Rant against the "You dont pay the fee..."

That American Girl

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Sort of Epic Rant against ?I pay for it and you don?t? posts


This is for the almost daily response to a post about not being able to view videos from BBC from outside the UK. Someone will always pipe up with the typical:

?Well I have to pay a license fee, and you don?t. So you don?t deserve to be able to watch them like I do?

This is utter rubbish.

You?re right; I don?t pay a license fee to the BBC. Sort of. I do pay extra on my cable bill for the ?Premium Package? to see BBC America. This costs me about $25 extra a month, or roughly $300 a year. This gives me two extra channels that I really watch, BBC America, and the Discovery Channel. Just so I can get old re-runs that have been hacked to bits. So, I don?t pay the ?fee? because I can?t.

Also, I have been a die hard Doctor Who fan for over 30 years. And here in the States, try to get that on DVD or any other collectible item. Don?t even get me started on finding Torchwood or Top Gear stuff.

As far as the amount of money I put into the BBC?s pocket versus a ?license payer?, I can pretty sure guarantee that I?ve spent more in the last 5 years alone, than any 10 random people in the UK.

As I said, I?ve been a Who fan for years, and over these years through yard sales, E-Bay, the bits that dribble onto Amazon.com, friends who live in the UK and my trips over there..I?ve amassed a huge collection of memorabilia. As a matter of fact, when I bought this house, I got one with an extra bedroom to store/showcase all of my collectibles. Including Doctor Who, Star Wars, Transformers, and now Torchwood and Top Gear.

When I changed insurance companies, I had to give an inventory of all my collectibles. And to be honest, I don?t know whether to be embarrassed or proud of my, ahem..collection. I still have tons of receipts (OCD to the rescue!), and for everything else, I had to show what it would cost to replace these items with something similar.

So as far as what I?ve officially paid to the BBC in collectibles: I stopped counting and pricing when I hit the $50,000 mark. Because that?s all they would cover without an official outside appraisal. I?ll bet I?m closer to the $65,000 mark of stuff that came just from the BBC, i.e. Doctor Who, Torchwood and the bits I?ve managed to scrape up of Top Gear.

Anyway..

I?ve also bought a ton of the books from the presenters this year off Amazon, when they offer the option of shipping to the US, and am actually looking at having to get yet another DVD player that is multi-region, just because you rarely find anything that is Region 1 in the States! Because content that you download is mostly inferior in quality to a true DVD and I can see and hear the difference. I know that, and I am more than willing to hand them my money for a quality product. But, alas..I can?t. Not allowed to.

I have found a few DVD sets on Amazon and E-Bay that will play here, and when I see them, I snap them up. But it?s always hit or miss. And generally lacking all the extras. And to make it worse, there?s a ton of new stuff coming out for Christmas such as the ?James May Toy Stories? or his ?Train your Brain? DVD?that I?m just hosed on. :(

So yeah, I will readily admit that I have downloaded a ton of Top Gear episodes off line, simply because I have no other choice if I want to view them. And I do find ways around the blocking of clips for the Non-UK viewer.

It?s not a matter of ?Oh, I can get it free, so why pay for it?? I and many other people here would willingly pay that license fee if we had the option. Or buy the DVD?s when they come available. But we can?t. And probably never will. We want to hand the BBC our money. And quite a bit of it. Not just here in the States, but from other countries as well.

I have no objections to the BBC or any other company making a profit off a TV show or movie. They?re the ones putting up the time and money to make it. I don?t go to work for free, and I don?t expect them to do it either. And profit is not a dirty word. The more money they make, the more likely it will be that I?ll be able to enjoy this great show for quite a while.

I don?t pay the fee because I am not allowed to.
I don?t buy all the new episodes on DVD (yet) because I am not allowed to.
I don?t pay for and download episodes off of iTunes, because I am not allowed to.
Because the BBC says I can?t. Not because I want it for free.

So, you who post things about paying it, while we don?t:
You at least have that option. You can walk into just about any store there and find loads of BBC merchandise. Or just pop on the TV and watch Top Gear as soon as it comes out. We can?t.

We don?t have that option. And it?s not by our choice. And I don?t want to hear any more about the ?it would cost too much to make it available worldwide over the ?net?.

Nonsense.

So, before you post that old ?I pay a license fee and you don?t? drivel:
Shoosh! :p
 

Plissken

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You think that is bad? I am paying the UK licence fee... and am currently in Ireland! So I get the website with adverts and can't use iPlayer

Nah, don't worry about it. I'd pour scorn on people in the UK who think the licence fee is a "tax" way before non-UK people who use FG to watch the show.
 

That American Girl

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Oh, I'm sorry, were you finished?
Wish I was.

I do understand what the folks in the UK go on about, but it's still frustrating.

Just wanted to give my side of the story and was hoping that people might go a bit easier on us. Thats all.
 

teeb

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Wish I was.

I do understand what the folks in the UK go on about, but it's still frustrating.

Just wanted to give my side of the story and was hoping that people might go a bit easier on us. Thats all.
Out of curiosity, how much would you be willing to pay for an episode / a season of Top Gear, assuming it was uncut, DRM-free, original music and downloadable?
 

That American Girl

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Out of curiosity, how much would you be willing to pay for an episode / a season of Top Gear, assuming it was uncut, DRM-free, original music and downloadable?

Well, for many seasons of other TV series..I pay roughly $50-$75 a season.

Dont see why Top Gear should be that much more. And if it were, *shrugs* I'd still probably get it.
 

