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The Link Tax is Running Out of Fuel: You Can Stop It Here

The European Commission is still considering proposals for fees for hyperlinks, AKA: the link tax. They are writing the law now, but they are on the brink of dropping these plans. Let’s remind them we’re not going away.

Update: We’re really close to 100,000 people speaking out against censorship or regulation of hyperlinks. Can you help us get there?

The European Commission are still considering proposals for a system which will mean fees for hyperlinks, AKA: the link tax. They are in the process of writing this law right now. We need you to speak out before it gets any further.

In case you haven’t heard, the link tax is the idea to give publishers an additional copyright, just for them, for the little snippets of text, or even the headlines, that appear on links to news sources. Click here for more background.

The Commission clearly agreed that they would listen to public input on this key issue before writing the law. So they held two consultations, one which closed December 2015, and one which closed in June 2016 — between both these consultations we sent an amazing 47,000 responses worldwide back to decision makers saying a clear no to the link tax. Thanks to all of you who took part!

In the meantime, German ISPs and Spanish publisher associations — those who have seen first-hand the negative impacts of the link tax in nations that have already passed link tax laws — have spoken out against this bad idea. Other publishers’ associations, including AEEPP and SPIIL, have written to the European Commission opposing adopting ancillary rights for press publishers (the link tax). They call it “a step away from a forward-looking, modern and diverse European press”.

We have heard that the Commission still plans to press ahead, despite this overwhelming opposition from publishers, ISPs, and tens of thousands of Internet users.

What’s even more disappointing is that, to build support from other legacy businesses, some think the Commission may even double down and expand the tax so it covers an even broader set of links, from news sites and press publishers, to ‘all publishers on the web.’ We can't let that happen.

The link tax is looking less and less popular - and more and more groups are speaking out against it. So whilst some politicians want to keep pushing forwards, others are hesitating. Right now, the news is saying that there’s a divide in the Commission.

In short, it’s never been more important to show that the strong public opposition to the link tax is not going away.

If enough people speak out now, we can push the Commission to finally accept that this is an unworkable plan and to abandon plans for a link tax proposal.

If you’ve yet to do so, please sign our Save the Link petition, and become part of the global community fighting these proposals.

We will be writing to the Commission very soon and telling them how many people have spoken out against these plans: and we need you to add your voice. Let’s send them a message they can’t ignore — and don’t forget to share our campaign with all your friends on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks!  


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