Discussion:
Computer tax set to replace TV licence fee ( Legal?)
(too old to reply)
Amanda Angelika
2006-07-02 19:37:40 UTC
Permalink
Computer tax set to replace TV licence fee
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1508650,00.html

My question is would a taxation on computers and/or Internet access
contravene article 10 of the European convention on Human rights?

Article 10 - Freedom of expression
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include
freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas
without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.

Whilst I understand this act has not been used successfully in the abolition
of the Licence in regard to Television sets because European law also allows
member states to licence broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.
Surely when it comes to computers and Internet access, whilst both may be
used to consume entertainment and limited broadcast material are primarily
used as a means of interactive communication where the user may in fact
express and create more than he or she may actually consume.

Surely any taxation of such a medium would in effect constitute a tax of
free expression and would fundamentally contravene European human rights
legislation as well as being completely against the Interests of democracy
in the UK whether real or illusionary.
--
Amanda
tim (back at home)
2006-07-02 20:11:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Amanda Angelika
Computer tax set to replace TV licence fee
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1508650,00.html
My question is would a taxation on computers and/or Internet access
contravene article 10 of the European convention on Human rights?
If it does, then the Germans are contravining this right already.

tim
Amanda Angelika
2006-07-02 21:26:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by tim (back at home)
Post by Amanda Angelika
Computer tax set to replace TV licence fee
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1508650,00.html
My question is would a taxation on computers and/or Internet access
contravene article 10 of the European convention on Human rights?
If it does, then the Germans are contravining this right already.
I guess it would depend how it's implemented. AFAIK the Germans have always
licensed radio as well as TV so you wouldn't actually have anyone that could
claim not to require some form of licence. So I dare say it was fairly easy
to bring computers under the same system without specifically targeting
computer users.

In the UK OTOH you don't at present need a licence for a radio or
specifically for a PC if you don't own a TV set. Making it a requirement
that you own a TV licence for a computer or for Internet access, if you
didn't actually own a TV set. when a PC is not a primarily used to watch TV
if at all in any case, would seem somewhat ridiculous IMHO, and since
computers are primarily a means of interactive communication and expression
obviously a tax specifically targeting computers, would in effect be a tax
on freedom of expression.

It seems to me therefore the only way it could be implemented would be in
situations where people had both a TV and a computer. Besides one wonders
whether it would be entirely enforceable under different circumstances.
--
Amanda
tim (back at home)
2006-07-02 21:55:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by tim (back at home)
Post by Amanda Angelika
Computer tax set to replace TV licence fee
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1508650,00.html
My question is would a taxation on computers and/or Internet access
contravene article 10 of the European convention on Human rights?
If it does, then the Germans are contravining this right already.
I guess it would depend how it's implemented. AFAIK the Germans have always
licensed radio as well as TV so you wouldn't actually have anyone that could
claim not to require some form of licence. So I dare say it was fairly easy
to bring computers under the same system without specifically targeting
computer users.
In the UK OTOH you don't at present need a licence for a radio or
specifically for a PC if you don't own a TV set. Making it a requirement
that you own a TV licence for a computer or for Internet access, if you
didn't actually own a TV set. when a PC is not a primarily used to watch TV
if at all in any case, would seem somewhat ridiculous IMHO, and since
computers are primarily a means of interactive communication and expression
obviously a tax specifically targeting computers, would in effect be a tax
on freedom of expression.
It seems to me therefore the only way it could be implemented would be in
situations where people had both a TV and a computer. Besides one wonders
whether it would be entirely enforceable under different circumstances.
You are right to question whether it is enforcable, but then
the German TV license allready (unofficially) works on an
honesty system.

tim
Post by Amanda Angelika
--
Amanda
Amanda Angelika
2006-07-02 22:40:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by tim (back at home)
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by tim (back at home)
Post by Amanda Angelika
Computer tax set to replace TV licence fee
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1508650,00.html
My question is would a taxation on computers and/or Internet access
contravene article 10 of the European convention on Human rights?
If it does, then the Germans are contravining this right already.
I guess it would depend how it's implemented. AFAIK the Germans have always
licensed radio as well as TV so you wouldn't actually have anyone that could
claim not to require some form of licence. So I dare say it was fairly easy
to bring computers under the same system without specifically
targeting computer users.
In the UK OTOH you don't at present need a licence for a radio or
specifically for a PC if you don't own a TV set. Making it a
requirement that you own a TV licence for a computer or for Internet
access, if you didn't actually own a TV set. when a PC is not a
primarily used to watch TV
if at all in any case, would seem somewhat ridiculous IMHO, and since
computers are primarily a means of interactive communication and expression
obviously a tax specifically targeting computers, would in effect be
a tax on freedom of expression.
It seems to me therefore the only way it could be implemented would
be in situations where people had both a TV and a computer. Besides
one wonders whether it would be entirely enforceable under different
circumstances.
You are right to question whether it is enforcable, but then
the German TV license allready (unofficially) works on an
honesty system.
Ah I see I wasn't sure how the system worked in Germany apart from I knew
they licensed both radio and TV.

Of course the problem is here the TV licence is part of statutory law. I
think if they started taking people to court and/or imprisoning people (for
non payment of fines) for owning computers and accessing the Internet
without a TV licence when watching television is in no way shape or form the
primary use of a computer or of Internet access. I think it would be
difficult to justify criminalizing people simply for owning, using or
accessing a means or medium of expression, since freedom of expression at
least within certain limits is supposed to be a basic human right even in
the UK..

Well it's the sort of crazy thing one might have expected in somewhere like
Idi Amin's Uganda. But I think I would be applying for political asylum
somewhere which is still marginally sane. LOL
--
Amanda
tim (back at home)
2006-07-03 06:34:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by tim (back at home)
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by tim (back at home)
Post by Amanda Angelika
Computer tax set to replace TV licence fee
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1508650,00.html
My question is would a taxation on computers and/or Internet access
contravene article 10 of the European convention on Human rights?
If it does, then the Germans are contravining this right already.
I guess it would depend how it's implemented. AFAIK the Germans have always
licensed radio as well as TV so you wouldn't actually have anyone that could
claim not to require some form of licence. So I dare say it was fairly easy
to bring computers under the same system without specifically
targeting computer users.
In the UK OTOH you don't at present need a licence for a radio or
specifically for a PC if you don't own a TV set. Making it a
requirement that you own a TV licence for a computer or for Internet
access, if you didn't actually own a TV set. when a PC is not a
primarily used to watch TV
if at all in any case, would seem somewhat ridiculous IMHO, and since
computers are primarily a means of interactive communication and expression
obviously a tax specifically targeting computers, would in effect be
a tax on freedom of expression.
It seems to me therefore the only way it could be implemented would
be in situations where people had both a TV and a computer. Besides
one wonders whether it would be entirely enforceable under different
circumstances.
You are right to question whether it is enforcable, but then
the German TV license allready (unofficially) works on an
honesty system.
Ah I see I wasn't sure how the system worked in Germany apart from I knew
they licensed both radio and TV.
They attempt to collect the money in the same way as in the UK.

Except it is far less aggressively. AIUI if you ignore their begging
letters nothing will happen to you (BICBW).

I asked around the office when I got my letter and about 50%
said that they didn't pay.

tim
Amanda Angelika
2006-07-03 13:17:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by tim (back at home)
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by tim (back at home)
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by tim (back at home)
Post by Amanda Angelika
Computer tax set to replace TV licence fee
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1508650,00.html
My question is would a taxation on computers and/or Internet
access contravene article 10 of the European convention on Human
rights?
If it does, then the Germans are contravining this right already.
I guess it would depend how it's implemented. AFAIK the Germans have always
licensed radio as well as TV so you wouldn't actually have anyone that could
claim not to require some form of licence. So I dare say it was fairly easy
to bring computers under the same system without specifically
targeting computer users.
In the UK OTOH you don't at present need a licence for a radio or
specifically for a PC if you don't own a TV set. Making it a
requirement that you own a TV licence for a computer or for
Internet access, if you didn't actually own a TV set. when a PC is
not a primarily used to watch TV
if at all in any case, would seem somewhat ridiculous IMHO, and
since computers are primarily a means of interactive communication
and expression
obviously a tax specifically targeting computers, would in effect
be a tax on freedom of expression.
It seems to me therefore the only way it could be implemented would
be in situations where people had both a TV and a computer. Besides
one wonders whether it would be entirely enforceable under
different circumstances.
You are right to question whether it is enforcable, but then
the German TV license allready (unofficially) works on an
honesty system.
Ah I see I wasn't sure how the system worked in Germany apart from I
knew they licensed both radio and TV.
They attempt to collect the money in the same way as in the UK.
Except it is far less aggressively. AIUI if you ignore their begging
letters nothing will happen to you (BICBW).
I asked around the office when I got my letter and about 50%
said that they didn't pay.
Well I would think 50% of compliance if indicative overall is pretty good.
One wonders what the compliance level is here in the UK?

Of people I have met I wouldn't have thought the compliance rate was much
above 25% if that, which may not be indicative overall but would I think be
pretty accurate in some sections of the population. Which means large
proportions of the licence fee must cover evasion and the costs of
enforcement. I would imagine a totally voluntary system couldn't be any
worse, in fact I dare say social responsibility and playing on the guilt
aspect of non payment might encourage more people to pay or at least
contribute something according to their means. Well "Children in Need" tends
to be successful so why not use a similar system to fund the BBC itself?

The current system simply creates enormous amounts of resentment and
obviously when it comes to poorer people it's just a form of oppression
which tends to criminalize vast numbers of people who would otherwise be law
abiding people, which I dare say undermines social responsibility and I dare
say there are people who get drawn even deeper into criminality because they
are criminalized simply for being poor in any case, so have little choice in
the matter and may as well make it the best of it. Obviously if the TV
licence has knock on effects in other areas it may in overall effect
actually be a financial liability to tax payer rather than an effective
means of funding the BBC. Complete insanity basically. LOL
--
Amanda
Alex Heney
2006-07-03 23:42:54 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 03 Jul 2006 13:17:57 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
<***@hotmail.com> wrote:

<snip>
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by tim (back at home)
I asked around the office when I got my letter and about 50%
said that they didn't pay.
Well I would think 50% of compliance if indicative overall is pretty good.
One wonders what the compliance level is here in the UK?
Of people I have met I wouldn't have thought the compliance rate was much
above 25% if that, which may not be indicative overall
It isn't even close to indicative overall.

Overall it is clearly *well* over 90%, given that the number of
licenses issued (2003) was "just under 24 million"
<http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/pdfs/40115_BBC_Freedom_of_Info.pdf?r_exit_link=d_pdf_download>,
while the number of households in Great Britain (2001 census) was 24.1
million.<http://www.statistics.gov.uk/STATBASE/Expodata/Spreadsheets/D7678.xls>
--
Alex Heney, Global Villager
Death is life's way of telling you you've been fired.
To reply by email, my address is alexATheneyDOTplusDOTcom
Amanda Angelika
2006-07-04 00:30:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Heney
On Mon, 03 Jul 2006 13:17:57 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
<snip>
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by tim (back at home)
I asked around the office when I got my letter and about 50%
said that they didn't pay.
Well I would think 50% of compliance if indicative overall is pretty
good. One wonders what the compliance level is here in the UK?
Of people I have met I wouldn't have thought the compliance rate was
much above 25% if that, which may not be indicative overall
It isn't even close to indicative overall.
Overall it is clearly *well* over 90%, given that the number of
licenses issued (2003) was "just under 24 million"
<http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/pdfs/40115_BBC_Freedom_of_Info.pdf?r_exit_link
=d_pdf_download>,
Post by Alex Heney
while the number of households in Great Britain (2001 census) was 24.1
million.<http://www.statistics.gov.uk/STATBASE/Expodata/Spreadsheets/D7678.x
ls>


That is interesting I would concede my estimates may be a little bit off.
Mind one would expect census data to give an accurate record of people who
fill in forms that come through their letter box and a large proportion of
people prepared to divulge information in a census would presumably also be
more likely to cooperate with other bodies such as TV licensing. Census data
isn't necessarily a completely reliable statistic and if I recall rightly
wasn't the 2001 census voluntary?
--
Amanda
Mike_B
2006-07-04 04:34:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Amanda Angelika
if I recall rightly
wasn't the 2001 census voluntary?
It wasn't voluntary, I recall receiving a number of threats of legal
sanction if I didn't complete it before they eventually gave up and went
away.
--
Mike_B
Amanda Angelika
2006-07-04 12:16:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike_B
Post by Amanda Angelika
if I recall rightly
wasn't the 2001 census voluntary?
It wasn't voluntary, I recall receiving a number of threats of legal
sanction if I didn't complete it before they eventually gave up and
went away.
Yes I think I filled mine in. But I was living in a house split into 4 flats
at the time mostly occupied by foreign students and no one else filled it
in, the forms were simply left in the letter rack unopened.

Of course the other aspect which one has to take into account when comparing
the number of TV licences issued with the number of households recorded in
the last census is a fair proportion of those licences would have been issed
to business premisis and second homes. Given that one would expect certain
businesses and the wealthy to be more likely to comply with TV licencing. I
would estimate those figures could be off by 10 to 15 million homes. Which
would then give a household compliance level of around 50%. Personally I
would think that a more realistic figure and would certainly fit in with my
own first hand research.
--
Amanda
Alex Heney
2006-07-04 18:47:44 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 04 Jul 2006 12:16:52 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by Mike_B
Post by Amanda Angelika
if I recall rightly
wasn't the 2001 census voluntary?
It wasn't voluntary, I recall receiving a number of threats of legal
sanction if I didn't complete it before they eventually gave up and
went away.
Yes I think I filled mine in. But I was living in a house split into 4 flats
at the time mostly occupied by foreign students and no one else filled it
in, the forms were simply left in the letter rack unopened.
Of course the other aspect which one has to take into account when comparing
the number of TV licences issued with the number of households recorded in
the last census is a fair proportion of those licences would have been issed
to business premisis and second homes. Given that one would expect certain
businesses and the wealthy to be more likely to comply with TV licencing. I
would estimate those figures could be off by 10 to 15 million homes. Which
would then give a household compliance level of around 50%. Personally I
would think that a more realistic figure and would certainly fit in with my
own first hand research.
I would be utterly astounded if it were less than 95%.

yes, some of those licences will have been issued to business
premises, but those only account for a fairly small proportion of the
24 million.

And it is *extremely* unlikely that the number of households in the
2001 census is out by more than a fraction of a percent.

It was made very explicit, both in the forms themselves, and in a
widespread advertising campaign, that it was compulsory to fill them
in.

There may well be many people who put in false details, but that would
not affect the number of households.
--
Alex Heney, Global Villager
A chicken is an egg's way of producing more eggs.
To reply by email, my address is alexATheneyDOTplusDOTcom
Amanda Angelika
2006-07-04 20:36:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Heney
On Tue, 04 Jul 2006 12:16:52 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by Mike_B
Post by Amanda Angelika
if I recall rightly
wasn't the 2001 census voluntary?
It wasn't voluntary, I recall receiving a number of threats of legal
sanction if I didn't complete it before they eventually gave up and
went away.
Yes I think I filled mine in. But I was living in a house split into
4 flats at the time mostly occupied by foreign students and no one
else filled it in, the forms were simply left in the letter rack
unopened.
Of course the other aspect which one has to take into account when
comparing the number of TV licences issued with the number of
households recorded in the last census is a fair proportion of those
licences would have been issed to business premisis and second
homes. Given that one would expect certain businesses and the
wealthy to be more likely to comply with TV licencing. I would
estimate those figures could be off by 10 to 15 million homes. Which
would then give a household compliance level of around 50%.
Personally I would think that a more realistic figure and would
certainly fit in with my own first hand research.
I would be utterly astounded if it were less than 95%.
yes, some of those licences will have been issued to business
premises, but those only account for a fairly small proportion of the
24 million.
And it is *extremely* unlikely that the number of households in the
2001 census is out by more than a fraction of a percent.
It was made very explicit, both in the forms themselves, and in a
widespread advertising campaign, that it was compulsory to fill them
in.
There may well be many people who put in false details, but that would
not affect the number of households.
I don't agree. There must be millions of people who don't even register to
vote let alone fill in census forms. You become very much aware of such
things if one has ever lived in low end Student/DSS private rented
accommodation in any inner city.

