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Blue Velvet
Apr 25, 2006, 05:36 PM
The BBC today unveiled radical plans to rebuild its website around user-generated content, including blogs and home videos, with the aim of creating a public service version of MySpace.com.

Ashley Highfield, the BBC director of new media and technology, also announced proposals to put the corporation's entire programme catalogue online for the first time from tomorrow in written archive form, as an "experimental prototype", and rebrand MyBBCPlayer as BBC iPlayer.

"BBC iPlayer is going to offer catch-up television up to seven days after transmission," said Mr Highfield. "At any time you will be able to download any programme from the eight BBC channels and watch it on your PC and, we hope, move it across to your TV set or down to your mobile phone to watch it when you want."

The find concept relates to next-generation search and unlocking the BBC archive. From tomorrow internet users will for the first time be able to search for details of the corporation's entire programme catalogue as far back as 1937.


Available to international audiences or non-licence payers who do not own a TV? Or is this staking out ground to make TV licences mandatory for computer users in the UK?


http://media.guardian.co.uk/site/story/0,,1760999,00.html

AppleMatt
Apr 25, 2006, 05:47 PM
The BBC have previously said that motion gallery content will only be available to those on a UK IP address. We pay the licence fees.

I wouldn't be surprised...currently you have to purchase a licence if your computer can receive TV signals.

AppleMatt

Jaffa Cake
Apr 25, 2006, 05:47 PM
If I were a more cynical man I might say that 'user-generated content' (such as a large number of blogs and user-submitted reports) is a cheaper way of filling up a website than employing proper journalists and writers to do it.

But I'm not. So I won't.

Blue Velvet
Apr 25, 2006, 05:51 PM
We pay the licence fees.

Not all of us do. I don't have a telly...

I wonder how this will work in practical terms? Maybe you'll have to sign up for this service and it will be cross-referenced against TV Licensing's database... :confused:

Applespider
Apr 26, 2006, 03:40 AM
They may say that since 97% of the UK population has, or should have, a licence, limiting it to UK IP addresses should be sufficient. After all, most of the 3% without a TV (excluding BV of course) may not have any interest in watching TV on their computer either.

Blue Velvet
Apr 26, 2006, 04:04 AM
They may say that since 97% of the UK population has, or should have, a licence, limiting it to UK IP addresses should be sufficient. After all, most of the 3% without a TV (excluding BV of course) may not have any interest in watching TV on their computer either.


I don't really... the appeal of it just doesn't grab me. I'm happy watching DVDs of the series I really want to see anyway which are usually HBO-type things that usually turn up on C4...

I wonder how the whole downloading programmes thing will tie in with iPods if at all? The BBC and Apple have a prior relationship and I wonder what moves they may make to incorporate the iTMS.

MOFS
Apr 26, 2006, 04:55 AM
I don't really... the appeal of it just doesn't grab me. I'm happy watching DVDs of the series I really want to see anyway which are usually HBO-type things that usually turn up on C4...

I wonder how the whole downloading programmes thing will tie in with iPods if at all? The BBC and Apple have a prior relationship and I wonder what moves they may make to incorporate the iTMS.

Well at the moment all online video content from the BBC is either in Windows Media or Real Player format, and while the Podcasts are in mp3 format, it would seem to require a sea change in the BBCi web designers mindset for iPods specifically to be supported.

kiwi-in-uk
Apr 26, 2006, 05:07 AM
I wouldn't be surprised...currently you have to purchase a licence if your computer can receive TV signals.

AppleMatt
no. no. no.

You only have to pay a licence fee if you USE equipment to receive or record broadcast signals.

This has been discussed here before ad nauseum (because it is an important principle), but OWNERSHIP of a device that can receive broadcast signals is not the same as USING the device (which then requires a licence).

Brize
Apr 26, 2006, 05:43 AM
no. no. no.

You only have to pay a licence fee if you USE equipment to receive or record broadcast signals.

