We have just 36 hours to Save the Link!
The clock is ticking to Save the Link: We have just a few days left to tell the European Commission not to make link tax laws.
If you’ve yet to hear about this link tax threat, let me catch you up real quick: the European Union is working on a new set of copyright laws, as part of their move toward a Digital Single Market. Even if you don’t live in the EU, many of your favourite websites and services do, so these laws are set to impact all of us.
Sadly, this process had the potential to really fix outdated copyright rules and enhance creativity — but instead it’s been swamped with lobbying, particularly from outdated publishing giants keen to shore up their failing business model.
This influence has resulted in worrying proposals to give publishers new copyright powers to charge fees for linking to articles — meaning that if you want to include a link and an accompanying ‘snippet’ of text on your website, you’ll need to pay a new hyperlinking fee (in other words, a link tax).
EU law-making is a lengthy and intricate process — but it’s one that we’ve engaged with every step of the way, determined that they don’t create regulations that could harm how we all share hyperlinks.
But this next stage is vital - it’s the last chance we have to shape the law before it’s written up and presented to the European Parliament. And we now have under 36 hours to speak out.
If enough of us take action now we can make sure that we don’t see these flawed proposals ever make it into law: Sign now.
Don’t just take our word for it. We’re campaigning with over 100 other organisations against the link tax, and here’s what some of them had to say.
The digital rights heroes at the Electronic Frontier Foundation are urging their supporters to Reject Europe's Plans To Tax Links and Platforms: “search engines and aggregators are demonstrably responsible for driving significant traffic to news publishers' websites.”
The defenders of the public domain at Communia state:
“It will come as no surprise that we oppose the creation of a new neighbouring right for publishers. Doing so would have a strong negative impact on all the audiences identified in the questionnaire, including publishers, authors, journalists, researchers, online service providers, and users.”
The experts at Open Forum Europe laid out their resistance to the idea:
“Why again pick up on a universally condemned idea? Over the last two years, the introduction of ancillary copyright has faced mounting opposition: decision-makers, businesses, associations, academics, users and the wider community have already expressed their concerns and provided evidence of how the Spanish and German examples have failed (i.e. open letters, coalition letter opposing controversial amendment on ancillary copyright, coalition letter opposing ancillary copyright for pictures, tools to facilitate answering to public consultations which collected more than 10.000 responses etc).”
And NewsNow, one of the UK’s biggest news portals, and popular among journalists for its regular updates, is not a fan: “We believe that such a new right would inevitably affect many online services making use of hyperlinks to third-party content, as well as their users, and that the impact would be largely adverse.”
The deadline is Wednesday 15th June - so we must act now!
It’s really important that as many people as possible get their voice in. If you haven’t already take action please speak up at www.savethelink.org/eu
Thank you for sticking with us through this. We couldn’t do it without you and I’m really proud of how much we’ve achieved so far.