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Author Topic: DRAFT: Dear British Government, The BBC & TV Licensing.  (Read 4249 times)

Stephen66515

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DRAFT: Dear British Government, The BBC & TV Licensing.
« on: December 14, 2012, 07:10:14 PM »
To whom it may concern,

             I write to you today, as an outraged British Citizen.  Since my birth, I have lived in this country, and throughout my time living here, I have been taught "Extortionw and Threatening Behaviourw" are wrong...and illegal.  However, it seems to be, that the British Governmentw, are overlooking these, so as to allow the enforced extortion of EVERY British Citizen who currently reside in the UK.  In case you are confused as to what I could be talking about, it is the TV Licensew.

How can any government who say that freedom of speech and freedom of information are 'Basic Human Rights' yet, you state, that if a person is watching a TVw, a Radiow, a Computerw, a Mobile Phonew, or, in fact, anything that could POSSIBLY, even accidentally, receive a BBCw transmission, they have to pay a fee.  If they don't, they get threatening letters (regardless of the receiver...I have known severely disabled people to receive these doorstep threats).  Not only do they receive threatening letters, they also get very nasty people from the 'TV Licensing Enforcement Teamw' visiting them (Even the name makes them sound like glorified law enforcement officers.) who harass everybody they speak to (Although, I found out personally, that they don't appreciate being laughed at while 'Reading you your rights').  On top of this, I have known several people be threatened with £1000 'Fines' and even Jail! Yes...JAIL...for owning a TV.

How can we possibly believe we live in a free country, when you blatantly laugh at your citizens, and extort over £150 per year out of every single one, regardless of how much money they have (or don't have), regardless of their health, or any other important factors.

Every other TV station in the country, generates funds by other means.  Whether this be producing (quality) content (which the BBCw do not), or advertising on their station.  So, why can't the BBCw do this?  Why don't the BBCw go to a 'subscription' service, so people can opt-outw? (The answer to that is...Because you know, that within a week of doing so, the BBCw would go bankrupt, because nobody would be stupid enough to subscribe).

We, quite simply, should not be FORCED into paying for something, the majority of us, do not use.

I, myself, opt-out (Of which I see no legal issue when I am standing on the moral high-ground) of paying the BBCw.  I pay BTw to provide me my TVw and Internet and Phone services.  I pay them, because they provide me a service, one that I actually use.  I do not, however, watch content from the BBC, yet you would expect me to pay, regardless of this, just because I might flip onto BBC1 for 2 seconds whilst flipping through channels to something remotely good (Like Sky1w, or Discoveryw...Both of which I SUBSCRIBE to get, and happily pay for).

I have already revoked permission for anybody remotely connected to the BBC, or TV Licensing, from my property.  Implied access to my grounds are no longer allowed by the BBC, TV Licensing, their employee(s), subsidiaries, and/or legal representatives.  Phone calls, text messages, and written communication (e-mail or regular mail) will be considered verbal, or written harassment, and will be passed through to my legal representatives for use in a court of law.

Other points to be made:

Quote from: http://www.burnleycitizen.co.uk/news/2016189.bad_reception_for_tv_licence_cheats/
...householders who are caught watching television illegally are being warned they risk a £1,000 fine.

Since when was it illegal to watch the TV?

Quote from: http://www.burnleycitizen.co.uk/news/2016189.bad_reception_for_tv_licence_cheats/
The high number of licence fee dodgers caught in Blackburn is evidence of TV Licensing's success in enforcing the licence fee on behalf of the honest majority who pay

Or is it a true sign that people really don't care about paying for the BBC, and don't do so, until the enforcement team physically and emotionally FORCE them to.

Quote from: http://www.burnleycitizen.co.uk/news/2016189.bad_reception_for_tv_licence_cheats/
On average, about 1,000 TV licence fee evaders are caught every day across the country.

Caught...or threatened and forced to hand over their money, on the slight off-chance one of them might inadvertently receive a BBC signal?

Example threat from the Government Backed Criminal Gang (TV Licensing):

Quote
Official Warning - This Property Is Unlicensed

 You are hereby notified that we have authorised officers from our Enforcement Division to visit your home and interview you under caution, as our records show there is still no TV License at this address and as yet we have received no response to previous communications from you.

