Save the (Tax Free) Link

Ju­lia Reda, the Ger­man Pi­rate Party MEP, is the most vo­cal op­po­nent to the EU’s pro­posed neigh­bour­ing right: “neigh­bour­ing rights al­ways have a broader scope than copy­right, be­cause they don’t have a thresh­old of orig­i­nal­ity. Whereas sin­gle words or very short sen­tences can­not be pro­tected by copy­right, they would fall within the scope of the neigh­bour­ing right.” She adds that “the pro­posed new right would make links to news ar­ti­cles sub­ject to a fee, even if only the head­line is re­peated in the link. That’s a se­ri­ous threat to free­dom of in­for­ma­tion on­line.”

On September 14, 2016, the EU Commission tabled a directive proposing the worst copyright rules in the world. These include unprecedented new link tax powers for publishing giants. The EU is proposing to tax web links, Google, Twitter and Facebook would have to pay a fee to display the headline and preview snippets to online links. This is absolutely crazy.

The only organisations that want this tax are failing publishers who can’t cope in the digital age. The EU is once again showing its protectionist colours, effectively proposing a new digital tariff…




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Jamie Bartlett says on the contrary “I don’t live in an echo-chamber or filter-bubble. Quite the reverse! I’m surrounded by idiots and dangerous demagogues. In fact, I’m the only sensible one here.”

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