Tell MEPs to Save the Link

against the Link Tax!
The European Commission has proposed some of the worst copyright laws in the world.[1] — including unprecedented new Link Tax powers for publishing giants, and requirements for websites to build censorship robots to monitor and block your content.[2][3]

MEPs will soon be debating this extreme Internet censorship plan — and they have the power to stop it in its tracks.[4] But they need to hear your voice reminding them to defend the open web.

Use the tool below to ensure your representative’s party is speaking up and stopping rules that impose the link tax and censorship through content filtering.

Need help finding your constituency? Try this resource

What will the Link Tax mean?

The link tax is a proposal to apply a new copyright to the snippets of text that automatically accompany news links.5 It will mean licensing fees and unaffordable contracts for sites that share news.

Imagine your favourite websites are stripped of links, or forced out of business because they can’t afford the hyperlink fees. The web as we know it will be taken away.

The Link Tax will also stifle innovation and ensure the dominance of entrenched players, to the detriment of smaller publishers and smaller news sites. Only major websites will be able to pay these fees and only major news sites will get linked to.

What will Content Filtering mean?

The European Commission is also demanding that companies create or buy expensive new technologies to monitor and filter the content we create.6

This means every website or service that allows users to upload content will have to build expensive robot programs to spy for material that rightsholders want to block. What’s worse is that these bots won’t be able to make exceptions for parody, public interest, fair use, and many other legal forms of expression.7

This means that content you create could be blocked for no reason: imagine your videos, your memes, website posts and art deleted as soon as you upload them because of a biased algorithm or program.

Internet companies would also have new incentives to block or delete any material you upload if they fear a legal risk.

What about Brexit?

If you’re in the UK, you may be wondering if this relates to you. Whilst the Brexit vote has left many questions, we must all continue to protect our right to link:

  • If these harmful proposals are left unchallenged, UK leaders will face pressure to pass similar laws at the national level after leaving the EU: due to new technology standards, heavy corporate lobbying, or as part of an EU-negotiated deal.

  • If these plans pass, it will seriously affect your ability to access and use European websites and platforms, no matter where you live in the world. Make no mistake about it, Internet companies won't create one Internet for Europe and one for the UK.

How can we stop these terrible new proposals?

Despite opposition from over 120,000 Internet users and dozens of civil society groups, the European Commission charged ahead with its wrong-headed plan.

But now that it has reached the European Parliament, we have a real chance to stop it in its tracks. Elected MEPs are far more likely to listen to their constituents than unelected Commissioners.

Email your Members of the European Parliament using the tool above and tell them to reject the Link Tax and mandatory content filtering. (We’ve written a draft message to get you started, but you will have much more impact if you write it in your own words.)
 

This action is hosted by:

Footnotes

[1] EU Commission formally proposes Link Tax to European Parliament as part of new Copyright Directive. Source: OpenMedia
[2] Mind the ‘value gap’: how the EU Commission is working to reframe its Link Tax and other copyright reforms. Source: OpenMedia
[3]  Despite denials, copyright reform plans by European Commission are an attack on the freedom to link. Source: Julia Reda
[4]Save the link heroes. Source: OpenMedia
[5] What the heck is ancillary copyright and why do we call it the Link Tax? Source: OpenMedia
[6] SUPER KAT-EXCLUSIVE: Here's draft Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market. Source: IPKat
[7] EC Failed to #FixCopyright: Stop ‘RoboCopyright’ and Ancillary Copyright & Start to Focus on Users and Creators. Source: Copyright for Creativity

 

More Info:

* Understanding the Link Tax – A Guide for MEPs. Source: OpenMedia.

* Leaked European Commission Copyright Plans Ignore the Public Interest via Creative Commons.

 

If you haven't taken action yet – click here!

 

 

 

Press: Ruth Coustick-Deal | Phone: +44 7854 341550 | ruth@openmedia.org