I’m going to openly show off my ignorance here, but I have a feeling that even if I did have a good understanding of the whys and hows of the British TV licensing scheme I’d still think it was horrendously stupid.
Just look at this article on how not to get your workplace dinged £1,000 because you watched Olympics coverage there. Just look at it!
Watching the Olympics at work may annoy the boss, but not as much as the £1,000 fine the company could get if doesn’t have a TV licence.
Watching live telly in the UK requires such a licence regardless of whether that video arrives over the internet or is broadcast. The TV tax collectors have provided a useful cut-out-and-pin-on-the-wall guide for all those pointy-haired bosses who’d prefer to avoid shelling out after the fact.
There is an exemption for battery-powered devices at work if they are owned and used by someone who holds a TV licence at their home address, so keep your laptop unplugged and you’re in the clear – legally at least, we can’t comment on how your boss will react.
Yes, this PDF is an actual thing. You can see it here.
And yes, the same device becomes a scofflaw if you plug it into the office wall to charge it even though it still belongs to you and you still possess a perfectly valid TV licence. Don’t ask me, I couldn’t possibly make this shit up. Maybe the TV licence people are somehow in league with the electric company. Who knows?
Are there really people who’s entire paid purpose in life is to enforce this? How fantastically lame.