That American Girl

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Or without looking how much do you think the annual licence fee is?
I believe my bf had said once he pays about 200 a year. Not sure if this was just for BBC, or for Sky...

I'm not sure without looking it up.

After looking it up:

In the United Kingdom, the current annual cost for a colour television licence is ?142.50

I'd pay that in a heartbeat.
 
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teeb

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I believe my bf had said once he pays about 200 a year. Not sure if this was just for BBC, or for Sky...

I'm not sure without looking it up.
?142.50 a year for colour televisions, ?48 for black and white.

Interestingly, your $150 a year spend on other shows' seasons is 2/3 of the license fee right there.
 

Cobol74

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?139.50. BBC only. Sky subscription is separate. Now 1.65 (say) USD per GBP = OK can't do the maths this time of night = 200USD. Something you chaps do not have to pay. Now what I get the hump about is not critisms per se by non UK watchers - that is fine, but a particular one -"We don't know the celib. ...he/she is not American. ..." Well you are not supposed to - it is mainly for a UK audience - so all those posts about SIARPC winging like that ticks us/me off. Complaints like - its not a car show any more, is fine by me and is perfectly acceptable as it makes a general point.
 

That American Girl

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?142.50 a year for colour televisions, ?48 for black and white.

Interestingly, your $150 a year spend on other shows' seasons is 2/3 of the license fee right there.
Yeah. And I do mostly agree with what the posts in question mean.

If you all have to pay for this, it's entirely reasonable and acceptable that we should have to pay the same.

I have no issues with that at all. Just give us that option. :)

And make the DVD's available equally in Region 1. Even if we have to pay a bit extra, I'd do it.
 

Matt2000

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I agree that there should be options for people in other countries to get access to the BBC, but I don't think it's worth it for the BBC. All of the music they use in TG and countless other shows is (I suspect from BBC America and Dave broadcasts) only applicable in this country. Getting the copyright across the world would cost a fortune and it's unlikely that they could make the money up.

Also, a polite nudge. Please edit posts instead of double posting. Ta. :)
 

2Billion

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I'd be willing to pay up to $20/month for BBC Uncut (as in, same channels the UK gets, plus same shows, etc) through cable or preferably through an iPlayer app on a game console/media server. If they could track how much you watch and offer a system of variable rates through that through the iPlayer on my PS3, I would sign up immediately.

As for the music license clusterfuck, I mentioned this in the other topic, but I still don't get why record labels wouldn't use their music being on a popular program to their advantage. If the record labels had half a brain, they would use that as advertising and try to partner with the BBC to get the tracks available for purchase on iTunes in some way. Record labels by definition don't have half a brain, so it won't happen, but it's still much smarter than forcing changes and huge issues.
 
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That American Girl

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Now what I get the hump about is not critisms per se by non UK watchers - that is fine, but a particular one -"We don't know the celib. ...he/she is not American. ..." Well you are not supposed to - it is mainly for a UK audience - so all those posts about SIARPC winging like that ticks us/me off.
Oh, that I understand as well. And I find it even more interesting if I don't know who the person is.

I don't know how they're 'supposed' to act, and get to see them with a clean slate.

Also, a polite nudge. Please edit posts instead of double posting. Ta

Oops, sorry, bad habit. :)
 
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ozgirl

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The Director-General of the Beeb was on "Newsnight" the other night. He was discussing the future of the BBC after 2012 (when the whole broadcast system here will finally be digital).
For those who don't know, Murdoch has been shit-stirring, saying the BBC is getting too big and has too much influence, and strangles competition, etc, etc.
Thompson hasn't ruled out the possibility that there will be a "basic" BBc, with news and maybe kids programmes, and a further "subscription" service (apparently like HBO).

How much do you wanna bet me that TG will be subscription? So we'll all pay extra to see it - if it's still around.
 

Matt2000

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As for the music license clusterfuck, I mentioned this in the other topic, but I still don't get why record labels wouldn't use their music being on a popular program to their advantage. If the record labels had half a brain, they would use that as advertising and try to partner with the BBC to get the tracks available for purchase on iTunes in some way. Record labels by definition don't have half a brain, so it won't happen, but it's still much smarter than forcing changes and huge issues.
Cause they can get more money probably, that's all they're interested in. Just look at Simon Cowell for instance.
 

teeb

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As for the music license clusterfuck, I mentioned this in the other topic, but I still don't get why record labels wouldn't use their music being on a popular program to their advantage. If the record labels had half a brain, they would use that as advertising and try to partner with the BBC to get the tracks available for purchase on iTunes in some way. Record labels by definition don't have half a brain, so it won't happen, but it's still much smarter than forcing changes and huge issues.
Money.

BBC have a (unusual) blanket agreement with the music industry and pay a set fee annually.

Compare that to other channels, who have to pay for each song used. The music industry are not going to try and set up blanket agreements with other broadcasters when they get more money charging per song used.
 

2Billion

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Cause they can get more money probably, that's all they're interested in. Just look at Simon Cowell for instance.
If you think of it though, they couldn't. If someone really likes a song on TG (or any other program), they currently don't have any easy links to get the song. A convenient link to the tracks would be an easy way to actually sell tracks, and possibly more music by the artist in question. Right now, you've got to guess what the track is before you know, and if you don't know and don't visit here and check the WTS threads, you're never going to find that song, buy it, and tell your friends. Charging networks more gets you short term profit, but you're not going to get the expanded audience and more money that comes from that.

In short, it's free advertising. Why wouldn't you want to take advantage of that?
 
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