 Your statement will be taken in compliance with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984*, and is the first step in our action to prosecute if we find evidence that you watch or record television without a valid license.

 I feel it is my duty to inform you that if found guilty, you could receive a maximum fine of £1000, and your name will be added to our National Enforcement Database. We take this offense very seriously and last month alone we caught 21,718 people.

 To avoid an appearance in court before a magistrate I would strongly advise you to call 0870 241 7204 or buy a TV License online at www.tvlicensing.co.uk.

 Yours faithfully,
 John Robinson
 Regional Enforcement Manager

 Please see reverse for important TV Licensing Information, including exclusions and how to pay. A TV License currently costs £131.50 for colour and £44 for black and white.
 * In Scotland, interviews and cautions are made in line with Scottish criminal law.
 . . . If you buy your TV License now, you don't need to call us.




For those of you not in the UK, the following quote has been taken from here and explains a whole lot about it.

Quote
The BBC is funded by TV License fees paid by anyone in the UK who watches television. They don't have to watch the BBC but have to pay this license fee in any case. Although it is called a "fee", since you have to pay it regardless of whether you receive the service, it is actually a tax and was recently officially acknowledged as a tax.

So, my initial gripe is that by calling it a "fee", they are misrepresenting something that is a tax. But it doesn't end there by a long shot.

You see, since the BBC doesn't want to have its lovely image tarnished, it set up a separate entity called TV Licensing to deal with gathering this tax. The correspondence and advertising that TV Licensing spews out does not contain any references to the BBC but their website makes the relationship clear. So, let's understand that TV Licensing is the BBC and in the rest of this post, I will simply refer to the BBC.

If you live in London (and other parts of the UK, I'm sure), you have no doubt seen the threatening advertising that the BBC adorns billboards and Underground walls with. (One ad reads: "We have a list of every unlicensed address in Britain. Don't believe us? Fine.")

Understand what this is: It is the BBC subjecting a mass of the citizenry -- the very public that pays for it on a daily basis -- to a nasty campaign of fear, intimidation and threats.

Why should I have to read this crap on my way to work or when heading out for a movie? What right do these people have to threaten us on a daily basis? If you were to go out and threaten a single person, it's more than likely that they would complain to the police. What about threatening a carriage full of people or a whole train of people with ads? How is this even allowed?

The BBC puts out these nasty, threatening ads under the name of TV Licensing because it doesn't want its own image to be identified with them. Well I hope that that's going to get increasingly more difficult in our so-called information age and I will sure as hell do whatever I can to make sure that people connect the dots.

So in my title I asked whether the BBC employs extortion. That would be a very strong accusation to make, considering that extortion is illegal. It is my belief that the letter I was sent, reproduced above, is all the evidence you need to see that the BBC, under the name of TV Licensing, are engaging in extortion. The letter states that in order "[t]o avoid an appearance in court before a magistrate" I must either call an 0870 number or buy a TV License.

Let's review the definition of extortion for a moment:

 Extortion (n): the practice of obtaining something, esp. money, through force or threats - New Oxford American Dictionary, Second Edition

The BBC's letter threatens me that either I buy a TV License (pay them money) or I call a premium rate number (pay them money) to inform them that I don't have to buy a license or that I will risk "an appearance in court before a magistrate".

Either way, using a threat, the BBC gets money: either from the TV License or from their cut of the premium-rate 0870 number (According to a BBC spokesman: "the national rate numbers help TV Licensing to keep the costs of collection down and maximise licence fee revenue".)

What was the definition of extortion, again?

So what about my situation? Am I basking in the glimmering glory of the BBC every night, or watching some other TV channels and robbing this poor institution of a license fee? No. I haven't received a television signal in my home since I arrived in this country. I have two TV sets. One's a small one that I used to use a long time ago while editing video (it sits, unplugged, in the store room) and the other is a new 46" baby that I use solely for my Wii and XBox 360. If I ever get Sky HD, I'll be forced to pay the TV Tax (and I will) but until that day, it feels like the the BBC are wrongfully harassing me and trying to extort me for money (and, I can only assume, many others also).

There is an online petition to the Prime Minister to stop TV Licensing (the BBC) from harassing people who have no television (or who don't receive television signals on the TV sets) that I would strongly urge you to sign.

