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TheMusicMan
09.06.2006, 02:26
I just read this on a Law news site and apparantly...

Employees watching World Cup matches on the internet without a TV licence could for the first time land company directors in court as the TV Licensing Authority extends its World Cup clampdown to broadband and internet usage.

The TV Licensing Authority, however, could find it hard to police the extension to broadband use since it has no record of who has and who has not bought a PC, nor how they use it.

Previously it was believed that only PCs with a broadcast card designed specifically to pick up TV signals needed a licence. But ahead of the BBC's streaming of live World Cup coverage TV Licensing has said that it will prosecute in cases where TV is watched on a PC regardless of how it is received. In theory, thousands of company directors could be fined because of the World Cup, since any workplace without a TV licence where matches are watched via a broadband connection is now liable for prosecution.

"Our policy would be to prosecute the representative within the company who is responsible – for example a director, manager, secretary or other similar corporate officer – at the time the offence was committed," said a TV Licensing spokeswoman.
The BBC's live streaming of games could be a trigger for prosecutions. "We make no distinction between those watching TV via PC-TV, broadband or any other way," said the spokeswoman. "If you are watching TV at the same time as it is being broadcast in the UK you need to be covered by a valid licence."

johnmartin
09.06.2006, 08:45
I think they would find it hard to police and hard to prosecute too. Doesn't the license fee only cover ownership of "television receiving equipment". It depends of course on their definition of television receiving equipment. To my mind that means a TV which is used to display television broadcasts over either modulated carrier wave, satellite signal, or cable; this includes TV cards specifically designed for PC use. Their definition means that potentially every PC owned in the country is liable for a TV license too as well as every premisies which has a broadband connection to the internet. They've moved the goalposts, no pun intended, on their definition of "television receiving equipment". A knee jerk reaction because they are running scared over the fact that the pace of technology is outstripping the legislations ability to keep up.

johnmartin
09.06.2006, 11:12
Interesting write up on the reg (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/06/09/internet_tv_licence/)

Does this new definition of television receiver also encompass my wireless enabled PSP?