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European Parliament rejects link tax amendment

If ruled, the link tax would take money from search engines when displaying traditional news sources in results

European flag

The European Parliament has overruled a proposition by the EU to charge a tax on search engines if they display news results from traditional publishing sources.

Spain has already implemented the tax - one promoted by the country's daily newspaper association that believes online-only news sources are a threat to its members' livelihoods.

The proposal was put forward as an amendment of copyright reforms, which argues there should be a fair balance between the right and interests of both media consumers and creators with easy access to content across borders and implementation of territorial licences.

The Save The Link campaign, led by community organisation OpenMedia has built up a strong following, comprising 75,000 organisations and individuals supporting freedom of expression and the right to share and read whatever content they like online, without a tax being imposed.

"A Link Tax' is essentially a cash-grab from giant media conglomerates, desperate to shore up an outdated business model off the backs of Internet users," said Meghan Sali from OpenMedia said. "It's great to see MEPs reject this tax while backing positive steps forward on copyrightnow we need to build on this progress."

Now, campaigners are trying to convince the EU Commission to take onboard what internet users and the EU Parliament has said about copyright reform, OpenMedia said.

"This is good news for internet users everywhere," Sali added. "A Link Tax' would have had devastating consequences for freedom of expression and our right to access and share information online. Today's big win shows the power that Internet users have when we stand together."

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