TV licence to be changed for catch-up

3 March 2016

bbc-iplayer-ipad If you've been refusing to pay for your licence fee, but watching programmes on catch-up through the BBC's iPlayer, things could be changing.

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.

TOPICS:   TV   Technology

12 comments

  • james s.
    How do you propose to enforce this? How many people can just pull the TV License from their ass on demand?
  • shiftynifity
    Also this muppet wants to stop adblocking , culture secretary , your having a laugh, the only culture he knows is culturing a relationship with media barons .
  • rasputin
    The BBC works on the basis that all who watch it pay for it. No it doesn't - it works on the basis that if you have a TV and watch ANY live broadcast, you must have a licence. Is the culture secretary now saying that if we choose not to watch BBC, we don't have to pay for a TV licence?
  • Alphie
    This is ridiculous, why should I pay 4 perfectly good programs when I can sponge it for free?
  • Albi
    Considering not even Adobe or Microsoft can make an uncrackable licence code system, I'm not sure what planet this Tory tosspot is on.
  • Martin
    If you don't like the BBC then you aren't using iplayer and if you do like the BBC you will probably be happy to pay for them and have a licence anyway. Whats the issue? Oh people who say they hate the BBC and hate the licence fee and spit on the paedo-loving BBC but can't live without Eastenders/Call the Midwife/Strictly Come Dancing etc can't be held back from watching those shows can they! Lock iplayer to a licnce fee holder only system and then see how many people have no issue with it.
  • Jessie J.
    What about the content sold to other countries? BBC Worldwide are peddling stuff in the USA for example. Who the fuck pays for that content in the first place? The UK licence payer? As for the fact that its a kiddie fiddler club, they can fuck off. Pirate Bay all the way. do it like a dude.
  • Father J.
    "Oh people who say they hate the BBC and hate the licence fee and spit on the paedo-loving BBC but can’t live without Eastenders/Call the Midwife/Strictly Come Dancing etc can’t be held back from watching those shows can they!" I wouldn't watch any of that old shite if you paid me. "Lock iplayer to a licnce fee holder only system..." Good luck with that. I guarantee that any system which is put in place will be cracked within days.
  • Joe B.
    "What about the content sold to other countries? BBC Worldwide are peddling stuff in the USA for example. Who the fuck pays for that content in the first place? The UK licence payer?" DUH, did you miss the word you typed "sold", they make money out of it, so reducing the cost of making it. As for uncrackable codes etc, changing the law is not for that purpose. It is so that when they knock on your door and you are stupid enough to let them in and they see you are watching astenders/Call the Midwife/Strictly Come Dancing etc and you can't produce a licence, you are screwed.
  • Fagin
    Hey Martin! I gave up bbc because it was total swill that was in a fucking nose dive as it tried to emulate other shite channels serving up crud to the masses, ..actually my daghter was the catalyst there when she stated what a crock it was (so she was 9-10 yrs old & she was frankly pissed at the stupidity generally) ..we all therefore said, yup we'll try going without & save the cash. No looking back, we have amazon prime which fills some gaps otherwise we carry on as normal with radio 4 for news & comedy et al + the world service ...except for saturday live (sucks ass) & a few really "wimminy" woman's hours we are better without & far more selective compared to monging out & just letting the piss stream of vapid telly carry on. Besides that xbox, kindle, real books, dvd's, pub etc etc.. & we talk because we are not monging out when we eat meal together. BBC tv license can go F_ck itself, try it for 6 months. ..it actually is a tonic.
  • fox f.
    Yes they can do without tv. especially with the absence of fox bumming & fox fingering programmes on the bbc
  • john

    Does this mean I have to pay if I just want to watch my holiday videos ?

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