Von: Don Cox <[log in to unmask]>

> The BBC gets its money from commercial activities such as the sale of
> DVDs, and from the TV license. This is a rather odd scheme, approved but
> not run by the government (the BBC is an independent corporation).
> Everyone who owns a TV must have a license for it.
> Originally the license was for radios. It may have been based on the
> precedent of the Dog License (which is now abolished).

That's an interesting question, so I did a little googling.

It goes back to 1904, when the UK government began licensing 
wireless stations.  Whether a station transmitted and/or received,
it still needed a license, and when people began to buy radio sets
to receive audio broadcasts, they were required to get a wireless
station license as well.  It would be 18 more years before the BBC
was created, and it wasn't until 1927 that the money from the
"wireless station" licenses began flowing to the BBC.

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