New iPlayer licensing law come into force

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The BBC have finally closed the so-called “iPlayer loophole”, with all BBC iPlayer users are now legally required to own a TV licence, regardless of whether or not they watch programmes live.

Prior to September 1st, a loophole meant that only viewers who watched programming when it was first broadcast were legally obligated to own a license. As a result it was entirely legal to use the catch-up service whilst avoiding the £145.50 yearly fee. These changes are expected to have a larger effect on under-30s who are more likely to consume media via touchscreens and smartphones rather than televisions.

It is not immediately clear how the law will be properly enforced, as of time of writing, iPlayer requires users to assert that they own a TV licence when they try to watch any content on iPlayer.

A TV Licensing spokesperson said: “We know the vast majority of people are law abiding and would anticipate those who need a licence for the first time will buy one.

“We have a range of enforcement techniques which we will use and these have already allowed us to prosecute people who watch on a range of devices, not just TVs.”

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