Dear British Broadcasting Corporation,
TVL email reference 523312 confirms that there is no legal requirement to have a TV licence simply to own or operate an internet-enabled computer, mobile phone or tablet unless the equipment is used to receive or record live television broadcasts. It is the act of receiving TV programme services that matters - not the capability to do so. (Email available online at https://tv-licensing.blogspot.co.uk/2011... )
However, in this YouTube clip of a TVL search warrant execution ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxkicyM0... ) Capita employees can clearly be heard at 10.30-11.00 alleging that the mere capability for an internet connected device to navigate to a website on which live streamed content is available requires a TV licence.
This was obviously very distressing and upsetting for the householder concerned as well as totally contrary to the advice provided by TVL in email 523312.
There are also, if you care to look, a great many videos available on YouTube showing Capita employees themselves installing TV receiving equipment which was not previously installed – plugging in equipment that was not in use, plugging in leads which were disconnected and tuning in channels which were not tuned in – and then asserting that their actions prove the householder was guilty of licence evasion.
So naturally, in view of the above, I have grave concerns about the potential for abuse by Capita employees in the event that you obtain a search warrant to search my home. It would not seem at all beyond the bounds of possibility to imagine a Capita employee typing and navigating to a URL containing a live stream on a computer connected to a television and then triumphantly alleging license fee evasion, or taking action to install a television as a television receiver.
Under the FOIA please confirm:
1) A search warrant issued under Section 366 of Communications Act 2003 authorises entry to search the premises and examine and test any television receiver found there. A computer connected to the internet and to a television clearly has the capability to be a television receiver depending on what URLs are entered into the browser address bar but unless and until such URLs are entered and the relevant web pages opened, a computer is not a television receiving device (as confirmed by your email 523312). Please confirm, therefore, that Capita employees may not, during the execution of such a warrant, take any action that causes a computer to act as a television receiver, including but not limited to:
i. requiring the legal occupier (LO) to bring a computer into operation or doing so themselves
ii. requiring the LO to enter a URL into the browser and navigate to that URL or doing so themselves.
2) Please also confirm that any search of files or personal data including internet browsing history contained on a computer would not be permitted by a search warrant issued under Section 366 of Communications Act 2003.
3) A search warrant issued under Section 366 of Communications Act 2003 authorises entry to search the premises and examine and test any television receiver found there. A television that is not connected to both a mains power supply and an aerial cannot, by the legal definition of the term, be installed as a television receiver and therefore, under the terms of the warrant cannot be subject to further examination and testing. The warrant clearly states that television receivers may be tested and examined - not any equipment that has the potential to be installed as a television receiver. Please confirm, therefore, that Capita employees may not, during the execution of a search warrant, take any action that causes a television not installed as a television receiver to become a television receiver, including but not limited to:
i. Requiring the LO to connect a television to a mains power supply or doing so themselves
ii. Requiring the LO to connect a television to an aerial or doing so themselves (whilst many LO’s choose to remove redundant aerials and cables, it is not always possible for them to do so, for example in the case of rented accommodation)
iii. Requiring the LO to tune or otherwise navigate the television to receive broadcast channels or doing so themselves
I look forward to receiving your reply.
Dear Karin Mabberley
Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000, as detailed in your email. Your request was received
on 16/02/2018. We will deal with your request as promptly as possible,
and at the latest within 20 working days. If you have any queries about
your request, please contact us at the address below.
The reference number for your request is RFI20180321.
BBC Freedom of Information
BC2 A4, Broadcast Centre
201 Wood Lane
London W12 7TP
Email: [BBC request email]
Tel: 020 8008 2882
Dear Ms Mabberley,
Please find attached the responses to your requests for information,
reference RFI20180311 and RFI20180321
BBC Information Policy and Compliance
Room BC2 A4
Email: mailto:[BBC request email]
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2. mailto:[BBC request email]