The fee for using the radio receiver is PLN 7.50 per month, and owners of TV or TV and radio equipment must pay PLN 24.50 per month. Due to the new regulations of the National Broadcasting Board in this regard, starting from next year, prices will increase to PLN 8.70 and PLN 27.30 per month. People who decide to pay longer in advance can count on a reduction in fees.
In Poland, at least 3.7 million people do not have to pay an RTV subscription. This includes people over the age of 75, citizens who have a significant degree of disability, are completely unable to work or have a first disability group. The contribution does not have to be paid by war and military disabled persons, persons repressed during the Polish People’s Republic, as well as persons receiving a pension not exceeding half the average salary.
Smart TV is not provided for by regulations
The subscription fee law was passed in April 2005, just two months after YouTube was launched, a few years before smart TVs appeared on the Polish market. In the mid-2000s, it was not expected that after several years the reception of television channels would be possible without any antenna or set-top box. No one expected that a large part of users might not use the TV at all to watch TV, but only to use VoD (Video on Demand) services. These devices can be thought of as a multimedia playback screen.
Does someone who has a TV set for Smart TV (eg with Android TV) and only uses apps like Netflix, YouTube, Canal+ Online, Player, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ have to register the set-top box and pay the subscription? Assuming, of course, there is no terrestrial antenna, decoder, or satellite platform? – Whether the obligation to pay the subscription fee (the so-called subscription obligation) arises or not raises doubts in the case of conventional television and radio sets. On the other hand, other devices provided by modern technology allow reception in a slightly different way. What’s more, often in their case, the reception is not about a TV or radio show at all. for this reason It is not clear whether the subscription obligation should apply to them and whether, as a result, the owner of this device will pay the subscription – explains in an interview with Wirtualnemedia.pl Alexandra Kolbusz, a lawyer from the law firm Media.
Refers to the subscription fee law. You can read that the basic requirements for the obligation to pay the fee are the possession of a radio or television receiver, a technical equipment adapted to receive the program and the condition of the receiver allowing immediate reception of the program. Doubts may arise from the phrase “receiver adapted for immediate reception of the program”.
“A special problem in two cases”
The lawyer points out that there are many types of devices and streaming services. Some offer only VoD content, while others also offer line channels, including those broadcast by Telewizja Polska (including TVP VOD and WP Pilot). The lack of clarity regarding the devices to which the obligation to subscribe creates a particular problem in two cases: devices that do not have a terrestrial antenna, set-top box or satellite, but allow communication over the Internet (in particular, platforms such as Netflix, Youtube or Canal + Online or Apple TV), Internet TV, which allows you to receive basic channels through broadcast – notes Kolbusz.
For TVs with Netflix, Disney +, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, and YouTube installed, the situation is clear. – In the first case, we do not deal with the reception of a TV program, and therefore no subscription fee should be paid. The user can play any content (movies, series) distributed by a particular platform on demand at any time. this is the reason A person using the services of this type of application or platform does not have to pay a subscription fee. But the condition is that the device used by the user is not configured to receive the program immediately. So it is a situation when the user is watching material from a phone, computer, smart TV or other device not connected to the TV signal at the same time – explains the representative of the media law firm.
Devices resulting from the expansion of new technologies
Do viewers with access to basic Internet TV channels have to register the receiver and pay the subscription fee? – In the second case, the obligation to subscribe does not apply either. Despite the fact that the reception of a TV program is possible and is instant (although often you have to purchase such a service), and therefore all conditions from 1 to 3 are met, such receivers are not covered by the subscription obligation. This was determined by the ruling of the Warsaw Regional Administrative Court on September 5, 2019 (File reference: VI SA/Wa 2415/18). The court ruled that: Persons who watch television or listen to radio using a computer, mobile phone, tablet and other devices not included in the Fee Act are not required to pay a radio and television subscription – Kolbusz reveals.
Bezprawnik.pl also refers to the decision of the Regional Administrative Court in 2013. – However, the fee law does not provide for registration and fees in the case of devices created as a result of the expansion of new technologies. In the current law, the concept of a radio and television receiver in its traditional form is “understood” as a radio and a television set, and this is how the subscription should be treated as a fee resulting from the possibility of receiving a program using these devices – the court then clarified.