This has been discussed here before ad nauseum (because it is an important principle), but OWNERSHIP of a device that can receive broadcast signals is not the same as USING the device (which then requires a licence).

I think there's a further distinction to be made here. As I understand it, you can own a device capable of receiving broadcast television signals without having to purchase a licence, but it can't be set up to do so.

If the TV Licensing Authority search your premises and find a piece of equipment tuned in and set up to receive broadcast television signals, arguing that you don't actually use it for that purpose wouldn't absolve you of your liability.

Applespider
Apr 26, 2006, 05:45 AM
Well at the moment all online video content from the BBC is either in Windows Media or Real Player format, and while the Podcasts are in mp3 format, it would seem to require a sea change in the BBCi web designers mindset for iPods specifically to be supported.

There was an article on Macworld UK when the BBC rolled out the IPTV trial only to Windows users which suggested that when it went live to the public, they planned on offering it in a cross-platform format.

bigandy
Apr 26, 2006, 06:05 AM
no. no. no.

You only have to pay a licence fee if you USE equipment to receive or record broadcast signals.

This has been discussed here before ad nauseum (because it is an important principle), but OWNERSHIP of a device that can receive broadcast signals is not the same as USING the device (which then requires a licence).


The law implicitly states that if you OWN a device that is capable of recieving signals you need a license. it doesn't matter if you don't use it to recieve signals. My father's solicitor's firm has represented a few people because of this. it's not good enough to say you don't use it - it is your obligation to prove you're innocent, how can you do so with a capable tv set there?

Brize
Apr 26, 2006, 06:18 AM
It's not good enough to say you don't use it - it is your obligation to prove you're innocent, how can you do so with a capable tv set there?

By taking every reasonable step to ensure that the unit isn't capable of receiving broadcast pictures without configuration. In the case of televisions with built-in tuners, this means de-tuning the TV and removing the arial or unplugging the unit from a connection to an external arial.

Brize
Apr 26, 2006, 06:23 AM
The law implicitly states that if you OWN a device that is capable of recieving signals you need a license.



From http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/information/index.jsp:

If you use a TV or any other device to receive or record TV programmes (for example, a VCR, set-top box, DVD recorder or PC with a broadcast card) - you need a TV Licence. You are required by law to have one. [emphasis mine]

Project
Apr 27, 2006, 09:15 AM
Bigandy you are completely wrong.

miniConvert
Apr 27, 2006, 09:31 AM
Sounds promising - the BBC really need to embrace the popularity of their website and use it's success to modernise services, and it would seem they're now getting ready to do just that.

On the TV licence front, yes I can imagine a time coming where wider licencing rules apply. I don't really care about that, it's not like the vast vast majority of people wont be getting value for money.

Roll on IPTV.

iGav
Apr 27, 2006, 10:31 AM
The BBC today unveiled radical plans to rebuild its website around user-generated content, including blogs and home videos, with the aim of creating a public service version of MySpace.com.

Oh goody. :rolleyes:

I'm still surprised it's taken the Beeb so long to get round to considering/implementing Video on Demand. :rolleyes:

howesey
Apr 29, 2006, 04:16 AM
And it's only to receive BBC channels. We used to sell tuners that would not tune to BBC and no license has to be paid. Universities also sell DVB-T tuners that do not tune to BBC as well.

Nickygoat
Apr 29, 2006, 07:58 AM
And it's only to receive BBC channels. We used to sell tuners that would not tune to BBC and no license has to be paid. Universities also sell DVB-T tuners that do not tune to BBC as well.
Not according to this (http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/gethelp/faqs.jsp;jsessionid=4E5D81B2CFB43426911391B09921C843).
Do I need a television licence if I only watch programs received by satellite?

Under the Communications Act 2003, you need a television licence to receive or record television programmes. This applies if they are received by a satellite, cable or land based transmitter. If you are watching any satellite service, controlled from within or outside the UK, you must have a television licence.

