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back to article Noel Edmonds defies BBC's jackbooted enforcers

Embearded TV presenter Noel Edmonds last week made a heroic stand against the BBC's "threatening" manner towards those who refuse to stump for the privilege of gawking at the idiot's lantern by cancelling his TV licence, the BBC reports. Edmonds, 59, declared he was protesting against "an aggressive culture in the UK", and …

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Black Helicopters

tv licensing

Gotta say , I dont bother with TV these days, not really into the 'sports' (aka sky et all), that are rammed down our necks 24/7 and all the reality shite!. - got four warning letters (each time I've called them and explained i wasnt bothered in watching the general dross they produce) (sounds of incomprehension at their call centre ... what no tv?!) seem to remember there was a guy who had done time for man-slaughter and put his hand up to it - upon release he used his game console and portable just to while the hours away.. - they tried to prosecute him (you know he held his hands up to the original crime - but fought the TV licensing through the courts and won)but, like he said , he was neither receiving nor recording a signal - anyway had a knock on my door few moons ago now and a quite big burly chap - 'heloo mate TV licensing!!!' *big grin on his face* - after I openly invited him in, asked him (nothing to hide nothimng to fear being my maxim) if he wanted a cup of tea, and gave him the Grande Tour - he left some what dissapointed ....- afterwords laughed like a drain for days :D

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IT Angle

OK

"There is no IT angle to this story. What is it doing here? I am removing The Register from my bookmarks. Please cancel my subscription. I am also dissatisfied with today's weather It's too bloody sunny . Please make it p**s down again. Goodbye."

P.S Can we have the dead vulture icon back please?

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Silver badge
Boffin

Wording needs to be checked...

it's not a case of whether you are tuned into a channel at any point, but whether you *own equipment capable of receiving broadcast television signals* as I recall. That is, you can be done for having just a DVD/VCR hooked up to an actual television, or a TV card. I believe that is the important definition.

I don't have a telly. I have a TFT moniter on a 15pin VGA connection. I have had *several* letters to the effect of 'You don't have a TV license you terrorist scum' to which I respond by sending the same letter back, with a biro-scrawled note reading 'Really? Well fucking prove I'm receiving broadcast signals then, you fuckwits'.

Funnily enough, no knocks on the doors as of yet, most disappointingly. Not that I give a fuck these days - there's sod all on Terrestrial TV worth watching other than Newsnight and C4 news, and I have the Times for that level/depth of coverage, ta.

Interesting, apocryphal story:

Friend of my dads got pissed off with all of his mates asking where his telly was. He didn't have one. However, the questioning got a bit annoying, so he bought an old telly, ripped out everything but the CRT, and left it in the corner of his living room, just to shut people up. TV Licensing come round, and without bothering to actually check the telly properly, give him a court date. He gets the inspector to sign the back of the telly to confirm he has 'inspected' it, which is a requirement before setting up the legal stuff, apparently. Confirmation of inspection that is - not signing the telly. But old mans mate wanted something good for his day in court. TV taken away as evidence by the old bill.

Day in court comes up, back of telly is removed at the defendants request. No RF equipment in the back [or mains cable for that matter] despite the inspectors signature on the back with the phrase 'checked' below it in his handwriting, which was confired in his report to have been turned on and checked before starting the proceedings, which it clearly wasn't.

Case thrown out, TVL done for wasting the courts time, inspector dismissed on the spot [actually in court, allegedly, by his boss who was there to back him up] job jobbed. This is the level of intelligence you are dealing with, or at least, it certainly was twenty years ago...

As I say, apocryphal, but a great story nonetheless, and perfectly believable given how these cunts operate. They are like club doormen, but without the intellect, in my experience.

Speaking of wasting time, and mewling cabbages, Lester, never, ever again encourage these fucking idiots to copy and paste a response into the comments sections - or I will butter up Ms Bee with compliments and promises of chocolates and wine, in exchange for photographs of your beaten and bloodied body and face after a session in her boudoir...

