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Five amazing groups who helped save hyperlinks for all of us

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Our recent campaign to tell the European Commission not to make link tax laws saw over 37,000 people take action. It's an incredible moment to see thousands of people getting involved in EU copyright law and making a huge difference in the process.

But this wasn't a solo effort. Save the Link is a networked campaign: over 100 groups have come together to fight against regulations that restrict or censor hyperlinks.

And there are many amazing organizations who have been campaigning on copyright reform and free expression in this network for many years, who are real digital rights heroes. In fact there are just too many great organizations to mention in a blog piece this size, so we'll just stick to highlighting five of the best -- check out some of the great work these partners have been doing to Save the Link:

1. Communia

We love Communia for their longform, yet highly accessible, writing on copyright. Right now they have a great series on Medium called copyright untangled where they discuss its impacts on education. They really know how to explain the context, give examples, and make things simple for people unfamiliar with copyright law or EU politics.

Communia excel at mounting a strong cultural defence for hyperlinking -- they're the go-to team if you want to know more about what the introduction of a link tax would mean for the education and cultural heritage sectors. You can find them on their website, or their Medium account.

2. Initiative against an Ancillary Copyright (IGEL)

IGEL have been standing with us and the Save the Link network from the very beginning. They have consistently exposed all the problems with ancillary copyright, focusing purely on top notch knowledge of the link tax issue. The initiative was started by Dr. Till Kreutzer, who is an open Internet advocate and partner at iRights Law, where he works on digital policy and copyright issues.

We particularly recommend this op-ed: Beware: The "neighbouring right for publishers" is an ancillary copyright on steroids!

3. #FixCopyright and Copyright 4 Creativity (C4C)

When it comes to explaining why copyright is such an important issue for our free expression and customer rights, the FixCopyright website is definitely at the top. It lays out the facts, the outstanding issues, and what needs to be done to sort it all out.

The campaign is led by Copyright 4 Creativity (C4C). During the recent consultation on ancillary copyright and freedom of panorama they released two animated videos, one for each issue, which have each had thousands of views. 

4.  Reddit 

Reddit is exactly the kind of site that gets why the link tax is a terrible idea. It makes its business from hosting user-generated links out to cool content and undiscovered sites, which might otherwise never have got attention; from the serious "A staggering 87 percent of Venezuelans say they do not have money to buy enough food" to puppy pictures.

In support of the Save the Link campaign, Reddit worked with us to help spread awareness and get more people involved. They also kindly donated free advert space on Reddit to help us spread the word and bring more people on board our campaign.

5. Creative Commons 

Creative Commons is many things: a non-profit organisation, a type of license, and an idea that we hope will fuel the development of the open Web.

They provide an opportunity for people to share content for free, or to use other licenses than "all rights reserved," thereby making it easy for other people to edit and remix content.

However, link tax proposals would make it mandatory for a fee to be applied to sharing content online. These laws could stop people using Creative Commons, open publishing, accessing library resources and other services that help people freely access knowledge.

Creative Commons has written on issues related to saving the link since our network started, sharing their concerns with their diverse community. Check out their most recent blog, "Tell the European Commission to #FixCopyright."

And those are just some of the organizations who put tons of time and effort into ensuring the European Commission knows where Internet users stand on the right to link.

You can see the full list of the supporting organizations in the Save the Link network here, and sign your own organization up to support this initiative. We wouldn’t be able to make impact without working with a network of open-Internet-loving groups like these, so thanks to each and every one of you!

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