Oettinger: Put your online editors to silence!  28/09/2016 by Tom Hirche

EU-Commissioner Günther Oettinger gave a speech last Monday at the annual meeting of the Federation of German Newspaper Publishers (BDZV). There he explicitly called on the publishing houses to create more buzz in favor of his proposed ancillary copyright for press publishers/neighbouring right/link tax meaning he wants them to shush down their online magazines.

With a broad grin he thanked the print editors for their “positive” and “clear” statement on his proposal. But:

“In many of your [publishing] houses you have offline and online editors. And the onliners’ responses have been quite negative. Not censorship is in demand here, but persuasion, arguments.”

If the publishers do not fight over the next weeks, they will “miss out on a time window for their economic and cultural-democratic future.” They should not occupy themselves so much with topics like the German inheritance tax. The publisher’s right is “much, much more important.” “Spread out!”, he told them.

Such appearances show how important it is to throw light on this topic and to involve the public. The voices against an ancillary copyright for press publishers are growing louder and stronger every day. When Oettinger sees a need to ask (beg?) the ones allegedly profiting from this law for more effort, he feels he loses ground. Criticism and discussion is definitely not what he wants.

However, Oettinger obviously forgot an important point: There are no good arguments pro link tax.

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