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Over 100 MEPs sign an open letter against introduction of link tax

Am 7. Juni 2018 - 13:27 Uhr von Tom Hirche

Today, a total of 104 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from across the political groups published an open letter addressing MEP Axel Voss (EPP, Germany) who is the lead Rapporteur on the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market for the Legal Affairs (JURI) Committee.

Under the lead of MEP Marietje Schaake (ALDE, Netherlands), the undersigned MEPs are "extremely worried about the impact that the introduction of a new neighbouring right for press publishers will have" as they "believe that the introduction of a new European neighbouring right will have a nocent and injurious effect on citizens’ access to quality news and information."

They therefore urge Voss to "listen to the voices of consumer groups, small publishers, civil society and the business community who are overwhelmingly opposed to the introduction" of a link tax. It is sad to see that this request is necessary but the fact that these voices have been largely ignored by the decision makers shows that it really is.

Voss also gets reminded not only of the recent open letter from by now over 200 European copyright legal and academic experts who had shut down the proposed new publishers' right but also of the independent, non-partisan academic study conducted by the European Parliament's JURI Committee which also suggested to lay the plans for a publishers' right to rest.

The MEPs finally urge Axel Voss to delete Article 11, to delete the proposed press publishers' right and instead to "find an alternative, less invasive, and more proportionate solution to support quality journalism and freedom of the press in the digital age."

This is a strong signal to all the other MEPs that have not been this deeply involved in the discussions so far. It is also refreshing to see that two MEPs of the EPP group have decided to sign the letter despite Axel Voss's imposed so-called joint opinion. May more MEPs follow their lead and put an end to this destructive proposal.

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