Rai, the Italian state owned public service broadcaster controlled by the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance looks like it is attempting to earn money from the Digital Signage market.
Many digital screen network operators recently received a request to apply a particular tax on each screen they have installed in public spaces.
It’s around 100 euro/year for each screen/location.
The request seems to be based simply on the ‘possibility’ that the Digital Signage network ‘could’ use TV content EVEN if the Network didn’t use at all – sounds a bit like the BBC Licence fee in the UK where all TV receiving equipment needs a licence, though no-one has ever mooted that it should be applied to digital screen networks (yet) Ed
Some operators are looking to prepare a possible legal battle to the Italian Ministry of Telecommunications.
May 18th, 2010 at 17:56 @789
Digital screens are liable for the licence fee in the UK only if they contain broadcast receivers. Well understood and not controversial.
The problem in Italy is surely that the Italian President and the owner of most of broadcast media is the same person.
May 18th, 2010 at 18:40 @819
I don’t know how many english didn’t pay the BBC fee in Uk.
It italy seems there are a 27% of users that are not paying. Unfortunately or fortunately on domestic area the controls cannot be so efficent but on public space they (Rai verifier) can do all the control they want.
Periodically (over each 4 years.. World Cup soccer period) there is an increase of attention on public spaces. In the past on these public spaces (bar, pubs, restaurant) there are only TVs and projectors but now also DS installation and the police are not able to discriminate in a simple way.
Surely professional monitor haven’t broadcast receiver but there are an open door about streaming technology that makes some player able to receive same content as well..
RAI is trying to protect their content and save public network services cost also for professional users other than consumers (and often we are both).
Probably BBC don’t stream their content or don’t extend the domain of broadcast also on the online world..
After the World Cup i’m sure this issue become less important.. probably also because Italy won again 🙂