I've just read this post at MobileBurn suggesting that the German government is to try and impose a levy of $7 a month on devices "capable of receiving TV programming or radio broadcasts", as a way of ensuring continued funding of state-run media stations.
Obviously, living in the UK, I also pay a TV licence annually to fund the beloved BBC. But the notion that just because a device has an IP connection and a decent screen, it is equivalent to a TV tuner.... and that (if I'm reading this correctly), the levy applies per PC/phone and not per-household is patently ludicrous. And given that this is only a couple of days after Symbian and Sling Media announced their "place-shift TV to the smartphone", this clearly has the possibility of creating all manner of problems for the communications industry if enacted.
At first sight, this legislation looks to me like something that probably won't survive the onslaught of pressure from industry groups - not to mention the practicalities. It does seem rather stupid that the government that raised the most money from 3G spectrum auctions might turn out to be the most keen to limit the migration from 2G phones by extra taxation.
I need to dig into this a bit more....
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