As I am/was subscribed to a number of magazines from a number of countries there is one noticeable difference in the publishers’ administration of subscriptions that I noticed:
a) magazines from the UK, the US, and the one French magazine that I subscribe to
Some months before the subscription period expires I begin to get snail mail asking me to resubscribe; sometimes (when I gave a telephone number) telephone calls from Indian gentlemen to the same purpose. Even if I reply immediately I often get second and third reminders, due to postal and data entry delays. With every one of these subscriptions the publisher require a positive statement that I want to continue the subscription for another subscription period (usually a year).
b) German newspapers and magazines, and the one Belgian magazine that I subscribe to (but the latter is by an Esperanto organization that I have a current account with)
The terms of the subscriptions state a first subscription period, with a provision that the subscription automatically renews itself unless cancelled by the subscriber. Sometimes there is an option to opt out of auto-renewal. Consequently I get no requests to resubscribe, only invoices (for the sort of magazine that can be claimed against tax); the publishers help themselves to my money as appropriate by direct debit which usually is the only way I find out that a new subscription period has started.
Now obviously the second method (b) is much more advantageous to publishers, as they retain the slackers and the people who don’t care much either way about the subscription. There must be a reason why they choose (a) instead. Lack of a direct debit facility surely is not reason enough - they could have autorenewing subscriptions and ask subscribers by invoice to pay up (which is a different thing from asking them to order a subscription renewal and include payment). Often the credit card used for the original subscription has not expired.
So, is (b) against the law in the countries named?