The worst thing is, these horrible tactics by the BBC are playing right into the hands of Rupert Murdoch and his media empire who would love nothing more than to see the BBC abolished. Well, let me tell you something, as much as I hate Murdoch, at least his media outlets do not outright threaten me and try to extort money from me (OK, they do their own brand of damage, some of it possibly far worse, but that's another story.)

To the BBC: Stop harassing and threatening the British public. If you're so proud of your despicable tactics, at least own up to them and issue your threats under your own brand instead of hiding behind the TV Licensing name. I, for one, am sick and tired of being seen as guilty until proven innocent and I am fed up with your constant abuse.

Surely this tactic employed by the BBC cannot be legal and allowed to continue?

I also stumbled upon a website that the owner has actually stopped watching broadcast television and instead, watches Videos and DVD's he purchases online.  He has received a LOT of threats, and shares each one with us, at: http://www.bbctvlicence.com/

BBC.jpgDRAFT: Dear British Government, The BBC & TV Licensing.
(An example image from the above site)

On another note, the BBC claims they "NEED" this money because they don't carry advertisements.  Now, while that statement may be true for BBC UK, it is not true, for the BBC as a whole company.

Quote
They now earn money from BBC America, the shares it has in commercial channels (UK Gold, Dave etc), all the DVDs and CDs it sells, books, games, magazines and selling programs like Top Gear and Dr Who all around the world.
(They also have advertisements on their UK website, if you view it from a foreign IP, or in my case, a proxy with AdBlock disabled)

All this, coupled with the BBCs lack of quality programming, and the Newsnight Scandel should be enough proof, that, right now, it is time for us, as a nation, to stand up, and say "We will no longer be extorted.  We shall no longer be bullied and threatened.  We shall no longer pay for a service that many of us do not even use".
« Last Edit: December 14, 2012, 07:17:27 PM by Stephen66515 »

Tinman57

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Re: DRAFT: Dear British Government, The BBC & TV Licensing.
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2012, 07:46:24 PM »
  Personally, I always thought the TV license in GB was crap and stepped on the rights of the citizens.  I don't know of any other country that does this, but there may be.  Either way, I think it's a tax on information sent over the airwaves and should be illegal.  I don't know who the genius was that came up with this idea, but he/she/they should be horsewhipped, tarred and feathered.

  Good luck with going against the government, your going to need it.....

Stephen66515

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Re: DRAFT: Dear British Government, The BBC & TV Licensing.
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2012, 08:17:26 PM »
  Personally, I always thought the TV license in GB was crap and stepped on the rights of the citizens.  I don't know of any other country that does this, but there may be.  Either way, I think it's a tax on information sent over the airwaves and should be illegal.  I don't know who the genius was that came up with this idea, but he/she/they should be horsewhipped, tarred and feathered.

  Good luck with going against the government, your going to need it.....

I don't think this letter will go further than here to be honest. 

I wrote it more of a way of getting the information out there to those who are unaware.

4wd

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Re: DRAFT: Dear British Government, The BBC & TV Licensing.
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2012, 08:28:47 PM »
It actually applies to more than just UK residents - anyone who buys anything in the UK capable of receiving a TV signal is expected to either have a TV license or currently staying somewhere that does.

I was going to be refused the purchase of a USB DVB-T tuner from Maplins unless I specified an address they could look up to see if it had a valid license.

Stephen66515

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Re: DRAFT: Dear British Government, The BBC & TV Licensing.
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2012, 08:39:20 PM »
It actually applies to more than just UK residents - anyone who buys anything in the UK capable of receiving a TV signal is expected to either have a TV license or currently staying somewhere that does.

I was going to be refused the purchase of a USB DVB-T tuner from Maplins unless I specified an address they could look up to see if it had a valid license.

I buy all my equipment on eBay, and from thrift stores, or small privately owned tech stores. (Seeings as I DON'T have a valid license lol

Its beyond ridiculous though, and a completely outdated, archaic system.

Renegade

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Re: DRAFT: Dear British Government, The BBC & TV Licensing.
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2012, 08:40:41 PM »
Great post! :)  :Thmbsup:

This all boils down to collectivist systems being inherently violent. i.e. Socialism is violence (as it is practised).

You are robbed. It's not simple theft - theft doesn't necessarily imply violence. You are ROBBED. You are put at the end of a gun, and your money is stolen from you. If you resist, you are violently punished.

