Time to hold the BBC’s TV Licensing to account!

My letter to Capita Business Services exposes their corrupt identity fraud

BBC Weapon of Mass Deception

I am in court soon to defend against the motion to set aside by default judgment against TV Licensing, having been awarded £5,000 by the court since they failed to file a defence. The nutshell history of the case is that I turned the tables on them, and offered them a contract to engage in my own services for correspondence. In fighting for some justice, I have discovered how the BBC and its outsourcer Capita Business Services Ltd are playing a dirty game where the trademark “TV Licensing” can mutate to serve their needs, hiding liability and accountability.

Here is the letter I just sent to Capita Business Services, which blows apart the whole scam where the BBC get all the money and Capita take all the rap for the mucky and legally dubious work to intimidate the public into paying up. If the fraud ever unravels, it has major consequences for the BBC (who face enormous liabilities) and the media landscape in the UK. The fun part is that I don’t have a TV, don’t watch TV, and therefore they have absolutely nothing whatsoever to pin on me. For once, it is all about them and their misbehaviour!

It would be tragic if this court case came to the attention of the national press or rival media outlets, no? The last time someone won against TV Licensing in 2014 it got some publicity.

Notice of invitation to withdraw application

Myself and Capita Business Services Ltd are scheduled to appear in Darlington County Court on 14th April for the case to set aside default judgment against TV Licensing. I am writing to you to invite you to withdraw this application, on the basis that you are an interloper (as agent of the BBC) and clearly not the defendant (as the BBC is the principal).

You have attempted to assert that you are principal (wishing to be defendant) and agent (acting on behalf of the BBC via its statutory powers) at the same time, which is contradictory — and gives the appearance of dishonesty. You are either one or the other; not both. The evidence is conclusive that you are only the agent, and thus cannot be the defendant.

1.     All correspondence from TV Licensing uses the Royal Charter status of the BBC to avoid the need for compliance with The Company, Limited Liability Partnership and Business (Names and Trading Disclosures) Regulations 2015. This charter status cannot be delegated. At no point has Capita Business Services Ltd lawfully presented itself as the party with whom one is interacting or contracting. To allow Capita to be defendant would be to endorse an offense.

2.     The BBC is the sole named licensing authority in the Communications Act 2003, and itself identifies TV Licensing as an entity having a “statutory duty”, which only the BBC has. This can be executed via an agent, but the agent does not become the principal as a result. Capita Business Services Ltd has no such statutory duty as itself, so cannot be the defendant.

3.     Further evidence that the BBC is the defendant is that it (a) owns the TV Licensing trademark, (b) is the GDPR data controller for TV Licensing, (c) owns the intellectual property of TV Licensing, (d) is the owner of the SSL certificate for the tvlicensing.co.uk website, (e) approves the wording of bulk correspondence for TV Licensing, (f) fields Freedom of Information Act 2000 requests about TV Licensing, and (g) manages TV Licensing commercial activity via BBC Studios, (h) owns the technical equipment used in licensing televisions. Any reasonable person would conclude that TV Licensing is just a trading name for the BBC, and it stated as such as recently as 2005 in its annual review and FoI responses.

4.     There is evidence of intent to deceive the public as to the true identity of the TV Licensing website, as it is signed off “© TV Licensing”. However, trademarks cannot own copyright, since they are not legal persons. For entities as large and sophisticated as the BBC and Capita, this is not an innocent mistake, but rather is suggestive of a shell game between the BBC and Capita to assign all revenues to one party, and liabilities to another. You are asking the judge to endorse this identity fraud.

5.     The BBC uses “TV Licensing” branding on its own internal documents, e.g. withdrawal of implied right of access, and consistently treats the term as an entity (rather than trademark) which insinuates that it can only be the BBC acting under a pseudonym for public relations optics. For instance: “To state the BBC’s policy on the steps taken when people notify the BBC or TV Licensing…”.

6.     The privacy policy for TV Licensing website is clearly marked as “BBC TELEVISION LICENSING”, meaning that the BBC is the party acting as TV Licensing. Therefore, the BBC is the defendant in this case too. Capita is only referred to as one of many data processors, and thus has no standing to become defendant.

7.     The BBC itself states (in a freedom of information response) “The BBC is a public authority in respect of its television licensing functions and retains overall responsibility.” — which clearly implies it carries the legal liability. Indeed, it has explicitly stated as such in a 2005 FoI response: “…the BBC as Licensing Authority is accountable for TV Licensing’s activities…”.

8.     The BBC also interchangeably uses its own name and “TV Licensing”, for instance “The BBC can only satisfy these conditions if it has sought to communicate with the individual and has sought to gain entry to the premises without a warrant.” Thus, the BBC is the defendant, trading as “TV Licensing”.

9.     In order for you to be acting as principal, you must have my personal data, and I have not given Capita Business Services Ltd permission to use my data. Therefore, you are in breach of GDPR regulations if you proceed with this application, since it is impossible for you to be principal and data controller. You are inviting a judge to aid and abet a crime of breach of the Data Protection Act 2018! You only have my data as a result of your agent relationship with the BBC, acting as data processor. To have filed this application in compliance with GDPR then you can only be acting on their authority, making the BBC the defendant.

10.  A trading name has no legal authority, only the underlying entity. All revenue from TV Licensing goes to the BBC. You have no standing, as the BBC is clearly the defendant trading as TV Licensing. Merely having a subcontract relationship or a licensing agreement for a trademark does not give you standing. Those are not properties which are even unique to Capita Business Services Ltd. You are effectively asking the court to give the BBC a legal liability shield for activities performed as TV Licensing, which is absurd.

Furthermore, you have made false or misleading statement to the court, which could be construed as perjury.

A.    You are engaged in a serious misrepresentation to the court by claiming to be the defendant when the copious evidence above shows that you are not. The law does not permit you to act as a legal chameleon that can change colour between principal and agent as you see fit.

B.    The matter under contention is self-evidently not a question of public law and enforcement of the licensing of televisions, but rather a matter of private law and the existence of an enforceable implied contract between myself and TV Licensing for my correspondence services. Your submission misleads the court.

C.     The Communications Act 2003 gives the BBC authority to administrate television licensing in Sections 364 and 365, and the power to apply for warrants for enforcement (only) in Section 366, but there is no statutory authority for intimidatory letter writing, despite your implication there is. This is misleading.

D.    You have mentioned me discussing “theft” in order to smear me as some kind of lunatic, when this has never been raised in any of our correspondence.

E.     You dismiss the claim as “nonsense” despite having paid out for a comparable claim previously in 2014 as reported in the national press, which you do not disclose.

F.     You have a history of conveniently “losing” or not defending similar court documents, which was not disclosed. Together with the identity fraud casts via trademark serious doubt on your integrity as an organisation.

Arguably your application is a trespass against me, given I have asked for no communication unless under a contract for correspondence. It continues the pattern of intimidatory, harassing, and unlawful behaviour conducted by TV Licensing and its agents.

Finally, your application is a tort against my contract with the BBC and its enforcement. You are hereby notified that you are responsible for any losses I incur as a result of this, and will also be held liable for any GDPR violations.

I suggest that the appropriate remedy is that you retract your application in order to avoid further liabilities, embarrassment, and public exposure — and let me collect on this debt against the BBC trading as TV Licensing without interference of further hindrance.

Yours sincerely
Martin Geddes