Seriously, not cool - a good third of the 150 comments here are rendered moot. Ms Bee is on leave, and it's clear - she would *never* have allowed such heresy....

Steven "No license here, bring it on, bitches" Raith

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Paris Hilton

streetspeak

I don't know whether he needs a licence or not, but he needs a spokesman who speaks coherently. "completely not issued" indeed! PAH!

A vocabulary worthy of Paris. Oh look, here she is.

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Happy

No licence no problem

I also don't have a TV licence but then I don't have a TV. I find this an easy way round the whole not paying fees you don't want to malarkey.

I should say that they have been round my place twice in the last year trying to persuade me that I need one, I will send them to Noels place next time they knock.

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Black Helicopters

Detector Vans

The TV tuner uses a local oscilator to convert the incomming signal to a lower intermediate frequency (IF). I can assure you that it is possible to detect the local oscilator and measure it's frequency. It is also possible to detect the IF and resolve the audio and video. This can be done over a resonable distance. This can all be done with off the shelf components. I don't know if they actually do this to find TVs, but it does have other uses.

The kit is mandatory in black helicopters.

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Silver badge
Pirate

Bad weather? What bad weather?

It seems there are quite a few folk that seem unhappy with the weather. Here are a few freshly minted happy snaps taken just outside the office that may or may not cheer you up:

http://s499.photobucket.com/albums/rr356/mcoat/

All images licensed under some kind of Freetard 2.0 dealy so feel free to steal for non-commercial usage.

I won't get my coat because I don't need one (where's the evil laugh icon?)

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Stop

moan moan moan....

people sure like to spend a lot of time moaning about the TV license (all ~£130/year of it)

but how about paying VAT on spending your own money or tax on what little interest you earn on your own savings or a license to fish public rivers or having to pay council tax for services you never use or paying for a "national insurance" scheme that really goes towards today's pensioners and may be obliterated by the time you retire/etc/etc..

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There is an IT angle

The IT angle is that TV Licensing now claim to be able to interrogate their own database. This is a massive technological breakthrough. They obviously couldn't in the past, 'cos the fact that we've always had a license didn't stop them sending abusive letters and threatening to take me to court after I bought a new telly a while back. (Did you know shops are legally obliged to tell them the name and address of anyone buying one?)

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Bronze badge

@Licence is to own a TV, not to watch it

I have emails in my inbox from tvlicensing telling me this isn't true, that I didn't have to throw my telly out just because I didn't have a licence.

Not that I trust them but I kept it in case. Oh yeah, and I did chuck a perfectly good telly in the scrap metal bin at the local tip.

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Dan
Alert

they may both be right if

he was paying the license fee by yearly direct debit, just paid for the next year then cancelled the direct debit. He has in effect cancelled his license fee payment but the license currently issued may not run out for another 51 weeks.

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Black Helicopters

Teli@Home

It should be easy enough to detect any TV device whether it's digital or analog. There will be some emissions and, regardless of what they are, they will have some component that is perfectly synchronized to the refresh rate. It's nothing that a laptop computer couldn't analyze. A few seconds of listening for refresh synchronization should reveal exactly which station is being watched.

I hope you have good TV over there. I can hardly believe that people pay $60 to $100 a MONTH for TV hookups in the US. I spent $200 on a rooftop antenna. If that investment doesn't last for at least 10 years I'm going to feel like I wasted my money.

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Unhappy

El Reg = Gits

I know it (wa)s Friday and all, but getting people to cut-n-paste that "Where's the IT Angle' crap makes it even harder to pick the real pearls (perls?) out from the swine here in Comment-land. Quite like the new look, too. Not too bad at all.

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W
Boffin

Communications Act 2003, chapter 21, part 4, section 363

"...you pay for the licence to own a TV. Having an old broken TV in the loft with the plug cut off and isn't currently tuned in to any channels isn't a defence either - you have a TV in the house, you have to have a licence. Stupid but true."

No no no no no. You are completely wrong.

