Publishers Oppose “The Link Tax”
“The review of academic literature on the topic found that there is “nearly universal criticism” of the proposal for a new neighbouring right.
The study finds “little evidence that declining newspaper revenues have anything do with the activities of news aggregators or search engines”, who the new law intends to target. The new right may end up stronger than conventional copyright, raising “objections […] relating to freedom of expression.”
Linking will be negatively affected by the proposal: “It seems clear that some hyperlinking will be implicated. The Parliament needs to decide whether it wants to ‘save the link‘ to press publications.”
Even if the new right does lead to extra revenues for publishers, “they will be a drop in the ocean” – at the cost of posing “a threat to the nature of news communication” as well as “to innovation and new entry”.
The study’s authors reach the conclusion that the extra copyright for news sites is incapable of achieving the Commission’s stated goal of promoting media pluralism and is an ill-fitted and disproportionate tool for facilitating the licensing and enforcement of rights by publishers”
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