Discussion:
TVL Demands License for Laptop and WiFi
(too old to reply)
CJB
2006-09-11 16:30:42 UTC
Permalink
I've just had an aggressive demand from our 'friends' the TVL for a new
laptop I've just purchased with Windows Media Centre and a t.v. card.
However the t.v. reception and display is so damned awful that I am
seriously thinking of getting the t.v. card removed. This test was at a
location that is IS licensed for t.v. reception, but anyway I'm damned
if I'm going to pay for a second license just so that I can use the
laptop elsewhere - even as a simple computer.

So please could folk advise me:

1/ is a license necessary for a t.v. equipped laptop that is used at
another location even if the t.v. feature itself is not actually being
used (prior to removal of the t.v. card),

2/ if the laptop has WiFi is it necessary to have a license for the
location where the WiFi router is situated if the laptop is used in
another location that is / is NOT licensed

Specifically I want to set up a local free WiFi service for a block of
flats, but do not wish to pay for a t.v. license specifically for the
room in which the WiFi router will be located.

Many thanks - CJB.
Mark Horton
2006-09-11 16:36:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by CJB
I've just had an aggressive demand from our 'friends' the TVL for a new
laptop I've just purchased with Windows Media Centre and a t.v. card.
However the t.v. reception and display is so damned awful that I am
seriously thinking of getting the t.v. card removed. This test was at a
location that is IS licensed for t.v. reception, but anyway I'm damned
if I'm going to pay for a second license just so that I can use the
laptop elsewhere - even as a simple computer.
1/ is a license necessary for a t.v. equipped laptop that is used at
another location even if the t.v. feature itself is not actually being
used (prior to removal of the t.v. card),
Yes as long as there is a method of receiving off air transmissions.
Post by CJB
2/ if the laptop has WiFi is it necessary to have a license for the
location where the WiFi router is situated if the laptop is used in
another location that is / is NOT licensed
The licence is required for where the receiver (your laptop) The WiFi
router is merely that.
Post by CJB
Specifically I want to set up a local free WiFi service for a block of
flats, but do not wish to pay for a t.v. license specifically for the
room in which the WiFi router will be located.
The WiFi router should not need to be licenced, as it is merely routing
signals. It is not a receiver. It is like saying you need to have a
licence for a TV/Radio signal booster, when you only have an FM radio tuner.
Post by CJB
Many thanks - CJB.
Mark
CJB
2006-09-11 16:47:07 UTC
Permalink
Mark - thank you for the quick response. So the WiFi router doesn't
need a license. However if I use the laptop in another location that IS
licensed then I assume that I'm covered OK. But what if I use the
laptop in say a cafe or pub with a WiFi hotspot or even on a moving
train? I can't imagine the latter will be licensed!! And will my home
license cover the laptop whilst I'm travelling. What about sitting in a
field or on the beach using a WiFi connection (but not using the t.v.
feature - which as I said is next to useless)? Many thanks - CJB.
Post by Mark Horton
Post by CJB
1/ is a license necessary for a t.v. equipped laptop that is used at
another location even if the t.v. feature itself is not actually being
used (prior to removal of the t.v. card),
Yes as long as there is a method of receiving off air transmissions.
Mark Horton
2006-09-11 17:02:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by CJB
Mark - thank you for the quick response. So the WiFi router doesn't
need a license.
Correct.
Post by CJB
However if I use the laptop in another location that IS
licensed then I assume that I'm covered OK.
Yes
Post by CJB
But what if I use the
laptop in say a cafe or pub with a WiFi hotspot or even on a moving
train?
Then legally you would be covered by your home licence if you were using
the laptops own batteries.
Post by CJB
I can't imagine the latter will be licensed!! And will my home
license cover the laptop whilst I'm travelling.
Covered by your home licence until you plug it into a wall socket
Post by CJB
What about sitting in a
field or on the beach using a WiFi connection
Same as above.
(but not using the t.v.
Post by CJB
feature - which as I said is next to useless)? Many thanks - CJB.
Your best bet would be to remove the card, especially as it is useless
anyway.

