I think you posters abpve have indeed seen the very complicated flaw in the TV License fee. In all probability, it's when we move to downloading and viewing programmes on the net, which has only recently become legally possible (and therefore of a far higher quality than searching and trawling to dubious offshore sites), that the license fee's days are numbered. There is no way that laptops with interent access could be forced to pay the fee (the uproar would be immense)- but equally now it is possible for them all to receive ITV1-4, BBC News, BBC Parliament live - on each's respective webpage. I've been in hall this year, and I know that aside from the couple of people who own a TV in their room, no-one has a TV license. But, we still watch the apprentice, top gear etc whenver we want due to iplayer and 4oD. As you point out, if anyone were to come check (which they haven't, and I doubt would bother now) you simply pull the wire if you were watching "live" (again dubious to enforce becuase ITV in particular clearly point out that it is delayed). So, whilst I do not condone law breaking, for all their bleating that you must be a UK License fee payer to use iPlayer, for example, there's nothing legally stopping you, even via its terms and conditions, using it without. So, as and when you go to uni, if you feel like making a £120 donation to the collectors in freshers week, feel free, but in reality there are so many loopholes in the law as it stands, particularly if you have a laptop, that's fine. And for the person who suggested buying a TV card - unless you're hooked to channel 5, there really is no need whatsoever - you can get all your other shows via the internet these days.
Edit: found the link to the details on the TV Licensing page - nice to see it's been updated to their FAQ, but not the student section. Interesting to note the suggestion that when BBC One becomes a streamed as live broadcast, allegedly the iPlayer will be chargeable for the fee. Here's the link if you're interested: Licensing FAQ on iPlayer