2) The BBC's involvement in TV licensing
The false identities used by TVL/BBC staff are part of a much
bigger problem. The below scan is from TVL/BBC's 2005 annual
The first two lines of the scan say that TV Licensing is a trading
name; the Licensing Authority is the BBC itself. The Inland Revenue
gives the following explanation of a trading name:
|"Many businesses, whether sole traders, partnerships or
companies, conduct all, or part of, their business using a trading name. Some
may use many such trading names in the course of conducting their business.
However, a trading name has no legal status of its own and is simply a
brand name for the underlying legal entity, individual or company,
carrying on the business". (Inland Revenue
In other words, TVL is not an actual organisation. It is a trading
name, or brand name, for the BBC's licensing and sales operation. The BBC has a
Captia to undertake the revenue collection work.
Capita acknowledges the relationship between TVL and the BBC on its website,
saying that "TV Licensing is the trading name used by the BBC's agents":
|"The Broadcasting Act 1990 made the BBC responsible for licence
administration and TV Licensing is the trading name used by the BBCs
agents. Capita took over this contract on 1 July 2002 ... Our role is to send
out reminders, process queries, applications and payments and maintain an
accurate licence database. It also involves looking for people using a TV set
without a valid licence". (Captia
TVL's trade name status can be seen in its logo, which includes
the letters "TM" in a circle; this means that TVL is a trademark.
The effect of the "TVL" trade name is to create the impression
that the BBC is not involved in licence fee activity, and that TV licence
enforcement is conducted by a separate, regulatory body.
|Even the paper TV licences
avoid referring to the BBC by name, saying that the licence is "...issued by TV
Licensing on behalf of the Licensing Authority". Decoded, this simply means
that the licence is issued by the BBC.
But the fact that the BBC is TVL is confirmed by the BBC itself in
responses to questions under the Freedom of Information Act. These are extracts
from a response in mid-2005:
So, there we have it; the TVL is the BBC, and the BBC is TVL. This
is why this website always refers to "TVL/BBC", since the two are the same.
The reason for this masquerade is that the BBC does not want to be
identified with TV licensing activity; otherwise, its letters and materials
might look something like this:
Or this (see the actual
leaflet at BBC Resistance):
And posters such as this...
...would be this:
So pervasive is the presentation of "TVL" as an
organisation that even BBC employees start believing in it. Here is an example
of the BBC's own website referring to TVL as the "Licensing Authority", even
though it is nothing more than a brand name.
Click on these images for more examples:
Such use by the BBC of a trade name when selling and enforcing
licences is highly relevant to the privacy of people who do not need the
licence and have no wish to pay the BBC. If any organisation sends out letters,
receipients are entitled, at least morally, to know the identity of who is
sending that mail, particularly when those letters are unsolicited and
This entitlement is even more critical when the
organisation, not receiving the response it wants, sends agents to the home of
the private citizen with the aim of gaining entry. To experience a knock at the
door, and then an attempt at entry, by an uninvited visitor is bad enough, but
for that visitor to conceal - indeed, misrepresent - the identity of
organisation he represents, can only be regarded as
The BBC's perception of its
relationship with the public
The BBC's attitude towards
people is indicated by the below scan from TVL/BBC's booklet "About TV
Licensing". This says that people who do not require a television licence are
the BBC's "customers". In other words, TVL/BBC does not accept the concept of a
In democratic society, people have the right to choose whether or
not to receive the services of an organisation. This right is denied by TV
licensing legislation which requires people to pay the BBC before they are
allowed to watch other channels.
|But this extract goes further; even people who choose not to watch
any channels - and thus cut themselves off from the BBC entirely - are
still categorised by the BBC as customers. In other words, the BBC
denies people the right to exist without it, while at the same time concealing
its identity in forcing an unwanted association.