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Frank Hovis

Licence Fee To Watch Iplayer

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Here's a thought: make it a paid subscription and then you'll see how many people actually want to fund the BBC's left wing propaganda and soap operas.

'Make iPlayer viewers PAY a licence fee': BBC calls for reforms to deal with 500,000 homes that only watch programmes online

Up to 2% of households exploit loophole that allows them to watch for free

Many avoid detection because BBC is unable to monitor internet viewers

Critics say the figures prove licence fee is now 'out of date'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2545000/Make-iPlayer-viewers-pay-licence-fee-BBC-call-reforms-deal-500-000-homes-watch-programmes-online.html

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Good idea, but you already need a licence to watch online. :angry:

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Only if what you are watching is being broadcast live. If it isn't (and almost all iPlayer stuff isn't of course) then you don't need a licence.

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Only if what you are watching is being broadcast live. If it isn't (and almost all iPlayer stuff isn't of course) then you don't need a licence.

And as the story says, they admit they have no way of tracking who is watching live online.

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The not as broadcast rule seems such a massive loophole.

Would be a right faff to enter your licence number into iplayer though...

Indeed, given that the great majority of the time I watch programmes I've recorded (for convenience and so I can fast forward through the adverts) then losing the ability to watch "as broadcast" would not trouble me one iota.

I quite like the idea of your licence number serving as your iPlayer sign-in. Just as long as they don't extend it to 4OD as that's the one I most frequently use.

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The problem with the BBC is that entry level positions in production currently weed out anyone who's not from a fairly wealthy background. Pay is very low, there is no job security, and there is an unwritten rule that if you try to claim overtime you will never work again (despite having to regularly work massive overtime, shifts running from 6am to 1am the next day not being abnormal during filming) so it's impossible to stay in the organisation long enough to move up into a more secure position unless you have external financial support. As a result the production departments are increasingly filled with the upper middle classes who naturally bring their own biases and vested interests to the table.

Force the BBC to normalise economic class distributions within its employee intake and there would eventually be a far greater range of opinion on view. If anyone wants to harrass them about this I'd encourage it (I've already harrassed them about it a fair bit).

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(1) A license is only needed if you watch TV as it's being broadcast. Says so on the TV Licensing website.

(2) Instead of criminalising people, make it a subscription service like other forms of media. I don't force other people to pay for my subscription to Readers' Digest [OK, I'm not a subscriber and I think they're still bankrupt anyway], so why should someone force me to pay for their enjoyment of Eastenders?

Yes, the BBC do some great stuff, and I'd probably be happy to pay for the specific programmes I wanted to watch, but they don't offer that option.

Perhaps we need to close the "loophole" in the law that entitles the BBC to receive money via a license. Care to start that debate, BBC? :)

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I try to avoid the fee as much as I can.

If you get caught and pay-up immediately (buy a licence online), they aren't bothered.

It's the single mothers on benefits who get caught and don't take the hint to buy one double-quick that they take to court.

It's a pretty low-risk thing to avoid tbh.

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Would be a right faff to enter your licence number into iplayer though...

Why? I'm sure it could be stored in a cookie if you like, and besides, most people will remember a number soon enough if they have to use it regularly enough. By the same token it's a right faff to have to remember your phone number and the PIN on your debit card, too, but most people manage it.

The problem with the BBC is that entry level positions in production currently weed out anyone who's not from a fairly wealthy background. Pay is very low, there is no job security, and there is an unwritten rule that if you try to claim overtime you will never work again...

True, but that's not just the case with the BBC: it's the case with any profession that is considered desirable to work for and in which the supply of labour outstrips demand. The funny thing with the BBC is that you'd expect this self-selectivity to weed out lefties (who in my experience do not like working from 6am-1am, even if money isn't a problem), but it clearly doesn't.

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I have a problem with the way they assume you are going to use it just because you could. And the only way to prove this is to invite a few private company workers into your house (who i believe have targets) to confirm this.

And if you don't they send you threatening letters. Talking about court - even though they don't even know your name !!

If any other company tried this - they would be up on a charge of threatening behaviour.

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And the letters are not even recorded delivery - so they have zero proof you have even received one of them.

I have had many a debate with less cynical pals of mine. A few have the 'if you watch it you should just pay it' attitude

They just don't get the principle of it.

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Here's a thought: make it a paid subscription and then you'll see how many people actually want to fund the BBC's left wing propaganda and soap operas.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2545000/Make-iPlayer-viewers-pay-licence-fee-BBC-call-reforms-deal-500-000-homes-watch-programmes-online.html

I think this is coming.

we'll either have ppv, or a massive increase in public access tv(which frankly if alternative media is anything to go by is far more interesting than endless repeats of x faxtor and property porn).

hopefully we get both.

....a bit of a kick in the pants for some of our old and stale centralised beaurocratic media is just what the doctor ordered.

.....and worth remembering that some of todays young upstarts having the rug pulled from under them will be the media moguls of tomorrow.

the big boy's presently don't like the fact that everything and everybody has a sell-by date(or best before)...and they are getting to the end of theirs.

the smart ones will embrace and adapt.

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(1) A license is only needed if you watch TV as it's being broadcast. Says so on the TV Licensing website.

(2) Instead of criminalising people, make it a subscription service like other forms of media. I don't force other people to pay for my subscription to Readers' Digest [OK, I'm not a subscriber and I think they're still bankrupt anyway], so why should someone force me to pay for their enjoyment of Eastenders?

Yes, the BBC do some great stuff, and I'd probably be happy to pay for the specific programmes I wanted to watch, but they don't offer that option.

