October 4, 2016
A Hitchhikers Guide to the Link Tax — delivering your message to MEPs
As we wrote yesterday, the European Commission recently announced ‘some of the worst copyright rules in the world’ as part of its proposed new Copyright Directive. Notably, the Commission plans to impose an unpopular link tax proposal that will harm how we access knowledge online. If that wasn’t enough, they’ve also proposed a plan for filtering and monitoring content on all sites with user-generated content, which will greatly harm how we can create content online. Unsurprisingly, these plans have been thoroughly condemned by many experts for striking at the heart of the free and open Internet as we know it.
For the last several months we’ve been making sure your voices were heard at the European Commission - but now it’s time to switch gears. With the link tax now officially proposed, attention is switching to the European Parliament, which is comprised of elected representatives from all 28 EU member nations. The European Parliament has the responsibility to examine and amend the law, and we believe that together, citizens and elected MEPs will prove more powerful than the unaccountable, non-transparent European Commission.
The problem is that whilst it’s been in the Commission’s hands, MEPs have been working on other things, with the result that not many have even heard about the link tax. That’s why my recent meeting with a number of key MEPs was so important — now that the draft copyright law is in their hands, they will be bombarded with invitations to meet with powerful rightsholder lobbyists pushing these reckless measures, and it’s vital they hear the perspectives of Internet users like you and me.
It is especially important that MEPs hear your views, so that they understand the problems the link tax will bring, and know that the public is paying close attention to their decisions on this issue.
That’s why over the coming months we will be making sure that MEPs — and citizens right across the EU — get to hear accurate information on how bad an idea the Commission’s copyright law really is.
So we wrote an FAQ for them: A Guide to the Link Tax for MEPs. You can download the full report here, or find it embedded below.
This report answers all the key questions: What is the link tax? How is it described in the law? What will the effects be? How has it been implemented elsewhere? Who cares about this?
It also gives MEPs the numbers of all the Internet Users who have already spoken out against these terrible proposals: 120,000 people — and we’re just getting started!
And that’s not all: to make sure your voices get heard, we’ll shortly be launching a new tool which will allow you to send this guide to your local MEPs and have the chance to tell them right away why these issues matter to you. To have impact, we’ll need as many people as possible to take part, so stay tuned for more coming soon!
October 13, 2017
October 12, 2017