Germany Wants to Regulate a 24-Hour Livestream as a Broadcaster

Posted by Megalith 12:20 PM (CDT)

Sunday March 26, 2017

Germans who run non-stop livestreams may soon have to pay $1,080 to $10,800 for a broadcasting license. One Twitch channel has already been asked to apply and will not contest it, as his actions technically make him a broadcaster in the legal sense despite his chosen medium. Legislation specific to internet streams is sure to come, but streamers are probably still going to come out poorer based on this precedent.

You might want to think twice about running a non-stop livestream just because you can -- at least in Germany, regulators will want to have a word with you. They've told the 24-hour let's play channel PietSmietTV that it has to apply for a broadcasting license by April 30th if it wants to keep running. While it's operating through Twitch and YouTube instead of TV or radio, it technically meets all the legal definitions of a broadcaster: it's a "linear information and communication service" aimed at the public, with an editorial focus and not meant for personal purposes. Channel founder Peter Smits is respecting the decision, so there isn't going to be a fight.