You may have been informed, in the past, that a television licence was not required if you received television program services from outside the United Kingdom. This was changed in the Communications Act 2003, and if you are using your TV to receive or record television programmes broadcast by satellite from outside the UK, you are now legally required to have a TV licence
It wouldn't surprise me if they made TV licences mandatory for all computer purchases. Seems the next logical step.

maestro55
Apr 29, 2006, 03:31 PM
Not according to this.

That seems so very wrong. I could understand having to have a TV license if I was going to view the BBC, since that is where (I think) the money ends up going. However, if I was planning on receiving non-BBC related material (as mentioned above), it doesn't seem right that I would still pay a license fee that would go into the pockets of BBC.

Of course I may be wrong about where that money is going. As for their web services, the only I have ever used as been to read the news. I like knowing what is going on in the world, and I find it easy to visit BBC's website and get information from around the world. Blogs would be nice to read, if they had anything nice on them.

Also, I think it would make more sense (as mentioned above) if Apple and BBC got together to put BBC shows on iTMS.

Dagless
Apr 29, 2006, 03:44 PM
I think there's a further distinction to be made here. As I understand it, you can own a device capable of receiving broadcast television signals without having to purchase a licence, but it can't be set up to do so.

If the TV Licensing Authority search your premises and find a piece of equipment tuned in and set up to receive broadcast television signals, arguing that you don't actually use it for that purpose wouldn't absolve you of your liability.

My girlfriend had to buy a TV license even though she only used her TV for games consoles.
The laws are strange. Scanning equipment isn't that good either. My lecturer has no TV, yet he had those TV scanner people saying that he was watching TV. Turns out those scanners only see electronics in general, or something like that. They searched his home after he constantly denied ever having a TV or radio.

Lau
Apr 29, 2006, 04:04 PM
My girlfriend had to buy a TV license even though she only used her TV for games consoles.
The laws are strange.

I don't know whether that 2003 law mentioned above changed it, but I lived in a flat in about 1999-2001 or so, and we had a TV that we just used for the odd video and SNES play, and when we told the TV licensing people that, they stopped bothering us. As long as we didn't have an aerial plugged in, they were happy.

In other words, it may be worth your girlfriend having a word with them, as she may get it free. That is unless it's changed since I was in the same situation. :)

Brize
Apr 29, 2006, 05:20 PM
My girlfriend had to buy a TV license even though she only used her TV for games consoles.

There's some genuine confusion on this issue, largely because the TV Licensing Authority work on the erroneous premise that anyone who owns a television set is required to buy a licence.

As indicated previously, you only need to buy a licence if you're watching broadcast television, regardless of whether it's a BBC channel. Ownership of a television set with a built-in tuner does not, in itself, require you to buy a licence.

Your girlfriend would appear to have a strong case for exemption, but frustratingly, the burden of proof is on her. She'll need to notify TV Licensing that she's not using the set to receive broadcast television images, and to demonstrate this, she'll probably need to de-tune the set. More information here:

http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/gethelp/faqs.jsp#link1

What really annoys me is the assumption that everybody wants to watch television. I've had a few conversations with the TV Licensing authority and they seemingly find it very hard to believe that anyone can live without TV. :rolleyes:

Project
Apr 30, 2006, 06:41 AM
If you have a TV that you just need to watch DVDs for instance, you dont need a license. A lot of the uncertainty is deliberate on behalf of those who collect the money.

Blue Velvet
Apr 30, 2006, 06:51 AM
I've had a few conversations with the TV Licensing authority and they seemingly find it very hard to believe that anyone can live without TV. :rolleyes:

Probably because from their experience, most people who do claim they don't have a TV are found to have had one after investigation so odds are... they're lying.

On the other hand, I honestly don't have one and have no problem letting anyone from TV Licensing into the flat to confirm the situation. Don't miss having one at all.

