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New Irish Internet Tax?

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the new-pot-of-gold dept.

The Internet 242

MarkDennehy writes "The Broadcasting Bill 2009 (currently in the last stages of becoming the Broadcasting Act 2009 and then being commenced into law in Ireland) has thrown up a rather unpleasant little nugget for broadband users in Ireland. It now defines a television set as being an electronic apparatus able to receive TV signals or 'any software or assembly comprising such apparatus' which would mean that even if you haven't got a television set, even if you don't watch streaming content from RTE.ie (the state broadcaster's website), you'd still have to pay 160 euro a year for a television license for your iPhone, or netbook, or laptop or desktop if you have fixed or mobile broadband."

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242 comments

jesus! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27854751)

god and baby jesus!

Ok I'll Bite... (5, Insightful)

Umuri (897961) | more than 5 years ago | (#27854759)

So what you're saying is that since the state provides a service, if you could use that service you should pay for it?

How is this different from, oh, say EVERY OTHER STATE SPONSORED SYSTEM IN EXISTENCE for broadcasting.

Yes, you may not use it, but most people don't use all the roads either.

I applaud them for making the technological leap to being able to provide it online and REALIZE that online is the same effective use.

Now, i do have two questions.

Is the cost to distribute online around the same as the TV cost? If so, sure go nuts with it.

Is the license per household like a lot of other state TV licenses. If it's not, i see an issue with it.

IF it's per household and it reflects the cost to run it, i say more power to them.

We should be applauding efforts like this to adapt technologically and that are put forth by people who apparently have a grip on the actual issue.

Not just getting mad because it's a tax. Taxes have purposes. I return to my earlier car analogy of driving on all roads.

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (5, Insightful)

omar.sahal (687649) | more than 5 years ago | (#27854839)

  • Is the cost to distribute online around the same as the TV cost?
  • Is the license per household like a lot of other state TV licenses. If it's not, i see an issue with it.

fuck you, pay me
The govenment

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27855003)

lol

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27855185)

  • Is the cost to distribute online around the
    same as the TV cost?
  • Is the license per household like a lot of other state TV licenses. If it's not, i see an issue with it.

fuck you, pay me

The govenment

haha, clearly you haven't heard of something called the "Social Contract". You should check that out.

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27855465)

Perhaps you missed the "fuck you" part of his post.

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (4, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 5 years ago | (#27854893)

How is this different from, oh, say EVERY OTHER STATE SPONSORED SYSTEM IN EXISTENCE for broadcasting.

It's one thing to say that if someone owns a TV, they're probably watching TV. Here, they're saying if you have a computer and broadband, you're watching TV. Bit more of a reach. Sort of like those jurisdictions that place uniform taxes on CD media with the presumption being you're using them for music piracy and not, say, linux ISOs or something.

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (2, Interesting)

eonlabs (921625) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855171)

Here's the kicker...

In the US, there are still channels transmitted via radio waves.

In Ireland, are there?

Would a radio count if there were?

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (1, Informative)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855425)

Anything below 400 terahertz is a radio wave. Unless your wireless works on x-rays or gamma rays, channels anywhere are transmitted via radio waves.

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (-1, Troll)

gavron (1300111) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855563)

A terahertz doesn't exist, but a TeraHertz is a unit of measurement of an extremely high frequency. Radio waves don' thave to be "channelized" so "channels anywhere" is a misnomer, and even if channels were required (they're not) there are channels on many things that have nothing to do with radio waves (time slots on a SONET circuit comes to mind). Finally there is no 400THz limit to radio waves. Congrats on getting a "3, Informative". You fooled the mods. You got 0 out of 3 right.

Now go teach our children about creationism and how pi is 3.

E

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (3, Informative)

eonlabs (921625) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855855)

Nice trolling.

For the sake of the grandparent post, 400THz is approximately the frequency of red/IR light (It's close, but lower frequency than the Xnm=XTHz green light band). The number is a little off (2-4 orders of magnitude), putting the upper limit of the frequency band known as radio around 400MHz (FM), unless you include Microwave radiation as a radio wave subset (I've seen some that do), which ups it to closer to 40GHz.

