No link tax – delete Article 11: EIFL joins open letter to MEP Voss

EIFL joins an open letter calling on MEP Axel Voss to delete the controversial proposed link tax from EU copyright reform proposals

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Position paper & statement
April 2018

On 24 April 2018, EIFL joined more than 50 European associations, public institutions and private companies united against proposals by European legislators to create a new copyright-related right for press publishers, known as the link tax.

The creation of a new right for press publishers and news agencies over links to their online news articles would mean, for example, the introduction of licensing fees for sharing snippets of text and perhaps even headlines from news articles. The proposal, in Article 11 of the draft copyright directive, has been heavily criticized by European copyright scholars. In addition, evidence from Spain and Germany that adopted a similar approach already shows that it does not work.

The open letter, addressed to MEP Axel Voss, who is steering the proposed European copyright reforms through Parliament, says that the latest amendments to Article 11 don't work. Further, the inclusion of rental and lending rights in the new proposal drags libraries and other public institutions into the scope of Article 11, that will result in higher licensing and transaction costs for libraries, and in turn less service and public value for Europeans.