You could argue the TV licence is part of the problem. If you can't afford
the TV licence or are ever likely to have difficulties in paying, you are
better off never registering or filling in the forms or answering the door
to strangers, because once they have your details or any information on you
it simply makes it easier for them to harass and terrorise you and
ultimately prosecute you if they discovered you with a TV set. So there is
no reward for compliance with the law, or with honesty or trust. These
people are the enemy and have to be treated in the same way as one would
treat say for example the Gestapo.

Of course poorer people also often get into awkward positions with bailiffs,
court officials the police etc etc. So you often find people living in low
end temporary private rented accommodation e.g bedsitter land are very often
very careful about what forms they fill in and the information they will
divulge. Even people who are relatively law abiding will do that because at
the end of the day if they have a name they are more likely to terrorise
threaten and harass you for other people's misdemeanours and if you don't
tell them anything it causes much less anxiety and stress, and of course
there is also the chance you will get other people into trouble and get
involved in messy situations so it's best to be very circumspect about what
you say, and assume careless talk costs lives.

Well I have had first hand experience of these things. I did go through a
phase of being on anti-depressants as a result of living in bad
accommodation. Of course when your on anti-depressants you don't worry about
anything, they could come round armed with machine guns trying to make you
fill in a form and it still wouldn't bother you LOL You either learn to be
thick skinned or you get some magic pills from the doctor, which also means
you have the advantage of being able to plead insanity LOL.

But I would be surprised if those figures are an accurate representation of
reality in any way shape or form. I can't prove that, but from my own direct
experience I don't think they are indicative. If seen how the other half
lives I've been there, and although I am now in a far better position than I
once was. I still wont answer the door to strangers or divulge information
the TV Licence people.
--
Amanda
Alex Heney
2006-07-04 21:54:14 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 04 Jul 2006 20:36:01 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
<***@hotmail.com> wrote:

<snip>
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by Alex Heney
There may well be many people who put in false details, but that would
not affect the number of households.
I don't agree. There must be millions of people who don't even register to
vote let alone fill in census forms.
I doubt that very much indeed.

I do not believe there are millions who do not register to vote, and I
think the numbers who just do not fill in census forms at all is
probably lower.
Post by Amanda Angelika
But I would be surprised if those figures are an accurate representation of
reality in any way shape or form.
They carried out a post enumeration survey on a large scale to try and
identify where there had been under enumeration.

And then added in "imputed"" data to cover the unde3r enumeration.

1,280,999 households were "imputed" as a result of that survey.

<http://www.statistics.gov.uk/census2001/pdfs/onc_key_findings.pdf>
--
Alex Heney, Global Villager
Man who speaks with forked tongue should not kiss balloon
To reply by email, my address is alexATheneyDOTplusDOTcom
Jonathan Bryce
2006-07-02 20:15:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Amanda Angelika
Surely any taxation of such a medium would in effect constitute a tax of
free expression and would fundamentally contravene European human rights
legislation as well as being completely against the Interests of democracy
in the UK whether real or illusionary.
Internet access is already taxed in that you pay VAT on your ISP
subscription fees and on any call charges to your ISP.
Amanda Angelika
2006-07-02 21:48:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jonathan Bryce
Post by Amanda Angelika
Surely any taxation of such a medium would in effect constitute a
tax of free expression and would fundamentally contravene European
human rights legislation as well as being completely against the
Interests of democracy in the UK whether real or illusionary.
Internet access is already taxed in that you pay VAT on your ISP
subscription fees and on any call charges to your ISP.
Well we pay VAT on ink, artist's materials, etc. But we don't actually
require people to purchase a special licence renewable every year to write
articles and books or create drawings and paintings, and generally people
don't come round harassing one for money for the right of expression,
because freedom of expression is a basic human right and one has that
inalienable licence as a birthright, at least it should be.

Requiring someone to have a special licence for computer or to use the
Internet would IMO, in effect seem to go against such basic principles.
--
Amanda
Richard
2006-07-06 12:25:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Amanda Angelika
Requiring someone to have a special licence for computer or to use the
Internet would IMO, in effect seem to go against such basic principles.
Why do you think so?

Why do you think that charging a fee for a particular service is
relevant to the general human right to express yourself without fear of
criminal penalties?

Richard Miller
Mike
2006-07-02 20:10:37 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 02 Jul 2006 19:37:40 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Computer tax set to replace TV licence fee
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1508650,00.html
which says:

THE BBC licence fee should be replaced by a tax on the ownership
of a personal computer instead of a television, ministers said
yesterday.
Post by Amanda Angelika
My question is would a taxation on computers and/or Internet access
contravene article 10 of the European convention on Human rights?
I don't know but I thought it worth replying to comment that from a
technical point of view it would be very difficult to define the term
"personal computer".

All sorts of electronic equipment have processors in them nowadays and
are "computers", such as washing machines and even toasters, so
presence of a CPU isn't sufficient. Is a monitor required? If so,
what about a computer controlled from a dumb terminal that can't
display pictures? What about a Cisco router or switch or a firewall?
What about a PSP or a PDA? What about a Sun workstation? What about
companies and even charities, who may have hundreds of desktop PCs in
an office?

Related to the definition problem is the enforcement problem. How
will the Computer Licensing organisation (no doubt a subsidiary of
Capita PLC) know whether a PC used as a Web server has a monitor
attached to it, in which case it could potentially be used to watch
television but probably isn't, or has no controlling peripherals at
all, in which case it can't?

I rather doubt that the proposal is workable.

Mike.
--
Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem
Amanda Angelika
2006-07-02 20:57:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike
On Sun, 02 Jul 2006 19:37:40 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Computer tax set to replace TV licence fee
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1508650,00.html
THE BBC licence fee should be replaced by a tax on the ownership
of a personal computer instead of a television, ministers said
yesterday.
Post by Amanda Angelika
My question is would a taxation on computers and/or Internet access
contravene article 10 of the European convention on Human rights?
I don't know but I thought it worth replying to comment that from a
technical point of view it would be very difficult to define the term
"personal computer".
All sorts of electronic equipment have processors in them nowadays and
are "computers", such as washing machines and even toasters, so
presence of a CPU isn't sufficient. Is a monitor required? If so,
what about a computer controlled from a dumb terminal that can't
display pictures? What about a Cisco router or switch or a firewall?
What about a PSP or a PDA? What about a Sun workstation? What about
companies and even charities, who may have hundreds of desktop PCs in
an office?
Related to the definition problem is the enforcement problem. How
will the Computer Licensing organisation (no doubt a subsidiary of
Capita PLC) know whether a PC used as a Web server has a monitor
attached to it, in which case it could potentially be used to watch
television but probably isn't, or has no controlling peripherals at
all, in which case it can't?
I rather doubt that the proposal is workable.
Yes that is an issue I've considered myself. What does one define as a PC?
Another problem is AFAIK European editions of Windows XP don't actually
contain Windows Media player as standard at point of sale which means a
brand new home computer may not be capable of accessing broadcast materiel
via Broadband without additional software. So ownership of a computer or
broadband doesn't necessarily mean one could access broadcast materiel.

Of course many Mobile phones can access broadcast materiel now. But given
watching television is not the primary function of a mobile phone but
generally a costly superfluous extra. I really can't see how they could
justify requiring people to have a TV licence for a mobile phone, if they
didn't actually own a TV set as well.

But the way things seem to be going at present. It appears that they are
working toward what would in effect be a Poll tax system where everyone
would be required to have a TV licence regardless of whether or not they
have a TV, simply because broadcast materiel can be received in a variety of
ways these days, and I dare say in future this may increase even more. So no
one could actually claim not to be able to receive broadcast materiel,
unless of course they were blind or deaf.

I wonder if the NHS will therefore be offering opt out surgery in the name
of democracy and freedom or maybe one could simply wear a blindfold and
earplugs and possibly a foil hat. LOL The mind boggles. :) But it certainly
seems incredible that politicians seem to be seriously considering
alternatives that would appear to go against the governments own accepted
human rights legislation.
--
Amanda
Jonathan Bryce
2006-07-02 22:06:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Amanda Angelika
Yes that is an issue I've considered myself. What does one define as a PC?
Another problem is AFAIK European editions of Windows XP don't actually
contain Windows Media player as standard at point of sale which means a
brand new home computer may not be capable of accessing broadcast materiel
via Broadband without additional software. So ownership of a computer or
broadband doesn't necessarily mean one could access broadcast materiel.
There are versions of Windows called XP Home N and XP Pro N which don't have
Windows Media Player. These were introduced to keep the EU happy, but cost
exactly the same as the versions which do have media player, so sales of
the N editions have been pretty minimal.
Dan Holdsworth
2006-07-02 23:08:57 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 02 Jul 2006 23:06:06 +0100, Jonathan Bryce
Post by Jonathan Bryce
Post by Amanda Angelika
Yes that is an issue I've considered myself. What does one define as a PC?
Another problem is AFAIK European editions of Windows XP don't actually
contain Windows Media player as standard at point of sale which means a
brand new home computer may not be capable of accessing broadcast materiel
via Broadband without additional software. So ownership of a computer or
broadband doesn't necessarily mean one could access broadcast materiel.
There are versions of Windows called XP Home N and XP Pro N which don't have
Windows Media Player. These were introduced to keep the EU happy, but cost
exactly the same as the versions which do have media player, so sales of
the N editions have been pretty minimal.
What of the hordes of Linux systems out there, most of which will be
firewalled up to the hilt and run by extremely easily annoyed
administrators?

In any case, all it'd take to get round that one is the following:

Apt-get remove media_player

"Here you go, Mr Inspector; see, no media player".

Apt-get update

apt-get install media_player

Dead simple, dead easy and an enforcement nightmare.
--
Dan Holdsworth PhD ***@ntlworld.com
By caffeine alone I set my mind in motion, By the beans of Java
do thoughts acquire speed, hands acquire shaking, the shaking
becomes a warning, By caffeine alone do I set my mind in motion
Mike_B
2006-07-03 05:28:23 UTC
Permalink
In message
Post by Dan Holdsworth
"Here you go, Mr Inspector; see, no media player".
I could be wrong, but if they go down this route I don't imagine there
would be any inspectors, as it is more likely the tax would be charged
at the point of sale and not annually renewable.
--
Mike_B
Graham Murray
2006-07-03 09:27:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike_B
I could be wrong, but if they go down this route I don't imagine there
would be any inspectors, as it is more likely the tax would be charged
at the point of sale and not annually renewable.
On which part of the computer would the tax be payable? Many people
build their own computers from parts, or engage in what is in effect
perpetual upgrade where they never buy a complete new system but
replace/upgrade components so that in time it does not contain any of
the original components.
Amanda Angelika
2006-07-03 11:12:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Graham Murray
Post by Mike_B
I could be wrong, but if they go down this route I don't imagine
there would be any inspectors, as it is more likely the tax would be
charged at the point of sale and not annually renewable.
On which part of the computer would the tax be payable? Many people
build their own computers from parts, or engage in what is in effect
perpetual upgrade where they never buy a complete new system but
replace/upgrade components so that in time it does not contain any of
the original components.
I would imagine it would be easier to tax OS systems.
--
Amanda
Mike Ross
2006-07-03 12:25:05 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 03 Jul 2006 11:12:23 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by Graham Murray
Post by Mike_B
I could be wrong, but if they go down this route I don't imagine
there would be any inspectors, as it is more likely the tax would be
charged at the point of sale and not annually renewable.
On which part of the computer would the tax be payable? Many people
build their own computers from parts, or engage in what is in effect
perpetual upgrade where they never buy a complete new system but
replace/upgrade components so that in time it does not contain any of
the original components.
I would imagine it would be easier to tax OS systems.
If we have to pay a government tax as well as the Microsoft 'tax' I'm
bloody well running up the skull and crossbones - along with millions
of others, I suspect.

Mike
--
http://www.corestore.org
'As I walk along these shores
I am the history within'
Amanda Angelika
2006-07-03 13:34:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Ross
On Mon, 03 Jul 2006 11:12:23 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by Graham Murray
Post by Mike_B
I could be wrong, but if they go down this route I don't imagine
there would be any inspectors, as it is more likely the tax would
be charged at the point of sale and not annually renewable.
On which part of the computer would the tax be payable? Many people
build their own computers from parts, or engage in what is in effect
perpetual upgrade where they never buy a complete new system but
replace/upgrade components so that in time it does not contain any
of the original components.
I would imagine it would be easier to tax OS systems.
If we have to pay a government tax as well as the Microsoft 'tax' I'm
bloody well running up the skull and crossbones - along with millions
of others, I suspect.
Well yes I didn't like to mention that one ;) There's usually some guy
selling CDs down the local boot sale LOL

Of course I dare say Microsoft would love to have gangs of government funded
menaces going round intimidating people and putting people under
surveillance to enforce their software EULAs I dare say they would even put
special spy ware in the Windows media player so the Government could monitor
all one's activities, they probably do anyway, at least at present they have
to pretend they don't.

Of course soon they will be able to chip people's brains and remove all free
will and individuality completely, ensuring complete compliance of all units
of production. We are the Borg LOL
--
Amanda
Dan Holdsworth
2006-07-04 17:08:24 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 03 Jul 2006 13:34:38 GMT, Amanda Angelika
Post by Amanda Angelika
Well yes I didn't like to mention that one ;) There's usually some guy
selling CDs down the local boot sale LOL
For the benefit of those of us who appear to have been living in deep
caves in Outer Mongolia since around 1992 (this means you, Amanda),
there are a lot of operating systems out there that are completely free.

Linux is the most famous example, but BSD variants and Solaris variants
are others.

Precisely how do you tax a free OS which explicitly is not centrally
controlled, is readily assembled from kits of parts, can be chopped and
changed by the users (and very frequently is thus changed), and is
already ubiquitous?
Post by Amanda Angelika
Of course I dare say Microsoft would love to have gangs of government funded
menaces going round intimidating people and putting people under
surveillance to enforce their software EULAs I dare say they would even put
special spy ware in the Windows media player so the Government could monitor
all one's activities, they probably do anyway, at least at present they have
to pretend they don't.
Round here, and indeed in most places the first thing a Microsoft rep
gets to see on entering the building is the test Linux cluster, which
the company just happens to be trialling as a free alternative to
Mickysoft.

This puts the relationship on the right sort of footing, we find; it
tells the Mickysoft rep that there isn't going to be any funny business
about paying full price for the OS, and there isn't going to be any
argument about not giving the support discount, either.

