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Not all details are official yet, because neither the broadcasting corporations nor the broadcasting commission of the federal states have sent out press releases. Nevertheless, the plans have already been submitted in written form to the Hanover Consumer Protection Association – they come from a former ZDF employee who is now hiding out of concern about legal consequences. The special article is called “Additional fee for mobile pocket computers that are suitable for streaming media content”. On the bills of the premium service we consumers should then recognize the new item by the abbreviation “ZMT”.
These fees are planned for smartphones from 1 June 2018: Android smartphones with a screen diagonal of up to 5 inches cost EUR 4.60 per month (EUR 13.80 per quarter) Android smartphones with a screen diagonal of 5 inches or more cost 5.10 Euro per month (20.40 Euro per quarter). Yes, this is a deliberate miscalculation, because this message is an April fool’s joke. Android smartphones with a screen diagonal of up to 4 inches are exempt from the fee. Current iPhones (6s, 7/7+, 8/8+, X) cost 4.40 Euro per month (13.20 Euro per quarter), older iPhones are exempt from the fee. Why Apple devices of all things should be charged a lower fee is not known at present. What is certain, however, is that no registration for the “ZMT” is necessary – the fee is automatically claimed and debited together with the regular radio contribution (17.50 Euro/month).
The contribution service (“GEZ”) cooperates with the mobile network operators, which transmit their customer data on a daily basis. With this attitude you don’t pay anything for the time being. The Nuremberg media lawyer Anselm Hackermann already describes a trick on his blog to escape the additional fee. Smartphone owners should set up a personal hotspot and leave it permanently activated. Thus one is considered according to broadcasting convention no longer as a recipient (receiver), but as a ?provider of a communication service? and avoids so the auxiliary costs.
According to Hackermann, “at least 3 years” should elapse before this gap in the law is closed. The ARD Director General revealed the fee plans as early as 2015 In view of the current developments, an audio recording from the year 2015 has an explosive effect. ARD manager von Willmeer can be heard speaking to a volunteer from the regional newspaper “Rundschau” at a panel discussion in Baden-Baden as part of the “Summer Gala of Automobile Collectors”.
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