Here's a site for quick ref:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_radiation/ [wikipedia.org]

And a pretty picture:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:EM_spectrum.svg/ [wikipedia.org]

Never hurts to correct an error, but it can to stomp on someone who made it.
I recommend providing links to sources and avoiding grammer nazisms.
Also, we don't need additional proof that John Gabriel's Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory is true.
http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/03/19/ [penny-arcade.com]

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (-1, Troll)

gavron (1300111) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855871)

That's nice. Wikipedia? Really? No primary sources? Damn. And IR/visible light/UV have something to do with EM waves? Did you study radio waves from wikipedia as well?

Please don't confuse transmission media with frequency.

Best Regards,

E

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (1)

Bored Grammar Nazi (1482359) | more than 5 years ago | (#27856413)

I recommend providing links to sources and avoiding grammer nazisms.

Grammar

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27855899)

And I thought Pi was 4 (in Indiana, 1897)

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (4, Informative)

Malc (1751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855331)

Your TV would have to be a monitor with no ability to tune in to a signal before you could argue exemption for TV licenses, at least in the UK, and Ireland sounds like it has a similar system. Owning a TV and claiming it's not connected to an aerial/cable/satellite/etc is not sufficient. It has been this way for decades. So really, this is just the same: if you have an internet connection, you have the ability to tune in.

160 euros is considerably less than what I used to pay for basic cable in Canada. Having 10 times as many channels gave me close to zero times more content to watch. Speaking again for the UK, the BBC doesn't have to pander to advertisers and makes the viewing audience their primary customer. This raises the standard of TV across the board, and it's no wonder commercial broadcasters like Sky hate it as they have to spend more than they otherwise would.

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (4, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855401)

Your TV would have to be a monitor with no ability to tune in to a signal before you could argue exemption for TV licenses, at least in the UK, and Ireland sounds like it has a similar system.

That's reasonable since 99.99% of TVs are used as...TVs.

So really, this is just the same: if you have an internet connection, you have the ability to tune in.

Except for one massive difference: watching TV is NOT the primary use of broadband. Seems to me there's a 'presumptive use' argument missing that should be applied before taxing something. Especially for freaking TV. Really, we need a tax for *entertainment* that needs to be broadly applied not just to people using it, but to anyone using the internet? That's getting your priorities a bit out of order.

Let's apply your argument to other arenas: if my town enacts a tax on erotica, should Target have to apply the tax if I want to buy candlesticks? See how it's kind of silly to apply a tax blindly because people *might* use it for entertainment? Find a better way to target the tax. Or make it a subscription service with a decoder card, easy and done.

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (2, Interesting)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855497)

"Or make it a subscription service with a decoder card, easy and done."

Not easy. For a national broadcaster to implement such a system, they would have to deploy a national distribution network for decoder boxes, decoder cards, an administrative infrastructure for issuing and revoking cards and all the associated systems and structures to make it work.

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27856489)

The switch to digital would have been the perfect moment to implement such infrastructure.

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (1)

PapayaSF (721268) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855529)

the BBC doesn't have to pander to advertisers and makes the viewing audience their primary customer. This raises the standard of TV across the board, and it's no wonder commercial broadcasters like Sky hate it as they have to spend more than they otherwise would.

Could it be that the commercial broadcasters resent having a competitor funded by a tax on every TV, while they have to do hard stuff like get good ratings and sell advertising?

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (2, Insightful)

Morlark (814687) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855687)

I'm sure they do resent it. But if their tax-funded competitor is obliged to provide content that would not otherwise be shown at all (because it "doesn't get good ratings") and said content is high quality work that contributes to the cultural enrichment of the country, then I don't see why the commercial broadcasters' resentment is meaningful.

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 5 years ago | (#27856299)

The BBC was around for decades before the commercial broadcasters. They knew the market they were getting into, and they knew the advantage the BBC had, so they can't really complain about it.

Hell, it was the BBC that created the market for the private competition in the first place so what do they have to be resentful for?

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27855707)

Your TV would have to be a monitor with no ability to tune in to a signal before you could argue exemption for TV licenses, at least in the UK, and Ireland sounds like it has a similar system. Owning a TV and claiming it's not connected to an aerial/cable/satellite/etc is not sufficient. It has been this way for decades. So really, this is just the same: if you have an internet connection, you have the ability to tune in.

