TV Licensing misleads and threatens students

It is coming up to that time of year again. Students are getting ready to move back to university, and TV Licensing is gearing up for another campaign of bullying, misinformation and intimidation. As well as the usual letters from the TV tax company demanding £145.50, this time last year we also received a flyer directed at students, letting them know that if they are leaving their parent’s house and heading off to school, they’ll be subjected to the £145.50 fee themselves. This year I noticed the above Google Ad.

To fill in those outside of the UK, UK TV tax pays for all those Dr. Who episodes you torrent. Anyone who watches live TV needs to pay it, and the collectors are under the misguided impression that every household watches live TV.

When it comes to students, what the Google Ad campaign or letterbox ephemera don’t make clear is one little four letter word: “live.”

You only need to pay if you watch programs live, as they are being broadcasted. Those streaming TV at a time outside of the TV schedule are free from paying. This most likely includes many students, who catch up on TV between classes and part time jobs. Of course, the letters and ads don’t make this clear. Although they do find the space to go into detail about courts and fines and other threats.

The letters demand a reply, and over time get increasingly blunt. You are under no obligation to reply. And they have the obligation to obtain proof that you are breaking the law. Fuck TV Licensing and ignore their empty threats.


Billboard image via Big Brother Watch

For more information on fighting TV Licensing:


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