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When I was a young rookie reporter, the Government (or was it the predecessor of the EU?) attempted to introduce VAT on periodical publications. Naturally, the publishers of 'trade & technical' titles, were up in arms, saying - quite rightly - that this would be a tax on knowledge. Now it's happening with Internet publishing and, I believe (although I'm still trying to get my head around everything) this will include us posting links to your or your clients' websites as well as your sharing or tweeting of any links we provide - such as forwarding coverage we've given your organisation or a client's company or new products, to, your colleagues, customers and potential customers.
The link tax would mean the beginning of a systematic erosion of a fundamental building block of the open Internet: the right to link. If it is passed, the Internet could increasingly become a one-way broadcasting tool, rather than a place of connections and people power.
In September, the European Parliament is to decide the future of the link tax, which we believe is a cumbersome and unfair money-grab that would undermine everyone's access to information and which will also limit innovation. The lobby pushing this regressive idea will be redoubling its efforts after the Summer break, but if it goes through, then an EU-wide link tax could be passed this next session (awaiting clarification re UK liability now re Brexit).
OpenMedia is building an online tool to allow us to contact our MEPs with its expert-researched case against the link tax, and a personal message from us - the constituents. This means that for the first time MEPs will be hearing directly from us about the link tax. If you want to be able to continue to share Internet links, do please write to both your MP and your MEP without delay.
Links (while I can still freely provide them!) to further information is below:
How does this harm publishers who want to innovate? Source: Media Publishers Action
Ancillary copyright has "overwhelmingly negative impact.” Source: AncillaryCopyright.eu
More evidence from Germany: ancillary copyright still not working. Source: Communia
EU Lawmakers Are Still Considering This Failed Copyright Idea. Source: Fortune
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11th August 2016