Factually incorrect. In the UK all you have to do is write a letter stating you do not use your television to receive broadcasts and you are exempt.

See here [metafaq.com]

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27856015)

I stand corrected. I emigrated a long time ago.

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27856445)

but there are ads on RTE. Lots of them. And they only stream a tiny amount of their shows on their site. The only good thing they show is champions league football and its more fun to watch that in a pub.

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (0)

AnalPerfume (1356177) | more than 5 years ago | (#27856447)

Like any other scam, the scope has grown with every new gadget to ensure there are no loopholes to avoid paying them. The TV license in the UK applies if you have a TV, video recorder, DVD recorder, PC with TV card etc...basically anything with a tuner capable of receiving a signal. As technology advances they want more added to the list, pretty soon if your fridge is capable of connecting to the internet and the internet is capable of receiving a TV signal, the argument will be that your purpose for having a fridge with that feature is that you want to watch TV on it, so you must pey them. The arrogance here is doubled by the fact that for the idea to hold water, you MUST be watching channels funded by the license, not advertising / subscription funded ones.

You can tell them you don't have any of that stuff and opt out, at which point they will send round someone to search your house to prove it. They will occasionally return for another search to make sure you didn't get a TV and "forget" to opt back into their extortion racket.

The concept of a TV license was extinct decades ago, this smacks of broadcasters who can't make enough money to justify the multi-million euro bonuses to the board members wanting state funding. I hope this passes and gets the outcry it deserves, it'll make the case for abolition of the TV license even stronger in the UK.

Personally I don't have a TV license, nor do I intend to buy one. I've had umpteen threatening letters which keep the shredder fit, and a few visits from the henchmen.....who get the same response every time; a polite but firm "fuck off" and the door closed in their faces.

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (1)

isorox (205688) | more than 5 years ago | (#27856507)

Your TV would have to be a monitor with no ability to tune in to a signal before you could argue exemption for TV licenses, at least in the UK

This myth is often repeated by people with various axes to grind, or those who believe them

In the UK, you only need a license to install or used for the purpose of receiving a real time televisual broadcast. That includes live (or as-live, taking into account buffering etc) TV streamed over the internet (a slingbox for example). It doesn't mean you need to license a device that theoretically can receive the signal, unless it's installed for that purpose.

Not the TV license does not cover iplayer, which is used after the broadcast, nor does it cover Radio or internet use -- you're perfectly legally fine to use non-TV BBC services without a license.

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27856647)

TV would have to be a monitor with no ability to tune in to a signal before you could argue exemption for TV licenses, at least in the UK...

This is wrong. From the TV licensing website..

"What if I only use a TV to watch videos/DVDs/as a monitor for my games console? Do I still need a licence?

You do not need a TV Licence if you only use your TV to watch videos and DVDs or as a monitor for your games console."

The important bit from their help is

"You will need a TV Licence if you watch or record TV programmes as they are being shown on TV."

So you need a TV license if you watch or record LIVE transmissions. You do not need a license to watch BBC iplayer for example.

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (4, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#27854939)

Yes, you may not use it, but most people don't use all the roads either.

Gas tax on gasoline to support roads is a generally fair excise tax, you pay what you use. Heavier vehicles do more damage to the roads but also get less mpg in general.

Depending on the country, even if you never watch state subsidized channels, you still have to pay "TV tax". Also demanding a TV tax on a computer seems akin to demanding a newspaper tax on computers (since the newspaper industry is suffering).

Either sell advertising to cover the cost and charge people who do watch it online through the website.

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27855065)

Because when I buy gas to run my lawnmower, I'm clearly damaging the roads.

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27855129)

Hey, get off your lawn!

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (1)

KingKiki217 (979050) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855369)

Well played, sir.

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (4, Informative)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855139)

Because when I buy gas to run my lawnmower, I'm clearly damaging the roads.

You can buy gasoline for those applications where they are not used for the road. It is dyed (taxed gasoline is undyed, so they can do a quick tank check) and farmers buy it all the time for their tractors.

At least that's how it used to be.

