Licence to ill

You know, Friedrich Schiller could teach us all a thing or two, not least about television licensing and civil liberties

Brothers, drink and chime in / All sinners shall be forgiven / And hell shall be no more.

The author of this fine sentiment, Friedrich Schiller, was until recently one of numerous European citizens presumed guilty until proven innocent, the guilt in question attaching to his non-payment of his TV licence. When one of the long-dead poet's living representatives – in this case the headmaster of the school bearing his name – pointed out that while Schiller was now in position to confirm the extent to which sinners have been forgiven and hell cancelled, he was definitely in no position to watch a television, the German TV licensing authority withdrew the demand....

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