The TV tax is robbery. Pure and simple. (Income tax on people is also robbery.)

But even worse, it's a tax on speech. A tax on communication. A tax on a basic human right.

It's just another example in a long string of ways that our governments are morally bankrupt, criminal organisations.

Any time you need to put a gun to someone's head in order for them to accept you "brilliant idea", that's probably an indication that your idea isn't all that great. But this is the exact violence that is inherent in the twisted brand of radical socialism we have today.

Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Stephen66515

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Re: DRAFT: Dear British Government, The BBC & TV Licensing.
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2012, 08:52:35 PM »

Any time you need to put a gun to someone's head in order for them to accept you "brilliant idea", that's probably an indication that your idea isn't all that great. But this is the exact violence that is inherent in the twisted brand of radical socialism we have today.


That right there..is beautiful!

That pretty much

4wd

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Re: DRAFT: Dear British Government, The BBC & TV Licensing.
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2012, 10:11:33 PM »
One of the more interesting FOI articles at the site, (NOTVLicenseFee), mentioned above: FS50154106 - Number of TV detection devices [PDF]

BTW, it seems that maybe that site has given up by the number of broken links.

Also btw, you can get a 50% reduction of the fee if you're blind  ;)

I don't know of any other country that does this, but there may be.

Quite a few by the looks: TV Licensingw
« Last Edit: December 14, 2012, 10:16:56 PM by 4wd »

tomos

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Re: DRAFT: Dear British Government, The BBC & TV Licensing.
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2012, 01:13:29 PM »
As of Jan 1st, it's the same in Germany.
Everyone has to pay for radio already (unless you could prove you had none - not even in your car). I dont mind that myself - I actually listen to some of the funded radio stations and find them often very good.
 
Now, as of January, everyone must pay a flat rate per family for radio *and* TV. The people who benefit (i.e. pay less than before) are those with more appliances and more cars and more homes, i.e. the better off. And Renegade - please do not call that socialism, it is not socialism by any name :p (but let's not get bogged down with that either, it's just semantics at the end of the day).

Most people currently pay for TV here, but many opt out for various reasons, could be low income; or you just would prefer to have a holiday (or whatever) for the money you would have otherwise spent on license + hardware.
Last time I moved I actually gave away my tv and receiver - I was simply watching too much (now I go on the net too much  :-[). As of January I'll be paying the full whack again. I'm angry too.
Tom

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Re: DRAFT: Dear British Government, The BBC & TV Licensing.
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2012, 06:29:26 PM »
...everyone must pay...

The dominant theme. Pay, pay, and pay more.

Why must people be forced to pay? Why not just have the radio/TV stations actually have a business model other than stealing from people? Why not just give people the freedom to pay for what they want? Is that too much to ask? To not have the fruits of your labour stolen from you?

Saw an interesting little graphic:

196127_315744085197345_1285647777_n.jpg

Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Tinman57

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Re: DRAFT: Dear British Government, The BBC & TV Licensing.
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2012, 07:58:22 PM »
It actually applies to more than just UK residents - anyone who buys anything in the UK capable of receiving a TV signal is expected to either have a TV license or currently staying somewhere that does.

I was going to be refused the purchase of a USB DVB-T tuner from Maplins unless I specified an address they could look up to see if it had a valid license.

Un-freaking believable!  What if your buying it as a gift to someone that does have a license?  Seems to me they're calling you a criminal just for trying to buy it....

tomos

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Re: DRAFT: Dear British Government, The BBC & TV Licensing.
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2012, 11:39:38 AM »
Why must people be forced to pay? Why not just have the radio/TV stations actually have a business model other than stealing from people? Why not just give people the freedom to pay for what they want? Is that too much to ask? To not have the fruits of your labour stolen from you?

I have mixed feelings -and thoughts- there.

The reality very probably is, that the radio stations I do often enjoy listening to, would not exist if there were no license. As said above, I'm out of touch with TV, so I cant comment about that.

