No wonder the people of Great Britain are itching to rid themselves of this miserable, idiotic union.
We’ve written plenty of times about ridiculous European plans to create a so-called “snippet tax” which is more officially referred to as “ancillary rights” (and is really just about creating a tax on Google). The basic concept is that some old school newspapers are so lazy and have so failed to adapt to the internet — and so want to blame Google for their own failures — that they want to tax any aggregator (e.g., Google) that links to their works with a snippet, that doesn’t pay for the privilege of sending those publishers traffic. As you may remember, Germany has been pushing for such a thing for many, many years, and Austria has been exploring it as well. But perhaps the most attention grabbing move was the one in Spain, which not only included a snippet tax, but made it mandatory. That is, even if you wanted Google News to link to you for free, you couldn’t get that. In response, Google took the nuclear option and shut down Google News in Spain. A study showed that this law has actually done much to harm Spanish publishers, but the EU pushes on, ridiculously.
As discussed a year ago, some in the EU Commission are all for creating an EU-wide snippet tax, and as ridiculous and counterproductive as that is, the Commission is about to make a decision on it, and the public consultation on the issue is about to close (it ends tomorrow). Thankfully, many, many different groups have set up nice and easy systems to understand and respond to the consultation — which you should do. Here are just a few options:
- The EU Commission’s own consultation platform (this one is messy, buggy, and annoying, but it’s the official one).
- The site FixCopyright.eu has a well done “answering guide” that helps you through the consultation and explains the details behind many of the questions in the consultation.
- SaveTheLink.org from OpenMedia has a simple signup form that just adds your name to a letter.
- The group Allied for Startups has another good sign on letter Stop the link tax
For previously published thoughts on the EU, see:
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