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27855667)

Because when I buy gas to run my lawnmower, I'm clearly damaging the roads.

You can buy gasoline for those applications where they are not used for the road. It is dyed (taxed gasoline is undyed, so they can do a quick tank check) and farmers buy it all the time for their tractors.

At least that's how it used to be.

diesel maybe but not gasoline.

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (1)

theeddie55 (982783) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855173)

Then either, you have an excessively large garden, or you're complaining about a couple of pennies per year. Either way it's a rediculous comparison.

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (1)

supernova_hq (1014429) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855321)

I know it's still not a whole lot, but lawnmowers tend to have about a tenth of the efficiency of vehicles.

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855451)

Yeah, in miles per gallon.

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (1)

franki.macha (1444319) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855627)

a lawnmower is a vehicle? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicle [wikipedia.org]

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (1)

supernova_hq (1014429) | more than 5 years ago | (#27856011)

umm, NO. I was comparing lawnmowers TO vehicles. If I said that horses run faster than humans, does that makes horses human?

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (1)

franki.macha (1444319) | more than 5 years ago | (#27856063)

And I was trying to point out that if you have a petrol(or diesel) powered machine to mow your lawn, it _is_ a vehicle.

And even if you disagree with that, "the efficiency of vehicles" is a completely meaningless phrase, as the efficiency of vehicles are as varied as their means of propulsion.

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (1)

MisterSchmoo (1262374) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855365)

Hey, you think you have it bad with your lawnmower, what about all the people in New Zealand who have to pay road tax on the diesel for their motor boats which, correct me if I'm wrong, don't work on roads, only water. When we asked the govt. if they would refund us the tax money they gave us a funny look.

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (1)

beav007 (746004) | more than 5 years ago | (#27856051)

Because when I buy gas to run my lawnmower, I'm clearly damaging the roads.

Unless you walk to the fuel station, you probably are.

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (2, Insightful)

arkhan_jg (618674) | more than 5 years ago | (#27856637)

If I never have to go to the hospital, call the police, drive on the roads or send any kids to the schools, I still have to pay the exact same council tax as someone who uses all of them.

That's just the way general taxes work; everyone pays the bill so you have the option of using the services if you need them, and it's assumed everybody uses some but not all of them.

Most households already have a TV, and thus have to pay the tax anyway, for now. This discussion is happening in the UK too; with many people now watching the BBC iplayer instead of over an aerial, how long can we stick to only having the TV as the basis for the tax, before people switch to only watching online with no tv, and thus avoiding funding the BBC? It's not so much paying for the website streaming per se, it's that the BBC programme making funding is based on having some 95% of the population paying the tax. If that drops significantly, because people dump their tv for their broadband, the BBC is in trouble - and I'm sure the same applies to RTE.

Either sell advertising to cover the cost Dear God no. I've seen US TV, with the adverts virtually every 5 minutes. I have no idea how you bear it.

charge people who do watch it online through the website. Hmm, lets have a nice online record of what people watch, tied to their real name and credit card, held by the state broadcaster. Weren't people screaming about youtube having to hand over its viewing records with just IPs a while back?

I think is a premature move, but as broadcast TV slowly becomes obsolete, the only way to keep the ad-free public service system running is to maintain the high subscription levels. Perhaps we'd be better served if it become a completely ordinary tax, like the council tax, where every household pays it regardless.

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (0, Troll)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855243)

I'll provide a service of peeing into people's mouths upon request. Some people have that fetish. Sure, you may not want to use it, but it's all just like cars and roads, right? It's available, and you should do your civic duty and pay me for government-provided mouth-peeing.

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (1)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855509)

Will we still have to sit through ads during our government sponsored mouth-peeing?

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855653)

Here in Australia we used to have a TV/Radio license similar to what the UK have. The problem is that the licenses are beuracratically costly and difficult to enforce. We dumped the 1920's idea of licenses decades ago in favor of funding the ABC, SBS, Radio Australia, etc, via general revenue. The ABC/SBS have some great shows, the ABC make thier shows available [abc.net.au] on the net for a week after broadcasting.

