Creativity & Innovation

Tell Congress to Reject Link Taxes

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There are real pressures facing news organizations online. However, those problems don’t come from the basic internet practices of links and preview snippets of articles. The Journalism Competition and Protection Act (JCPA) would grant news organizations an exemption under antitrust law that would allow them to band together to to force internet companies to pay them for links and snippets. That’s not the answer this ecosystem needs.

Tell Congress to reject the JCPA.

In addition to the explicit problems of the JCPA—one draft even requires companies to display certain links whether they want to or not, raising serious free speech concerns—there’s the implicit problem: the bill assumes a nonexistent copyright in links and snippets.

That assumption has grave implications for the entire internet. Linking is how we trace information back to its source. It’s how we verify what we’re being told, and stories with very few links are frequently criticized for being poorly sourced.

Links are how small journalist enterprises credit reporting they are building on, how Wikipedia shows its sources, and how we all share things online. Implying that the company that owns the content to which the link directs the reader also owns the link itself would severely impact our right to access information.

The JCPA threatens free expression and information access. Tell your members of Congress to vote against the JCPA.

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