Microsoft is these days in no position at all to strong-arm customers,
since they can usually say "Alright, you want to play hardball, then?
Try this: no deal. No deal at all, we're switching to open source
software, and we'll not be switching back.".
--
Dan Holdsworth PhD ***@ntlworld.com
By caffeine alone I set my mind in motion, By the beans of Java
do thoughts acquire speed, hands acquire shaking, the shaking
becomes a warning, By caffeine alone do I set my mind in motion
Amanda Angelika
2006-07-04 17:50:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dan Holdsworth
On Mon, 03 Jul 2006 13:34:38 GMT, Amanda Angelika
Post by Amanda Angelika
Well yes I didn't like to mention that one ;) There's usually some
guy selling CDs down the local boot sale LOL
For the benefit of those of us who appear to have been living in deep
caves in Outer Mongolia since around 1992 (this means you, Amanda),
there are a lot of operating systems out there that are completely free.
Linux is the most famous example, but BSD variants and Solaris
variants are others.
Precisely how do you tax a free OS which explicitly is not centrally
controlled, is readily assembled from kits of parts, can be chopped
and changed by the users (and very frequently is thus changed), and is
already ubiquitous?
Yes that is true, given the many uses of a CD burner or the fact that one
normally gets a version of Windows bundled with a new computer in any case,
it is easy to forget that some OSs are *actually* free ;)
Post by Dan Holdsworth
Post by Amanda Angelika
Of course I dare say Microsoft would love to have gangs of
government funded menaces going round intimidating people and
putting people under surveillance to enforce their software EULAs I
dare say they would even put special spy ware in the Windows media
player so the Government could monitor all one's activities, they
probably do anyway, at least at present they have to pretend they
don't.
Round here, and indeed in most places the first thing a Microsoft rep
gets to see on entering the building is the test Linux cluster, which
the company just happens to be trialling as a free alternative to
Mickysoft.
This puts the relationship on the right sort of footing, we find; it
tells the Mickysoft rep that there isn't going to be any funny
business about paying full price for the OS, and there isn't going to
be any argument about not giving the support discount, either.
Microsoft is these days in no position at all to strong-arm customers,
since they can usually say "Alright, you want to play hardball, then?
Try this: no deal. No deal at all, we're switching to open source
software, and we'll not be switching back.".
Yes have a couple of versions of Linux on boot CDs. Impressive. Although I
have never been able to find support for my Wacom tablet and it doesn't run
a full range of industry standard graphics software. But I dare say for all
other general business use it's more than adequate.
--
Amanda
Mike
2006-07-03 20:18:14 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 03 Jul 2006 11:12:23 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
I would imagine it would be easier to tax OS systems.
Even those that are free? How would that work?

Mike.
--
Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem
Mike_B
2006-07-03 16:21:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Graham Murray
Post by Mike_B
I could be wrong, but if they go down this route I don't imagine there
would be any inspectors, as it is more likely the tax would be charged
at the point of sale and not annually renewable.
On which part of the computer would the tax be payable? Many people
build their own computers from parts, or engage in what is in effect
perpetual upgrade where they never buy a complete new system but
replace/upgrade components so that in time it does not contain any of
the original components.
They do? I would have thought this to be by far the minority of computer
users.
--
Mike_B
Dan Holdsworth
2006-07-04 17:08:23 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 03 Jul 2006 16:21:41 GMT, Mike_B
Post by Mike_B
Post by Graham Murray
On which part of the computer would the tax be payable? Many people
build their own computers from parts, or engage in what is in effect
perpetual upgrade where they never buy a complete new system but
replace/upgrade components so that in time it does not contain any of
the original components.
They do? I would have thought this to be by far the minority of computer
users.
Watch that change very rapidly if a tax were to be introduced.

Besides, we then have the knotty problem of defining what a computer
actually is, and spotting all the computers coming into the country.
--
Dan Holdsworth PhD ***@ntlworld.com
By caffeine alone I set my mind in motion, By the beans of Java
do thoughts acquire speed, hands acquire shaking, the shaking
becomes a warning, By caffeine alone do I set my mind in motion
Mike_B
2006-07-04 20:25:41 UTC
Permalink
In message
Post by Dan Holdsworth
On Mon, 03 Jul 2006 16:21:41 GMT, Mike_B
Post by Mike_B
Post by Graham Murray
On which part of the computer would the tax be payable? Many people
build their own computers from parts, or engage in what is in effect
perpetual upgrade where they never buy a complete new system but
replace/upgrade components so that in time it does not contain any of
the original components.
They do? I would have thought this to be by far the minority of computer
users.
Watch that change very rapidly if a tax were to be introduced.
I don't think so. By and large its techno-geeks that build and upgrade
their own PCs. If the tax were simply part of the cost of a new machine
I doubt the vast majority of computer purchasers would suddenly decide
to build their own. It would simply become an accepted part of the cost.
Post by Dan Holdsworth
Besides, we then have the knotty problem of defining what a computer
actually is, and spotting all the computers coming into the country.
--
Mike_B
Amanda Angelika
2006-07-04 20:44:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike_B
In message
Post by Dan Holdsworth
On Mon, 03 Jul 2006 16:21:41 GMT, Mike_B
Post by Mike_B
Post by Graham Murray
On which part of the computer would the tax be payable? Many people
build their own computers from parts, or engage in what is in
effect perpetual upgrade where they never buy a complete new
system but replace/upgrade components so that in time it does not
contain any of the original components.
They do? I would have thought this to be by far the minority of
computer users.
Watch that change very rapidly if a tax were to be introduced.
I don't think so. By and large its techno-geeks that build and upgrade
their own PCs. If the tax were simply part of the cost of a new
machine I doubt the vast majority of computer purchasers would
suddenly decide to build their own. It would simply become an
accepted part of the cost.
Doesn't work like that though if they knew there was a way people could
avoid the tax, they would put some system in place to stop people doing
that. Like set up a sort of computer DVLC or something, so that everyone
that wants to use the Internet will have to have the mark of the beast. :)

E.g. BBC 666 LOL :)
--
Amanda
Cynic
2006-07-04 23:00:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike_B
I don't think so. By and large its techno-geeks that build and upgrade
their own PCs. If the tax were simply part of the cost of a new machine
I doubt the vast majority of computer purchasers would suddenly decide
to build their own. It would simply become an accepted part of the cost.
Although you may get a fair trade in black market computers built by
techno-geeks.
--
Cynic
Alex Heney
2006-07-03 23:23:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike_B
In message
Post by Dan Holdsworth
"Here you go, Mr Inspector; see, no media player".
I could be wrong, but if they go down this route I don't imagine there
would be any inspectors, as it is more likely the tax would be charged
at the point of sale and not annually renewable.
It is more likely still that it would be a tax on your internet
connection, collected by your ISP, in much the same way as insurance
premium taxe3s are collected by the insurance companies.
--
Alex Heney, Global Villager
Oxymoron: Team of Independents.
To reply by email, my address is alexATheneyDOTplusDOTcom
Mike
2006-07-04 08:29:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Heney
It is more likely still that it would be a tax on your internet
connection, collected by your ISP, in much the same way as insurance
premium taxe3s are collected by the insurance companies.
Then we simply get into difficulties about the definition of an ISP
and a taxable service.

Suppose I have a leased line to a data centre in Docklands and have a
group of machines there. I have peering arrangements with several
transit providers. Who's my ISP?

Mike.
--
Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem
Alex Heney
2006-07-04 18:43:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike
Post by Alex Heney
It is more likely still that it would be a tax on your internet
connection, collected by your ISP, in much the same way as insurance
premium taxe3s are collected by the insurance companies.
Then we simply get into difficulties about the definition of an ISP
and a taxable service.
Suppose I have a leased line to a data centre in Docklands and have a
group of machines there. I have peering arrangements with several
transit providers. Who's my ISP?
Probably whoever sells you the leased line.

I didn't suggest it would be foolproof. But it is a lot closer to it
than trying to define a "computer" for taxation purposes.

And also makes more sense, if we are talking about a replacement for
TV licensing.
--
Alex Heney, Global Villager
When you come to a fork in the road, take it!
To reply by email, my address is alexATheneyDOTplusDOTcom
Amanda Angelika
2006-07-04 19:18:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Heney
Post by Mike
Post by Alex Heney
It is more likely still that it would be a tax on your internet
connection, collected by your ISP, in much the same way as insurance
premium taxe3s are collected by the insurance companies.
Then we simply get into difficulties about the definition of an ISP
and a taxable service.
Suppose I have a leased line to a data centre in Docklands and have a
group of machines there. I have peering arrangements with several
transit providers. Who's my ISP?
Probably whoever sells you the leased line.
I didn't suggest it would be foolproof. But it is a lot closer to it
than trying to define a "computer" for taxation purposes.
And also makes more sense, if we are talking about a replacement for
TV licensing.
It would only make sense IMO if the computers and the Internet were
primarily and almost entirely a form of entertainment. The problem is
computers and the Internet are also a means of individual expression and
artistic creation.

Regardless of whether the government could actually get away with
specifically taxing a tool and/or a medium of free of expression to fund a
state broadcasting corporation and thereby in effect institute a means of
suppression to fund an oracle of state propaganda. I think it would be wrong
in a democracy to institute any kind of suppression on something that is a
cornerstone of democracy.

IMO It's terrifying that such a thing could even be considered let alone
carried through.
--
Amanda
Alex Heney
2006-07-04 21:37:42 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 04 Jul 2006 19:18:14 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Regardless of whether the government could actually get away with
specifically taxing a tool and/or a medium of free of expression to fund a
state broadcasting corporation and thereby in effect institute a means of
suppression to fund an oracle of state propaganda. I think it would be wrong
in a democracy to institute any kind of suppression on something that is a
cornerstone of democracy.
I don't consider taxing it (unless at a punitive level) to be
suppressing anything.
Post by Amanda Angelika
IMO It's terrifying that such a thing could even be considered let alone
carried through.
I don't find it even slightly worrying, although I still doubt it will
happen.
--
Alex Heney, Global Villager
Don't play stupid with me! I'm better at it.
To reply by email, my address is alexATheneyDOTplusDOTcom
Amanda Angelika
2006-07-05 03:34:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Heney
On Tue, 04 Jul 2006 19:18:14 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Regardless of whether the government could actually get away with
specifically taxing a tool and/or a medium of free of expression to
fund a state broadcasting corporation and thereby in effect
institute a means of suppression to fund an oracle of state
propaganda. I think it would be wrong in a democracy to institute
any kind of suppression on something that is a cornerstone of
democracy.
I don't consider taxing it (unless at a punitive level) to be
suppressing anything.
Well even if it were equivalent in cost to the current TV licence, it could
make broadband unaffordable to many people.
Post by Alex Heney
Post by Amanda Angelika
IMO It's terrifying that such a thing could even be considered let
alone carried through.
I don't find it even slightly worrying, although I still doubt it will
happen.
Well the whole principle of adding specific extra taxes to a tool or medium
of expression and creativity just seems wrong. In some ways it's a form of
theft, apart from undermining freedom of expression. I dare say it could
also negate certain aspects of copyright law, one would in effect be paying
the BBC for entitlement to the copyright of one's own digital work. One
imagines if they introduced such a system there would have to be specific
exceptions for artists, musicians, writers and other creative people who use
digital technology and the Internet as a vehicle of creativity. I suggest
they call it artist's licence :)
--
Amanda
Alex Heney
2006-07-05 10:28:27 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 05 Jul 2006 03:34:20 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by Alex Heney
On Tue, 04 Jul 2006 19:18:14 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Regardless of whether the government could actually get away with
specifically taxing a tool and/or a medium of free of expression to
fund a state broadcasting corporation and thereby in effect
institute a means of suppression to fund an oracle of state
propaganda. I think it would be wrong in a democracy to institute
any kind of suppression on something that is a cornerstone of
democracy.
I don't consider taxing it (unless at a punitive level) to be
suppressing anything.
Well even if it were equivalent in cost to the current TV licence, it could
make broadband unaffordable to many people.
Those same people who somehow manage to pay for their TV licence now.
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by Alex Heney
Post by Amanda Angelika
IMO It's terrifying that such a thing could even be considered let
alone carried through.
I don't find it even slightly worrying, although I still doubt it will
happen.
Well the whole principle of adding specific extra taxes to a tool or medium
of expression and creativity just seems wrong.
I don't agree that is what your internet connection is.
Post by Amanda Angelika
In some ways it's a form of
theft, apart from undermining freedom of expression. I dare say it could
also negate certain aspects of copyright law, one would in effect be paying
the BBC for entitlement to the copyright of one's own digital work. One
imagines if they introduced such a system there would have to be specific
exceptions for artists, musicians, writers and other creative people who use
digital technology and the Internet as a vehicle of creativity. I suggest
they call it artist's licence :)
If they introduced such a tax, it would seem extremely unlikely they
would have exceptions for those who use it professionally.
--
Alex Heney, Global Villager
You have a fine personality..but not for a human
To reply by email, my address is alexATheneyDOTplusDOTcom
Amanda Angelika
2006-07-05 15:53:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Heney
On Wed, 05 Jul 2006 03:34:20 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by Alex Heney
On Tue, 04 Jul 2006 19:18:14 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Regardless of whether the government could actually get away with
specifically taxing a tool and/or a medium of free of expression to
fund a state broadcasting corporation and thereby in effect
institute a means of suppression to fund an oracle of state
propaganda. I think it would be wrong in a democracy to institute
any kind of suppression on something that is a cornerstone of
democracy.
I don't consider taxing it (unless at a punitive level) to be
suppressing anything.
Well even if it were equivalent in cost to the current TV licence,
it could make broadband unaffordable to many people.
Those same people who somehow manage to pay for their TV licence now.
As I say I don't think the figures are accurate. They do heavily target
poorer inner city and student areas and if the compliance rate was as high
as census figures suggest there would be no need of that. When I was living
in beddsitter land the TV licence people would call once or twice a year,
and you would see them visiting most of the houses in the street, which
means according to their records there was no licence registered at those
addresses.

I've never owned a TV licence, My B/W portable is in a black bin liner
buried under a massive pile of junk in the bottom of a cupboard LOL The fact
that I save £10+ per month helps me to afford a 4mb broadband connection,
but there is no way on my budgeting that I could afford a TV licence at
least not without getting rid of broadband, but in that case there would
actually be no reason for me to have a TV licence in any case, unless I
actually installed an operable TV.

Technically according to the BBC and TVLA one should have a licence to watch
any TV program on the internet. But what is a TV program? Does that apply to
my own streaming video. What about people who use Webcams is that
broadcasting? Does one need a TV licence for a broken clock because it may
synchronise with the BBC One clock twice a day, Obviously any correlation or
similarity between Web content and broadcast TV is coincidental and a very
minor aspect of the Internet in any case.

Besides no one would use Broadband Internet with the sole intention of
dodging the TV licence fee. It's more expensive than TV even with the TV
licence and by no stretch of the imagination an effective way to watch TV
it's a totally different medium with totally different purpose.
Post by Alex Heney
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by Alex Heney
Post by Amanda Angelika
IMO It's terrifying that such a thing could even be considered let
alone carried through.
I don't find it even slightly worrying, although I still doubt it
will happen.
Well the whole principle of adding specific extra taxes to a tool or
medium of expression and creativity just seems wrong.
I don't agree that is what your internet connection is.
On a basic level an Internet connection is a two way street a means of
sending and receiving packets of data. So it's both a means of consumption
and creation. It's totally interactive. It bears little resemblance to
traditional broadcasting which is largely a one way street and intended for
consumption.

The fact an Internet connection is a two way street makes the Internet an
interactive medium of expression and creativity as well as of consumption.
You can't separate the one from the other. Interactivity is the nature of
the beast and that nature is not based on the way people use the Internet,
it's something intrinsic to the technology itself. Which doesn't change
according to opinion or political will since it's an underlying fact of the
medium and not a matter of interpretation.
Post by Alex Heney
Post by Amanda Angelika
In some ways it's a form of
theft, apart from undermining freedom of expression. I dare say it
could also negate certain aspects of copyright law, one would in
effect be paying the BBC for entitlement to the copyright of one's
own digital work. One imagines if they introduced such a system
there would have to be specific exceptions for artists, musicians,
writers and other creative people who use digital technology and the
Internet as a vehicle of creativity. I suggest they call it artist's
licence :)
If they introduced such a tax, it would seem extremely unlikely they
would have exceptions for those who use it professionally.
It wouldn't be so bad if it were a tax on professional earnings. But a tax
on the means of actual creativity and speculative work, would IMO be wrong.
Well on a basic level it would seem wrong to tax an unemployed person to
place his or her CV on a Website which may be one use of the internet. But
beyond that they would be taxing artists, musicians, videographers, web
designers etc, for the right to use the Internet as a creative medium and
advertise their skills to a wider audience. So in effect it would be a tax
on talent and creativity, things that should actually be encouraged and
appreciated within our society not discouraged and penalised.

But considering the BBC itself is reliant on the future development of
talent and creativity and it is the life blood of practically all BBC
broadcasting such a tax would be counter productive to it's own creative
development and interests.

