Since November last year, I have received hundreds of emails from constituents all over Wales regarding the EU Commission’s so-called “Link Tax”. The EU Commission is drafting a directive which could see social media users charged for sharing hyperlinks from news publishers.

This new copyright proposal is very alarming, so today I submitted an urgent question to the EU Commission asking them to outline your concerns and their safeguards.

This is the full letter that I submitted. Once I have received a reply, I will both publish it online and forward it to each email that I have received.

Dear Mr Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for Digital Single Market,

I am writing to you, on behalf of my constituents, about the EU Commission’s proposed ‘Link Tax’.

I have received hundreds of emails from concerned constituents all over my constituency of Wales regarding this proposal. I wanted to write to you directly to outline their concerns and to find out what the next steps are regarding this policy.

Like my constituents, I am concerned that hyperlinks shared in a personal capacity on social media sites will be subject to a fee. It seems that the interests of publishers are being put before the interests of ordinary people.

  1. Firstly, if this disastrous policy is implemented, will it still apply to the UK in light of Brexit?
  2. Secondly, what safeguards can you provide to my constituents that they will not be financially penalised for sharing hyperlinks on their social media accounts?
  3. Thirdly, please can you provide the thinking behind this directive? Has this directive stemmed from any particular research or feedback, and what consultations have been done with citizens from EU Member States? In particular, I refer to the specific needs of my constituents here in Wales.

It seems to me that the impetus behind this proposal is to provide revenue to news publishers, who feel that in this new digital age, are missing out on their share of the profits.

This is another example of how the EU works with big business in a cosy corporate club. The EU Commission only works to serve the interests of big businesses and does not care about small communities and the interests of citizens.

Regards,

Mr Nathan Gill MEP for Wales

If you have any further questions or concerns, please email me at nathan.gill@europarl.europa.eu.