What Happens If Hyperlinks Get Copyright Protection In Europe?

Lisa Brownlee, Forbes, Nov 18, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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I would like to think that the European Commission wouldn't be so short-sighted as to attempt to impose copyright restrictions on linking, but there have been precedents under the heading of 'ancillary copyright' and restrictions imposed on Google News based on this very principle. "Ancillary copyright includes the right of copyright owners to charge a fee for hyperlinking to and excerpting from their works. From a practical standpoint, this law would affect any news aggregator linking to and excerpting works from European content sources, not just EU based aggregators." See also this petition site, as well as a proposal for a new link tax. On the other hand, see this article asserting that the EU is not considering link blocking, along with more background.

 

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