GEZ Newspeak

Saturday, August 25, 2007 at 3:38 | Posted in absurd, censorship, Germany, internet | Leave a comment

If you are in Germany you are not using your personal computer to read this blog post. From now on it is a modern receiving device for public broadcasts (neuartiges Rundfunkempfangsgerät). Since you are not reading this with a computer, I would obviously not be writing a blog post if I were in Germany. I would be broadcasting.

If you have a computer modern receiving device for public broadcasts in Germany you would have to pay a public broadcasting fee of 5,52 € a month provided that your computer modern receiving device for public broadcasts can be hooked up to the Internet. The authority collecting the fee is Gebühreneinzugszentrale, abbreviated GEZ. While it is customary in the everyday spoken language to refer to paying the fee as paying GEZ for PC (GEZ für PC zahlen) you are not allowed to use the expression in the Internet. You must write paying the legal public broadcasting fee for a modern receiving device for public broadcasts (gesetzliche Rundfunkgebühr für neuartige Rundfunkempfangsgeräte).

I am not kidding although I understand if you think so. Neither am I referring to Newspeak in Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. This is just one of the many unacceptable expressions listed in the cease and desist letter sent by GEZ to Akademie.de portal. The listed expressions, although widely used by millions of Germans, are quoted as “non existing” or “false”. The web portal is being asked to sign a declaration of discontinuance with a penalty clause of 5100 € for using any of the banned expressions.

So if you have not reported your computer modern receiving device for public broadcasts to a fee collector (GEZ-Fahnder) agent service of the public broadcasting institutions or a public broadcasting fee agent (Beauftragtendienst der öffentlich rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten oder Rundfunkgebührenbeauftragter) you need to give a GEZ notice (GEZ-Anmeldung) legally required notice of a broadcast device suitable for receiving (gesetzlich vorgesehene Anmeldung von zum Empfang bereit gehaltener Rundfunkgeräte) to make your possession of the computer modern receiving device for public broadcasts legal.

You may want to watch an educational GEZ Newspeak video at Toonblog. Among the many blogs exercising their constitutional right to express an opinion until receiving a cease and desist letter are RA-Blog, Basic Thinking Blog, StoiBär and Lawblog.

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