No card = no receiver = no problem :-)

Mark
Bob Eager
2006-09-11 17:16:38 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 11 Sep 2006 16:47:07 UTC, "CJB"
Post by CJB
Mark - thank you for the quick response. So the WiFi router doesn't
need a license. However if I use the laptop in another location that IS
licensed then I assume that I'm covered OK. But what if I use the
laptop in say a cafe or pub with a WiFi hotspot or even on a moving
train? I can't imagine the latter will be licensed!! And will my home
license cover the laptop whilst I'm travelling. What about sitting in a
field or on the beach using a WiFi connection (but not using the t.v.
feature - which as I said is next to useless)? Many thanks - CJB.
You need a licence if you use a TV or any other device to receive or
record TV programmes (for example, a VCR, set-top box, DVD recorder or
PC with a broadcast card).

The implication is that if you don't use it for that when you are 'out
and about' - then you don't need a licence.
--
[ 7'ism - a condition by which the sufferer experiences an inability
to give concise answers, express reasoned argument or opinion.
Usually accompanied by silly noises and gestures - incurable, early
euthanasia recommended. ]
Jaxtraw
2006-09-11 16:43:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by CJB
I've just had an aggressive demand from our 'friends' the TVL for a
new laptop I've just purchased with Windows Media Centre and a t.v.
card. However the t.v. reception and display is so damned awful that
I am seriously thinking of getting the t.v. card removed. This test
was at a location that is IS licensed for t.v. reception, but anyway
I'm damned if I'm going to pay for a second license just so that I
can use the laptop elsewhere - even as a simple computer.
1/ is a license necessary for a t.v. equipped laptop that is used at
another location even if the t.v. feature itself is not actually being
used (prior to removal of the t.v. card),
2/ if the laptop has WiFi is it necessary to have a license for the
location where the WiFi router is situated if the laptop is used in
another location that is / is NOT licensed
Specifically I want to set up a local free WiFi service for a block of
flats, but do not wish to pay for a t.v. license specifically for the
room in which the WiFi router will be located.
Many thanks - CJB.
My god, are the b*st*rds tracking computers as well now? How did they find
out it has a TV card in it?

Ian
CJB
2006-09-11 16:41:21 UTC
Permalink
Damned John Lewis told them after I purchased the thing. CJB.
Post by Jaxtraw
My god, are the b*st*rds tracking computers as well now? How did they find
out it has a TV card in it?
Ian
Piers Finlayson
2006-09-11 16:45:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by CJB
Damned John Lewis told them after I purchased the thing. CJB.
Next time buy your gear from a dodgy website that doesn't know they have to
notify the licensing authority when a piece of TV receiving equipment is
purchased!
Beck
2006-09-11 16:45:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by CJB
Damned John Lewis told them after I purchased the thing. CJB.
They are now required to by law when selling any
televisions/receivers/freeview boxes etc.
Jaxtraw
2006-09-11 17:07:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Beck
Post by CJB
Damned John Lewis told them after I purchased the thing. CJB.
They are now required to by law when selling any
televisions/receivers/freeview boxes etc.
Probably best to pay cash and if an address is demanded, have a fake one
(i.e. somebody else's) ready.

With the likelihood of broadcast TV whithering on the vine when video on
demand finally properly kicks off, no doubt the BBC have already got their
lobbyists ready to demand a PC licence as well. Bastards. I can't comprehend
why people put up with this Stalinist anachronism, I really can't.

Ian
Tx2
2006-09-11 16:53:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by CJB
Damned John Lewis told them after I purchased the thing.
Only doing what I believe they are legally obligated to do. You could of
course purchased the laptop from a back street dodgy dealer....
[ste parker]
2006-09-11 16:44:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jaxtraw
My god, are the b*st*rds tracking computers as well now? How did they find
out it has a TV card in it?
... because you have to supply your address whenever you purchase
equipment capable of receiving a TV signal, ie. the TV card.
--
[ste]
Mark Horton
2006-09-11 16:48:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jaxtraw
Post by CJB
I've just had an aggressive demand from our 'friends' the TVL for a
new laptop I've just purchased with Windows Media Centre and a t.v.
card. However the t.v. reception and display is so damned awful that
I am seriously thinking of getting the t.v. card removed. This test
was at a location that is IS licensed for t.v. reception, but anyway
I'm damned if I'm going to pay for a second license just so that I
can use the laptop elsewhere - even as a simple computer.
1/ is a license necessary for a t.v. equipped laptop that is used at
another location even if the t.v. feature itself is not actually being
used (prior to removal of the t.v. card),
2/ if the laptop has WiFi is it necessary to have a license for the
location where the WiFi router is situated if the laptop is used in
another location that is / is NOT licensed
Specifically I want to set up a local free WiFi service for a block of
flats, but do not wish to pay for a t.v. license specifically for the
room in which the WiFi router will be located.
Many thanks - CJB.
My god, are the b*st*rds tracking computers as well now? How did they find
out it has a TV card in it?
Ian
Same way as they know a person who buys a TV from a shop and takes it to
an unlicenced premises.

