What do you call it when the government imposes costs on you, which you must pay, by law, whether you get something for it or not? Well, if you figure it out, please let the New York Times know, okay? Writing about the BBC:
Indeed, the corporation is governed by a 10-year Royal Charter, not expiring until 2006, meaning it can take a much longer view of its investments and spending than other broadcasters. At the same time, though, to the annoyance of competitors, the charter permits it to sell programs, books and magazines even as it harvests income from the compulsory license fees that its critics call a tax.(Emphasis added.) What do other people call it, a penguin?