European Commission Considers a Link and Snippet Tax: Ill-Founded, Controversial And Detrimental To All Players

BY Heather Greenfield
December 9, 2015

Brussels – Today the European Commission released a non-legislative Communication “Towards a modern, more European copyright framework” — the Communication on copyright. The Communication sets out the Commission’s vision and priorities on copyright reform for the years to come.

The issues covered in the Communication range from cross-border accessibility to content to copyright enforcement measures. The Commission discusses how to adapt copyright exceptions to digital and cross-border environments and lays out measures to achieve a well-functioning marketplace for copyright.

Despite serious concerns voiced by various stakeholders, as well as publishers themselves, the Communication seems to be taking the first step to embracing the idea of an ancillary copyright for press publishers — a link and snippet tax targeted at news aggregators. This measure has not worked in Germany and Spain, was rejected by the European Parliament and is deeply controversial among publishers themselves. In light of this it is worryisome that the  Commission is considering this failed concept.

In addition, raising the E-Commerce Directive in the context of copyright is misleading, particularly at a time of an ongoing consultation touching on this crucial piece of legislation.

The following can be attributed to CCIA Europe Director, Jakob Kucharczyk:

“It is not clear why the Commission embraces the idea of a link and snippet tax. The ancillary copyright failed in Germany and in Spain, it is opposed by publishers themselves and the European Parliament rejected it. It has driven smaller publishers and news aggregators out of the market. It stands in the way of a functioning digital single market and hence in direct opposition to the Commission’s own policy goals. We urge the Commission to base future intervention on evidence and facts, instead of vested interests from a maximum of two Member States.”

Contact:

Heather Greenfield +1 202 783 0070 ext 113

Jakob Kucharczyk jkucharczyk@ccianet.org

+32 492 887 943

Related Articles

Supreme Court Decides Landmark Google v. Oracle Case On Copyright, Interoperable Tech Products

Apr 5, 2021

Washington — The Supreme Court has issued its ruling in the Google v. Oracle copyright case, which has been litigated for more than a decade. The outcome, which has sweeping implications for the tech industry, means the reuse of certain program elements necessary for interoperability is fair use and not an infringement of copyright law.…

Unvetted Copyright Measures In Spending Bill Concern CCIA

Dec 22, 2020

Washington — Congress has wrapped several controversial copyright measures into a must-pass end of the year spending bill.  The intellectual property part of the legislation includes the CASE Act, the Trademark Modernization Act, and the Protecting Lawful Streaming Act. While the Computer & Communications Industry Association doesn’t oppose the language of the streaming proposal, it…

CCIA Response To Proposed Digital Copyright Act

Dec 22, 2020

Washington — Senator Thom Tillis, R-NC, has introduced a discussion draft of a controversial copyright bill that reads like a Christmas wish list for Hollywood and big content companies, and takes cues from contentious copyright reforms in Europe. Among other sweeping changes to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the bill increases the role of…