EFA has co-signed a letter, with 50+ organisations to call on Axel Voss MEP (Member of the European Parliament) to delete Article 11. Article 11 is a proposal that wants to demand licensing fees for sharing tiny snippets of text, extracts, even headlines, from news articles. It has been criticised over and over again: it will harm access to news and information by making it costly to support small publications, and entrench the power of the largest media groups.
While this legislation is being proposed in the European parliament, it poses a dangerous precedent for all internet users. EFA has signed this letter in solidarity with its European peers.
The latest amendments to this Article, proposed by Axel Voss MEP, only make the issues worse: fees would become attached to simple facts, and Creative Commons would become impossible for news sites.
With this open letter [PDF] we encourage Axel Voss MEP and his colleagues to find an approach to Article 11 that takes into account the interests of internet users, startups, small publishers and heritage institutions - rather than the small concentration of press publishers it is solely designed to support. We remind Voss of the wealth of evidence produced by researchers who have investigated how such proposals have played out in the past, and that "many studies some of which commissioned by the EU institutions themselves, show that these rules have had a disproportionate negative impact on the news industries, and information access."
You can read the full letter here.