Originally Posted by BlueDancer
Why don't you sell or get rid of the TV (since you don't use it anyway)? Then when the inspectors show up you can give them a tour and show you don't have a TV and that should be enough proof for them to leave you alone. Of course, they may still try to charge you for a license up until the date of sale (if they subpoena the sales receipt or you leave a trail concerning the sale) - but it certainly can't hurt your case. But since it can by done by computer and you obviously have one, then even that may not be enough (unless you can prove the computer unable to receive live TV broadcasts or you let them check
the computer and the TV and whatever else with their detection devices however they work).
As far as court goes, how can they possibly prove you've watched TV and therefore owe for the license (except with their secret detectors which they won't disclose how they work)? The fact that there's a TV or other receiving device in the house is NOT enough "proof" to satisfy a judge that it is being used in a way that requires a license. I'm sure there are signal trackers (hand held and vans according to what I read) to check if there is an active receiver there (and if they use them and you really aren't using the TV, those records could be used by you to help prove your case). Surely there must be some case files you can research to see how such cases go - and I'm sure somewhere there's a website with the actual word-for-word law/regulation including how it is to be enforced and what it takes to prove a violation. I read what was available, but a lot about how they detect violations is not available to the public. But if you're in the right, you should be fine as long as you cooperate
(meaning let them in with their detectors to check the TV and computer and any other such devices). Apparently, if you refuse to let them in, they can get a subpoena to check more remotely (by special vans) but if you aren't watching live TV, you should be fine.
From what I can tell, if you follow the procedures at: TV Licensing - What if a TV Licence is not needed
and cooperate if an inspector shows up, you should be fine and not be harrassed for at least two years (at which point you do the same thing again and get another 2 years OK - except for the possible confirmation visits). I believe you can contact them to schedule a visit if they keep showing up when you aren't there and leaving nasty letters - and that should be the end of it. It sounds more like a bunch of paperwork and maybe a few visits that will prove nothing - not really anything outrageous.
It sounds like a major PITA, but if you follow the rules and fill out the forms and cooperate if visited, you should be fine and able to avoid paying for a license that is not required. It sounds to me like you're on a crusade against the entire concept and making things harder for yourself than they need to be if you just accept the situation and follow the rules.
In a way, this really isn't much different than all the BS one has to go through with cars in terms of driver
licenses, insurance, inspections, speed traps, red light cameras, seat belt and DWI checkpoints, titles and registrations, emission testing, taxes in states where that applies, and all the other related nonsense. This is a bit worse because you need to prove non-use which is harder, but it sounds like it's just another form of beaurocratic nonsense where filling out forms and allowing periodic inspections when they can only prove your case is all it takes to make it merely a minor annoyance rather than a major attack on civil rights.
I do understand how you feel, but I think if you go with the flow instead of trying to fight the system, things will be a lot easier for you and, if what I read is true, the harrassment will be minimal at worst. But if you want to fight against the system, then I'm sure they can make things even rougher than they already are. Then again, I guess it's your choice.