Update on the Link Tax

29 March 2019 — Open Rights Group

On Tuesday the European Parliament in Strasbourg voted to approve the Copyright Directive including the highly controversial Article 13. This happened despite millions of people like you voicing their opposition online and in the streets.

Our movement made a difference. A preliminary vote to consider amendments, including Article 13, lost by just 5 votes. Later that day a sufficient number of Members of European Parliament (MEPs) said they pressed the wrong button to have changed the outcome and given Article 13 its own vote. Maddeningly, the correction does not undo the final vote of approval on the overall law.

If copyright filters go ahead, large numbers of mistaken takedowns will impact what we do and say online. The EU Parliament has made a serious error of judgement here.

Leaving the European Union will not shield us from the impact of the Copyright Directive, so we will go on doing everything we can to stop this being the disaster it promises to be.

Our strategy and tactics will change after Brexit. UK MEPs will no longer exist, but new avenues of action will be possible including legal challenges. We will also fight this proposal when it comes to the UK in future legislation.

You can count on us to keep you informed as we continue the fight to protect free expression online. We hope you’ll join us at our London conference ORGCon this July where we’ll put our minds together to forge the way forward.

Thank you for your support.

Jim Killock
Executive Director
Open Rights Group

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