All purchases of all types of televisions (even PC and laptops with TV
cards), have to have the name and address of the person who bought the
item. This is collected at the same time as the info you give for your
warranty, etc.. Eg at the POS terminal in the shop.

Places like Tescos and Woolworths ask you to fill out a form. Sometimes
the staff can't be arsed, and you don't. But it is a legal requirement

Mark
Piers Finlayson
2006-09-11 16:43:15 UTC
Permalink
All letters from the TVL are aggresive. It's in their interests to scare as
many people as possible to buy a license.

They threatened a warrant to enter against me once when they forgot to
update their records after I notified them of a change of address, and I had
previously ignored their letters (as I'd done nothing wrong). A this point
I wrote an equally snotty letter back threatening to sue them for wasting my
time, and pointing out their mistake. Heard nothing more.

Anyhow, on your issue, I believe it is the presence of gear that can receive
the signal that's the test. So a video recorder must be licensed even if
there is no TV. In this case it's unclear to me whether it's the presence
of the TV card itself, or the TV card plus a computer that constitues a
piece of equipment a license is required for. (If the TV card isn't plugged
into a computer it can't actually receive a signal. But if you have a
computer it could fit into, even if it wasn't plugged into it, I suspect
you'd be liable.)

Technically therefore if you take your laptop somewhere else without a
license you need a license. I struggle to see how they'd know and enforce.

Wireless shouldn't have anything to do with it unless you stream TV using
this to other PCs. Within the same property would be OK if you have
license. To other properties or over the internet would be unwise.
Gaz
2006-09-11 16:46:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by CJB
I've just had an aggressive demand from our 'friends' the TVL for a new
laptop I've just purchased with Windows Media Centre and a t.v. card.
However the t.v. reception and display is so damned awful that I am
seriously thinking of getting the t.v. card removed. This test was at a
location that is IS licensed for t.v. reception, but anyway I'm damned
if I'm going to pay for a second license just so that I can use the
laptop elsewhere - even as a simple computer.
1/ is a license necessary for a t.v. equipped laptop that is used at
another location even if the t.v. feature itself is not actually being
used (prior to removal of the t.v. card),
No. But, can you show that you are not using it for that purpose? Are you
'recieving' the tv signal? If not no, but being able to do so at the single
click of a mouse might not be convincing...
Post by CJB
2/ if the laptop has WiFi is it necessary to have a license for the
location where the WiFi router is situated if the laptop is used in
another location that is / is NOT licensed
probably..... If you try to simplify it down, if you had one aerial on the
roof, and that fed four different apartments, they would all need tv
licenses, if they all recieved tv.
Post by CJB
Specifically I want to set up a local free WiFi service for a block of
flats, but do not wish to pay for a t.v. license specifically for the
room in which the WiFi router will be located.
think of the router as the aerial, and the laptop as the tv.
Post by CJB
Many thanks - CJB.
Gaz
Geoff Winkless
2006-09-11 17:03:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gaz
Post by CJB
I've just had an aggressive demand from our 'friends' the TVL for a new
laptop I've just purchased with Windows Media Centre and a t.v. card.
However the t.v. reception and display is so damned awful that I am
seriously thinking of getting the t.v. card removed. This test was at a
location that is IS licensed for t.v. reception, but anyway I'm damned
if I'm going to pay for a second license just so that I can use the
laptop elsewhere - even as a simple computer.
1/ is a license necessary for a t.v. equipped laptop that is used at
another location even if the t.v. feature itself is not actually being
used (prior to removal of the t.v. card),
No. But, can you show that you are not using it for that purpose? Are you
'recieving' the tv signal? If not no, but being able to do so at the single
click of a mouse might not be convincing...
It's the other way around; the licensing authority have to prove that
you have _configured_ (or intend to configure) the receiving device. So
if you never tune in your TV you do not need a license. You do not need
to prove that you don't use it (it's impossible to prove a negative).
Just send them a polite letter stating that you don't use the TV
receiver, haven't configured it as such, and don't intend to do either.

