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Sad day for the Internet: EU Parliament approves a Link Tax and Censorship Machines

MEPs narrowly approved, despite citizens' and experts' concerns, supporting dangerous copyright proposals that will fundamentally change the Internet as we know it

Today the European Union voted to accept the dangerous copyright directive that includes hugely damaging provisions for the open Internet. The vote saw Article 11, which introduces a Link Tax, and Article 13, which introduces Censorship Machines, both passed with minimal amendments.

The EU’s copyright proposal has been a focus for Internet advocacy organizations for years as it was debated by MEPs and EU Committees, but has received increased attention in the past few months as it has returned to the full European Parliament for debate. In July, MEPs voted to reject the copyright proposal. Today’s vote sets a dangerous step backwards, and a reversal of MEPs’ positions.

Today’s vote is a huge blow for creators, Internet users, and open Internet advocates who have been raising concerns about the copyright directive for years. Introducing taxes on hyperlinks and requiring all content being uploaded to the Internet to be pre-filtered not only fails to address the core issue of wanting to compensate creators, but instead also limits the ability for Internet users to create and share content online. This decision raises concerns about who MEPs are actually listening to. But this isn’t over – there’s still one more chance for MEPs to get this right.

After today’s vote, amendments will be negotiated between the EU Parliament and Council, and is expected to return for a final vote in early 2019.

Over 750,000 citizens have spoken out against the Link Tax and Censorship Machines at saveyourinternet.eu, and savethelink.org.