This post was originally published on March 7, 2017.
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.
It seems absurd but established publishing platforms see content curation as an inherent part of their role and business model, and the hyperlink allows anyone to take that 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.
OpenMedia has a history of fighting for internet freedom
Many are fighting the tax proposal, including OpenMedia and their Save the Link campaign.
Founded in 2008, OpenMedia has successfully campaigned for net neutrality, has helped overturn metered internet usage in Canada, and is a constant crusader in the fight against NSA surveillance. They are a tireless campaigner for all online freedoms, everywhere and this is why ExpressVPN supports them.
Save the Link is working, but it needs your help!
The good news is that EU parliamentarians are listening to the Save the Link campaign!
A new report from MEP Catherine Stihler recommends that the European Parliament scrap plans for a link tax. Stihler’s report concluded that the tax is unnecessary and warned that it would harm the interests of internet users.
But although Stihler’s report is important, there’s still much to do to defeat plans backed by some of the wealthiest and most powerful private interests in the EU. That’s why it’s vital to ramp up the pressure.
Sign the Save the Link petition today
Tell your MEP to stand up and save the link by signing OpenMedia’s petition. [Petition is no longer active.]
If enough of us speak up, we can convince more MEPs to vote against link taxation and defeat the Commission’s reckless plans.