Mind it would be relatively easy for creative people to band together and
destroy such a tax, simply by boycotting the BBC IOW refuse to allow the BBC
to broadcast your copyrighted music, or creative work, until the taxation
was removed.
--
Amanda
Alex Heney
2006-07-05 20:40:52 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 05 Jul 2006 15:53:30 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by Alex Heney
On Wed, 05 Jul 2006 03:34:20 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by Alex Heney
On Tue, 04 Jul 2006 19:18:14 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Regardless of whether the government could actually get away with
specifically taxing a tool and/or a medium of free of expression to
fund a state broadcasting corporation and thereby in effect
institute a means of suppression to fund an oracle of state
propaganda. I think it would be wrong in a democracy to institute
any kind of suppression on something that is a cornerstone of
democracy.
I don't consider taxing it (unless at a punitive level) to be
suppressing anything.
Well even if it were equivalent in cost to the current TV licence,
it could make broadband unaffordable to many people.
Those same people who somehow manage to pay for their TV licence now.
As I say I don't think the figures are accurate.
You have no evidence whatsoever for that assertion, and you are almost
certainly wrong.

TVL believe that licence evasion last year was about 5%.

I think they have a better chance of being right than your guesses.
Post by Amanda Angelika
They do heavily target
poorer inner city and student areas and if the compliance rate was as high
as census figures suggest there would be no need of that. When I was living
in beddsitter land the TV licence people would call once or twice a year,
and you would see them visiting most of the houses in the street, which
means according to their records there was no licence registered at those
addresses.
In bedsitter-land that is hardly surprising.

Each individual premises within the building requires a licence if
they use a TV (for licensable purposes). Many of them will hope
somebody else in the building has one, and will not realise that TVL
will probably have access to information about multiple premise
buildings.

And of course, they will also tend to be the ones most likely to find
it hard to afford.
Post by Amanda Angelika
Technically according to the BBC and TVLA one should have a licence to watch
any TV program on the internet. But what is a TV program?
A TV programme is one broadcast by "conventional" means at the same
time (or virtually the same time) as it is streamed.
Post by Amanda Angelika
Does that apply to
my own streaming video.
No.
Post by Amanda Angelika
What about people who use Webcams is that
broadcasting?
No.
Post by Amanda Angelika
Does one need a TV licence for a broken clock because it may
synchronise with the BBC One clock twice a day, Obviously any correlation or
similarity between Web content and broadcast TV is coincidental and a very
minor aspect of the Internet in any case.
Besides no one would use Broadband Internet with the sole intention of
dodging the TV licence fee. It's more expensive than TV even with the TV
licence and by no stretch of the imagination an effective way to watch TV
it's a totally different medium with totally different purpose.
At present.

It has changed so much in the last 5 years, that by 2017 (which is the
date being talked about) it may well be the primary way of watching
TV for many people.
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by Alex Heney
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by Alex Heney
Post by Amanda Angelika
IMO It's terrifying that such a thing could even be considered let
alone carried through.
I don't find it even slightly worrying, although I still doubt it
will happen.
Well the whole principle of adding specific extra taxes to a tool or
medium of expression and creativity just seems wrong.
I don't agree that is what your internet connection is.
On a basic level an Internet connection is a two way street a means of
sending and receiving packets of data. So it's both a means of consumption
and creation. It's totally interactive. It bears little resemblance to
traditional broadcasting which is largely a one way street and intended for
consumption.
The fact an Internet connection is a two way street makes the Internet an
interactive medium of expression and creativity as well as of consumption.
For a few people.

Unless you are classing email as "creative expression", then the vast
majority of people do not use it for that at all.
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by Alex Heney
Post by Amanda Angelika
In some ways it's a form of
theft, apart from undermining freedom of expression. I dare say it
could also negate certain aspects of copyright law, one would in
effect be paying the BBC for entitlement to the copyright of one's
own digital work. One imagines if they introduced such a system
there would have to be specific exceptions for artists, musicians,
writers and other creative people who use digital technology and the
Internet as a vehicle of creativity. I suggest they call it artist's
licence :)
If they introduced such a tax, it would seem extremely unlikely they
would have exceptions for those who use it professionally.
It wouldn't be so bad if it were a tax on professional earnings. But a tax
on the means of actual creativity and speculative work, would IMO be wrong.
Well on a basic level it would seem wrong to tax an unemployed person to
place his or her CV on a Website which may be one use of the internet. But
beyond that they would be taxing artists, musicians, videographers, web
designers etc, for the right to use the Internet as a creative medium and
advertise their skills to a wider audience. So in effect it would be a tax
on talent and creativity, things that should actually be encouraged and
appreciated within our society not discouraged and penalised.
I'm sorry, but I just do not accept that it is intrinsically wrong to
tax any specific thing, unless that is something that is normally
free, and is essential for life.

If it has to be paid for anyhow, then taxing it just adds a little (or
a lot in some cases) to the cost.
--
Alex Heney, Global Villager
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in the dictionary?
To reply by email, my address is alexATheneyDOTplusDOTcom
M.I.5Ÿ
2006-07-06 12:04:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Heney
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by Alex Heney
Those same people who somehow manage to pay for their TV licence now.
As I say I don't think the figures are accurate.
You have no evidence whatsoever for that assertion, and you are almost
certainly wrong.
TVL believe that licence evasion last year was about 5%.
I think they have a better chance of being right than your guesses.
However, I suspect the TVL claim of 5% is more likely to be based on 5% of
addresses not having a TV licence (irrespective of whether they have a TV or
not), a much easier figure to measure.
Alex Heney
2006-07-06 13:11:14 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 6 Jul 2006 13:04:42 +0100, "M.I.5¾"
Post by M.I.5Ÿ
Post by Alex Heney
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by Alex Heney
Those same people who somehow manage to pay for their TV licence now.
As I say I don't think the figures are accurate.
You have no evidence whatsoever for that assertion, and you are almost
certainly wrong.
TVL believe that licence evasion last year was about 5%.
I think they have a better chance of being right than your guesses.
However, I suspect the TVL claim of 5% is more likely to be based on 5% of
addresses not having a TV licence (irrespective of whether they have a TV or
not), a much easier figure to measure.
It is supposedly an estimate of those who should have a licence but
don't.

If it is based on addresses without a licence, then it would mean the
true number of evaders are even lower, thus being even further away
from Amanda's guess.
--
Alex Heney, Global Villager
If only women came with pulldown menus and online help.
To reply by email, my address is alexATheneyDOTplusDOTcom
Cynic
2006-07-06 16:23:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Amanda Angelika
What about people who use Webcams is that
broadcasting?
No.
I wouldn't be so sure of that, Alex. If the webcam images are
streamed in real time, able and intended to be seen by anyone "tuning
in" to the URL, ISTM that it would comply with the definition of a
broadcast TV program and so would technically require the viewer to
have a TV licence.
--
Cynic
M.I.5Ÿ
2006-07-06 11:59:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Heney
Don't play stupid with me! I'm better at it.
Absolutely no comment whatsoever! ;-)
Mike Ross
2006-07-06 15:26:11 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 6 Jul 2006 12:59:15 +0100, "M.I.5¾"
Post by M.I.5Ÿ
Post by Alex Heney
Don't play stupid with me! I'm better at it.
Absolutely no comment whatsoever! ;-)
Keyboard!

Mike
--
http://www.corestore.org
'As I walk along these shores
I am the history within'
Mike Ross
2006-07-04 22:44:33 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 04 Jul 2006 19:18:14 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by Alex Heney
And also makes more sense, if we are talking about a replacement for
TV licensing.
It would only make sense IMO if the computers and the Internet were
primarily and almost entirely a form of entertainment. The problem is
computers and the Internet are also a means of individual expression and
artistic creation.
Quite. Requiring a license for a PC and/or an internet connection,
would be like - for example - requiring licenses for TVs *and*
cameras. Can you imagine any goverment getting away with requiring
people to buy a license before they could lawfully use a camera?! Can
you imagine being up before the beak for unlicensed use of a camera?
That's the equivalent of what's being proposed.

Mike
--
http://www.corestore.org
'As I walk along these shores
I am the history within'
Amanda Angelika
2006-07-05 02:49:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Heney
On Tue, 04 Jul 2006 19:18:14 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by Alex Heney
And also makes more sense, if we are talking about a replacement for
TV licensing.
It would only make sense IMO if the computers and the Internet were
primarily and almost entirely a form of entertainment. The problem is
computers and the Internet are also a means of individual expression
and artistic creation.
Quite. Requiring a license for a PC and/or an internet connection,
would be like - for example - requiring licenses for TVs *and*
cameras. Can you imagine any goverment getting away with requiring
people to buy a license before they could lawfully use a camera?! Can
you imagine being up before the beak for unlicensed use of a camera?
That's the equivalent of what's being proposed.
Well actually to some degree that has been a problem with the TV Licence in
any case, at least in the past. Because whilst one could do without a
Television. If you wanted to shoot your own videos, before the days of
computers and digital video, You needed a video camera a VCR and a TV set,
and unfortunately you need a licence for a TV set and a VCR. OK technically
if you only used it for your own creative work you probably wouldn't. But
convincing a court would be a different matter. So in a sense the TV
licence was a creative restriction and a financial barrier to some forms of
creativity.

Digital technology has up till now solved that problem, unfortunately at the
moment though the law seems to be unclear, because apparently you need a
licence to watch any TV program no matter what it's viewed on.

Problem is what constitutes a TV program? This doesn't seem to be clear
either. If any type of streamed internet video can be regarded as a TV
program then obviously one would need a TV licence to make ones own videos
and broadcast them on the Internet. If that's the case the TV licence as it
stands is already a tax, or perhaps more accurately a form of extortion on
creativity and free expression.
--
Amanda
Alex Heney
2006-07-05 10:31:19 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 05 Jul 2006 02:49:42 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
<***@hotmail.com> wrote:

<snip>
Post by Amanda Angelika
Well actually to some degree that has been a problem with the TV Licence in
any case, at least in the past. Because whilst one could do without a
Television. If you wanted to shoot your own videos, before the days of
computers and digital video, You needed a video camera a VCR and a TV set,
and unfortunately you need a licence for a TV set and a VCR. OK technically
if you only used it for your own creative work you probably wouldn't.
No "probably" about it.

That is an absolute definite.
Post by Amanda Angelika
Digital technology has up till now solved that problem, unfortunately at the
moment though the law seems to be unclear, because apparently you need a
licence to watch any TV program no matter what it's viewed on.
Problem is what constitutes a TV program? This doesn't seem to be clear
either.
It is clear, but you do need to jump around several different parts of
both Acts and Statutory Instruments to work out the full definition.
Post by Amanda Angelika
If any type of streamed internet video can be regarded as a TV
program
It can't, at the moment.

Only video streamed at the same time as it is broadcast more
"conventionally".
--
Alex Heney, Global Villager
It's as bad as you think and they are out to get you.
To reply by email, my address is alexATheneyDOTplusDOTcom
Mike Ross
2006-07-05 12:40:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Heney
On Wed, 05 Jul 2006 02:49:42 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
<snip>
Post by Alex Heney
Post by Amanda Angelika
If any type of streamed internet video can be regarded as a TV
program
It can't, at the moment.
Only video streamed at the same time as it is broadcast more
"conventionally".
One tiny issue there I haven't thought about or heard discussed
before: you technically need a license if the stream you are viewing
over the internet is being broadcast near-simultanteously. Yes, but
broadcast *where*? Would one need a license to watch a webcast of an
overseas channel which isn't available by any other means - e.g.
broadcast - *in the UK*, but is of course a normal broadcast channel
in the overseas country? I suspect the answer would be 'no', but I
can't back up my suspicion with justification.

Mike
--
http://www.corestore.org
'As I walk along these shores
I am the history within'
Alex Heney
2006-07-05 15:22:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Heney
Post by Alex Heney
On Wed, 05 Jul 2006 02:49:42 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
<snip>
Post by Alex Heney
Post by Amanda Angelika
If any type of streamed internet video can be regarded as a TV
program
It can't, at the moment.
Only video streamed at the same time as it is broadcast more
"conventionally".
One tiny issue there I haven't thought about or heard discussed
before: you technically need a license if the stream you are viewing
over the internet is being broadcast near-simultanteously. Yes, but
broadcast *where*? Would one need a license to watch a webcast of an
overseas channel which isn't available by any other means - e.g.
broadcast - *in the UK*, but is of course a normal broadcast channel
in the overseas country? I suspect the answer would be 'no', but I
can't back up my suspicion with justification.
I am pretty sure the answer is yes.

I know that if you pick up broadcast transmissions on your TV but only
from France, you still need a licence.
--
Alex Heney, Global Villager
Hypochondria is the only disease I haven't got.
To reply by email, my address is alexATheneyDOTplusDOTcom
Mike Ross
2006-07-05 18:04:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Heney
Post by Mike Ross
One tiny issue there I haven't thought about or heard discussed
before: you technically need a license if the stream you are viewing
over the internet is being broadcast near-simultanteously. Yes, but
broadcast *where*? Would one need a license to watch a webcast of an
overseas channel which isn't available by any other means - e.g.
broadcast - *in the UK*, but is of course a normal broadcast channel
in the overseas country? I suspect the answer would be 'no', but I
can't back up my suspicion with justification.
I am pretty sure the answer is yes.
I know that if you pick up broadcast transmissions on your TV but only
from France, you still need a licence.
I was aware of that - viewing normal broadcast TV, wherever
transmitted from, needs a license. I thought it would be a bit of a
stretch to extend that to web viewing of any channel anywhere in the
world, even where there's no ability to receive the broadcast signal
in the UK.

Mike
--
http://www.corestore.org
'As I walk along these shores
I am the history within'
Amanda Angelika
2006-07-05 16:59:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Heney
On Wed, 05 Jul 2006 02:49:42 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
<snip>
Post by Amanda Angelika
Well actually to some degree that has been a problem with the TV
Licence in any case, at least in the past. Because whilst one could
do without a Television. If you wanted to shoot your own videos,
before the days of computers and digital video, You needed a video
camera a VCR and a TV set, and unfortunately you need a licence for
a TV set and a VCR. OK technically if you only used it for your own
creative work you probably wouldn't.
No "probably" about it.
That is an absolute definite.
Post by Amanda Angelika
Digital technology has up till now solved that problem,
unfortunately at the moment though the law seems to be unclear,
because apparently you need a licence to watch any TV program no
matter what it's viewed on.
Problem is what constitutes a TV program? This doesn't seem to be
clear either.
It is clear, but you do need to jump around several different parts of
both Acts and Statutory Instruments to work out the full definition.
Post by Amanda Angelika
If any type of streamed internet video can be regarded as a TV
program
It can't, at the moment.
Only video streamed at the same time as it is broadcast more
"conventionally".
By "conventionally" one imagines they would mean broadcast TV other wise it
would apply to a live Webcam in your own living room.

Of course time is problematic to. Streamed content has to passed through a
variety of internet relays, servers, buffers etc before you can view it,
which means it is never actually "live" in the same way as a conventional
direct signal would be, it's a technicality but in effect streamed content
is always pre-recorded by some means before you can see it. It therefore has
little in common with a "conventionally" broadcast signal it's a different
medium and any similarity is coincidental in a similar way that a broken
clock can display the correct time twice a day, because you are receiving it
"on demand" and not live in the strict conventional sense.

Personally I don't think there would be sufficient evidence to prosecute
someone who didn't have a TV licence for receiving a Web broadcast of any
kind, because you don't need a licence to watch pre-recorded material, and
all digital materiel is to some degree pre-recorded IOW It's viewed "on
demand". and is not "live" in the conventional sense.

That being the case it would be difficult for a person to know whether they
were watching something that correlated to a TV broadcast unless they were
watching a TV set at the same time so it would be difficult for an
individual to know whether they were in compliance with the law or not.
Whilst ignorance is no defence. A person could not effectively be shown to
have broken the law by intention, since compliance or non compliance is a
matter of coincidence, but since such material is never strictly speaking
live in any case, so never does entirely correlate with a conventional
direct broadcast, it's not even coincidence. it's a technical impossibility.

