The European Commission still plans to create hyperlink tax laws

06/01/2016 - 16:20

Kirk Nankivell | @KirkNankivell

The European Commission is clearly still in need of our help to understand why taxing hyperlinks and search results is a bad idea. Their idea of reforming copyright is not going to help and will undermine how people use the internet today. You can find their latest report here (PDF).

This issue has been well covered in the past:

Unfortunately, these legislators haven't learned anything in the last few years from previous failed attempts.

Nonetheless, the Financial Times reported:

“I would like to say very clearly that this commission does not have any plans to tax hyperlinks,” said Mr Ansip. But he added there was a difference between linking to articles and “new products and intermediaries . . . where people are making money”.

Deciphering what the second part of the statement is wherein the issue currently lies. OpenMedia wants to ensure this link tax also being called "neighbouring rights, snippet tax, ancillary copyright", never gets the green-light. They did a great write-up recently on why this is bad and setup a petition we encourage you to sign and share with others.

OpenMedia recently uncovered that the Commission plans to move forward with the link tax anyway after analyzing this recent document (PDF).

On page 9 in the linked document above, they found the Commission's new wording of the link tax still in place:

" in the next copyright package, to be adopted in the autumn of 2016, the Commission will aim to achieve a fairer allocation of value generated by the online distribution of copyrightprotected content by online platforms providing access to such content."

The fight is not yet over! Please help us save the link.