[ubuntu-uk] Ubuntu & TV licensing

Sean Miller sean at seanmiller.net
Sun Sep 24 07:14:41 BST 2006

Sean Miller wrote:
> This link may be of use...
> http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/5081350.stm
The interesting implication of this "you need a licence to watch live
streaming but not recorded material" is how would the licensing people
tell what you'd watched?

In the traditional "TV Detector Van" scenario the mere fact that you
have a TV capable of receiving the BBC would be enough to get fined...
you could argue that it had sat there for 20 years but had never been
switched on but it would not be deemed a defence... at the moment,
because there is not a great amount of UK TV streamed live on the web I
would imagine that unless they actually turned up on your doorstep
whilst you were watching live TV on your PC they would give the benefit
of the doubt, but in a year or two if pretty much all TV is streamed
simultaneously somewhere on the web I wonder what their position would
be? Would the presence of Realplayer, for instance, be enough to have
you prosecuted for no TV licence?

I think that if the BBC wish to stream live TV on the internet and are
not willing to allow people to watch it for free (ie. want to include it
in the TV Licence "bucket") then they should develop their own player
and subscription system which demands you register, part of the
registration being the entry of your TV Licence Number. That way
innocents who do not wish to watch TV at home and hence do not have a
licence won't inadvertently stumble upon a live stream and be
effectively committing a criminal offence!


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