It's simple IMO you don't need a licence to watch any kind of Web content.
Period. Any information that exists to the contrary is lies and or a
complete misunderstanding of the nature of the technology in use. Because
unless you have a broadcast card, you can't actually receive a direct
conventional live signal by any other means.
--
Amanda
Alex Heney
2006-07-05 20:48:36 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 05 Jul 2006 16:59:04 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by Alex Heney
On Wed, 05 Jul 2006 02:49:42 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
<snip>
Post by Amanda Angelika
Well actually to some degree that has been a problem with the TV
Licence in any case, at least in the past. Because whilst one could
do without a Television. If you wanted to shoot your own videos,
before the days of computers and digital video, You needed a video
camera a VCR and a TV set, and unfortunately you need a licence for
a TV set and a VCR. OK technically if you only used it for your own
creative work you probably wouldn't.
No "probably" about it.
That is an absolute definite.
Post by Amanda Angelika
Digital technology has up till now solved that problem,
unfortunately at the moment though the law seems to be unclear,
because apparently you need a licence to watch any TV program no
matter what it's viewed on.
Problem is what constitutes a TV program? This doesn't seem to be
clear either.
It is clear, but you do need to jump around several different parts of
both Acts and Statutory Instruments to work out the full definition.
Post by Amanda Angelika
If any type of streamed internet video can be regarded as a TV
program
It can't, at the moment.
Only video streamed at the same time as it is broadcast more
"conventionally".
By "conventionally" one imagines they would mean broadcast TV other wise it
would apply to a live Webcam in your own living room.
They don't mention the word "conventionally", that is my
interpretation, rather than trying to explain the whole definition of
what is meant by "TV Programme service".

What the law actually says is:
<http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2004/20040692.htm#9>
------------------------------------------------------------------
Meaning of "television receiver"
9. - (1) In Part 4 of the Act (licensing of TV reception),
"television receiver" means any apparatus installed or used for the
purpose of receiving (whether by means of wireless telegraphy or
otherwise) any television programme service, whether or not it is
installed or used for any other purpose.

(2) In this regulation, any reference to receiving a television
programme service includes a reference to receiving by any means any
programme included in that service, where that programme is received
at the same time (or virtually the same time) as it is received by
members of the public by virtue of its being broadcast or distributed
as part of that service.
------------------------------------------------------------------

A "Television Programme Service" is defined within the Communications
Act 2003
<http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2003/30021--k.htm#362>
-----------------------------------------------------------------
"television programme service" means any of the following-
(a) a television broadcasting service;
(b) a television licensable content service;
(c) a digital television programme service;
(d) a restricted television service;
-----------------------------------------------------------------

You then need to look up the definitions of the four sub-definitions
(with (a) and (c) being the main relevant ones to most of us).
Post by Amanda Angelika
Of course time is problematic to. Streamed content has to passed through a
variety of internet relays, servers, buffers etc before you can view it,
which means it is never actually "live" in the same way as a conventional
direct signal would be, it's a technicality but in effect streamed content
is always pre-recorded by some means before you can see it.
Which is why there is the "virtually the same time" part in the
legislation.
Post by Amanda Angelika
Personally I don't think there would be sufficient evidence to prosecute
someone who didn't have a TV licence for receiving a Web broadcast of any
kind, because you don't need a licence to watch pre-recorded material, and
all digital materiel is to some degree pre-recorded IOW It's viewed "on
demand". and is not "live" in the conventional sense.
Go and read the actual law, rather than making wild guesses about what
it says.
Post by Amanda Angelika
That being the case it would be difficult for a person to know whether they
were watching something that correlated to a TV broadcast unless they were
watching a TV set at the same time so it would be difficult for an
individual to know whether they were in compliance with the law or not.
Whilst ignorance is no defence. A person could not effectively be shown to
have broken the law by intention, since compliance or non compliance is a
matter of coincidence, but since such material is never strictly speaking
live in any case, so never does entirely correlate with a conventional
direct broadcast, it's not even coincidence. it's a technical impossibility.
It's simple IMO you don't need a licence to watch any kind of Web content.
And you are wrong.
Post by Amanda Angelika
Period. Any information that exists to the contrary is lies and or a
complete misunderstanding of the nature of the technology in use.
Nope.

It is the law.
--
Alex Heney, Global Villager
Is it possible to feel gruntled?
To reply by email, my address is alexATheneyDOTplusDOTcom
Amanda Angelika
2006-07-06 00:22:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Heney
On Wed, 05 Jul 2006 16:59:04 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by Alex Heney
On Wed, 05 Jul 2006 02:49:42 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
<snip>
Post by Amanda Angelika
Well actually to some degree that has been a problem with the TV
Licence in any case, at least in the past. Because whilst one could
do without a Television. If you wanted to shoot your own videos,
before the days of computers and digital video, You needed a video
camera a VCR and a TV set, and unfortunately you need a licence for
a TV set and a VCR. OK technically if you only used it for your own
creative work you probably wouldn't.
No "probably" about it.
That is an absolute definite.
Post by Amanda Angelika
Digital technology has up till now solved that problem,
unfortunately at the moment though the law seems to be unclear,
because apparently you need a licence to watch any TV program no
matter what it's viewed on.
Problem is what constitutes a TV program? This doesn't seem to be
clear either.
It is clear, but you do need to jump around several different parts
of both Acts and Statutory Instruments to work out the full
definition.
Post by Amanda Angelika
If any type of streamed internet video can be regarded as a TV
program
It can't, at the moment.
Only video streamed at the same time as it is broadcast more
"conventionally".
By "conventionally" one imagines they would mean broadcast TV other
wise it would apply to a live Webcam in your own living room.
They don't mention the word "conventionally", that is my
interpretation, rather than trying to explain the whole definition of
what is meant by "TV Programme service".
<http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2004/20040692.htm#9>
------------------------------------------------------------------
Meaning of "television receiver"
9. - (1) In Part 4 of the Act (licensing of TV reception),
"television receiver" means any apparatus installed or used for the
purpose of receiving (whether by means of wireless telegraphy or
otherwise) any television programme service, whether or not it is
installed or used for any other purpose.
(2) In this regulation, any reference to receiving a television
programme service includes a reference to receiving by any means any
programme included in that service, where that programme is received
at the same time (or virtually the same time) as it is received by
members of the public by virtue of its being broadcast or distributed
as part of that service.
------------------------------------------------------------------
A "Television Programme Service" is defined within the Communications
Act 2003
<http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2003/30021--k.htm#362>
-----------------------------------------------------------------
"television programme service" means any of the following-
(a) a television broadcasting service;
(b) a television licensable content service;
(c) a digital television programme service;
(d) a restricted television service;
-----------------------------------------------------------------
You then need to look up the definitions of the four sub-definitions
(with (a) and (c) being the main relevant ones to most of us).
Post by Amanda Angelika
Of course time is problematic to. Streamed content has to passed
through a variety of internet relays, servers, buffers etc before
you can view it, which means it is never actually "live" in the same
way as a conventional direct signal would be, it's a technicality
but in effect streamed content is always pre-recorded by some means
before you can see it.
Which is why there is the "virtually the same time" part in the
legislation.
Post by Amanda Angelika
Personally I don't think there would be sufficient evidence to
prosecute someone who didn't have a TV licence for receiving a Web
broadcast of any kind, because you don't need a licence to watch
pre-recorded material, and all digital materiel is to some degree
pre-recorded IOW It's viewed "on demand". and is not "live" in the
conventional sense.
Go and read the actual law, rather than making wild guesses about what
it says.
Post by Amanda Angelika
That being the case it would be difficult for a person to know
whether they were watching something that correlated to a TV
broadcast unless they were watching a TV set at the same time so it
would be difficult for an individual to know whether they were in
compliance with the law or not. Whilst ignorance is no defence. A
person could not effectively be shown to have broken the law by
intention, since compliance or non compliance is a matter of
coincidence, but since such material is never strictly speaking live
in any case, so never does entirely correlate with a conventional
direct broadcast, it's not even coincidence. it's a technical
impossibility.
It's simple IMO you don't need a licence to watch any kind of Web content.
And you are wrong.
Post by Amanda Angelika
Period. Any information that exists to the contrary is lies and or a
complete misunderstanding of the nature of the technology in use.
Nope.
It is the law.
Well thanks for the information. Not necessarily what I wanted to hear but
useful to know where one may stand if one were ever to cooperate and be open
and honest with the TV licence people.

I would still find it difficult to justify a TV licence considering I watch
a miniscule amount and most of that is viewed in other people's houses in
any case.

Of course one problem I always felt in regard to the TV licence is it tends
to be psychologically manipulative because the licence is a substantial
amount of money if you are on a low income, a major expense which obviously
is going to make you want to get your money's worth and therefore tends to
manipulate people into watching more television than they might do if it
were totally free of such a charge.

I know my parents always took that view and they weren't even particularly
poor, so it killed the art of conversation, one would get subjected to hours
and hours of TV. Which is one reason I ended up becoming an artist, as a
child I'd spend hours locked away in my bedroom making things, painting and
drawing. I wanted my parents to buy a piano, but they thought it might
interfere with the news LOL. They would buy family games at Christmas that
were never played more than once and usually got recycled into one of my
inventions, my nature table or museum of broken clocks LOL

Of course when I got older I realised what the problem was the government at
removed free will in 1949 and ensured the BBC had a captive audience, for
it's brain washing program. Thankfully I escaped and intend to remain at
large. LOL
--
Amanda
Mike
2006-07-04 21:14:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Heney
Post by Mike
Post by Alex Heney
It is more likely still that it would be a tax on your internet
connection, collected by your ISP, in much the same way as insurance
premium taxe3s are collected by the insurance companies.
Then we simply get into difficulties about the definition of an ISP
and a taxable service.
Suppose I have a leased line to a data centre in Docklands and have a
group of machines there. I have peering arrangements with several
transit providers. Who's my ISP?
Probably whoever sells you the leased line.
Well that would make no sense at all. The leased line is simply a
comms link between my group of computers "here" and my group of
computers "there". The leased line itself doesn't imply that either
"here" or "there" is connected to the Internet and I imagine that
hardly any leased lines are used for conveying broadcast television
(except, of course, for those used by the TV broadcast industry).

I really can't see large companies with multiple offices in this
country and abroad being at all happy about paying a "television tax"
simply to link their offices together!
Post by Alex Heney
I didn't suggest it would be foolproof. But it is a lot closer to it
than trying to define a "computer" for taxation purposes.
I'd say it's just as bad and just as unworkable.
Post by Alex Heney
And also makes more sense, if we are talking about a replacement for
TV licensing.
You astonish me. Internet connections are used for a great deal more
things than watching television.

Mike.
--
Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem
Alex Heney
2006-07-04 22:47:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike
Post by Alex Heney
Post by Mike
Post by Alex Heney
It is more likely still that it would be a tax on your internet
connection, collected by your ISP, in much the same way as insurance
premium taxe3s are collected by the insurance companies.
Then we simply get into difficulties about the definition of an ISP
and a taxable service.
Suppose I have a leased line to a data centre in Docklands and have a
group of machines there. I have peering arrangements with several
transit providers. Who's my ISP?
Probably whoever sells you the leased line.
Well that would make no sense at all. The leased line is simply a
comms link between my group of computers "here" and my group of
computers "there". The leased line itself doesn't imply that either
"here" or "there" is connected to the Internet and I imagine that
hardly any leased lines are used for conveying broadcast television
(except, of course, for those used by the TV broadcast industry).
I really can't see large companies with multiple offices in this
country and abroad being at all happy about paying a "television tax"
simply to link their offices together!
Post by Alex Heney
I didn't suggest it would be foolproof. But it is a lot closer to it
than trying to define a "computer" for taxation purposes.
I'd say it's just as bad and just as unworkable.
I can't understand how you might think that.

It is a lot easier to define (for legal purposes) an "internet
connection" than it is to define a "computer".
Post by Mike
Post by Alex Heney
And also makes more sense, if we are talking about a replacement for
TV licensing.
You astonish me. Internet connections are used for a great deal more
things than watching television.
Of course.

What is your point, and why are you "astonished"?
--
Alex Heney, Global Villager
Life is only as long as you live it.
To reply by email, my address is alexATheneyDOTplusDOTcom
Mike
2006-07-05 07:36:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Heney
It is a lot easier to define (for legal purposes) an "internet
connection" than it is to define a "computer".
I think the definitions are equally problematic.
Post by Alex Heney
What is your point, and why are you "astonished"?
I'm not going to play your pedant's game this time.

Mike.
--
Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem
Cynic
2006-07-05 09:37:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike
Post by Alex Heney
It is a lot easier to define (for legal purposes) an "internet
connection" than it is to define a "computer".
I think the definitions are equally problematic.
It could be a simple additional tax levied on all end-user Internet
accounts - the Internet provider would be made to increase their price
to include the new tax, and the government collect it from the ISPs.
It would have the advantage of making the amount loosely related to
the connection speed.

Sure, if you happen to have a leased line or a dialup into your
company's Internet router, or use a wireless link to share a
neighbour's Internet connection you would escape the tax. But that
would not be a significant proportion of people. Leased line would
likely cost you far more than the additional tax in any case.

I would hope that such a thing does not happen - but like petrol,
tobacco and booze, Internet connections are seen as a necessary luxury
by so many people that it is a cherry ripe for the picking (for
general taxation, not as a replacement for TV licence fees).
--
Cynic
Mike
2006-07-05 20:56:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Cynic
It could be a simple additional tax levied on all end-user Internet
accounts - the Internet provider would be made to increase their price
to include the new tax, and the government collect it from the ISPs.
It would have the advantage of making the amount loosely related to
the connection speed.
I wonder how an "end-user Internet account" would be defined, as
opposed to a "business Internet account", and whether the definition
would cope with a link from a private residence used solely for
business purposes. It presumably wouldn't cope with a domestic
connection used solely for non-television-watching purposes.

There are all sorts of complications, such as resellers who purchase
an Internet connection for their own use (and so are "end users") but
resell spare capacity to others, who are also "end users" but one
level down. Collection is another issue: is this to be another
VAT-like tax?

No doubt definitions could be written but they're likely to be
perceived as unfair and arbitrary. At the basis of this proposal is
the assumption that most people with Internet connections will use
them to watch television. My feeling is that this may possibly be
true at some point in the future (but only when applied to domestic
"end users") but isn't true now, partly because people prefer to watch
television on televisions and computers aren't yet generally
integrated with televisions.

There's also the problem of what to do about multiple, redundant links
to the Internet. People with those may have to pay for each link, in
which case it becomes a tax and no longer a licence fee.

Finally, what's the Internet? The naive may think they know but the
experts know that it's not at all clear what consititutes the
Internet. The Internet is a network of networks and the component
networks are continually changing. Would a collection of two networks
or a collection of an arbitrary number of networks be regarded as the
"Internet"? Would an isolated, private network of networks suddenly
become part of the Internet, and taxable, if someone somewhere
accidentally opens a data channel to another network that is part of
the Internet?

What about a VPN that links two discrete networks using the Internet
as a bearer channel but arranged so that the networks at each end of
the VPN have no routing outside the two discrete networks?

Some of these objections may seem esoteric but they'll be a nightmare
to the parliamentary draughtsmen.

Mike.
--
Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem
Alex Heney
2006-07-05 21:54:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike
Post by Cynic
It could be a simple additional tax levied on all end-user Internet
accounts - the Internet provider would be made to increase their price
to include the new tax, and the government collect it from the ISPs.
It would have the advantage of making the amount loosely related to
the connection speed.
I wonder how an "end-user Internet account" would be defined, as
opposed to a "business Internet account", and whether the definition
would cope with a link from a private residence used solely for
business purposes. It presumably wouldn't cope with a domestic
connection used solely for non-television-watching purposes.
We would have to see.
Post by Mike
There are all sorts of complications, such as resellers who purchase
an Internet connection for their own use (and so are "end users") but
resell spare capacity to others, who are also "end users" but one
level down. Collection is another issue: is this to be another
VAT-like tax?
No doubt definitions could be written but they're likely to be
perceived as unfair and arbitrary. At the basis of this proposal is
the assumption that most people with Internet connections will use
them to watch television. My feeling is that this may possibly be
true at some point in the future (but only when applied to domestic
"end users") but isn't true now, partly because people prefer to watch
television on televisions and computers aren't yet generally
integrated with televisions.
Remember that this "proposal" (It isn't really even at that level yet,
really just an idea being floated) is for one possible change
post-2017.

