Today, the European Commission formally submitted its new Copyright Directive to the European Parliament for consideration. Despite opposition from a 100,000-strong network of civil society groups and Internet users, the directive includes plans for a new "Link Tax" -- granting sweeping new powers to publishing giants to charge fees when snippets of text are used in hyperlinks.
The European Parliament will now need to consider the Commission's Link Tax proposal, which comes hot on the heels of a deeply worrying win by publishing giants at the EU's top court, which ruled that websites can be held liable merely for linking to copyrighted content. The Commission's copyright proposals are consistent with recent leaks, and advocates warn that EU citizens could soon face some of the worst copyright rules in the world as a result.
Between today's Copyright Directive and the recent CJEU ruling, it's clear that the "right to link" is under attack across Europe. Every successful scheme to prevent linking weakens the foundation of the open Internet. If these proposals pass, our right to share and access content will be dramatically curtailed. This bad idea hasn't worked anywhere it's been previously tried.
Tens of thousands of EU citizens engaged in good faith with the Commission's consultations, and overwhelmingly opposed this bad idea. Instead of respecting the democratic process, the Commission decided to ignore this public feedback and EU citizens are now looking at some of the worst copyright rules in the world. Thankfully, MEPs will have the final say here -- the Commission got us into this mess and now it's up to MEPs to fix it.
The Commission's proposals were delivered to the European Parliament alongside the State of the Union address by Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker. The much anticipated Copyright Directive on the Digital Single Market was the result of two years of public consultation during which tens of thousands of EU citizens engaged in good faith.
Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming.
Thank you for reading this story…
More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.
rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.
So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.
And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.