An even worse version of the Link Tax now on the cards!

9 July 2017 — OpenMedia

Crucial votes on the Link Tax are happening TOMORROW [Today], and a major EU political party just u-turned to officially back this costly and reckless proposal.1, 2

The European People’s Party (EPP) has decided to go all-in for the broadest, worst version of the Link Tax — which gives copyright ownership and the right to collect fees over single sentences and headlines for 20 years!3

The EPP’s decision is an insulting blow to public voices, informed decision-making, and democracy. Help us fight back by sharing our powerful MEP tool on Facebook.

“Coincidentally” the EPP’s decision took place just days after a major publishers lobby group sent an email to the party claiming that being against the Link Tax is somehow being against “European values”.

This is the story:

  • Tens of thousands of people email their MEPs, repeatedly: yet despite a positive response from many MEPs, the EPP fails to listen to citizens and come out against the Link Tax.
  • Newspaper lobby group sends one aggressive email: a few days later the EPP make an official announcement that parrots the language of the lobbyists.

Crucial votes in the European Parliament are happening tomorrow! If you think it’s unfair that the voice of a single powerful lobby group should outweigh the voices of tens of thousands of EU citizens, then we need to send MEPs a clear message: listen to citizens, and vote with your conscience instead of toeing the party line.

Sadly, the narrow interests of a handful of giant newspaper publishers have been given the benefit of the doubt time and again. The one group whose voice politicians elevate is the one with the most to gain, and the least neutrality.

In fact, just today a group of 71 smaller publishers put out a statement against the Link Tax — they want citizens to be free to share links.4 And many major publishers agree.5

So these extreme Link Tax and Internet Censorship proposals reflect just the narrow voices of a few powerful and influential businesses seeking to crush citizens’ rights for the sake of profit. Of course, this is just the latest twist in what we already knew would be a very long and hard fight. There’s still every chance that we can win — but we’ll need to do our utmost to ensure MEPs from all parties cannot ignore citizen voices.

We can’t let up: Ask your friends to use our easy tool to message their MEP now

Imagine the weight of going to vote knowing your inbox is full of letters from your constituents calling on you to side with them and vote your conscience. We can make that happen.

Thank you for all you do.

Ruth Coustick-Deal

P.S. You’re doing amazing work! The big lobbyists wouldn’t be putting on the kind of pressure we’re facing if they weren’t scared of public power. If we keep this up, we can win this!

[1] Parliament’s largest group to fully endorse Commission’s proposal for a link tax. Source: IGEL
[2] Complete reversal and betrayal from major EU Party. Source: OpenMedia
[3] A Hitchhikers Guide to the Link Tax — delivering your message to MEPs. Source: OpenMedia
[4] Common Position Statement on the proposed EU Directive on Copyright in the Single Market. Source: NewsNow
[5] Link Tax slammed by major Spanish newspaper El Pais. Source: OpenMedia

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