In 11 years time it might well be the case that most home computers
have been integrated into "home entertainment systems".

There are already a number being sold that way, and this is likely to
increase, IMO.
Post by Mike
There's also the problem of what to do about multiple, redundant links
to the Internet. People with those may have to pay for each link, in
which case it becomes a tax and no longer a licence fee.
Finally, what's the Internet? The naive may think they know but the
experts know that it's not at all clear what consititutes the
Internet. The Internet is a network of networks and the component
networks are continually changing. Would a collection of two networks
or a collection of an arbitrary number of networks be regarded as the
"Internet"? Would an isolated, private network of networks suddenly
become part of the Internet, and taxable, if someone somewhere
accidentally opens a data channel to another network that is part of
the Internet?
What about a VPN that links two discrete networks using the Internet
as a bearer channel but arranged so that the networks at each end of
the VPN have no routing outside the two discrete networks?
Some of these objections may seem esoteric but they'll be a nightmare
to the parliamentary draughtsmen.
Some of them would. But I am sure they would find a way to define it
that wouldn't be exactly what they wanted, but would be close enough.

If they were to go down that route at all.
--
Alex Heney, Global Villager
Modem: A great deterrent to phone solicitors
To reply by email, my address is alexATheneyDOTplusDOTcom
Cynic
2006-07-06 16:37:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike
Post by Cynic
It could be a simple additional tax levied on all end-user Internet
accounts - the Internet provider would be made to increase their price
to include the new tax, and the government collect it from the ISPs.
It would have the advantage of making the amount loosely related to
the connection speed.
I wonder how an "end-user Internet account" would be defined, as
opposed to a "business Internet account", and whether the definition
would cope with a link from a private residence used solely for
business purposes. It presumably wouldn't cope with a domestic
connection used solely for non-television-watching purposes.
A business account *is* an end-user account. Businesses would have to
pay the tax. i was speaking of an end-user account as opposed to a
company that leases a high-speed Internet line and then sub-leases
bandwidth (i.e. an ISP).
Post by Mike
There are all sorts of complications, such as resellers who purchase
an Internet connection for their own use (and so are "end users") but
resell spare capacity to others, who are also "end users" but one
level down. Collection is another issue: is this to be another
VAT-like tax?
Yes. And like VAT, people who sell on the bandwidth would have a VAT
number.
Post by Mike
No doubt definitions could be written but they're likely to be
perceived as unfair and arbitrary.
Not at all - it would work the same as for physical goods. If the
company uses it itself it pays VAT. If it sells it on, it doesn't.
Post by Mike
At the basis of this proposal is
the assumption that most people with Internet connections will use
them to watch television.
As said, I do not think it will be coupled with TV at all. It will
simply be another lucratively taxable item.
Post by Mike
My feeling is that this may possibly be
true at some point in the future (but only when applied to domestic
"end users") but isn't true now, partly because people prefer to watch
television on televisions and computers aren't yet generally
integrated with televisions.
There's also the problem of what to do about multiple, redundant links
to the Internet. People with those may have to pay for each link, in
which case it becomes a tax and no longer a licence fee.
Yes. If you buy a wheel to use as a spare, do you have to pay tax on
it?
Post by Mike
Finally, what's the Internet? The naive may think they know but the
experts know that it's not at all clear what consititutes the
Internet. The Internet is a network of networks and the component
networks are continually changing. Would a collection of two networks
or a collection of an arbitrary number of networks be regarded as the
"Internet"? Would an isolated, private network of networks suddenly
become part of the Internet, and taxable, if someone somewhere
accidentally opens a data channel to another network that is part of
the Internet?
As said, the number of cases where that would be an issue is
miniscule. For the purpose of taxation it would be a tax on the
service provided by a recognised ISP.
Post by Mike
What about a VPN that links two discrete networks using the Internet
as a bearer channel but arranged so that the networks at each end of
the VPN have no routing outside the two discrete networks?
If you are paying for an Internet connection, you will pay the tax.
Post by Mike
Some of these objections may seem esoteric but they'll be a nightmare
to the parliamentary draughtsmen.
Not at all. It will be dead easy. Simply increase the level of
taxation on anything that is deemed to be an Internet connection. Let
the punters argue the case if they believe that they are being taxed
on something that is not an Internet connection.
--
Cynic
Alex Heney
2006-07-05 10:32:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike
Post by Alex Heney
It is a lot easier to define (for legal purposes) an "internet
connection" than it is to define a "computer".
I think the definitions are equally problematic.
Post by Alex Heney
What is your point, and why are you "astonished"?
I'm not going to play your pedant's game this time.
So you have no idea why you were "astonished".

I am not being at all pedantic here.
--
Alex Heney, Global Villager
EXPANSION SLOTS: The extra holes in your belt buckle.
To reply by email, my address is alexATheneyDOTplusDOTcom
Mike
2006-07-05 20:58:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Heney
So you have no idea why you were "astonished".
I could say "you couldn't possibly know that" to quote your oft-penned
words but I really don't think I'll bother.

Mike.
--
Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem
Alex Heney
2006-07-05 21:55:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike
Post by Alex Heney
So you have no idea why you were "astonished".
I could say "you couldn't possibly know that" to quote your oft-penned
words but I really don't think I'll bother.
All I know is that you said you were astonished, but you won't tell me
why.
--
Alex Heney, Global Villager
Editing is a rewording activity.
To reply by email, my address is alexATheneyDOTplusDOTcom
Amanda Angelika
2006-07-05 17:30:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike
You astonish me. Internet connections are used for a great deal more
things than watching television.
Well apparently one would only be breaking the law if what you were watching
correlated with conventionally broadcast materiel broadcast simultaneously.
Considering all internet content has to be relayed through various servers,
all Internet digital video is in effect pre-recorded in some way before you
can receive it and accessed "on demand" even if it is billed as "live" there
is no way one could test that correlation unless one were watching a TV set
simultaneously (in which case you would need a TV licence). So it would
appear there is no way one could intend or not intend to break the law,
apart from in a totally hypothetical situation, because under normal
circumstances any similarity between the two means of broadcast are
coincidental.

AFAIK you don't need a TV licence to view pre-recorded materiel and no "on
demand" streamed Web content can be regarded as "live" in the same way as a
conventional direct signal could be considered as "live"

Which as far as I can see you would only need a TV licence for Broadband in
a hypothetical situation where you had a TV set as well, because if you
don't actually have a TV set it would be impossible for one to view both
simultaneously or to know that it was actually happening. That means you
can't intend or not intend to break the law, and since purchasing a TV
licence is only a requirement under certain circumstances, this would appear
to negate the ability for a court to prosecute you for viewing any type of
Web content without a TV licence. IOW you would still have to prove you had
an operable TV set, PC with a Broadcast card, or a VCR.
--
Amanda
Cynic
2006-07-05 18:24:56 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 05 Jul 2006 17:30:07 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Well apparently one would only be breaking the law if what you were watching
correlated with conventionally broadcast materiel broadcast simultaneously.
Considering all internet content has to be relayed through various servers,
all Internet digital video is in effect pre-recorded in some way before you
can receive it and accessed "on demand" even if it is billed as "live" there
is no way one could test that correlation unless one were watching a TV set
simultaneously (in which case you would need a TV licence). So it would
appear there is no way one could intend or not intend to break the law,
apart from in a totally hypothetical situation, because under normal
circumstances any similarity between the two means of broadcast are
coincidental.
It is probably determined by whether the *sending* station is sending
the content at the same time that it is being broadcast
conventionally. You need a TV licence for satellite TV, and there is
a few seconds delay between the received satellite program and the
same station received via terrestrial broadcast (I have watched them
side-by-side).
--
Cynic
Amanda Angelika
2006-07-05 20:02:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Cynic
On Wed, 05 Jul 2006 17:30:07 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Well apparently one would only be breaking the law if what you were
watching correlated with conventionally broadcast materiel broadcast
simultaneously. Considering all internet content has to be relayed
through various servers, all Internet digital video is in effect
pre-recorded in some way before you can receive it and accessed "on
demand" even if it is billed as "live" there is no way one could
test that correlation unless one were watching a TV set
simultaneously (in which case you would need a TV licence). So it
would appear there is no way one could intend or not intend to break
the law, apart from in a totally hypothetical situation, because
under normal circumstances any similarity between the two means of
broadcast are coincidental.
It is probably determined by whether the *sending* station is sending
the content at the same time that it is being broadcast
conventionally. You need a TV licence for satellite TV, and there is
a few seconds delay between the received satellite program and the
same station received via terrestrial broadcast (I have watched them
side-by-side).
The delay could very according to internet traffic, how much data, if any is
buffered on the server, or any relay server, the local buffer size and even
the speed of the connection, speed of the system and other tasks running at
the same time. The delay could be as much as 30 seconds possibly even more,
and in some cases one could experience data outage.

One could certainly not define that as simultaneous in an absolute and exact
sense since it would in effect be being viewed "on demand" which in effect
makes it closer to a pre-recorded stream that a live direct broadcast
undertaken by conventional means.

Given there is a reasonable element of doubt as to whether an internet
stream can, for technical reasons, be defined as simultaneous to an actual
direct broadcast. I would think it would be difficult to prosecute someone
for not having a TV licence on the basis of that evidence alone.

I could be wrong, but there are so many variables and inexatitudes involved
that any verdict of guilt would have to be based on a matter of opinion than
on hard clear evidence. I would doubt they could effectively prosecute
anyone on the basis of such thin and imprecise evidence. But that's only my
opinion.
--
Amanda
Alex Heney
2006-07-05 20:49:55 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 05 Jul 2006 20:02:53 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by Cynic
On Wed, 05 Jul 2006 17:30:07 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Well apparently one would only be breaking the law if what you were
watching correlated with conventionally broadcast materiel broadcast
simultaneously. Considering all internet content has to be relayed
through various servers, all Internet digital video is in effect
pre-recorded in some way before you can receive it and accessed "on
demand" even if it is billed as "live" there is no way one could
test that correlation unless one were watching a TV set
simultaneously (in which case you would need a TV licence). So it
would appear there is no way one could intend or not intend to break
the law, apart from in a totally hypothetical situation, because
under normal circumstances any similarity between the two means of
broadcast are coincidental.
It is probably determined by whether the *sending* station is sending
the content at the same time that it is being broadcast
conventionally. You need a TV licence for satellite TV, and there is
a few seconds delay between the received satellite program and the
same station received via terrestrial broadcast (I have watched them
side-by-side).
The delay could very according to internet traffic, how much data, if any is
buffered on the server, or any relay server, the local buffer size and even
the speed of the connection, speed of the system and other tasks running at
the same time. The delay could be as much as 30 seconds possibly even more,
and in some cases one could experience data outage.
One could certainly not define that as simultaneous in an absolute and exact
sense since it would in effect be being viewed "on demand" which in effect
makes it closer to a pre-recorded stream that a live direct broadcast
undertaken by conventional means.
Which is exactly why the law says "where that programme is received at
the same time (or virtually the same time)..."
--
Alex Heney, Global Villager
There's my way, and then there's the easy way.
To reply by email, my address is alexATheneyDOTplusDOTcom
Cynic
2006-07-06 16:48:33 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 05 Jul 2006 20:02:53 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by Cynic
It is probably determined by whether the *sending* station is sending
the content at the same time that it is being broadcast
conventionally. You need a TV licence for satellite TV, and there is
a few seconds delay between the received satellite program and the
same station received via terrestrial broadcast (I have watched them
side-by-side).
The delay could very according to internet traffic, how much data, if any is
buffered on the server, or any relay server, the local buffer size and even
the speed of the connection, speed of the system and other tasks running at
the same time. The delay could be as much as 30 seconds possibly even more,
and in some cases one could experience data outage.
One could certainly not define that as simultaneous in an absolute and exact
sense since it would in effect be being viewed "on demand" which in effect
makes it closer to a pre-recorded stream that a live direct broadcast
undertaken by conventional means.
Read my first sentence again. ISTM that the definition applies to
whether it is being *sent* at the same time as it is being
conventionally broadcast.

Or, to put the same thing in a different way, it is IMO considered to
be simultaneous if the delays are all transitory in nature.
--
Cynic
zaax
2006-07-03 00:46:13 UTC
Permalink
Amanda Angelika said
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by Mike
On Sun, 02 Jul 2006 19:37:40 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Computer tax set to replace TV licence fee
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1508650,00.html
THE BBC licence fee should be replaced by a tax on the ownership
of a personal computer instead of a television, ministers said
yesterday.
Post by Amanda Angelika
My question is would a taxation on computers and/or Internet access
contravene article 10 of the European convention on Human rights?
I don't know but I thought it worth replying to comment that from a
technical point of view it would be very difficult to define the
term "personal computer".
All sorts of electronic equipment have processors in them nowadays
and are "computers", such as washing machines and even toasters, so
presence of a CPU isn't sufficient. Is a monitor required? If so,
what about a computer controlled from a dumb terminal that can't
display pictures? What about a Cisco router or switch or a
firewall? What about a PSP or a PDA? What about a Sun
workstation? What about companies and even charities, who may have
hundreds of desktop PCs in an office?
Related to the definition problem is the enforcement problem. How
will the Computer Licensing organisation (no doubt a subsidiary of
Capita PLC) know whether a PC used as a Web server has a monitor
attached to it, in which case it could potentially be used to watch
television but probably isn't, or has no controlling peripherals at
all, in which case it can't?
I rather doubt that the proposal is workable.
Of course many Mobile phones can access broadcast materiel now. But
given watching television is not the primary function of a mobile
phone but generally a costly superfluous extra. I really can't see
how they could justify requiring people to have a TV licence for a
mobile phone, if they didn't actually own a TV set as well.
Mobile phone have FM radio and there is talk of ?G Mobile Phones to
have DTT
--
zaax
Amanda Angelika
2006-07-03 01:25:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by zaax
Amanda Angelika said
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by Mike
On Sun, 02 Jul 2006 19:37:40 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Computer tax set to replace TV licence fee
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1508650,00.html
THE BBC licence fee should be replaced by a tax on the ownership
of a personal computer instead of a television, ministers said
yesterday.
Post by Amanda Angelika
My question is would a taxation on computers and/or Internet access
contravene article 10 of the European convention on Human rights?
I don't know but I thought it worth replying to comment that from a
technical point of view it would be very difficult to define the
term "personal computer".
All sorts of electronic equipment have processors in them nowadays
and are "computers", such as washing machines and even toasters, so
presence of a CPU isn't sufficient. Is a monitor required? If so,
what about a computer controlled from a dumb terminal that can't
display pictures? What about a Cisco router or switch or a
firewall? What about a PSP or a PDA? What about a Sun
workstation? What about companies and even charities, who may have
hundreds of desktop PCs in an office?
Related to the definition problem is the enforcement problem. How
will the Computer Licensing organisation (no doubt a subsidiary of
Capita PLC) know whether a PC used as a Web server has a monitor
attached to it, in which case it could potentially be used to watch
television but probably isn't, or has no controlling peripherals at
all, in which case it can't?
I rather doubt that the proposal is workable.
Of course many Mobile phones can access broadcast materiel now. But
given watching television is not the primary function of a mobile
phone but generally a costly superfluous extra. I really can't see
how they could justify requiring people to have a TV licence for a
mobile phone, if they didn't actually own a TV set as well.
Mobile phone have FM radio and there is talk of ?G Mobile Phones to
have DTT
Yes true. In fact I have a Motorola A1000 3G smartphone myself, bought it
S/H on eBay and have it on a pay as you go account with 3. I found I could
access World Cup TV free of charge. In saying that my attention span for
postage stamp size telly runs into seconds. it's a novelty and fun and
useful if you have a telly and follow the soaps or Big Brother, but it's not
a feature I use much myself. Being an artist I mainly use the multi-media
features for shooting my own videos and carrying a folio of work around with
me. The thought that I should have to pay for a TV licence to watch my own
videos is frankly quite ridiculous :) I sometimes wonder whether that would
infringe my copyright and I should probably demand the BBC pay me money for
entertaining myself LOL
--
Amanda
Gaz
2006-07-02 20:54:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Amanda Angelika
Computer tax set to replace TV licence fee
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1508650,00.html
My question is would a taxation on computers and/or Internet access
contravene article 10 of the European convention on Human rights?
A law only has to say that it derrogates from the ECHR in the legislation,
and the ECHR becomes powerless.

