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Business

Germany to Collect Fees from PC Owners

Up to now, Germany's Central Office for Licensing Fees (GEZ) only collected fees from people who owned televisions and radios, in order to fund public broadcasting. People who didn't own either a radio or a TV, but used their personal computers to receive video and audio streams had found a convenient loophole to avoid payments of around €16 ($19) a month. But starting in April 2005, the GEZ will also be demanding fees from owners of PCs with Internet capability -- two years earlier than planned. Computer owners who already pay licensing fees for their television, however, won't have to face any additional fees.