As with the BBC they are funded by the government as opposed to run by the government and IMHO it's worth my $0.08/day to maintain the wonderfull tradition of taking the piss out of the government of the day [youtube.com] , however I don't want to pay an extra $0.10/day just to support a goverment department that issues bits of paper to those who pay their $0.08/day.

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (3, Insightful)

noidentity (188756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855699)

There's a difference; most people use the roads (perhaps indirectly), but lots of people don't watch TV of any kind but do surf the web. Why should they pay for what they consider a worthless service (television content) if they never watch it?

Re:Ok I'll Bite... (1)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 5 years ago | (#27856775)

If I could use their service, sure why not pay for it.
but the broadcast is analog and the audio is drowned out by the snow, my dab radio which i brought with me from england can't find a signal and while rte is on satellite its encrypted so i can't watch it.
There might be digital terrestrial tv starting in the autumn.

I'm using a 3g phone to connect this, tested with the bbc iplayer its not fast enough for tv.

funnny thing is if I want to watch tv by satellite i can receive all the bbc channels ch4 more4 e4 itv1-4 and channel 5 in the clear from the UK, i just can't get a usable signal from an irish broadcaster. not even cable, since i'm out in the country not that i bother with the uk programming either it's all a waste of time for me anyway.

guess i will have to pay for this mythical tv service that rte provide since in theory it could be provided to me even if they don't seem to want to send it my way.

Really if rte want to collect their tax they need to put the satellite signal in the clear and then they would at least be providing the service they want to collect on.

The tax will really hit Slashdot hard (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27854767)

Everything green? Double taxed.

More of the same? (3, Insightful)

The_Quinn (748261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27854769)

People paying taxes for things they don't want, need, or use is nothing new.

Re:More of the same? (4, Insightful)

shaitand (626655) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855241)

Yup, it goes hand in hand with other people paying taxes for things don't want, need, or use that you do.

If you wanted fair you shouldn't have joined a society. Society is about the weak banding together to take from the strong and prevent the strong from taking from them. Whether the strong are the physically strong, militarily strong, intellectually strong, or economically strong.

Re:More of the same? (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 5 years ago | (#27856323)

What's unfair about not allowing the strong to prosper at the expense of every else? If you don't like society, fuck off to one of your 'gulches' or whatever you call them, and leave society to the adults who've grown out of the anarchist stage.

Re:More of the same? (1)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 5 years ago | (#27856459)

West Wing quote:

"I don't know where you get the idea that taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for anything of which they disapprove. Lots of them don't like tanks. Even more don't like Congress."

Learn to read your own Bills (5, Informative)

Wild Wizard (309461) | more than 5 years ago | (#27854797)

The bill in Question [193.178.1.235] Page 12

"broadcasting service" means a service which comprises a compilation of programme material of any description and which is transmitted, relayed or distributed by means of an electronic communications network, directly or indirectly for simultaneous or near- 20 simultaneous reception by the general public, whether that material is actually received or not, and where the programmes are provided in a pre-scheduled and linear order, but does not include:

(a) a service provided for viewing in a non-linear manner where each viewer chooses a programme from a cata- 25 logue of programmes, or

(b) other audio and audiovisual services provided by way of the Internet;

Re:Learn to read your own Bills (1)

mandelbr0t (1015855) | more than 5 years ago | (#27854877)

So how is the tax enforced then? You only need a license if you receive content from RTE? Or is it going to be on a subscription basis?

Re:Learn to read your own Bills (5, Insightful)

Nekomusume (956306) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855005)

In other words, hook up a TV tuner card to your PC, and it'll be taxed as a TV. Download your TV programs and it won't be.

So, this p2p DL's legal then? You pay for it now! (1, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855107)

Under this, you are no longer, using their own definition, "stealing" when using p2p networks. You pay their licenses.

I can't wait to see this come up in court cases initiated by the IFPI

Re:So, this p2p DL's legal then? You pay for it no (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 5 years ago | (#27856797)

Under this, you are no longer, using their own definition, "stealing" when using p2p networks. You pay their licenses.

I think that's a bit of a reach; the definition says nothing at all about making anything that you can download (on an episode-by-episode basis) legal to access. Instead, I read the clauses as explicitly excluding "on demand" services and sites like YouTube. The tax will instead be applying to the general broadcast model, which is adaptable to the internet (the technology needed is multicast, which is getting better supported than it used to) but is still primarily OTA.

