OpenMedia launch new Message-your-MEP tool to fight link tax

Shout loudly and easily with OpenMedia's Message-your-MEP tool. Contact your MEP and let your opinions on a hyperlink tax be heard.
Digital freedom
2 mins
ExpressVPN and OpenMedia save the link tax.

The central European Parliament committee responsible for examining the EU Commission’s new copyright legislation will be discussing proposed amendments to the law early next week.


The voice of this committee—the JURI or Legal Affairs Committee—will have significant sway over the future of this legislation and, in turn, on the future of the open web.

Some MEPs have put forward positive amendments to the law, including Amendment 96, which would remove one of the most problematic elements of the Commission’s proposals—the Link Tax.

Despite massive public disapproval, powerful corporations behind these bad ideas have been working frenetically behind the scenes to overrule the public.

But you can you add your voice to the debate by using OpenMedia’s Message-your-MEP tool.

ExpressVPN is delighted to sponsor the Message-your-MEP tool and proudly stands alongside OpenMedia. The tool is straightforward to use: Just fill in your name, email, and country, then click submit to send your message to your MEP.

What’s at stake for the internet?

There are two major issues committee members will be wrestling with—the Link Tax and Censorship Machines (Articles 11 & 13 respectively):

  • The Link Tax would give press publishers ownership over headlines and snippets of text that come with link sharing. It’s an attempt to monetize sharing, allowing publishers to profit further from search engines pointing at their content.
  • Censorship Machines refers to a plan to allow bots to decide what gets posted or uploaded online. Large companies can influence the bots to enforce content that benefits them.

Contact your MEP to stop big businesses bullying the EU

MEPs on the consumer affairs committee also ignored the tens of thousands of constituents who have spoken up; the failure of the law in Spain and Germany; the voice of many publishers; dozens of civil society groups; and the overwhelming academic consensus that says this will break the web.

The European Commission (EC) has repeatedly attempted to create a hyperlink tax. The tax would work similarly to the fee a radio station pays to play a song. That is, each blogger, news site, or search site would have to pay to use a link.

Established publishing platforms see content curation as an inherent part of their role and business model, with hyperlinks allowing anyone to take that power away.

Of course, the EC has it all entirely wrong. A hyperlink is simply a referral, not a reproduction of content, and it’s ridiculous to seek to tax it.

It’s thanks to the hyperlink that we have an open and transparent internet.

Johnny 5 is the founding editor of the blog and writes about pressing technology issues. From important cat privacy stories to governments and corporations that overstep their boundaries, Johnny covers it all.