Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 21st May 2012 04:03 UTC
Multimedia, AV "With over 3 million downloads per episode, the HBO hit series Game of Thrones is without doubt the most pirated TV-show of the season. Data gathered by TorrentFreak shows that most of the pirates come from Australia, while London tops the list of pirate cities. But why have these people turned to BitTorrent?" Because in order to get it legally, I have to take a monthly subscription costing me €15 per month. So instead, I buy the season box sets as they come out, and download them every Monday morning in the meantime.
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RE[4]: I can't get HBO
by Laurence on Mon 21st May 2012 07:59 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I can't get HBO"
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

That does make sense, I guess it's just the terminology that gets me going. Why not call a tax a tax and a license a license? But if the expense and hassle are worth the quality programming as you say, then that's good.

And I must say, some of the most entertaining and fun stuff I've ever seen comes from British television.

It's not really a licence as such, it's a tax. However it's only taxed against people who own a tuned TV set - which is probably why they call it a licence.

I wouldn't say the BBC produces the best quality shows, but they do produce shows that likely wouldn't get produced under other pricing models such shows that have relatively minor appeal (eg physics documentaries that are not as heavily dumbed down, educational curriculum-based programs for students and teachers, near-impartial press reporting (which is impressive for a government station!), etc).

The TV Licence also pays for radio stations and even the BBC News' website. Essentially anything owned by the BBC is paid for via the TV Licence.

There are big debates over in the UK about whether this tax is justifiable. Mostly I'm in favour of it but I can't completely relate to those why are not. Particularly with the way how the 'Beeb' collect these taxes (essentially if you don't pay then you are assumed to be breaking the law and even bullied to the point of paying it even when you're legally not supposed to).

Edited 2012-05-21 07:59 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[5]: I can't get HBO
by nutt on Mon 21st May 2012 10:59 in reply to "RE[4]: I can't get HBO"
nutt Member since:
2011-06-22

It's not really a licence as such, it's a tax. However it's only taxed against people who own a tuned TV set - which is probably why they call it a licence.

Nah, you still call car tax and tobacco tax taxes, even though only people who own cars and buy tobacco are taxed.
At least here in Sweden, the reason is a much more silly one. The idea is that if it's called a tax, then the TV station gets their money from the government, meaning the government would have monetary control over the station (which, according to this line of thinking, prevents the station from having full editorial control). This is a kind of stupid argument because while it is true that the government gets to decide how to spend the tax money, they also get to decide the size of the TV license fee...

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: I can't get HBO
by foregam on Mon 21st May 2012 11:47 in reply to "RE[4]: I can't get HBO"
foregam Member since:
2010-11-17

So how does the British IRS know whether you've tuned your TV? Do you swear an affidavit or what? Presumably one could buy a TV set to play with a Raspberry Pi, for example.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[6]: I can't get HBO
by WereCatf on Mon 21st May 2012 11:52 in reply to "RE[5]: I can't get HBO"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

So how does the British IRS know whether you've tuned your TV? Do you swear an affidavit or what? Presumably one could buy a TV set to play with a Raspberry Pi, for example.


The tax-thing is similar to what is used here in Finland, and well, there are inspectors that travel around the country at random intervals and visit people's homes to see if they have equipment capable of receiving TV-signal. This equipment may be as much a television as it may be e.g. a tuner-card, ie. you better not own anything such if you do not want to pay, even if you do not actually use it.

You *can* buy a TV or such and not use it for watching TV-broadcasts, but you have to take it to a professional that disables the radio and signs a paper proving you've done this. Then you just show this signature to the inspector to prove that your TV isn't capable of receiving transmissions.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[6]: I can't get HBO
by spudley99 on Mon 21st May 2012 12:03 in reply to "RE[5]: I can't get HBO"
spudley99 Member since:
2009-03-25

So how does the British IRS know whether you've tuned your TV? Do you swear an affidavit or what? Presumably one could buy a TV set to play with a Raspberry Pi, for example.


They're called the HMRC (Her Magesty's Revenue Collection).

They know who has a TV because the shops selling them are required to take your details and provide it to the HMRC. (that includes any TV-capable equipment such as a TV tuner card for a PC, though it doesn't [currently] cover internet-based viewing)

And yes, you can notify them that you don't have a TV at your address.

But by default, they pretty much assume any given address has a TV unless they've been notified otherwise.

I had a period a number of years ago when I didn't have a TV. They sent me the standard "You don't have a license" letter, and I sent the form back with the "I don't have a TV" box ticked. I didn't hear from them again until I bought another TV, about a year and a half later.

Yes, I agree it's not ideal, but in my experience they don't hassle you unless they have a reason to. And I'll reiterate my previous statement that I believe the license fee gives excellent value for money when compared with the subscription TV services.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: I can't get HBO
by steogede2 on Tue 22nd May 2012 00:40 in reply to "RE[4]: I can't get HBO"
steogede2 Member since:
2007-08-17

It's not really a licence as such, it's a tax.


It is a licence in the sense of a software licence - which strictly speaking is the same sense as a driving licence, gun licence... Easier to relate it to a software licence though.

Reply Parent Score: 2