Learn to read your own Bills... and articles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27855475)

It now defines a television set as being an electronic apparatus able to receive TV signals or "any software or assembly comprising such apparatus"

Re:Learn to read your own Bills... and articles (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 5 years ago | (#27856805)

That's a summary. The actual text in the Bill says "broadcasting service", which is why GPP quotes the definition of such. The text of the Act (which is what the Bill will become if passed) is what defines the law, not the interpretation put on it by the person who wrote the Slashdot summary.

SMASH CAPITALISM WITH WORKERS POWER (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27854829)

For international socialist revolution! Reforge the Fourth International!

wtf? (2, Interesting)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 5 years ago | (#27854871)

I don't even watch TV, I have a TV to use as a display device for my Wii and SNES. What cock sucker thought this tax up?!

Re:wtf? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855063)

Well do you live in Ireland? Doesn't sound like it.

Re:wtf? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27855341)

You ever been to Ireland? I don't think so or else you would instantly recognized his uber-Irish choice of words.

Re:wtf? (1)

Xuranova (160813) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855353)

what does he sound like?

Re:wtf? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27855491)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QAerUPRG0I

Re:wtf? (1)

Saffaya (702234) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855747)

Which is why you should have bought a display device that doesn't not have a tuner built-in.
Like, for example, a video projector or a video monitor.

uh oh... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27854915)

The temper of residents in Ireland has just gotten as fiery as their pubes

Keep up... (1)

darinfp (907671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855039)

It's Taxation 2.0. the public generate the income and the government utilises it for profit.

In Ireland, a piece of wire is a television (0, Flamebait)

2phar (137027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855049)

Even since the 1988 bill and earlier, a "television set" is defined as any apparatus for wireless telegraphy capable of receiving and exhibiting television programmes broadcast for general reception (whether or not its use for that purpose is dependent on the use of anything else in conjunction therewith)...

Therefore, a piece of wire (antenna) is a "television set", even though it is dependent on adding various radio and display devices to it to function properly.

Re:In Ireland, a piece of wire is a television (1)

SleepingWaterBear (1152169) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855327)

Well, not quite. A wire may be capable of receiving television programmes, but it isn't capable of exhibiting them. The conjunction used here is 'and' not 'or.'

Incorrect (3, Interesting)

Terranex (1500465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855097)

"any software or assembly comprising such apparatus" most likely refers only to equipment and software designed to receive VHF and UHF transmissions on a computer.

Re:Incorrect (1)

Bandraginus (901166) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855199)

Exactly. It's my impression that the tax would apply to, for example, a USB TV stick, rather than to the whole computer itself. It's the TV stick that has the capability to "receive TV signals".

There seems to be a pot of gold... (1)

bytethese (1372715) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855163)

But instead of being at the end of the rainbow, it's at the RTE offices.

Re:There seems to be a pot of gold... (2, Insightful)

grarg (94486) | more than 5 years ago | (#27856925)

Not really; RTE and indeed the Irish government are in serious financial trouble (yes, worse than everyone else) and they're scrabbling for every cent they can get. (Yes, I'm ignoring the leprechaun reference)

do internet enabled beer glasses count? (2, Funny)

youn (1516637) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855195)

have they figured out a way to internet enable beer glasses yet... that would be the utmost experience ... beer & net browsing combined. would they be covered by the current law or would they need to make amendments?

In what world... (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855205)

Last I checked Desktops and Laptops can't receive tv signals without a tv tuner card of some sort. Most desktops don't have these cards. From the sound of things they would tie the tax to software pvr programs that would use the tuner.

i just got off the toilet (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27855245)

i shit out an obama.

plop!

*Irish* internet tax? (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855287)

What does that mean, you have to pour a shot of whiskey into your computer before you can connect?

Not a joke? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27855371)

I thought the subject was leading me into a joke...like waterproof matches.

Very disappointed /.

This has long been the case in Switzerland (4, Informative)

ivec (61549) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855521)

An internet-connected multimedia computer (pretty much anything nowadays) counts as a TV+radio set.
Which means that even if you do not have any other apparatus (no TV...), you have to pay quarterly fee of CHF 115.50 - about 300 Euros per year.

