In Germany we have something called "Rundfunkbeitrag" (aka GEZ-Gebühr a long time ago).

The "Rundfunkbeitrag" is something that you have to pay for even if you don't own a TV, watch TV, listen to a radio station etc and consume ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradios' radio services and online services (as in news sections for example).

That's pure scam.

The "Rundfunkbeitrag" is basically broadcast contribution.

Is there any country that is not forcing you to pay for something you don't own and/or consume?

I, for one, don't watch TV, never consume their services and don't listen to radio. There are better alternatives.

We, as a society, will even pay for the amount of air we breathe in and out in the future. That might sound like bullshit to you, but just take a look around yourself and face the reality for once. We get scammed from all sides, don't we?

How unlikely can that be to happen in the future?

We literally get gang banged with "GDPR", "Imprint", "Rundfunkbeitrag", "Media lies (rather subjective)" and other things in Germany.


Again, if there are better alternatives let me know.

  • 14
    We have "thuiskopieheffing" in the Netherlands.

    Its like 6 euro or so you pay when you buy a phone to cover potential loss of money when people don't pay for music they download onto their phones.

    Even if you buy a fucking fliphone without mp3/ogg/music playing support, you still have to pay this! Also if you never downloaded music in your life.

    This is, of course, only if you buy a phone, but still...
  • 4
    Nope. I consider it actually nice when things are itemized like that so that you get a better idea of what exactly you're being forced to support.

    Of course some dick will still say you're contributing to a well informed society or some bullshit like that but we know how true that is.
  • 6
    (The following is in German because I realised midway that half of the technical terms were already German.)
    Du hast sehr wahrscheinlich schon häufig Produktionen der öffentlich-rechtlichen Sender genutzt, oder solche, die von ihnen finanziert und gefördert werden.
    Der ZDF ist bspw. für den Großteil der deutschsprachigen Dokumentationen verantwortlich, das Bildungsfernsehen wäre ohne ihn quasi nicht existent; die privaten Sender kaufen hier meist nur ein.
    ARD und die dazugehörigen sind Eigentümer vieler Kulturproduktionen. Arte unterstützt freie Reportagen.
    Funk ist eine Initiative, die im Internet viel präsent ist. Ein nicht geringe Zahl deutschsprachiger Youtuber wird dadurch finanziert.
    Viele der Beiträge erkennt man nicht als öffentlich. Der Wert dieser Produktionen ist dennoch unschätzbar und es ist praktisch unmöglich, dass du gar nicht damit in Kontakt kämest.
  • 5
    This is why we can't have nice things.
  • 2
    That's so german and not transparent that even @Benedikt s answer is in german language. I guess they could at least inform about what's paid with this money. Also there really are people who don't consume media. Have no TV, no radio, no phone. They still have to pay for what? The waves coming out of their bathtub? They pay for nothing. So I think some item based or internet contract based approach could be interesting
  • 4
    @sirjofri The previously mentioned subject is about paying an annual, monthly or quarterly charge to the companies ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio.

    These companies offer services such as TV shows, news shows, documentaries, other TV related shows and radio shows. Besides of all these TV and radio options, they also have their respective websites and YouTube channels.

    Everyone above 18 and who owns a place to live in, has to pay that charge.

    Some people tried to escape this with the argument of not owning a TV. It got declined and they've been told that it doesn't matter if you have 22310 trillion TVs or none at all at home. I'm not fine with that.

    By doing so, they make sure that their services are getting paid. Even if you don't use any of their services.
  • 1
    @Frederick Yay socialism!
  • 1
    I remember being an 8 year old kid and receiving a letter saying that I hadn't payed my Rundfunkbeitrag. My parents couldn't stop laughing XD.
  • 4
    @linuxxx We have the same and it has to be paid on any item with writable media storage, iirc. It's a legal scam.

    As for the Rundfunkbeitrag: Nowadays it only has to be paid once per flat. It is not cheap at more than 200€ per year.
  • 6
    That is how society works. I don't have children, but my taxes pay to support those who do. I don't have a criminal record, but again taxes pay for correction facilities. I will never use the Berlin airport, yet there are obsurd amounts of tax money spent on that shit.

