Sunday, 16 August 2009

Quite Like This Bureaucratic Logic

In his column today, Peter Hichens writing in the Mail on Sunday, recounts the fact that Vladimir Bukovsky has refused to pay his tv licence.

Reproduced below is the letter to Bukovsky from TV Licensing, to which Hitchens refers .

"Reference: COM/410383/jw

Date: 3 August

Dear Mr. Bukovsky

Re: Television Licensing Requirements

Thank you for your letter of 17 July the contents of which are noted.

Whilst you are quite correct in pointing out that Section 363 of the Communications Act 2003 "the Act" states that 'a television receiver must not be installed or used unless the installation and use of the receiver is authorised by a licence', this section must be read in conjunction with the accompanying legislation.

In this regard it is important to note that Section 363 of the Act states that a 'television receiver means any apparatus of a description specified in regulations made by the Secretary of State'. The definition of 'television receiver' as set out in Regulation 9 of the Communications Regulations 2004 (as amended) further defines a television receiver's as '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 another purpose'.

Therefore, a TV licence is only required where a television set is installed or used for the purpose of receiving television programmes.

You have stated in your recent letter that you have not watched television since 2001, accordingly your television set is 'not installed or used for receiving television programme services' at this time.

Consequently, on the basis of the information that we have, our view is that you are not at this time committing an offence contrary to Section 363 of the Act.

Yours sincerely

John Williams

Customer Relations Manager"

Er......Could someone run that past me again, please? So my television, which is not connected to a power supply, nor any aerial equipment, and which I do not watch is therefore 'not installed or used for receiving television programme services'? Jolly Good!

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