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Ruth_OpenMedia38 karma

Hey. So the bit we are talking about is in Article 11 of the law. However, the neighbouring right/ ancillary copyright law is written in such a way that it doesn't make sense without also examining previous laws - the Ecommerce Directive. You'll note it says that Member States shall provide publishers of press publications with the rights provided for in Article 2 and Article 3(2) of Directive 2001/29/EC' which is not exactly accessible language.

Basically, that's about giving publishers a copyright over the 'digital uses of their work' - and then to negotiate license for their use. How is it about a tax on links? Because this is what they've told us. And because that's what it used to look like. It's come in many formats but the same law used to look a lot more like a law that passed in Germany and Spain which was about charging news aggregators for sharing links. So that's one big clue. Second - when lobbyists speak in the EU and answer questions about 'what are you going to do with this right?' they have said that they want to charge Google News and other sites that use their content, in particular using thumbnails and snippets to share content, without asking to pay fees for it.

phew. that was long! hope it made sense. :)

Ruth_OpenMedia19 karma

The publishers say it wont affect social media sites - though there's no guarantee in the law, but it does seem unlikely that they would try to target it. They generally agree that twitter links are AOK but Google News is not.

But forums are a bit iffy. and then reddit is especially off - it's a news aggregator which is what they target, where the aggregation is done by people! So the law is definitely not clear. What's very likely is that some 'collecting agencies' would set up, after some negotiations, who would charge fees to companies who use links. They would come round claiming fees and then distribute them back to the publisher. So, say lots of reddit users post links to Die Spiegel they would then have to give that info to the collecting agency who'd give a higher proportion of the fees to the publisher Like Reddit. It would have to start paying tons of money to collecting agencies for what people post, negotiating licenses etc. It would drive their costs up for a site that lets ppl use for free. It might find that some licenses are too costly - but what if they are to the biggest news sites? What if reddit says 'sorry but here's a list of those you can't link to' After all there is no right to waive charging the fees, like there was in Spain. (where aggregation sites shut down) We dont know for sure for sure how that would look but if you take a look at how that kind of thing happens already you can extrapolate.

What service do you know of that would take on that kind of legal uncertainty?

Don't underestimate the chill of passing bad laws and then hoping private companies will act with the best interest of their users at heart.

Ruth_OpenMedia16 karma

There's a really strong chance. We've stirred up a lot of discussion about the law in the EU already through persistent campaigning so that it's now seen as controversial and new questions get asked. It's with elected MEPs now, so they have a direct route to actually listen to people. Since we started doing our 'write to your MEP' part of the campaign I've genuinely had MEPs say that they've changed their mind about it - or been persuaded by their colleagues. A group of MEPs even started their own 'Save the Link' group to oppose it. Once the tide starts turning you can give a huge push, and make it seem toxic and unwinnable. It's not easy cause you're right - there's some big lobbyists on the other side who have all their focus on this, so it's a lot about persistence. They're waiting/hoping for us to get bored and go away.

Ruth_OpenMedia10 karma

Definitely! We have a tool that lets you write to your Member of the European Parliament about this if you are based anywhere in the EU (and you can change the letter to say your own thing) at act1.openmedia.org/savethelink

MEPs don't get tons of letters like some politicians do so they're also pretty good about actually getting back to you.

We also have a petition if you're outside the EU at www.savethelink.org

Ruth_OpenMedia8 karma

Just to echo the others, always! And also, you can write to your MEP at (act1.openmedia.org/savethelink)