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US Senator Criticizes EU 'Link Tax' Proposal

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

01 September 2016


A leading member of the United States Senate has called on the European Union not to introduce a copyright fee on news aggregation sites that provide links to news articles on the Internet.

Senator Ron Wyden (D - Oregon), a long-time campaigner on copyright issues, said reports that the European Commission is considering creating a new "link tax" on links to online news articles "raise serious concerns" with regards to fair use and freedom of speech.

"Restricting the ability to link to news – or charging for it – is incompatible with a free and open internet and principles of fair use of copyrighted material and free speech in the United States," he said in a statement on August 31.

Although the Commission has not formally proposed such a levy, often dubbed a "Google tax" after the largest news aggregation service on the Internet, reports have surfaced that it is formulating such a proposal, based on a leaked Commission Communication on how online platforms fit in with the EU Digital Market Strategy.

Although the document does not expressly mention the possibility of imposing a link tax in the EU, it states that "a fair method of distribution of revenue for copyrighted material made available through online platforms" should be created.

TAGS: tax | European Commission | copyright | internet | United States | Europe

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