The EU Wants to Impose a Tax for Sharing Links on the Internet

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

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No wonder the people of Great Britain are itching to rid themselves of this miserable, idiotic union.

TechDirt reports:

We’ve written plenty of times about ridiculous European plans to create a so-called “snippet tax” which is more officially referred to as “ancillary rights” (and is really just about creating a tax on Google). The basic concept is that some old school newspapers are so lazy and have so failed to adapt to the internet — and so want to blame Google for their own failures — that they want to tax any aggregator (e.g., Google) that links to their works with a snippet, that doesn’t pay for the privilege of sending those publishers traffic. As you may remember, Germany has been pushing for such a thing for many, many years, and Austria has been exploring it as well. But perhaps the most attention grabbing move was the one in Spain, which not only included a snippet tax, but made it mandatory. That is, even if you wanted Google News to link to you for free, you couldn’t get that. In response, Google took the nuclear option and shut down Google News in Spain. A study showed that this law has actually done much to harm Spanish publishers, but the EU pushes on, ridiculously. 

As discussed a year ago, some in the EU Commission are all for creating an EU-wide snippet tax, and as ridiculous and counterproductive as that is, the Commission is about to make a decision on it, and the public consultation on the issue is about to close (it ends tomorrow). Thankfully, many, many different groups have set up nice and easy systems to understand and respond to the consultation — which you should do. Here are just a few options:

  • The site has a well done “answering guide” that helps you through the consultation and explains the details behind many of the questions in the consultation.
  • from OpenMedia has a simple signup form that just adds your name to a letter.
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  • Akzent

    FUCK THE EU!!!!

    • tom

      Ms Nuland, is that really you??? 😎

      • Akzent

        got me ;-(

  • tom

    Anyone who does not wish their links to be copied, or others to link to their pages, has a simply option: do not put up a Web site. (Or, at least, do not place it on the open Internet where all the world has access to it). It is dishonest, to say the least, to take advantage of the immense amount of work that has been put into the Internet and the Web for personal profit – and then to try to limit how others use them.

    If you are willing to accept the opinion (and the wishes) of the inventor of the Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, here is what he has to say on this subject:

    “There are some fundamental principles about links on which the Web is based. These are principles [that] allow the world of distributed hypertext to work. Lawyers, users and technology and content providers must all agree to respect these principles which have been outlined.

    “It is difficult to emphasize how important these issues are for society. The first amendment to the Constitution of the United States, for example, addresses the right to speak. The right to make reference to something is inherent in that right. On the [W]eb, to make reference without making a link is possible but ineffective – like speaking but with a paper bag over your head”.

  • Any publisher who does not wish traffic should not have it imposed on him ( i.e. stupidity causes its own fatalities )…including Allied Propaganda ( AP for short )

  • Elelei Guhring

    Russia must invade Europe, kill the fascists and bring about USSR 2.0, it’s our best chance at shutting down Fascism. AT least Russians know how to deal with Muslims, they shoot them.