Perhaps we need to close the "loophole" in the law that entitles the BBC to receive money via a license. Care to start that debate, BBC? :)

Are the commericial channels producing the same type of programmes to the same quality level as the ones which you actually appreciate from the BBC? If they do then removing the license fee system is a good plan. If they don't then you will probably lose these programmes if you move the BBC on to any kind of commercial model (after all if the commericial sector felt they could make money from them they would already be trying to take market share from the BBC) so depends whether or not you care if they are made at all?

Personally, even when I don't get around to watching them myself, I don't mind subsidising epic nature documentaries which aren't being regularly made by commericial channels (they are simply too expensive in terms of initial outlay for the private sector to be brave enough to sign off on) even if that does mean also subsidising rubbish property porn programming and frightened-of-accidentally-having-an-opinion BBC News (and no doubt for some other people, not on this site, this situation would be reversed).

I do think the current system needs to be made more fair though, at the moment it acts like something of a televisual poll tax.

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True, but that's not just the case with the BBC: it's the case with any profession that is considered desirable to work for and in which the supply of labour outstrips demand. The funny thing with the BBC is that you'd expect this self-selectivity to weed out lefties (who in my experience do not like working from 6am-1am, even if money isn't a problem), but it clearly doesn't.

Absolutely, the difference is that we fund the BBC directly so they should be making a bit more bloody effort to pull their finger out in my opinion.

Don't really know what anyone means by leftie (or rightie?) at the moment, these terms seem to be more about tribal party allegiances than any particular ideological stance right now, if they ever were more than that. In my experience most people who don't have a vested interest, whether they describe themselves as left or right, want society to be fair. Even those who have a vested interest in society not being fair will often feel the need to pretend that society is fair in order to justify their own good fortune to themselves.

Pushing the HPI-is-good meme is distinctly unfair: it's both anti-the interests of the working class majority (and lower middle class if you feel the need to make this division) and very much pro-property speculating elites. In fact only property-speculating elites would be inclined to interpret this meme as fair and good. Seems entirely in line with the BBC being overrun by the upper middle class to me...

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theyll just push for a universal 'internet license' regardless of whether you elect to watch pravda.

Yes, seems to be the gameplan. The unraveling of the information lockdown which allows them to flog thousands of licenses to people who don't require them is too much for them to bear. The iPlayer has been set up in full knowledge of the environment surrounding TV Licensing; being cynical you might say that the fact the Beeb have ploughed substantial resources into their on demand services and are now using this investment to strengthen their case for reform of the relevant legislation.

The language being used is pretty confrontational; they talk about how 'to deal' with people solely watching catch up services; how 'to deal' with them is to leave them the hell alone as law abiding citizens. They pump out a multitude of national and local radio stations all day without caring too much about whether anyone has to pay to receive it (I appreciate this has not always been so).

As it happens I had a BBC 'enforcement officer' visit a few months ago; they were simply unwilling to accept the idea that having a TV in the house, which I was happy to tell them I have, but which does not get used for anything other than on demand services or DVDs, did not confer any obligation to have a license. I flatly refused to allow them into my home or give them my name etc and they threatened me with court. I wrote to TV Licensing to list their failings in fairness they responded with an apology etc. But of course, for most people who are not sure of their footing these BBC goons will easily bully them on the doorstep. The Beeb would be all over this stuff if it wasn't them doing the bullying.

The Beeb are caught in this a bit, as too much publicity and it becomes an Emperor's clothes moment where many/most people realize they don't need one with minimal modification to habits.

Of course, the moment this occurs you'll be paying the BBC simply for having an internet connection, which is the worst outcome imo. I guess I've 'saved' about £2k in the ~14 years without one so far. I don't watch on demand services anymore either.

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Personally, even when I don't get around to watching them myself, I don't mind subsidising epic nature documentaries which aren't being regularly made by commericial channels (they are simply too expensive in terms of initial outlay for the private sector to be brave enough to sign off on)

Haha, it's always the nature documentaries that people point to, when defending the BBC :)

Fair enough, as their nature stuff *is* pretty good, but then why couldn't we fund a "BBC Nature" division of the BBC out of general taxation, like we do (or did?) with the BBC World Service? If there are things the BBC do that wouldn't be done in the private sector, those things should be funded out of general taxation.

Why force people to have a *license* to watch *any* live TV, regardless of whether it's an epic nature romp, or a romp in Albert Square?

Why make criminals out of tens of thousands of, predominantly, single moms, because they're watching Eastenders without a license to do so?

It's antiquated and absurd.

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Haha, it's always the nature documentaries that people point to, when defending the BBC :)

Fair enough, as their nature stuff *is* pretty good, but then why couldn't we fund a "BBC Nature" division of the BBC out of general taxation, like we do (or did?) with the BBC World Service? If there are things the BBC do that wouldn't be done in the private sector, those things should be funded out of general taxation.

Why force people to have a *license* to watch *any* live TV, regardless of whether it's an epic nature romp, or a romp in Albert Square?

Why make criminals out of tens of thousands of, predominantly, single moms, because they're watching Eastenders without a license to do so?

It's antiquated and absurd.

Yes.

The only content the BBC makes which a commercial provider wouldn't are the high quality documentaries. BBC4 spends £68m of the £2.3bn licence fee, so if you rounded that up to £100m or even £200m you could meet the education remit with a licence fee of about £5 or £10 per household per year. Such a small licence fee should be funded from general taxation as it wouldn't be worth the admin costs of going door to door to make sure everybody's paid their fiver. Since many of the documentaries are made with the Open University you could even shut down most of the BBC's London activities and move them to Milton Keynes.

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