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Copyright: Desperate scare tactics need to be called out

19th June 2017

Blatant attempts to derail the proposal for a Press Publisher’s Right within the EU copyright reform are being made by the anti-copyright campaigning groups, DigitalEurope, AlliedforStartups, EDRi and Canadian group OpenMedia following support for ’’article 11’’ by the IMCO committee.

Their claim that the Press Publisher’s right is a threat to hyperlinking is most misleading. There is a material and functional difference between you or me reading an article we enjoy and posting a link on social media and the use of publishers content by commercial aggregators and search engines without an agreement or remuneration. Opponents to the neighbouring right for press publishers like to suggest they’re equivalent somehow.

Using scare tactics, spreading myths and misinformation and fundraising based on a false premise, these groups insist on telling the public that this neighbouring right, already enjoyed by film and music producers and broadcasters in Europe, will break the internet and will criminalise individuals who share links to press content.

Publishers will of course continue to encourage their readers to share links to their content as they do today and nothing in the proposal will change this or limit access to publishers’ content much of which is and will continue to be made available for free to our readers.

What OpenMedia and the tech groups fail to communicate to the public is that a free and independent press, fundamental to European democracy, is at stake here. A Press Publisher’s Right will help ensure the future of professional journalism so that the internet can continue to be fuelled with reliable, professional content, financed by publishers.

Please get involved in our initiative, www.empower-democracy.eu, if you are committed to a democratic Europe with an independent and pluralistic media landscape.

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