If the license wasn't there, we would only have advertising supported stations. Reminiscent of the internet craze for 'free' resulting in  lots of ad-supported apps - and adware.
Tom

Tinman57

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Re: DRAFT: Dear British Government, The BBC & TV Licensing.
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2012, 04:10:14 PM »
I have mixed feelings -and thoughts- there.
The reality very probably is, that the radio stations I do often enjoy listening to, would not exist if there were no license. As said above, I'm out of touch with TV, so I cant comment about that.
If the license wasn't there, we would only have advertising supported stations. Reminiscent of the internet craze for 'free' resulting in  lots of ad-supported apps - and adware.

One good thing about ad based tv & radio stations, you don't have to pay for the crap you don't want to watch or listen to.  If the station wants to be profitable they have to compete for good entertainment which brings in advertizers to pay for it all.

tomos

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Re: DRAFT: Dear British Government, The BBC & TV Licensing.
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2012, 04:19:52 PM »
I have mixed feelings -and thoughts- there.
The reality very probably is, that the radio stations I do often enjoy listening to, would not exist if there were no license. As said above, I'm out of touch with TV, so I cant comment about that.
If the license wasn't there, we would only have advertising supported stations. Reminiscent of the internet craze for 'free' resulting in  lots of ad-supported apps - and adware.

One good thing about ad based tv & radio stations, you don't have to pay for the crap you don't want to watch or listen to.  If the station wants to be profitable they have to compete for good entertainment which brings in advertizers to pay for it all.

That's exactly what I see as not necessarily good.
The result?
Generic crap with tons of advertising. Lowest common denominator entertainment. I'm not saying your money should pay for what I listen to - but I am complaining about the alternative.
Last time I saw Amercian TV was scary - and that was years ago - I cant see it having gotten any better since.
Tom

Stephen66515

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Re: DRAFT: Dear British Government, The BBC & TV Licensing.
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2012, 04:29:24 PM »
I have mixed feelings -and thoughts- there.
The reality very probably is, that the radio stations I do often enjoy listening to, would not exist if there were no license. As said above, I'm out of touch with TV, so I cant comment about that.
If the license wasn't there, we would only have advertising supported stations. Reminiscent of the internet craze for 'free' resulting in  lots of ad-supported apps - and adware.

One good thing about ad based tv & radio stations, you don't have to pay for the crap you don't want to watch or listen to.  If the station wants to be profitable they have to compete for good entertainment which brings in advertizers to pay for it all.

That's exactly what I see as not necessarily good.
The result?
Generic crap with tons of advertising. Lowest common denominator entertainment. I'm not saying your money should pay for what I listen to - but I am complaining about the alternative.
Last time I saw Amercian TV was scary - and that was years ago - I cant see it having gotten any better since.

I would have NO objection, if the BBC made any quality content.  They only remotely good show, is Top Gear.  Everything else is CRAP.

Tinman57

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Dear British Government, The BBC & TV Licensing.
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2012, 04:35:36 PM »
Generic crap with tons of advertising. Lowest common denominator entertainment. I'm not saying your money should pay for what I listen to - but I am complaining about the alternative.
Last time I saw Amercian TV was scary - and that was years ago - I cant see it having gotten any better since.

I've seen BBC, they ain't got nothing to brag about.  lol

From what I understand, American tv is the top rated and is watched by more countries than any other.  Must not be too shabby.  There's a lot of stuff that I don't like on the tv here, but what I don't like someone else will, which is what's so great about all the channels we have.  Don't like what's on, turn to another channel.   :D
  As far as the commercials, first it gives you a bathroom or snack-gettin' break.  For fellers like me that use a DVR, I skip past the commercials that I don't like or have seen several times over...

Shades

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Re: DRAFT: Dear British Government, The BBC & TV Licensing.
« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2012, 08:35:57 PM »
In The Netherlands one has to pay as well for the ability to receive radio and TV. Here in Paraguay there are only commercial broadcasters and each show is riddled with commercials, sponsored by several different companies etc. they only cater for the lowest denominator...which means here beer and very scantily clad women in talent shows which are interrupted by commercials and news.

Do not get me wrong, I appreciate scantily clad women as much as the guy next to me...but it does get a bit boring after a while. Seeing a show from the BBC would actually a relief for me. And yes, Top Gear is a great show.

Tomos is totally right with his assesment, I gladly paid the dues I owed in the Netherlands. Your mind rots away from that content but not nearly as fast as with the content shown by the commercials.

Having said this, I stopped watching TV altogether. Besides internet, it is only DVDs, HBO, Starz and Discovery for me.