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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

iPhone Users to Face TV License Fee

iPhone: App is the newest licensing stream for the BBC.

Owners of Apple's iPhone are bracing themselves for a big annual bill, after the BBC announced that they will be making their content available through an iPhone application, thus making the mobile phone eligible under TV Licensing laws.

From April, users of the iPhone will be able to access BBC audio and video using an App downloadable from the Apple App Store.

Speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, BBC Director of Future Media and Technology Erik Huggers said, "BBC audiences want to access the digital services that they have paid for at a time and place that suits them, and the BBC App will make that possible.

"As the app has been developed due to the unique way the BBC is funded, it is only proper that the service be paid for using that same unique method. Therefore, as users will be able to access content for which they would pay a licence fee if on a television, users will from April be subject to the licence fee if they possess an iPhone."

SOurces at the TV Licensing Authority confirmed the new development and added that it would be aplicable to all UK iPhone users, whether or not the BBC Apps are installed. The spokesman said, "if you have a TV you have the capability to watch BBC programming, and are subject to the Licence Fee whether you do so or not. With the BBC App you now have the capability to watch BBC programming, so obviously the same applies."

BBC Director-General Mark Thompson was unavailable for comment, as he was busy relaxing in a hot-tub full of taxpayer's money.

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Anonymous said...

You only need a TV Licence for watching live stuff though? Not catch up - and if you have a licence already that would cover you?

RantinRab said...

I bet they developed the App in order to fleece more cash.


patently said...

Stop. Giving. Them. Ideas.

Furor Teutonicus said...

I thought to be liable for licemce, the apparatus had to be conected to mains power?

Or did they close that loop hole?

Furor Teutonicus said...

What is the bloody USE of only giving you the option to recieve replys on the SECOND post. Google shite!

Anonymous said...

Just do what I do, don't pay the fucking licence fee.

patently said...

@FT & Anon.

You need a licence if you have installed apparatus for receiving a broadcast television signal. iPlayer and the like do not "broadcast".

This applies whether the device is powered by the mains, batteries, the sun, or by a little hamster in a wheel. However, the licence is per residence, and mobile devices are deemed always to reside at their usual home, so are covered by the licence purchased for your home address PROVIDED that you have one there.

Furor Teutonicus said...

Ah. here is what I was thinking of;

What your TV Licence covers
For a main home or business It covers the installation and use of TV receivers at the premises specified on the licence.

Armed Forces personnel
You need a valid TV Licence if you watch or record TV in MOD accommodation, on or off base. Your home TV Licence doesn’t cover you while you’re living on base, unless your equipment is powered solely by its own internal batteries.

Students in halls;

There is just one exception to this rule. If you only use a device that s powered solely by its own internal batteries , you will be covered by your parents TV Licence. However, you must not install the device (e.g. plug it into the mains) when using it to receive TV.

Just as with any other device, if you’re watching programmes as they’re being shown on TV on a phone or any other mobile device, you need to be covered by a licence. If you re covered by a valid licence at the address where you live, you ll be licensed to use any device powered solely by its own internal batteries outside the home too.

At any location

Any device powered solely by its own internal batteries (i.e. it is not connected to an aerial or plugged into the mains).

I am prety bloody sure that the "battery rule" used to apply in the home as well. Obviouzsly not now.

Micky said...

I was just making sure I didn't need a tv license as i dont watch tv and i saw this which was posted a year ago, Unless I'm at my nans. In my opinion I have better things to do with my life. I understood the licensing for laptops for watching iplayer and such, you have the option. But for an iPhone. You got to be joking, I won't be paying it. And what about live Internet broadcasts like Tom greens which can be viewed all around the world for free, which apart from YouTube and the occasional iplayer is what I watch.

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