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Language group moots GEZ boycott and support for BBC over radio
Inexplicable use of mittens? Photo: DPA

Language group moots GEZ boycott and support for BBC over radio

Published: 15 Jun 2010 10:28 GMT+02:00
Updated: 15 Jun 2010 10:28 GMT+02:00

A German language association has called for a boycott of the GEZ public broadcasting licence fees because radio stations in the country rarely play German music - instead listeners should pay the BBC.

The Verein Deutsche Sprache said this week it hopes to encourage radio broadcasters to feature more music by national artists, who currently make up less than 10 percent of the songs played in Germany.

The Cologne-based GEZ stands for the mouthful Gebühreneinzugszentrale der öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, or “Fee-collection Centre of Public Broadcasting Institutions in the Federal Republic of Germany.”

The organisation requires a licence of some 42.5 million owners of televisions, radios and, for the past few years, even computers and mobile phones that access the internet. The fee money funds public broadcasters such as ARD and ZDF, and is often collected by plainclothes officials who go door-to-door busting fee-shirkers.

But the VDS said beginning on September 1 the group's 33,000 members should send only €4 of their monthly radio fees of €5.76 to the GEZ. Of the remaining €1.76, €0.76 should then go to the BBC, the organisation said.

“The money for English music should go to where it comes from,” VDS leader Walter Krämer said in a statement.

The organisation wants the German language as a “form of culture” to receive more support. The call to boycott GEZ fees is the most recent action in ongoing efforts which spurred a parliamentary hearing in 2004. That event led to an increase in German music content on radio stations, the statement said.

The GEZ was unavailable for comment on the action.

Last week the country’s state premiers agreed to overhaul the GEZ system, instituting a simpler flat household rate instead of a per-device fee.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:11 June 15, 2010 by freechoice
and why is the country showing so many american hollywood blockbusters movies dubbed in German?

i want to learn German, i wished they put english subtitles in German shows..or show american hollywood movies in the original form and provide German subtitles.
14:02 June 15, 2010 by Clapoti
A bit of copy/paste in the last week...

"The Cologne-based GEZ stands for the mouthful Gebühreneinzugszentrale der öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, or ¦quot;Fee-collection Centre of Public Broadcasting Institutions in the Federal Republic of Germany.¦quot; "

was in every articles about the GEZ ;-)
15:20 June 15, 2010 by hanskarl
Maybe it would be better to send the €1.76 to the Goethe Institute with the condition that they only use these funds to increase their promotions of the teaching of German in countries where all this popular music is produced. The US could certainly use help here. Public schools are dropping German language instruction like trash in the waste bin.
15:24 June 15, 2010 by lickmyamericanballs
The guy in the pink suit looks like he makes daddy proud.
16:28 June 15, 2010 by Mr Goodmorning
How will this affect stations such as NPR Berlin that mostly broadcast news, entertainment and cultural programming?
17:39 June 15, 2010 by Struwel
Yes, I agree with bandida.
18:35 June 15, 2010 by JohnnesKönig
@freechoice Wishing will not help.. It is not easy but possible. But still I prefer to hear American in their native language... Sounds funny to hear Tom Hanks speaking Deutsch!
21:58 June 15, 2010 by Joshontour
@könig... I know what you mean, it's even funnier to hear schwarzenegger or klum dubbed into German.
07:57 June 16, 2010 by MaKo
I agree with Zefix. I would much rather be hearing some fine German bands (Tocotronic, Madsen, Wir Sind Helden ... ) than "Summer of '69" AGAIN.
19:22 June 17, 2010 by biker hotel harz
Quite honestly why anybody would want to listen to the shite broadcast on German radio is beyond belief!!!!! Endless repeats of 80's and early 90's soft rock,

Endless repeats of 80's and early 90's soft rock,Endless repeats of 80's and early 90's soft rock,Endless repeats of 80's and early 90's soft rock,Endless repeats of 80's and early 90's soft rock,Endless repeats of 80's and early 90's soft rock,Endless repeats of 80's and early 90's soft rock,Endless repeats of 80's and early 90's soft rock,Endless repeats of 80's and early 90's soft rock,Endless repeats of 80's and early 90's soft rock,Endless repeats of 80's and early 90's soft rock,Endless repeats of 80's and early 90's soft rock,Endless repeats of 80's and early 90's soft rock,Endless repeats of 80's and early 90's soft rock .......... got the picture? The only two stations worthy of mention are the excellent MotorFM in Berlin and of course DF where the spoken word is championed, German TV is just as dire!!!!!!! Nothing but dubbed 3rd rate rubbish from other nations around the world and don't get me started on German TV of a Sunday morning!!!!!!!!! CRAP, CRAP, CRAP!!!!!!
21:37 June 18, 2010 by angliscan
It's (perhaps unintended?) cultural imperialism.

I've always thought that diversity allows us to see the world in a different way. Listening solely to Anglo-American music is fine, but I also want to hear music from other cultures, as well.

Germany with all its wealth ought to export more culture than it currently does. The Germans on the whole have a lot of great ideas worth exporting: social justice concerns, environmentalism, quality craftsmanship and a world-class heritage.
15:42 June 19, 2010 by Bruno53
Don't tell me you listen American pop music more than Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms and Richard Strauss. Thomas Mann must be revolting in his grave!
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