The EU’s New “Link Tax” Threatens Free Speech in the U.S.

The EU’s new law forcing websites to pay a tax in order to link to other websites won’t just affect the trading bloc’s member states — it will drastically affect alternative media outlets in the United States, leaving large companies such as Google, Yahoo and mainstream media outlets as the only sources of national and international news. The draft proposals, which were first proposed back in July 2018 but then set aside, are back on the table and could be voted on this month.

The problematic laws are known as Articles 11 and 13 of the EU’s Copyright Directive. Article 11 stipulates that platforms that use aggregate or curated content would need to pay a “link tax” to the original sources of the material used. It is the one that worries alternative news websites the most, and it’s not hard to see why.

Alternative news websites, along with individual bloggers and authors, frequently link to news articles that support their assertions. Others curate news content from a variety of sites so that people who want to find news on a particular topic can do so with ease. Article 11 would dramatically raise the price of running any sort of informative website because the webmasters would need to pay out tens of thousands of dollars in link taxes on a regular basis. The exorbitant fees would ensure that most, if not all, of these websites would need to shut down, leaving only tech giants to provide news and information to the general public.

Article 13 proposes the creation of an “upload filter” that would require that any content uploaded online be checked to ensure that it does not infringe on anyone’s copyright. Anyone can add something to the copyright algorithm’s database, making it easy for just about any person in the EU or even outside the EU to claim that something they don’t want to see posted online is in fact copyrighted when this may not actually be the case.

What is more, the law does not allow for “Fair Use” guidelines that are in place in the United States and other countries. Memes, derivative works and even satire would cease to exist online as the EU’s filters would deem the material to be copyrighted and refuse to allow people to upload or share their creations. You could be banned from uploading a picture of a used book, video or even T-shirt that you want to sell simply because you don’t own the copyrights on these items. Protestors may not be able to upload photos of their events if they wear trademarked clothing.

Another big problem with Article 13 is that copyright filters that are already in place consistently makes mistakes by flagging legitimate material as being copyrighted. If this were to happen in the EU, the burden of proving that something can be legitimately uploaded online would by on the person who wants to upload the content in question. If the platform doesn’t agree with the person, he or she would have to take the case to court in order to upload content. Needless to say, this is a huge infringement on freedom of speech as individuals will no longer be able to share comments, files or content without Big Brother approving it first.

This recent move by the EU to restrict the type of content that is uploaded online and to demand that websites pay to link to content poses a danger to anyone who embraces free speech and wants to share his or her opinions and/or content online. Articles 11 and 13 of the Copyright Directive will ruin the internet for everyone if they are allowed to go on unchallenged. In fact, the latter proposal is eerily similar to rules that are in place in Communist China, a country that is well known for its desire to control what people in the country can post on its online platforms.

Those who want to keep the internet free from government interference and censorship would do well to speak out against these proposed rules and encourage others to do so as well. As individuals and organizations such as EFF and Wikipedia work together to keep the internet free and open, hopefully rules like these will wind up permanently shelved.

~ Conservative Zone


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8 responses to “The EU’s New “Link Tax” Threatens Free Speech in the U.S.”

  1. The first two world wars were the USA helping Europe defend themselves against others, is it possible the third world war will be the USA defending itself against radicals in Europe?

  2. EU should police & tax their own people… rather than throw onus of compliance onto existing content providers & extend their taxable authority beyond current jurisdiction….nice try…Just my opinion…

  3. Big Brother is alive and well….this might be the EU but have you been really paying attention to the moves being made by Facebook, Twitter, Google et al ….it is coming to a computer near you…SOON. The “propaganda bill” slithered through by Obama as a Christmas present in 2016 that was adopted in it’s entirety immediately by almost every NATO country ( and Egypt) was the enshrining of Orwell’s “1984”….and paved the way for the “Ministries of Truth” to do their thing. The goal has always been to “control the narrative”…which they have accomplished pretty well with the “mainstream”. Now they are bringing ‘social media’ into the fold and eventually the “independents” will either have to comply or be wiped out…as it stands, when the independents “score a scoop” that is NOT in line with “the agenda” the mainstream immediately attacks them…Enjoy what little “freedom” you still have,,,for now!!!

  4. This is just the elites using dictatorial powers to silence those who are not in line with their socialist/communist agenda. The sheep actually believe that their restrictive governments are doing what’s “best for them” LOL…that’s the very LAST thing they want.
    You will become compliant, brainwashed slaves, or you will be eliminated, it’s just as simple as that.
    As the Mexican revolutionary, Emiliano Zapata, once said: “It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.” And on your knees is exactly where the elites want you!

  5. Since When Does the EU Has the Power to Regulate the USA Free Speech!!
    Come to Think of it They Have a Great Ally with the Democrats! Look what happen in the Schools, Colleges and Universities-> EXAMPLE; How to address a gender – ‘man wants to be a woman’ AND GO TO A WOMAN’S BATHROOM????- ‘woman wants to be a man’ You Can Find Out Much, MUCH MORE About this Crap happening throughout the USA!! AND LET ME TELL YOU FOLKS THIS IS NOT HAPPENING AMONG THE CONSERVATIVES But RAMPANT AMONG THE LIBERALS!! These Liberals Are Leading the USA Into the Disgust And More – Down the Toilet -> IF WE LET THEM!! This Whole Thing Makes Me SICK!
    NO-THEY ARE SICK!! GO To the Colleges and Universities – Get Involved With These Liberals -Get Involved AND YOU WILL GET SICK!!

  6. The EU despots are continuing their Socialist conquest of the world. The perversion of society around the world is accelerating, lead by the communists and fascists who dominate the Democrat Party in the USA. Do not allow your children to go to the perverted schools that have been turned into communist indoctrination camps by the teachers unions and the professors. If you do not attend School Board meetings and PTA, start doing so right now. Run for School Board positions and take your local schools back from the communist unions. Make sure that the position your State School Superintendent or equivalent is held by a conservative. If liberals dominate the political scene in your community and you can’t change it, like in Kalifornicate, move your family out of there. Why would you allow your children to be turned into communist slaves for the sake of climate or pretty scenery?

  7. This move by the Soros paid EU leaders is their next step into a Fascist Socialist Islamic World Government. It truly is a battle between good and evil and it is leading the world into the final battle at Armageddon

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