No, it’s not the title of the latest Zelda game. The #SaveTheLink campaign has been pushing to keep the internet a free place to express ourselves after the EU Commission proposed a new EU Copyright Directive, featuring some of the most severe copyright rules yet seen.
Among the proposals is a new “Link Tax” for publishers which would impose a fee on sharing links with snippets of text attached – which would impact social media sharing, search engines and numerous other everyday activities online, and would effectively break the internet as we know it.
Invasive and costly measures for monitoring and sifting through user content are another one of the problems accompanying the Link Tax in the Commission’s proposed rules. Simply put, online censorship is likely to increase.
This happened after an unexpected and disappointing court ruling undermined our right to use hyperlinks. We need Pirates now more than ever to stop this super-national threat to our freedom online.
Pirate Party Acting Leader David A Elston said:
“The misleading counter-campaign “The Link is Safe” maintains that democracy will be empowered if Big Media is allowed to further weaponise copyright and make it even more restrictive.
“We’ve seen from previous attempts at implementing this tax in Spain and Germany that it is actually highly damaging to the news industry as a whole, with small publishers being forced to bear the brunt of the costs which result from it.
“This is to say nothing of the damage it would cause to the free and open internet, where the ability to share links to content underpins almost everything we do online.
“The EU Copyright Directive and its proposals are based on the misguided notion that creative works have to be owned by someone, and that this person must therefore control who can copy said works. In reality, copyright has not been used to protect individual authors for a long time, but is instead used to drown out and limit competition.
“Sharing works does not prevent the authors from making more works, but actually exposes them to more people who would pay for it. Until some time ago this was merely based on individual experiences but finally “Pirates” were proven to pay over the odds for content as opposed to traditional purchasers by an Ofcom report in 2013.”
About Pirate Party UK
The Pirate Party in the UK is a fledgling political party. It has fielded a few candidates in European and National elections, but like most small parties it is significantly constrained by the UK electoral system. Despite this, the Pirate Party now has a representative in local government and is looking to build support from the grassroots.