Gaz
Amanda Angelika
2006-07-02 22:18:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gaz
Post by Amanda Angelika
Computer tax set to replace TV licence fee
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1508650,00.html
My question is would a taxation on computers and/or Internet access
contravene article 10 of the European convention on Human rights?
A law only has to say that it derrogates from the ECHR in the
legislation, and the ECHR becomes powerless.
I guess so. But freedom of expression is pretty fundamental and a major
aspect of a democratic society, requiring someone to have a special licence
to use a means, medium or tools of expression and freedom of speech and in
effect disenfranchise the poor from something that should be a birthright
would IMO seem unethical and immoral and although I'm not an expert would
seem to go against traditions and laws that have existed even in our own
backward little monarchy for hundreds of years and if accepted into law
would IMO be the end of any vestige or illusion of democracy that may yet
exist.

Are people really so apathetic that they would allow something so
fundamentally at variance with freedom and democracy which would in effect
mean the UK was going down a road of totalitarian Fascism without putting up
any sort of fight?
--
Amanda
Nuclear Winter
2006-07-02 22:38:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by Gaz
A law only has to say that it derrogates from the ECHR in the
legislation, and the ECHR becomes powerless.
I guess so. But freedom of expression is pretty fundamental and a major
aspect of a democratic society, requiring someone to have a special licence
to use a means,
Welcome to Blair's britain, where a pensioner was arrested under the
terrorism act for daring to say "rubbish" near a minister.
a***@white-eagle.invalid.uk
2006-07-03 01:41:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Amanda Angelika
Are people really so apathetic that they would allow something so
fundamentally at variance with freedom and democracy which would in effect
mean the UK was going down a road of totalitarian Fascism without putting up
any sort of fight?
Why do you think that it is wrong to tax people for having a computer
unless you also agree that people should not be taxed for receiving TV
or even broadcasting TV.

My own view is that none of these should be subject to more than normal
taxation, i.e. VAT.

Axel
Amanda Angelika
2006-07-03 02:50:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by a***@white-eagle.invalid.uk
Post by Amanda Angelika
Are people really so apathetic that they would allow something so
fundamentally at variance with freedom and democracy which would in
effect mean the UK was going down a road of totalitarian Fascism
without putting up any sort of fight?
Why do you think that it is wrong to tax people for having a computer
unless you also agree that people should not be taxed for receiving TV
or even broadcasting TV.
My own view is that none of these should be subject to more than
normal taxation, i.e. VAT.
Well I suppose as a creative person myself. It would seem crazy and wrong
that the government would want to tax me for owning a computer or having
Internet access when my primary interest in computers and the internet is as
content creator rather than a content consumer.

It's hard enough to make a living as an artist as it is without the
Government proposing to impose additional and unnecessary taxation on a
medium of creative expression and in effect tax one for ones own creative
endeavours as if one were not even entitled to the copyright and ownership
of one's own creative work and intellectual property, and should deserve a
punishment rather than reward for such positive efforts, that one gives
often free of charge.

To me it seems fundamentally immoral and wrong particularly when that money
is to be used to fund what is in effect an organ of state propaganda at the
direct expense of all other content providers large or small and all
creative people that contribute work and content to the Internet often free
of charge.

I think if they did instigate such a tax in effect on people's creative
endeavours regardless of whether it could be fought through legal means such
a government would deserve nothing more than total and utter contempt.
--
Amanda
Richard
2006-07-06 12:29:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gaz
Post by Amanda Angelika
Computer tax set to replace TV licence fee
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1508650,00.html
My question is would a taxation on computers and/or Internet access
contravene article 10 of the European convention on Human rights?
A law only has to say that it derrogates from the ECHR in the legislation,
and the ECHR becomes powerless.
Not quite. Substitute HRA for ECHR, and the statement is correct, but
in that situation, the person affected is still entitled to go to
Strasbourg and may be awarded compensation for the infringement -
probably at a penal level because the State was deliberately and
knowingly infringing human rights.

Richard Miller
Alex Heney
2006-07-02 22:40:48 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 02 Jul 2006 19:37:40 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Computer tax set to replace TV licence fee
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1508650,00.html
A very stupid headline, since that was only one of several options
that *might* be looked at by 2017.
Post by Amanda Angelika
My question is would a taxation on computers and/or Internet access
contravene article 10 of the European convention on Human rights?
No. Of course not.

Computers and internet access are already taxed (VAT).
Post by Amanda Angelika
Article 10 - Freedom of expression
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include
freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas
without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.
Whilst I understand this act has not been used successfully in the abolition
of the Licence in regard to Television sets because European law also allows
member states to licence broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.
Surely when it comes to computers and Internet access, whilst both may be
used to consume entertainment and limited broadcast material are primarily
used as a means of interactive communication where the user may in fact
express and create more than he or she may actually consume.
Surely any taxation of such a medium would in effect constitute a tax of
free expression and would fundamentally contravene European human rights
legislation as well as being completely against the Interests of democracy
in the UK whether real or illusionary.
Nope.

There is nothing in Article 10 which states that "freedom of
expression" must be "free of charge".

Nor that specific media for expressing opinion in must be free.
--
Alex Heney, Global Villager
...I'm sorry, Reality is not in service at this time.
To reply by email, my address is alexATheneyDOTplusDOTcom
Amanda Angelika
2006-07-02 23:27:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike
On Sun, 02 Jul 2006 19:37:40 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Computer tax set to replace TV licence fee
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1508650,00.html
A very stupid headline, since that was only one of several options
that *might* be looked at by 2017.
Post by Amanda Angelika
My question is would a taxation on computers and/or Internet access
contravene article 10 of the European convention on Human rights?
No. Of course not.
Computers and internet access are already taxed (VAT).
There's VAT on Pens, Paper and Ink to. Howver one doesn't need a special
licence to own a pen and paper or to use such tools. One already has an
inalianable licence to use such tools, or at least one should do in a
democratic society. What makes Computers and Internet access any different?
Post by Mike
Post by Amanda Angelika
Article 10 - Freedom of expression
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall
include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart
information and ideas without interference by public authority and
regardless of frontiers.
Whilst I understand this act has not been used successfully in the
abolition of the Licence in regard to Television sets because
European law also allows member states to licence broadcasting,
television or cinema enterprises. Surely when it comes to computers
and Internet access, whilst both may be used to consume
entertainment and limited broadcast material are primarily used as a
means of interactive communication where the user may in fact
express and create more than he or she may actually consume.
Surely any taxation of such a medium would in effect constitute a
tax of free expression and would fundamentally contravene European
human rights legislation as well as being completely against the
Interests of democracy in the UK whether real or illusionary.
Nope.
There is nothing in Article 10 which states that "freedom of
expression" must be "free of charge".
No but charging is a limitation which disenfrancises the poor and would in
effect removes basic human rights, making such rights comensurate to wealth.

Such imbalances exist in any case due to free market economics. In a
democracy part of a goverments role is to redress such imbalances. Othewise
why would one actuall need a Govenement at all?
Post by Mike
Nor that specific media for expressing opinion in must be free.
No but generally in a democracy part of the governments role is to uphold
democracy itself to ensure that no one is disenfranchised from access to the
means of expression, freedom of speech and political discourse. In fact the
UK government fund schemes with bring computers and Internet access to
school children in poorer areas and to the unemployed and other poor people.
There are also many free computer courses available. Anything which would
serve to disenfranchise or limit access to the means of expression, would
seem to be at variance with the Job a democratic government is entrusted to
perform.

Democracy is IMO far more important that the funding of the BBC, which as a
part of the establishment it could be agued is not entirely independent and
is an oracle of government propaganda and social manipulation.
--
Amanda
Alex Heney
2006-07-02 23:35:41 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 02 Jul 2006 23:27:52 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by Mike
On Sun, 02 Jul 2006 19:37:40 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Computer tax set to replace TV licence fee
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1508650,00.html
A very stupid headline, since that was only one of several options
that *might* be looked at by 2017.
Post by Amanda Angelika
My question is would a taxation on computers and/or Internet access
contravene article 10 of the European convention on Human rights?
No. Of course not.
Computers and internet access are already taxed (VAT).
There's VAT on Pens, Paper and Ink to. Howver one doesn't need a special
licence to own a pen and paper or to use such tools. One already has an
inalianable licence to use such tools, or at least one should do in a
democratic society. What makes Computers and Internet access any different?
They are a lot more expensive, and they have many other uses.

Otherwise, nothing much.

But so what?

Who is saying they *are* any different?

You were not asking why *should* computers be taxed, you were asking
whether it would be legal to do so.

And the answer is that yes, it would.
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by Mike
Post by Amanda Angelika
Article 10 - Freedom of expression
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall
include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart
information and ideas without interference by public authority and
regardless of frontiers.
Whilst I understand this act has not been used successfully in the
abolition of the Licence in regard to Television sets because
European law also allows member states to licence broadcasting,
television or cinema enterprises. Surely when it comes to computers
and Internet access, whilst both may be used to consume
entertainment and limited broadcast material are primarily used as a
means of interactive communication where the user may in fact
express and create more than he or she may actually consume.
Surely any taxation of such a medium would in effect constitute a
tax of free expression and would fundamentally contravene European
human rights legislation as well as being completely against the
Interests of democracy in the UK whether real or illusionary.
Nope.
There is nothing in Article 10 which states that "freedom of
expression" must be "free of charge".
No but charging is a limitation which disenfrancises the poor and would in
effect removes basic human rights, making such rights comensurate to wealth.
Which they already are, to a much greater extent than is likely as a
result of such a measure.

If people can afford to buy a computer in the first place, they can
probably afford the licence. Most of them would have a TV set
(licensed) now anyhow.
Post by Amanda Angelika
Such imbalances exist in any case due to free market economics. In a
democracy part of a goverments role is to redress such imbalances. Othewise
why would one actuall need a Govenement at all?
Quite a few reasons.
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by Mike
Nor that specific media for expressing opinion in must be free.
No but generally in a democracy part of the governments role is to uphold
democracy itself to ensure that no one is disenfranchised from access to the
means of expression, freedom of speech and political discourse.
That is an argument.

It still isn't a good enough one for why tax on computers, or on
internet access, should be illegal.
Post by Amanda Angelika
Democracy is IMO far more important that the funding of the BBC, which as a
part of the establishment it could be agued is not entirely independent and
is an oracle of government propaganda and social manipulation.
I completely agree.

But that has nothing significant to do with the question.
--
Alex Heney, Global Villager
Some people approach every problem with an open mouth
To reply by email, my address is alexATheneyDOTplusDOTcom
Amanda Angelika
2006-07-03 00:47:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Heney
On Sun, 02 Jul 2006 23:27:52 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by Mike
On Sun, 02 Jul 2006 19:37:40 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Computer tax set to replace TV licence fee
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1508650,00.html
A very stupid headline, since that was only one of several options
that *might* be looked at by 2017.
Post by Amanda Angelika
My question is would a taxation on computers and/or Internet access
contravene article 10 of the European convention on Human rights?
No. Of course not.
Computers and internet access are already taxed (VAT).
There's VAT on Pens, Paper and Ink to. Howver one doesn't need a
special licence to own a pen and paper or to use such tools. One
already has an inalianable licence to use such tools, or at least
one should do in a democratic society. What makes Computers and
Internet access any different?
They are a lot more expensive, and they have many other uses.
Otherwise, nothing much.
But so what?
Who is saying they *are* any different?
You were not asking why *should* computers be taxed, you were asking
whether it would be legal to do so.
And the answer is that yes, it would.
Well I think it becomes problematic when it is called a "Licence" because
generally one already supposedly has a licence for free expression (within
certain limits). Some sort of blanket taxation on computers charged at point
of sale or a charge levied through ISPs on Internet access could I suppose
work, it's still a bit unethical IMO but it would be difficult to contest.
However I think if they did that they would need to abolish the TV Licence
as it stands. I don't really see how a licence system could work for
computers.
Post by Alex Heney
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by Mike
Post by Amanda Angelika
Article 10 - Freedom of expression
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right
shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart
information and ideas without interference by public authority and
regardless of frontiers.
Whilst I understand this act has not been used successfully in the
abolition of the Licence in regard to Television sets because
European law also allows member states to licence broadcasting,
television or cinema enterprises. Surely when it comes to computers
and Internet access, whilst both may be used to consume
entertainment and limited broadcast material are primarily used as
a means of interactive communication where the user may in fact
express and create more than he or she may actually consume.
Surely any taxation of such a medium would in effect constitute a
tax of free expression and would fundamentally contravene European
human rights legislation as well as being completely against the
Interests of democracy in the UK whether real or illusionary.
Nope.
There is nothing in Article 10 which states that "freedom of
expression" must be "free of charge".
No but charging is a limitation which disenfrancises the poor and
would in effect removes basic human rights, making such rights
comensurate to wealth.
Which they already are, to a much greater extent than is likely as a
result of such a measure.
If people can afford to buy a computer in the first place, they can
probably afford the licence. Most of them would have a TV set
(licensed) now anyhow.
Not necessarily one can buy a serviceable computer for £50 to £100 and basic
Broadband access is within the means of someone on the dole in fact it
generally costs little more than unmetered dial-up, and obviously if someone
were to do without a TV then the £12 per month saved on the licence would
pay a substantial part of basic Broadband access.

However if you add another £10 a month to the cost of Internet access then
it probably wouldn't be affordable for someone who was unemployed. Obviously
making it more difficult for the unemployed to maintain their IT skills and
access the jobs markets on line would be a bad thing and could have serious
and disproportionate effects on the whole economy.
Post by Alex Heney
Post by Amanda Angelika
Such imbalances exist in any case due to free market economics. In a
democracy part of a goverments role is to redress such imbalances.
Othewise why would one actuall need a Govenement at all?
Quite a few reasons.
Like War on terrorism. Of course there are people who contend that was an
invention designed to do away with human rights and impose a new World
Order. That's probably going a bit too far but certain rights have and are
being gradually eroded. Though this is probable more apparent to Americans.
Of course the main thing that oppresses Americans is they often have more
debt than they can ever pay off sometimes in the region of millions of
dollars if they get ill and haven't got sufficient medical insurance.
Generally the UK isn't all bad.
Post by Alex Heney
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by Mike
Nor that specific media for expressing opinion in must be free.
No but generally in a democracy part of the governments role is to
uphold democracy itself to ensure that no one is disenfranchised
from access to the means of expression, freedom of speech and
political discourse.
That is an argument.
It still isn't a good enough one for why tax on computers, or on
internet access, should be illegal.
No probably not, but I think it's at variance with the basic principles of
democracy.
Post by Alex Heney
Post by Amanda Angelika
Democracy is IMO far more important that the funding of the BBC,
which as a part of the establishment it could be agued is not
entirely independent and is an oracle of government propaganda and
social manipulation.
I completely agree.
But that has nothing significant to do with the question.
I see what you mean. A tax on computers and Internet access would be a bit
different than a licence system and since it would be difficult if not
impossible to evade no one would end up in court seeking to defend their
human rights. So the government could probably get away with it :(
--
Amanda
mogga
2006-07-03 12:11:15 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 03 Jul 2006 00:47:46 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Well I think it becomes problematic when it is called a "Licence" because
generally one already supposedly has a licence for free expression (within
certain limits). Some sort of blanket taxation on computers charged at point
of sale or a charge levied through ISPs on Internet access could I suppose
work, it's still a bit unethical IMO but it would be difficult to contest.
However I think if they did that they would need to abolish the TV Licence
as it stands. I don't really see how a licence system could work for
computers.
It is now a tax as they've taken it out of the inflation basket so
they can put the price up a lot.
Post by Amanda Angelika
I see what you mean. A tax on computers and Internet access would be a bit
different than a licence system and since it would be difficult if not
impossible to evade no one would end up in court seeking to defend their
human rights. So the government could probably get away with it :(
Would the government then have to pay for all its own computers?