The expression "TV licence" is a misnomer, since a TV does not require one (otherwise, they would be issued when the TV is sold). The licensing requirement is for the receiving of live television broadcasts. This includes satellite and overseas broadcasts, as well as domestic terrestial channels. A licence is not required for the ownership of a television, or its use for DVDs, video games, etc.

Letters from TVL/BBC demanding a response have no legal backing. TVL/BBC can ask for a response, but they cannot compel. Their letters can be ignored. A householder's need for a licence arises only if he or she undertakes an activity that is licensable (watching or recording broadcast television); if not, there is no need for the householder to communicate with the licensing authority.

The legislation (Communications Act 2003, chapter 21, part 4) is worded thusly:

Licence required for use of TV receiver:

(1) A television receiver must not be installed or used unless the installation and use of the receiver is authorised by a licence under this Part.

(2) A person who installs or uses a television receiver in contravention of subsection (1) is guilty of an offence.

(3) A person with a television receiver in his possession or under his control who -

(a) intends to install or use it in contravention of subsection (1), or

(b) knows, or has reasonable grounds for believing, that another person intends to install or use it in contravention of that subsection,

is guilty of an offence.

-Sources:

http://www.bbctvlicence.com/Questions%20and%20answers.htm

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/ACTS/acts2003/ukpga_20030021_en_34

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Flame

So much stupid...

Let's debunk some myths.

1. You ONLY need a TV license if you are using equipment TO VIEW BROADCAST TELEVISION AT THE TIME IT IS BEING BROADCAST NATIONALLY. This means you do NOT need a license to watch iPlayer, you do NOT need a license if you just use a TV for watching DVD's or play console games on. Only if you use it to watch broadcast television at the time its being broadcast.

2. The TV detector vans inner workings are a "trade secret", hence, they HAVE NEVER AND CAN NEVER BE USED TO GAIN A SEARCH WARRANT FOR A PROPERTY. A judge will not sign a warrant purely on you refusing entry to their sweeper teams, nor can any evidence fabricated by any so-called detectors - wether they work or not - be used to gain a warrant. Pretty much, unless they see you watching TV through your front window, they aint getting a warrant.

Be strong and don't let the bastardsgrind you down.

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Linux

Licence is to own a TV, not to watch it - NOT

It is a common misconception, and one fostered by the BBC and TV Licensing, that you need a licence just to own a TV, even if you do not watch it.

This is NOT the case.

You only need a licence to receive Broadcast TV - whether you watch it or record it.

You do not need a license to watch a video or DVD.

You do not need a licence to watch a programme recorded by a friend at their house (though you are in breach of copyright, but that is a different issue).

You do not need a licence to use the iplayer service.

You do not need a licence to watch TV in a mobile caravan, provided you have a licence at home and that there is nobody watching TV at home at the time.

Shops selling TV's have to take your name and address and report it to TV Licensing, where they will compare it with their database. Give them Noel Edmond's address - they'll never know the difference.

I haven't had a TV for 20 years. I just throw the letters in the bin. If they ever turn up (no sign so far) I will tell them politely that I have no TV and they should go away. They have no right of entry without a warrant, and would probably fail to get one, as they would have no evidence of a crime being committed!

Oh, and I don't call Noels facial fuzz a beard!

Is that icon Pac-Man?

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Paris Hilton

How to beat the TVL Stasi...

Why do people get so upset about the TVL - they're so easily dealt with...

When I moved to a new home 18 months ago, I decided that I wasn't going to bother with a license. Being a fairly consciecious sort of chap, I therefore detuned the only telly in the house, and cut the aerial lead - just to leave any TVL chappie that might turn out in no doubt at all as to the situation... I then wrote to TVL, and told them I wanted nothing to do with them.

Then the fun began... They wrote back basically saying "Thanks for telling us you don't need a license, but we're not sure we believe you, so we'll be sending the enforcement lads round to check...". Having just bought the house, I decided that I would manage my own guest list, thanks very much... So I wrote and told them I wasn't interested, they know the score, so soddity offity.

