Small publishers raise their voices against link tax 04/01/2018 by Tom Hirche
A few weeks ago, several press agencies have joined the large publishing houses in their ongoing lobbying for a new neighbouring right. Carlos Astiz, Chairman of the European Innovative Media Publishers, was disappointed by this endorsement and stood once again to take a stance for the smaller publishers, content creators and journalists.
In a guest post on blogactiv.eu, Astiz makes clear that the already proposed new right is not "a legal tool for sharing revenues and distribute costs amongst players in the media industry" as it is displayed. Instead, based on the similar laws in Germany and Spain, the right will restrict linking and sharing of content while it is only the larger players that will be able to make a profit from it: "If those could cope with less online presence, smaller publishers cannot."
From his own experience and from what he was told by coalition members, the online traffic of smaller Spanish publications decreased by 8 to 15 percent after the introduction of the new right. The big media platforms and publishing houses however remained unscathed and kept growing.
Many small publications haven’t survived this damage where it was attempted and many other will follow if this measure were to be introduced across the EU.
Astiz expresses his disappointment with the press agencies that abused "their influence, and their money, in favour of greater profits for their largest clients". Due to its horrible consequences, Astiz strictly speaks out against the new right and calls on policy makers to not only refrain from this proposal but also to take the right steps to promote a forward-looking, modern and diverse media landscape in Europe.
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The financial gain for a select few is not worth destroying the free flow of and access to information for all European citizens.
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