The Inquirer, (or should that be Das Inquirer?), has reported on the frankly daft idea dreamt up by the oberfuhrers in Germany to levy a license fee on every Internet capable device.
Now you’re probably like me, wondering just what the hell this is all about, so have a read of the Das Inq for the full gen, and then nip back here to read on.
Back? Ok. So, what’s happening over in Germany is that the head sausage munchers have put down their pots of mild mustard and overly large tankards of beer for a minute and come it with a wonderful money making ruse.
With all this TV being delivered over the net, why not charge a license fee for it? Das is gut, ja? Nein, Fritz, das is bad…
You see, whilst you could argue that it’s only fair to charge people for watching TV over the net, what the hell are pay-per-view sites all about if it’s not about charging you for watching telly?
In a Blitzkrieg double blow, you get charged by your ISP for your connection, then in swoops the Government with a Stuka style raid of €5.52 a month as well.
And, just to really rub salt into the wound, the follow up of shock troops comes with the realisation that you’ll be charged this license fee no matter what you use your internet device for!
Yep, that means you business users, who never surf the net, have net access for information and email only, you get charged. Likewise, home users in the ex-Eastern Germany, who are just unwrapping the latest 486DX2, are going to be hit with the charge too.
Now, seeing a license fees are tricky to collect and you could spend as much money chasing users for the fees, the leather short wearing bods have come up with a solution. They’ll more than likely not bother charging individual users but just slap whopping great bombs, sorry, BILLS, on the ISPs, leaving them to pass the increased cost onto their users.
Now, why am I having a rant about this? Well, seeing as all sixteen states in Germany have voted this in you can see a certain Mr Brown, at No 11 Downing Street, rubbing his hands and wondering whether he could get away with that here too.
After all, why not? The last time Germany stiffed the people it took 6 years to sort them out again… but with money in the mix, you can bet Gordon will be up there on the podium, humming Deutschland über alles as he rubber stamps this one through….