A few more letters, and I decided to do something about it, so read up on the legal side of things... TVLs big threat, if you don't voluntarily let the enforcement lads in, is that they'll turn up with a warrant... No problem - coz when you read about the law, they can only do that if they have no other reasonable means of gaining entry - so I decided to give them one...

I said they were welcome to come around, unannounced, at their convenience, so long as they paid for my time (and at £20, I was cheap!). I didn't want to be accused of trying to profit from this personally, so I stated that a receipt for a £20 donation to the local kids hospital would be quite acceptable...

At that point, after some hummng and arring, they wrote back basically saying "Erm, you're not breaking the law, are you?" - and that was the end of that!

Moral of the story - fight!

Unfortunately, since these events I became aware of the fact that Top Gear was being screened on Dave, so ended up buying a license anyway - but the moral victory was mine!

Martin

Paris, because I'm sure she's had some dodgy content on her box once or twice as well...

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Thumb Up

Cost of fines

I've been prosecuted 3 times for no TV license over about a dozen years - first fine £30+£30 costs, second £40+£40 and third time £60+£40 costs. Just plead guilty by post offering no explanation or political nonsense. Much cheaper that the license fee.

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Paris Hilton

@The wording

When they were hassling me it was illegal to "Use or install" equipment capable etcetc...

So in these terms it is legal to have a telly but you need reasonable doubt as to whether it gets turned on or plugged in. Being under a pile of junk in your garage and connected to nothing ought to be reasonable doubt.

Here, have a quote from one of their boys:

"Under the Communications Act 2003, a TV Licence is needed to cover the installation or use of television equipment. The full fee is payable despite the quality of reception, or the number of programmes received. People who live in areas where there is poor reception must still pay the full fee."

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Go

Trus Story, I Swear

My dad died when I was 14. When I turned 18, almost to the day, a local court official showed up at my mom's house demanding she pay the local "street walking tax". I guess today it might be called something else. Anyway...

It seems in my small South Georgia (USoA) town all males upon reaching the age of 18 were required to pay a tax to legally walk on the town's sidewalks. You see, all men in that little town were "spitters" and it was assumed when I turned 18 I'd walk and spit too and somebody had to clean up all the disgusting saliva and that cost money. My mother argued but paid the tax every year for as long as I officially lived there.

At the tender age of 18, I learned my first real lesson in life: all government officials are not fully aware and are of lesser intelligence than the normal person. I'm sure there are those who are the exceptions; I hope to meet one someday.

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Paris Hilton

TV Licensing is for the opressed

LOL

A licence for every set?

I have 5 at my house.

You must be taking the piss!

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Flame

for the americans out there an explanation

the BBC or british broadcasting coperation was set-up when tv's were first introduced in britian and is a advert free collection of channels it servives because when you brought a tv you brought a tv license to this goes to the bbc and is renewed annually. this money goes to make top gear and doctor who and together they make the tv license worth while in my eyes.

and i can see several tech angles first tv in a technology based medium and second i don't know a british IT professional who doesn't want to choke edmunds to death with a length of cat 5 for ruining tele and introducing mr bobbly to the world. fire cause well that bobbly suit loves flamable

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Anonymous Coward

Re: TV Licensing is for the opressed

Actually, it is ONE license per household, which means your five sets are covered by one license.

However, in certain other countries that use TV licensing (*cough*SA*cough*), you can't get away with claiming that your TV license covers the household. They usually don't bother, but there the license is apparently per set.

On another note, yes, retailers are legally obliged to notify TV Licensing with your details if you have bought equipment that is capable of receiving and displaying TV signals. I have yet to see PC World do that with TV cards though (not that I've bought one, but someone else has).

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IT Angle

Want an IT Angle ...............I'll give you IT Angle

When I pay my bills I like to do when I am ready so I get lots of these letters. And often they are strongly worded. I always complain about the manner of these letters and its always the same response.

'These letters are automatically generated by computer and we have no control over the content of the letter.'