And yes, this is to sponsor contents and broadcasts from the Swiss television and radio stations.

Allows us to have less advertisement time than in the USA, and to have some "quality programs" that are not always maket-/audience-driven.

Not always a bad thing... like all taxes ... although one might disagree with how the money is used.

i just got off the toilet (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27855535)

i shit out an obama.

plop!!

Re:i just got off the toilet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27855633)

When you get older than 5 you may not be so fascinated by your toilet habits.

Still, I always enjoy watching the bigots fume at Mr Obama, it is very funny and satisfying to see.

Governments = corrupt = vote buying (0, Offtopic)

zymano (581466) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855553)

Votebuying = taxes = government services in exchange for votes.

money exchanged for votes.

Democracy and money can not coexist.

Denmark already has it :( (1)

mutende (13564) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855827)

In Denmark, all owners of any device that is able to connect to the Internet with more than 256 kbps (and is able to display graphics) are supposed to pay an annual "media license fee" that amounts to EUR 300 (USD 400). :(

Already got that one (2, Informative)

HBSorensen (213613) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855859)

In Denmark : Multimedia taxation.

If you own one or more of the following you are to pay up :

1. 3G Phone
2. PC with TV card
3. TV
4. Internet connection >= 256 kb/s

Re:Already got that one (1)

Spacezilla (972723) | more than 5 years ago | (#27856357)

Correct, but you forgot to mention why we have to pay. We're paying for access to http://dr.dk/ [dr.dk] , whether we want to use it or not.

Germany has this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27855891)

This is what Germany has at the moment, with the GEZ. It's complete crap. I don't speak german, and will never watch their continent. I am here on a work visa, and pay taxes.., there is no reason for me to be double taxed. Sadly, this is the way most countries will go probably.

Switzerland already has this (1)

theolein (316044) | more than 5 years ago | (#27855961)

Pay about $29 a month. Rip Off, but that's the way it is.

A similar thing from Denmark (3, Informative)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#27856187)

Hi all. I live in Denmark, and we have a similar thing.

Until "the Internet counted as a TV", the rules were:

If you have a TV, you have to pay $n DKK per year. That included 98% of the people.

After: If you have a TV or a 256 kilobit/s (or faster) internet connection, you have to pay $n DKK per year. This includes 99% of the people.

The license-paid station (dr.dk, "Denmark's Radio") streams some microsoft video format over mms://.

At 256 kb/s, it can't be particularly great quality; yet if they stream in greater quality, they essentially charging people who can't get a good viewing experience.

But---they're being quite fair about it. A fellow student of mine who owns no TV but has an internet connection had to pay, until he phoned them up and said "I don't have the necessary codec to play your videos, and I won't install it" (He's on Linux). They exempted him from paying, and even paid him back what he had paid so far (because he paid under a false pretext).

They are testing something which will reach Linux users as well (and presumably other OS users too). Then he'll have to pay.

Note that DR sometimes shows infomercials on their channels, encouraging illegal viewers to pay license fees. That is: they spend money on it.

If 99% of the people have to pay already, why not just charge everyone via the Plain Old Taxation system? The remaining 1% can go to a public library and view DR on the web, so they're getting something for their money too. That'll save the money spent on the "please pay up" campaigns.

And then of course there's an argument to be had about the pros and cons of Public Service and Public Access, but let's leave that for later...

mod 3up (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27856265)

prima donnas to be fun. It used Be a cock-sucking Cuurent core were

From france, with love (1)

ghighi (1416473) | more than 5 years ago | (#27856275)

We have had this tax for a couple years here in france. AFAIK any device that could possibly display a TV program makes you elligible for the tax.
Most people try to get away with "I don't own nor watch TV I swear!" though.

The best entertainment related tax in france is still the tax on blank media. Whenever you buy a CD, DVD, Hard drive or whatnot you get to pay a Tax to support the recording industry. Because we KNOW you are going to pirate stuff, you thief!

