“Link tax” danger to free linking
Free linking to publicly available content using snippets is fundamental to how the Internet is used today. The right to cite and link has become an essential part of how we communicate online.
A new proposal by the EU could allow publishers to – or even oblige them to – charge for the reproduction of short extracts or snippets of their web content. We’re talking about the kinds of snippets people post every day on Twitter and Facebook, quote in their blogs, and that make up the headlines that you see here on NewsNow every day.
On the face of it, you might think that this would be a good thing for publishers. Yet because links can’t function effectively without snippets, some are calling this a ‘link tax’. In Spain and Germany, similar measures were widely regarded as a disaster for publishers and for users. So we're highly concerned that this would have a serious and damaging impact on publishers, all sorts of other online services, and their users, leading to a shutdown of the open market for news we enjoy today.
We asked publishers for their views on the proposal, and produced a Common Position Statement, which many have already signed. Many MEPs have however supported the 'link tax' following intense lobbying by some elements of the media but it is not too late to make your publication's voice heard.
So act now!
Free linking to publicly available content using snippets is fundamental to how the internet is used today, via aggregators and social media, and has become an essential part of how we communicate online, and how many publications reach their audiences.
Make your publication’s voice heard
To learn more about our concerns about the introduction of the 'link tax' please read our Backgrounder on the EU Copyright Directive.