So we are in essence being threatened by a BBC computer which is IT angle. So the question I have Who? put the computers in charge.

I have also been taken to court by the BT Computer over an error which no human was able to rectify. I had already paid the bill (months before) and when I told BT this they said they have no record of this. I appeared in court showed my receipt to the judge and was awarded £500 for my trouble. Nice days work for a poor student. It hasn't happened again but I'm still trying...

When you screw up blame the computer. What people fail to rememeber IT is only as good as the clowns that designed the system.

So I think the IT angle is here

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IT Angle

Note to commentards

"There is no IT angle to this story. What is it doing here? I am removing The Register from my bookmarks. Please cancel my subscription. I am also dissatisfied with today's weather. Please make the weather the way I like it. Goodbye."

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IT Angle

(untitled)

There is no IT angle to this story. What is it doing here? I am removing The Register from my bookmarks. Please cancel my subscription. I am also dissatisfied with today's weather. Please make the weather the way I like it. Goodbye.

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Bronze badge

At least there is some kind of choice

With TV licensing you can choose to not have a TV and therefore not fund the BBC, if that's your bag.

However, there's no way to avoid paying for ITV and all the other commercial channels via the increased costs of the goods you buy.

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Burn the TV

I haven't owned a TV for decades. I don't watch movies. You got the Beeb's licensure; we got movie and recording industry goons. Fair trade?

Burn the TV.

In an ecologically responsible manner!

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Unhappy

@Mike Groombridge

"this money goes to make top gear and doctor who and together they make the tv license worth while in my eyes."

Doctor Who being the only show these days I'm interested in that the Beeb make, that's £130 a year for that and then on top I have to spend another £50 or so to buy the series boxed set!

And then it's all repeated on UKGold/Dave or whatever which is advert funded anyway.

Humbug!

With all the celebrity crap and "pop-dramas" (Robin Hood, The Tudors, etc) the Beeb churns out these days I do feel like stopping paying. The old argument was that licence funding was better for quality than having adverts, but yet we have quality worse than many commercial outfits! Though admitted that ITV is still shit but then who watches that these days? I stopped back when Sky didn't carry ITV and never bothered much with it since.

Anyway, the other way round the licence is of course illustrated by the Beeb themselves in The Young Ones...

Eat the TV ;-)

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Coat

Damnit

There is no IT angle to this story. What is it doing here? I am removing The Register from my bookmarks. Please cancel my subscription. I am also dissatisfied with today's weather. Please make the weather the way I like it. Goodbye.

Mine's the one with everyone else's in the pocket.

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Coat

errr

I would point out that I am always interested in what the bearded tw#* is up to. and also that there has been far too much sun lately please make it rain again as I am missing the floods etc.

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Pirate

TV Licencing Fu*kwits

I have a TV licence, but every month for at least the past year, I get a letter from TV Licensing warning that they'll send enforcers round. They also send the same letters to Flat 5 and 6 of the same building, there is no flat 5 or 6, so I'd like to see them collect their fine from there.

I don't like being harassed, their information is obviously incorrect and so I will cancel my licence. Screw them!

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Anonymous Coward

Get this one...

...I bought a set top box on line for a friend who lives in London but had it delivered to my workplace in Bristol, the following week I duly received a letter from the TVL fools asking me to buy a full colour licence for my workplace, nnnnggggrrrrrrr...plop!

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Anonymous Coward

@iPlayer users & radio listeners

The TV licence pays for iPlayer, and all the programmes on iPlayer. It is not free although, because the licence fee only covers the live transmission, freetards are able to use it without paying the licence fee.

The licence fee also funds the BBC's radio activities - once again, since the TV licence doesn't cover radio, freetards can also use this, at the expense of actual licence fee payers.

So if you listen to the BBC's radio stations (World Service exempted), or use the iPlayer, or even use the BBC's website, then morally you should have a TV licence, as this is what funds all of these. Hell, get the black & white one for £47 - that's probably equivalent to the spend on these areas.

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