Charged for linking?

Posted by Meghan Sali on Mon, 06/15/2015 - 15:14

In less than 12 hours key lawmakers will vote on a new scheme that could facilitate the spread of a costly new ‘link tax’ online.  

This backwards censorship plan is supported by a politician named Jean-Marie Cavada, a classic Internet villain who wants to hold onto the past.

Join us in demanding that Cavada backs off plans that would restrict our right to link, before it’s too late.

We know Cavada hopes to usher in new powers that could see links and comments on Soundcloud, Facebook, and WhatsApp to your favourite blog redirected or blocked entirely.

We’re sure you’ve seen those “not available in your area” geo-block-like messages? Yeah, more of that sort of thing. We hate them too. And we don’t want more of our online lives to be governed by rules created by Old Media conglomerates. Internet users should be in the driver’s seat when it comes to creating rules that will affect how we share and collaborate online.

If Cavada gets his way we’ll see much more frustrating Internet censorship–broken links, 404 error messages–and it will affect users everywhere. Let’s all send him a message he can’t ignore now.

Here’s the rub: Cavada’s link censorship plan is about to be voted on in a powerful EU parliamentary committee he sits on as the Vice-Chair. He’s got a lot of sway, so letting him know that Internet users are paying attention to the way he and the rest of the committee votes is crucial.

Because regardless of where you live, many of your favourite websites and key web infrastructure will be covered by his irresponsible censorship scheme.

As it stands, if Cavada gets his way you could see some of your favourite websites being forced to pay a ‘link tax’ for pointing to information that’s freely available elsewhere.

Get this: he even tried to scrub the input from Internet users from this decision-making process. He then tried to block a UN free expression expert from talking to key decision-makers about the problems with his restrictive plan. Who does that?

As community member Karen told us on Facebook, "It seems M.Cavada lives in a bubble. This is unreal." Unreal indeed, Karen.

But for Cavada to back off he needs to hear from as many of us as possible right now. The vote is happening in less than 12 hours.

Here’s a great way you can push back if you run a website or blog: embed our link-counting widget on your page using the code below:

<script src=""></script>


You’ll be joining with groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Creative Commons, Thunderclap, Communia and many more who are using our widget to help Internet users like you see just how many links you come across every day on every page you visit.

We know that links enable our online exploration and are crucial to freedom of expression and access to information online. Cavada’s plan would see restrictions on our right to link, and would entrap us within the walled garden that Old Media companies want to limit us to online. Let’s not let him do that.