BBC Goes Live with Mobile TV

The BBC has gone live with a beta test version of mobile TV, which is available via wifi on selected models of phones.

What’s interesting though is that you need to own a TV licence in the UK to watch the BBC – actually it’s wider than this, as you need a TV licence to own a working TV. So it’s not like you can have a TV and claim never to watch the BBC, merely being in danger of being able to watch it requires the right paperwork or a possible fine of up to £1,000.

The BBC is frequently accused of fairly draconian and aggressive practices in how it enforces its rights in this area. Only last week it was criticised for being “too harsh” and “accusatory” in its collection notices. Its inspectors also allegedly claim the right to enter homes without a warrant, despite having no such powers.

So, if you’re a student, living in a flat without a TV, but with TV and a mobile (and wifi), the BBC could in theory claim that you need to cough up for a TV licence, if we apply the same principles of being able to receive their service.

I guess it’s only a matter of time before some poor unfortunate is dragged into court to test this out.

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