    You don't get to pick and only pay for what you like, if everyone did, we basically had no infrastructure in place for anything.

    What pisses me off about GEZ is that it is not paid via taxes, but instead it is basically a mandatory flatrate, which is bullshit.

    I now earn enough to not give a shit. Back when I was a student, this fee hurt quite a bit everytime. Same for any low income households. It affects very disproportionally.

    If this was payed by taxes, then nobody cared about any of this. As it stands, GEZ makes zero sense.
  • 2
    Reason I dislike the GEZ because the fee could be much lower.

    If there weren't so many "higher ups" which need to get paid unreasonable salaries.

    And that's a sad truth for a lot of things going wrong here....

    Italy has the mafia, Germany the nepotism....
  • 0
    @IntrusionCM Who are the higher ups and how much exactly do they get paid?
  • 0
    @Maer I think that we would have infrastructure, it would just be more clearly reflect the income gap; low income neighborhoods would have shitty roads and shitty internet, but i have a feeling that as all of us have someone we love/appreciate in these less affluent neighborhoods, we could probably band together and get these places looking better than they are looking right now.
  • 0
    Another point is that you have to pay and still watch their ads. Why are they allowed to broadcast ads? I pay for their service, so why?

    Do netflix users watch ads? Do youtube premium users watch ads? Amazon prime users have to watch ads, but they still can skip them and it's not that long.

    Nevermind, so I pay and don't watch. I only wonder where it will end: paying GEZ, amazon, netflix, youtube videos... I could also buy the DVDs directly and then I own them. But that's inconvenient, so copy them to my HDD or upload to the private cloud...
  • 0
    We pay the same fee, its mandatory even if you don't own a tv or radio. On the other hand, Im ok with it because your state can't live of air, the money has to roll in from somewhere and this particular network needs to have guaranteed finances so someone doesn't spend it from your normal taxes cause in the case or a war or catastrophy the TV and Radio broadcasts are the last resort of nationwide instant communication and information source.
  • 0
    @Maer Let's Look just at the top. Intendant is the german word (singular)...


    367232 Euro
    409590,38 US Dollar
    (current conversion rate)
  • 3
    @IntrusionCM Yeah, let's do that

    Let's also generously assume there are ten of those intendants.

    So I can round up the payment for these ten intendants to ca. 3,7 million EUR.

    Since we are using Statista, here are the stats on annual GEZ revenue as well as amount of paying households. Let's round some stuff and check:


    1) ~ EUR revenue annually.

    2) Divided by 12, we get 666.666.666,66 EUR / month

    3) There are ~38,5 million paying households. So divide 666.666.666,66 by that number

    4) We get 17,31 EUR / month. About right.

    Now remove payment for the one real and nine imaginary intendants.

    1) We get a revenue of 7.996.300.000 EUR annualy.

    2) Divided by 12 we get 666.358.333,33 EUR / month

    3) Again divide by households.

    4) We get 17,30 EUR / household / month.

    Congratulations. By removing the one indendant plus 9 imaginary intendants you saved one cent per household per month.
  • 1
    @Maer If u want to play smarty pants, please check ur facts.

    The GEZ covers broadcasting and radio stations. They are not paid equally.

    Most of the GEZ goes to the ARD, which itself has multiple channels.

    So... No. Your calculation is way off.

    Even when I leave this fact aside, there are more serious flaws in your calculation.
  • 0
    @IntrusionCM Dude, what are you even talking about. This is the overall revenue estimate. It even uses the same source as you did.

    Fact is, even if you generously overestimate all the salaries, you barely scrape off a few cents of the monthly GEZ fee.
  • 1
    You shoud watch the german Kurzgesagt video about this topic. I explains why its a good idea to keep the Rundfunkbeitrag but not in its current form.
  • 0
    This year, in Poland, the government decided that it can’t be bothered with collecting a fee for owning a TV set. They just gave 500M$ directly from budget to the state TV station. They don’t even try to hide the fact that the programm is a single party propaganda.
    So much for protesting by not owning a TV.
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