it came around to renewing the license a few months ago, we made the conscious decision to renew it, even though we legally didn't need to (no sat receiver, no aerial).

I know a lot of people will call us stupid for doing so, but I'm also convinced that the BBC will lobby (or whatever they need to do) for changes to the licensing laws once the UK officially is out of the economic danger zone.


> I know a lot of people will call us stupid for doing so, but I'm also convinced that the BBC will lobby (or whatever they need to do) for changes to the licensing laws once the UK officially is out of the economic danger zone.

I'm not entirely sure where you've got this idea from, but you do realise that the bulk of the BBC's funding comes from the licence fee[1], and that TVL (the organisation that sends nasty letters through the post if you don't have TV[2]) is part of the BBC[3], right?

[1] - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Television_licensing_in_the_Uni...

[2] - http://www.bbctvlicence.com/

[3] - http://www.televisionlicence.info/tvl/who


I would do the same. We may as a country complain allot about some of our institutions like the BBC and the NHS but relay they do an amazing job and should be supported.


I got rid of my TV licence when it came up for renewal at Christmas, and just watch on-demand content via iPlayer now. (Well, that was all I did before, but I've removed the little-used TV receiver from my house now.)

I can see them charging for computers in the future - but how would it work? Would they suddenly charge every office, for instance? We have an office with no TV but full of computers. None are used for TV viewing, live or otherwise. You just don't watch TV at work. It sounds like it could make them a lot of extra money!


I thought they already technically did. Don't you need to have a license to watch iplayer in an office? Ah, found a link, you don't need it for on demand, just live streaming, but stil...



It's already law in the UK for live channels. If you have no TV but only watch BBC1 live through iPlayer, you must have a TV license. However, you don't need a TV license to watch time delayed programs (so anything from the iPlayer archive), so perhaps this is an area where the law will change, although it never has for TV.


The question is if you watch BBC1 streaming but 5 min behind, and hence watching a recording, are you required to have a TV license?

We had a debate about this at work while the Olympics were on. Interestingly you can watch live tv at work on a laptop that is not plugged in and on wifi if they don't have a tv license but you do at home. You break the law the minute you plug the laptop in.


I didn't think so but the BBC iPlayer's page about requiring a TV license claims so.

If you are using the live rewind function to either restart the current live programme or to rewind any live stream for up to 2 hours, a television license is required as you are still accessing the live simulcasts.



The usual wording is that it applies to devices that display or record something as it is being broadcast. So if you're delaying the stream yourself, that's recording a live broadcast. And a third party delaying and rebroadcasting the stream would be copyright infringement.


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