The best thing to do would be simply to uninstall the viewing software.

I'm also not sure that you need a separate license for a battery-powered
TV (as which the laptop ought to count!) - it used to be that you could
use a home license as a roaming license for a TV which was battery
powered... I wouldn't count on that, though, there have been a few
changes to the license regs in the last decade.

Geoff
Dougal
2006-09-11 17:08:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Geoff Winkless
it's impossible to prove a negative
That's true and it's also true that this government has added several
laws to the statute book which require you to do just that to defend
yourself.
HVB
2006-09-11 17:01:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by CJB
1/ is a license necessary for a t.v. equipped laptop that is used at
another location even if the t.v. feature itself is not actually being
used (prior to removal of the t.v. card),
IANAL... technically, yes, in most cases you need a licence for it.

You could tell them that you don't use the tuner to watch or record
any broadcast programmes - make sure it's not tuned in to anything and
remove the aerial, if possible. Even better if you can remove the
tuner card. If you do this you don't need a licence.
Post by CJB
2/ if the laptop has WiFi is it necessary to have a license for the
location where the WiFi router is situated if the laptop is used in
another location that is / is NOT licensed
WiFi uses a range of frequencies for which no licence is required.
Post by CJB
Specifically I want to set up a local free WiFi service for a block of
flats, but do not wish to pay for a t.v. license specifically for the
room in which the WiFi router will be located.
You don't need a licence to do this. The problem is solely that your
laptop has a TV tuner in it.

HVB
Mark Horton
2006-09-11 17:20:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by HVB
Post by CJB
1/ is a license necessary for a t.v. equipped laptop that is used at
another location even if the t.v. feature itself is not actually being
used (prior to removal of the t.v. card),
IANAL... technically, yes, in most cases you need a licence for it.
You could tell them that you don't use the tuner to watch or record
any broadcast programmes - make sure it's not tuned in to anything and
remove the aerial, if possible. Even better if you can remove the
tuner card. If you do this you don't need a licence.
That won't help you. There needs to be no possible means of receiving a
TV signal. The last statement would be like taking the plug off the TV,
and will land you in court.
Post by HVB
Post by CJB
2/ if the laptop has WiFi is it necessary to have a license for the
location where the WiFi router is situated if the laptop is used in
another location that is / is NOT licensed
WiFi uses a range of frequencies for which no licence is required.
Post by CJB
Specifically I want to set up a local free WiFi service for a block of
flats, but do not wish to pay for a t.v. license specifically for the
room in which the WiFi router will be located.
You don't need a licence to do this. The problem is solely that your
laptop has a TV tuner in it.
HVB
Mark

Chris Lawrence
2006-09-11 17:10:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by CJB
1/ is a license necessary for a t.v. equipped laptop that is used at
another location even if the t.v. feature itself is not actually being
used (prior to removal of the t.v. card),
Presumably the normal rules apply - if the laptop is 'installed' for the
purposes of receiving broadcast programmes (can't remember the precise
wording, no pedants please) then you need a license. With a television
set you can unplug the aerial and do a few things to help show that it's
not 'installed' for that purpose. Not sure what you can do with the
laptop - perhaps remove the card if possible, or else uninstall the
drivers and disabled the device.

It's doubtful that the average inspector would understand what you had
done - they struggle with 'deinstalled' television sets - so might be
worth making a call to TVL and explaining what you are doing and then
follow up with a letter. At least then you have it on record.

Or you could simply inform TVL of the situation and then ignore them,
safe in the knowledge that you have made the necessary changes. Since
TVL are unlikely to leave you alone no matter how hard you try and
assist them, this usually turns out to be the easiest option.
Post by CJB
2/ if the laptop has WiFi is it necessary to have a license for the
location where the WiFi router is situated if the laptop is used in
another location that is / is NOT licensed
Specifically I want to set up a local free WiFi service for a block of
flats, but do not wish to pay for a t.v. license specifically for the
room in which the WiFi router will be located.
I don't see that wifi is any business of TVL.
--
Chris
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