The same is the case with the radio
Similar doubts may concern not only televisions, but also smartphones. Although they often allow analog FM radio reception, they can all be equipped with audio-streamed applications or prepared by individual broadcasters. – We have a similar dual mode in the case of audio-type devices. The first group (suitable for Netflix or Apple TV) will include devices that can be used to play audio content thanks to platforms such as Spotify, iTunes or Youtube. Owners of these devices are not obligated to pay the subscription fee as long as the devices do not allow immediate reception of the program (radio signal). The second group will include devices that allow immediate reception of the program via the Internet – in short: all. so too The position of the Administrative Court of the Voivodship in Warsaw is valid, since there is no obligation to pay a subscription fee only for the fact that a certain device has Internet access and can receive a radio program in a search engine Media Law Firm Representative Notices.
We recently reported that some drivers who do not record their car radio may face consequences. This obligation applies to company and private cars, if the owner does not pay the RTV subscription at home. Can Poczta Polska control the vehicles in this regard and check if the owners pay a subscription? – Pursuant to Article 2 of the Regulation of the Minister of Administration and Digitalization of September 10, 2013, the Financial Services Center is a unit of Poczta Polska SA authorized to conduct state-level examinations on the registration of radio and television receivers and the obligation to pay a subscription fee for their use. With the exception of the authorities competent to conduct the inspection, the conditions for conducting the inspection have not been clarified in the provisions of this regulation or in the law itself. Therefore an employee of the Financial Services Center unit may perform any activities – justified by the objectives of control – that would lead to a determination of whether the subscription obligation has been fulfilled. thus Control may apply to all devices that are receivers within the meaning of the law, including apartments, offices and company cars – The lawyer replied.
Alexandra Kolbusz also mentions the consequences of delaying payments on this account. – If, as a result of the inspection, a breach of obligation is found, the inspector employee shall prepare a report specifying the number of unregistered radio and television equipment, and issue a decision in which: (1) ) ordering the registration of recipients and (2) determining the fees payable to unregistered recipients. This fee is thirty times the monthly subscription fee applicable on the day the unregistered recipient is used. This decision can be appealed, a representative of the Midea law firm notes.
We recently reported that more and more people are experiencing problems due to not subscribing. – From January 1 to March 31, 2022, 7,979 creditor-issued enforcement bonds were issued – Poczta Polska SA was issued to tax offices, with the legal basis for the enforced obligation “OPAB – Unpaid Subscription Fee for Recipient Use” – Wirtualnemedia.pl reported in May Ministry of Finance. Which is almost three times more than the previous year, because 2,714 of these bonds were issued at that time, and the enforcement bond is the basis for starting enforcement proceedings.
How much will TVP and Polskie Radio receive from subscription and compensation?
in the budget for this year. Telewizja Polska saved 2.066 billion PLN from RTV subscription and subscription compensation. This is more than last year, when the public broadcaster received 1.71 billion PLN in compensation and 331.4 million PLN in subscription fees. Even in the years 2014-2016, before receiving the first compensation, the broadcaster had from 366 PLN to 444 million per year from the same subscription. However, in 2010-2013 it was less than 300 million PLN per year. Polish radio will receive 110,004 million PLN (a year ago: 125.91 million PLN). Less money will also be allocated to 17 regional stations of Polish Radio: 99 million PLN (last year – 112.66 million PLN) will be distributed.
We reported in April that the Senate had received a bill to unsubscribe from radio and television. If such regulations came into force, Poles could have up to 450 million PLN annually in their pockets. However, the idea is criticized by, among others, the Ministry of Culture and the National Broadcasting Council. The Chairman of the Board, Witold Kołodziejski, asserted at the time that the new regulations – if they were to come in – would further destabilize the public media funding system, radically reducing the amounts allocated to them – without offering lasting and systematic solutions that would make up for it. These financial declines.
The Board noted that subscribers from the private sector represented 73% of the total. All subscription proceeds, so filtering this source de facto means canceling the subscription entirely. Furthermore: it will make it impossible to award broadcasters compensation for lost subscription revenue in the future. Another negative consequence of introducing the new solution is depriving Poczta Polska of income from subscription fees.
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