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Germans unhappy with TV tax for mobiles and PCs

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Germany is to introduce a TV tax for both PC and (UMTS) mobile phones that can receive television. The tax could be as high as €17 per month.

Consumers that are already paying for radio and TV at home need not pay extra, but companies do. They may even have to pay for every location PCs or mobile phones are used at.

According to German magazine Der Spiegel small companies in particular have protested against the tax, which is to be introduced in 2007.

Germany isn't the only European country to adjust its TV licensing law. The Swedish parliament voted on 1 June to make it a requirement to pay the licensing fee, regardless of how television is watched. However, the law is still vague, leaving it to the courts to sort out the details. Currently, a person who owns a TV in Sweden must pay 1,968 kronor a year, or nearly five kronor per day.

In the UK, the BBC is also pondering a new licence fee that would include watching TV on a PC.

Earlier this year, a TV licensing spokesman said shows that broadcast on any device at the same time as they appear on TV are already governed by standard licensing laws. ®

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