Why don't they charge people outside of the UK for accessing the BBC
sites?
--
Get away from it all
http://www.travelfreebies.co.uk/thomson-holidays.htm
Late deals, mega cheap flights and bargains
Amanda Angelika
2006-07-03 13:55:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by mogga
On Mon, 03 Jul 2006 00:47:46 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Well I think it becomes problematic when it is called a "Licence"
because generally one already supposedly has a licence for free
expression (within certain limits). Some sort of blanket taxation on
computers charged at point of sale or a charge levied through ISPs
on Internet access could I suppose work, it's still a bit unethical
IMO but it would be difficult to contest. However I think if they
did that they would need to abolish the TV Licence as it stands. I
don't really see how a licence system could work for computers.
It is now a tax as they've taken it out of the inflation basket so
they can put the price up a lot.
Yes. I suppose it's always been a tax in reality. The BBC have always been
funded by the Government. The only purpose of a licence system as far as I
can see is that it creates the illusion that the BBC is somehow independent
of Government control. To be honest I think one would have to be fairly
naive to believe that :)
Post by mogga
Post by Amanda Angelika
I see what you mean. A tax on computers and Internet access would be
a bit different than a licence system and since it would be
difficult if not impossible to evade no one would end up in court
seeking to defend their human rights. So the government could
probably get away with it :(
Would the government then have to pay for all its own computers?
They would probably have exceptions for businesses. Obviously if it were
done by raising VAT on computer related products anyone that was VAT
registered could claim the VAT back on the computers they buy.
Post by mogga
Why don't they charge people outside of the UK for accessing the BBC
sites?
Well actually they block non UK IPs from receiving Broadband content, it's
UK only and of course they do sell BBC content to overseas broadcast
companies. They could raise funds through some forms of pay per view systems
and probably already do, for example accessing programs on a mobile phone
isn't always free and one imagines they probably get some form if financial
kick back from Mobile Network providers for syndicating this content.
--
Amanda
Mike
2006-07-03 20:22:44 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 03 Jul 2006 13:55:43 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by mogga
Why don't they charge people outside of the UK for accessing the BBC
sites?
Well actually they block non UK IPs from receiving Broadband content, it's
UK only ...
There are ways around that, involving proxies. No doubt the BBC are
relying on people outside the UK not trying too hard.

Mike.
--
Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem
Amanda Angelika
2006-07-03 23:52:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike
On Mon, 03 Jul 2006 13:55:43 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by mogga
Why don't they charge people outside of the UK for accessing the BBC
sites?
Well actually they block non UK IPs from receiving Broadband
content, it's UK only ...
There are ways around that, involving proxies. No doubt the BBC are
relying on people outside the UK not trying too hard.
Yes very true. Mind the BBC often seem to have a partonising and
condescending attitude to it's viewers in any case, which sometimes seems to
be stuck in a 1950s time warp (probably why it gets called Auntie LOL), so
they would probably assume the average viewer particularly those overseas
and in the colonies wouldn't know what a proxy server is. LOL
--
Amanda
a***@white-eagle.invalid.uk
2006-07-03 01:55:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Amanda Angelika
No but generally in a democracy part of the governments role is to uphold
democracy itself to ensure that no one is disenfranchised from access to the
means of expression, freedom of speech and political discourse. In fact the
Ha, ha ha. Welcome to NuLab Britain where expressing a view or reading a
newspaper will end up with questioning and/or arrest, or getting sacked
from a job without recompense.

The UK is not a democratic country. Maybe once when the Hourse of Lords
existed it had something of this nature... people who could speak out
without fear in Parliament. Even the ancient Athenians had a far more
democratic regime... not that it always gave the best results despite
the views of Socrates.

Axel
Robbie
2006-07-02 23:05:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Amanda Angelika
Computer tax set to replace TV licence fee
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1508650,00.html
My question is would a taxation on computers and/or Internet access
contravene article 10 of the European convention on Human rights?
Article 10 - Freedom of expression
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include
freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas
without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.
Whilst I understand this act has not been used successfully in the abolition
of the Licence in regard to Television sets because European law also allows
member states to licence broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.
Surely when it comes to computers and Internet access, whilst both may be
used to consume entertainment and limited broadcast material are primarily
used as a means of interactive communication where the user may in fact
express and create more than he or she may actually consume.
Surely any taxation of such a medium would in effect constitute a tax of
free expression and would fundamentally contravene European human rights
legislation as well as being completely against the Interests of democracy
in the UK whether real or illusionary.
The article you've linked to is from March 2005!

Robbie
Alex Heney
2006-07-02 23:36:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robbie
Post by Amanda Angelika
Computer tax set to replace TV licence fee
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1508650,00.html
My question is would a taxation on computers and/or Internet access
contravene article 10 of the European convention on Human rights?
Article 10 - Freedom of expression
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include
freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas
without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.
Whilst I understand this act has not been used successfully in the abolition
of the Licence in regard to Television sets because European law also allows
member states to licence broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.
Surely when it comes to computers and Internet access, whilst both may be
used to consume entertainment and limited broadcast material are primarily
used as a means of interactive communication where the user may in fact
express and create more than he or she may actually consume.
Surely any taxation of such a medium would in effect constitute a tax of
free expression and would fundamentally contravene European human rights
legislation as well as being completely against the Interests of democracy
in the UK whether real or illusionary.
The article you've linked to is from March 2005!
I noticed that.

But it doesn't invalidate the question.
--
Alex Heney, Global Villager
Some people approach every problem with an open mouth
To reply by email, my address is alexATheneyDOTplusDOTcom
Amanda Angelika
2006-07-02 23:42:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robbie
Post by Amanda Angelika
Computer tax set to replace TV licence fee
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1508650,00.html
My question is would a taxation on computers and/or Internet access
contravene article 10 of the European convention on Human rights?
Article 10 - Freedom of expression
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall
include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart
information and ideas without interference by public authority and
regardless of frontiers.
Whilst I understand this act has not been used successfully in the
abolition of the Licence in regard to Television sets because
European law also allows member states to licence broadcasting,
television or cinema enterprises. Surely when it comes to computers
and Internet access, whilst both may be used to consume
entertainment and limited broadcast material are primarily used as a
means of interactive communication where the user may in fact
express and create more than he or she may actually consume.
Surely any taxation of such a medium would in effect constitute a
tax of free expression and would fundamentally contravene European
human rights legislation as well as being completely against the
Interests of democracy in the UK whether real or illusionary.
The article you've linked to is from March 2005!
That's what happens when the wicked government stop one watching the telly
LOL

Actually though the issues have been raised in a number of more recent
articles I have read to.

Of course this has been particularly relevant at the moment since the BBC
have been streaming the World Cup live on their Website and some mobile
phone network providers such as for example 3 have been offering free access
to mobile TV channels. So technically if one has a computer and broadband
access or some types of mobile phone one should have a TV licence to access
this materiel even if one doesn't actually own a TV set (the BBC website
states this).

But obviously that does present some issues of enforceability and what I am
questioning is whether requiring people to own a special licence to own or
use the modern equivalent of a Pen, Paper and Ink i.e. a computer and
Internet access would be in compliance with human rights or the basic
principles of democracy.

IMO it probably isn't. But before I get arrested and banged away in a
concentration camp and made to polish the BBC transmitters with a duster and
can of Mr Sheen. I thought it might be worth checking if any of this stuff
could be challenged if one happened to find oneself in such a dire position
:)
--
Amanda
a***@white-eagle.invalid.uk
2006-07-03 01:34:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Amanda Angelika
Computer tax set to replace TV licence fee
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1508650,00.html
My question is would a taxation on computers and/or Internet access
contravene article 10 of the European convention on Human rights?
Article 10 - Freedom of expression
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include
freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas
without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.
Whilst I understand this act has not been used successfully in the abolition
of the Licence in regard to Television sets because European law also allows
member states to licence broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.
Surely when it comes to computers and Internet access, whilst both may be
used to consume entertainment and limited broadcast material are primarily
used as a means of interactive communication where the user may in fact
express and create more than he or she may actually consume.
Surely any taxation of such a medium would in effect constitute a tax of
free expression and would fundamentally contravene European human rights
legislation as well as being completely against the Interests of democracy
in the UK whether real or illusionary.
Most EU countries other than the UK charge VAT on books.

Axel
a***@white-eagle.invalid.uk
2006-07-03 01:37:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Amanda Angelika
Surely any taxation of such a medium would in effect constitute a tax of
free expression and would fundamentally contravene European human rights
legislation as well as being completely against the Interests of democracy
in the UK whether real or illusionary.
Sorry making a second followup... paper and pencil are also charged VAT.

Axel
Amanda Angelika
2006-07-04 19:00:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by a***@white-eagle.invalid.uk
Post by Amanda Angelika
Surely any taxation of such a medium would in effect constitute a
tax of free expression and would fundamentally contravene European
human rights legislation as well as being completely against the
Interests of democracy in the UK whether real or illusionary.
Sorry making a second followup... paper and pencil are also charged VAT.
Axel
There's VAT on most things apart from books. Including computers and
Internet access. But I don't think it would be right to specifically tax
computers or internet access to fund the BBC.

If computers and the Internet were primarily and almost entirely a medium of
entertainment then maybe one could justify some form of tax on
entertainment. But computers and the Internet are also a means of expression
and of individual creation. You could argue that's their primary use and
reason for existence.

I think therefore regardless of whether or not the government could get away
with it in terms of European law or even it's own human-rights laws. Freedom
of expression at least within certain limits is a corner stone of democracy
and I think once governments start to tinker with such basic holy precepts
it's the thin end of the wedge to totalitarianism and IMO fundamentally
wrong and highly dangerous.

In fact it's quite frightening in my view that ministers would even consider
such an idea let along carry it out. The only thing I can think of is they
have little direct hands on experience of IT and assume computers and the
Internet are primarily entertainment media or tools, so have little
understanding or a full grasp of the implications of such a suggestion. OTOH
maybe the UK has already become a post 9/11 totalitarian state it's just
they haven't got round to telling us yet :)
--
Amanda
The TERMinator
2006-07-03 11:22:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Amanda Angelika
Computer tax set to replace TV licence fee
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1508650,00.html
My question is would a taxation on computers and/or Internet access
contravene article 10 of the European convention on Human rights?
Article 10 - Freedom of expression
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include
freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas
without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.
Whilst I understand this act has not been used successfully in the abolition
of the Licence in regard to Television sets because European law also allows
member states to licence broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.
Surely when it comes to computers and Internet access, whilst both may be
used to consume entertainment and limited broadcast material are primarily
used as a means of interactive communication where the user may in fact
express and create more than he or she may actually consume.
Surely any taxation of such a medium would in effect constitute a tax of
free expression and would fundamentally contravene European human rights
legislation as well as being completely against the Interests of democracy
in the UK whether real or illusionary.#
The 'brave' government that introduces such nonsense might as well sign it's
own 'death' warrant at the subsequent general election!
Post by Amanda Angelika
--
Amanda
Amanda Angelika
2006-07-03 14:15:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by The TERMinator
Post by Amanda Angelika
Computer tax set to replace TV licence fee
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1508650,00.html
My question is would a taxation on computers and/or Internet access
contravene article 10 of the European convention on Human rights?
Article 10 - Freedom of expression
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include
freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and
ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of
frontiers.
Whilst I understand this act has not been used successfully in the abolition
of the Licence in regard to Television sets because European law also allows
member states to licence broadcasting, television or cinema
enterprises. Surely when it comes to computers and Internet access,
whilst both may be used to consume entertainment and limited
broadcast material are primarily used as a means of interactive
communication where the user may in fact express and create more
than he or she may actually consume.
Surely any taxation of such a medium would in effect constitute a
tax of free expression and would fundamentally contravene European
human rights legislation as well as being completely against the
Interests of democracy in the UK whether real or illusionary.#
The 'brave' government that introduces such nonsense might as well
sign it's own 'death' warrant at the subsequent general election!
Well we can live in hope I suppose. Pity there are no credible alternatives.
LOL
Maybe we should dispense with the Government and decide everything using an
Internet based referendum system. We would only need some civil service
network admin people at the top and some actors in suits to make dramatic
speeches with a few Bible quotation dropped in for good measure. Get rid of
the Royal Family of course. Making Lara Croft or Barbie Queen would save
enormous amounts of money and save having to kill them for dating Arabs.
Well it might work, couldn't be any worse than the current system :)
--
Amanda
Alex Heney
2006-07-03 23:46:18 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 03 Jul 2006 14:15:44 GMT, "Amanda Angelika"
<***@hotmail.com> wrote:

<snip>
Post by Amanda Angelika
Post by The TERMinator
The 'brave' government that introduces such nonsense might as well
sign it's own 'death' warrant at the subsequent general election!
Well we can live in hope I suppose. Pity there are no credible alternatives.
Agreed. It doesn't matter who you vote for, the government always get
in :-(
--
Alex Heney, Global Villager
Ability is a good thing but stability is even better.
To reply by email, my address is alexATheneyDOTplusDOTcom
Alex Heney
2006-07-03 23:45:14 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 3 Jul 2006 12:22:58 +0100, "The TERMinator"
Post by The TERMinator
Post by Amanda Angelika
Computer tax set to replace TV licence fee
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1508650,00.html
My question is would a taxation on computers and/or Internet access
contravene article 10 of the European convention on Human rights?
Article 10 - Freedom of expression
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include
freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas
without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.
Whilst I understand this act has not been used successfully in the abolition
of the Licence in regard to Television sets because European law also allows
member states to licence broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.
Surely when it comes to computers and Internet access, whilst both may be
used to consume entertainment and limited broadcast material are primarily
used as a means of interactive communication where the user may in fact
express and create more than he or she may actually consume.
Surely any taxation of such a medium would in effect constitute a tax of
free expression and would fundamentally contravene European human rights
legislation as well as being completely against the Interests of democracy
in the UK whether real or illusionary.#
The 'brave' government that introduces such nonsense might as well sign it's
own 'death' warrant at the subsequent general election!
It would have no measurable effect on voting, if it were combined with
abolition of the separate TV licence.
--
Alex Heney, Global Villager
Ability is a good thing but stability is even better.
To reply by email, my address is alexATheneyDOTplusDOTcom
Amanda Angelika
2006-07-04 00:42:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Heney
On Mon, 3 Jul 2006 12:22:58 +0100, "The TERMinator"
Post by The TERMinator
Post by Amanda Angelika
Computer tax set to replace TV licence fee
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1508650,00.html
My question is would a taxation on computers and/or Internet access
contravene article 10 of the European convention on Human rights?
Article 10 - Freedom of expression
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include
freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and
ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of
frontiers.
Whilst I understand this act has not been used successfully in the abolition
of the Licence in regard to Television sets because European law also allows
member states to licence broadcasting, television or cinema
enterprises. Surely when it comes to computers and Internet access,
whilst both may be used to consume entertainment and limited
broadcast material are primarily used as a means of interactive
communication where the user may in fact express and create more
than he or she may actually consume.
Surely any taxation of such a medium would in effect constitute a
tax of free expression and would fundamentally contravene European
human rights legislation as well as being completely against the
Interests of democracy in the UK whether real or illusionary.#
The 'brave' government that introduces such nonsense might as well
sign it's own 'death' warrant at the subsequent general election!
It would have no measurable effect on voting, if it were combined with
abolition of the separate TV licence.
Yes I think that's very likely true. I don't think many people are against
the concept of public broadcasting or against the BBC and I would think most
people recognise a need to fund it by some means.
--
Amanda
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