Brize
Apr 30, 2006, 07:13 AM
Probably because from their experience, most people who do claim they don't have a TV are found to have had one after investigation so odds are... they're lying.

On the other hand, I honestly don't have one and have no problem letting anyone from TV Licensing into the flat to confirm the situation. Don't miss having one at all.

I think the broader issue here is that television is simply a product like any other, regardless of its popularity. To be in a situation where you have to suffer an invasion of privacy just to prove that you don't want to buy a product is, quite frankly, bollocks.

Blue Velvet
Apr 30, 2006, 07:19 AM
...To be in a situation where you have to suffer an invasion of privacy just to prove that you don't want to buy a product is, quite frankly, bollocks.

You won't find me disagreeing with that. It is bollocks but what would be even more galling is to be put down for a TV license for merely owning a computer.

Project
Apr 30, 2006, 08:21 AM
You know how TV tuners require a license? What if I was simply watching previous episodes of the Apprentice on the BBC website? Woudl that require a TV license?

Nickygoat
Apr 30, 2006, 08:52 AM
There's an interesting piece in the Sunday Times (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,176-2157704,00.html) about the proposal. The writer (Bryan Appleyard) points out that one of the justifications for the licence fee is the "market failure" theory - the BBC with a guaranteed revenue stream should be making programmes that the commercial sector would find economically unviable. Those programmes that are made by both public and private broadcasters eg. game shows, news, current affairs etc. should be of a higher standard at the BBC than commercially made ones. The fact that they aren't necessarily doing so is an area of concern.
It will be part of an extra £5.5 billion spening over the next 10 years and, to fund it, the BBC wants the licence fee raised, year by year, from its present level of £131.50 to more than £180 by 2013. Tessa Jowell, the culture secretary, has signalled that this is seen as no more than “an opening bid”. But the BBC has already sweet-talked her into giving away an even bigger prize. She has guaranteed the licence fee itself will continue for the next 10 years.

*
“They played her beautifully, like a trout,” said one embittered ITV executive.
My highlighting. I laughed good and hard at that one - it makes you wonder what goes through the minds of people at ITV :D

Brize
May 2, 2006, 08:40 AM
You know how TV tuners require a license? What if I was simply watching previous episodes of the Apprentice on the BBC website? Woudl that require a TV license?

According to the licensing authority, you only need a licence to view online content if the programme is being streamed at roughly the same time as it's being broadcast on television.

As Blue and others have noted though, the licensing authority will doubtless revisit this rule if the BBC make their entire programming output available online.

The obvious solution would be to restrict access to the seven-day archive by using a verified login, which could then be cross-referenced with the TV Licensing database.

steve_hill4
May 3, 2006, 02:33 PM
They may say that since 97% of the UK population has, or should have, a licence, limiting it to UK IP addresses should be sufficient. After all, most of the 3% without a TV (excluding BV of course) may not have any interest in watching TV on their computer either.
Well, I do know someone that hasn't had a TV or license for a couple of years, but he will still download certain programs via torrents that he wants to watch.

My girlfriend had to buy a TV license even though she only used her TV for games consoles.
The laws are strange. Scanning equipment isn't that good either. My lecturer has no TV, yet he had those TV scanner people saying that he was watching TV. Turns out those scanners only see electronics in general, or something like that. They searched his home after he constantly denied ever having a TV or radio.
Yes, you need a license for any item that you cannot prove you are not using for receiving TV I think. It would be like saying, "prove you aren't using this TV for TV." The way they can scan for TV is because when you receive a signal, it needs to be processed before actual hearing and/or seeing it. To do this, it is moved to an unused local frequency, hence re-transmitted to yourself. They can pick up which houses are doing this and assume you are watching TV by the frequency, (different to radio), however can't force their way into your house without a court order to do so. A lot of the detector vans turn up and don't even test, just accuse you of having a TV, (this is what has happened to the above mentioned person). They may claim to have detected it as a bluff.