Tax plus adverts (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27856303)

I don't mind paying for state sponsored television if it gets rid of the adverts but the fact is that RTE takes the money from the people for programming and also makes money from adverts every 10 mins. to be a legitimate state television station it should not have any adverts on it at all. Im not paying a television licence just so i can watch bloody adverts all day

Why charging money for TVs? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27856385)

In Turkiye, the state owned channels are free for everyone and they are known to be reached anywhere on the country.

So in UK and Ireland, because they charge money they have zero commercial? Our state channels have commercial but compared to private networks not so much.

Re:Why charging money for TVs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27856813)

In Turkiye, the state owned channels are free for everyone and they are known to be reached anywhere on the country.

The idea, at least in Denmark, is that if the state pays directly for the media station (DR) the state control it and it couldn't be trusted.

Personally I don't buy that explanation, since the politicians already decides how much money DR gets and choose some of the people in the board of DR.

Some of the DR supporters in Denmark use the "they don't have commercials" argument in support of DR. I rather have commercials and something worth watching, then no commercials and nothing worth watching as it is today.

In Germany ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27856407)

... you've got to pay if you own at least one devices that is capable or receiving public radio or tv. Thats ~8â/month for radio only or ~17â/month for "the full service".

this has some nice tweeks:
- even in areas where they switched to digital over the air broadcast of tv, you still have to pay if you got a tv set that is only capable of receiving anaolg tv (which you are using for watching DVDs only)

- they extended the term "capable to receive" to "capable to access the internet". Now companies and private households have to pay if they have at least on computer.

- if you work from home office, they charge you twice. once for your private tv or computer und twice for you business computer and maybe even a third time for your car

Anon Coward (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27856471)

Hah! It's been like that in Croatia (Yugoslavia) since the World War Two :) There is a law stating that owner of any device capable of receiving signals brodcasted by Croatian National Television must pay monthly fee for having such device. The law clearly states that PC with RealPlayer (Croatian Television used to stream their programme via RealVideo) IS such a device. (Of course, the law doesn't mention RealPlayer, but the formulation is such that there be no confusion!)

Big deal, yes? :)

The underlying problem (2, Insightful)

Budenny (888916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27856713)

The underlying problem is, these state broadcasters are offering services which lots of people would not subscribe to if they had a choice. Lots of people do not think they are worth having at all, lots do not think they are value.

In the UK, for instance, lots of people would rather do without the BBC than pay £130 a year for it. But they have no choice. Its a criminal offense to watch any TV at all without subscribing to the BBC.

The difficult intellectual question is, what justifies this compulsion? It is not compulsory to subscribe to any other broadcaster. Why is the BBC not just another subscription TV company? Why do we insist people subscribe to it, whether they want to watch it or not?

It is exactly not like Road Tax, where we pay an annual fee for the privilege of driving a car, which at least nominally goes to pay for the roads. Don't have a car, don't pay. We do not, with Road Tax, pay a fee to one particular car manufacturer every time we buy a car from the competition.

The BBC is nominally independent, but in practice is simply the State TV company. The real reason why we insist everyone subscribes to it is that we want there to be a state broadcaster. We therefore want people to have an incentive to watch it, and making it compulsory to subscribe means that it has a competitive advantage. It is incrementally free. In economic terms it is cheaper than ad funded TV, because it does not have ads. We want this because we are afraid of what a genuinely free broadcasting media could be like.

People argue all the time that this model is justified because they like what the BBC puts out. This is not the point. The fact that I like it, is not a reason why people who neither like nor want it should be forced to buy it. This is the real point of the argument about funding the state channels by compulsory fees on all TV ownership.

There is no justification.

We warned you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27856845)

Oh yes we warned you over and over not to tax the people of Ireland. First you taxed the food, then the gas, and THEN the whiskey (mother of saints)
And now the the broadband. Whats next tax hookers and the air. haha they'd never tax the ai............

Germany has it (1)

localoptimum (993261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27856951)

The Germans conveniently define an internet connection as "a new kind of radio device". Since TV and Radio devices are chargable by the GEZ then the definition means you have to grab your ankles and think of England... um... I mean Germany.

As a physicist, I tried to point out that an ADSL connection isn't a radio device, but they were more interested in tracking down all the addresses that I'd ever had and trying to charge me for as much shit as possible. They are still sending me letters now that I live in France, the bastards.

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