TV licence to be changed for catch-up
Some of you will know that, through iPlayer, you can watch TV shows minutes after broadcast, and it is all legal and lovely. Well, John Whittingdale, the culture secretary, might be putting the scuppers on all that.
He's said that the licence fee would be extended, so it didn't just apply to live television viewers. He wants to bring in the changes ‘as soon as practicable’.
Talking at the Oxford Media Convention, Whittingdale said: "When the licence fee was invented, video on demand did not exist. And while the definition of television in the legislation covers live streaming, it does not require viewers to have a licence if they watch BBC programmes through the iPlayer even if it is just a few minutes after transmission."
"The BBC works on the basis that all who watch it pay for it. Giving a free ride to those who enjoy Sherlock or Bake Off an hour, a day or a week after they are broadcast was never intended and is wrong."
If this comes into play, you know that there's going to be a load of ways around this (perhaps not strictly legal, but ways around it all the same) online, and indeed, people will be firing up the torrents to get their shows if they don't want to pay their licence fee. It does look like there's changes afoot though.