German TV licence authority flogging a dead scholar

The BBC licence fee is a source of much ire. Downtime found an entire website devoted to those who do not have a television complaining about the harassment they have been subjected to from the licensing authority.

But Germany’s licence fee payers obviously face an even more draconian system, as imposed by the GEZ, as was evidenced this week in the case of poor old Adam Ries.
Having recently turned 517, the celebrated mathematician was bemused to receive a letter demanding that he pay his fees. Lacking eyes to watch or ears to hear the joys of public television, the long-dead Mr Ries was a victim of the licence peoples’ computer-generated letters.

Downtime wonders if both the TVL and GEZ would benefit from a more sophisticated system for targeting their fee-chasing correspondence. Introducing the following criteria into the system may be a start: person owns a television; person is not dead.