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Article 11 : “Is the government trying to take control of creative copyright?”

by on October 5, 2018 in Advertising, Digital Marketing, Latest News, Lead Article, News you can use, Nuggets, Online Advertising

Article 11  : “Is the government trying to take control of creative copyright?”

Links from good quality sources to yours, or your client’s website has been one of the most important aspects of Google’s algorithm for offsite search optimisation for a long while now.

Most digital marketers rely on good quality back links for improving a website’s DA and ranking on Google.

However, on 12th September, over 400 European lawmakers passed new legislation around taxing hyperlinks, referenced as Article 11 and is informally known as ‘Link Tax’. Not to worry just yet though, since there were 200 lawmakers against the proposal and the final vote is yet to take place next January.

So, what will this mean for digital marketers and how will it change the current process in which Google ranks a website?

What is Link Tax?

To put it simply, Article 11 is referred to as ‘protection of press publications concerning digital uses.’ Emily Benwell, Marketing Co-Ordinator at Liberty Marketing has explained this in detail:

“The new proposal will grant news publishers copyright over things like headlines and parts of the news copy. This will mean that big media aggregation platforms such as Google News and Yahoo News, if it goes forward, will have to pay media companies a fee known as link tax to share their news pieces. This extends to internet users however, and those that are planning on linking to a news article must own a “linking license” from the specific news source that they want to link to.”

Article 13, a secondary copyright proposal being considered, will monitor and potentially remove all creative content that may have been copyrighted. This will use “effective content recognition technologies” to check everything that gets uploaded to the internet.

“It requires platforms that are reliant on user-generated content, for example, YouTube, to somehow monitor and stop any copyrighted content from being uploaded. However, it has been argued that these censorship machines will not be great at spotting copyright content, or if they are it gives others authority to remove content – for example competitors.”

Click here for more about censorship monitoring and link tax from Liberty Marketing.

Article 13 is causing the most controversy as it may be hard for companies such as YouTube to do this without getting it wrong, while Article 11 will be the hardest hit for digital marketers.

Why is Article 11 of Concern to Digital Marketers?

As previously mentioned, digital marketers do rely on getting links to their company website as it massively helps them rank well on Google. Many sites rely on referencing great sources, like news outlets, which they will have to pay for if this goes ahead.

There is also a condition that news aggregators would no longer share news articles on their platform to avoid tax, which from a digital marketing perspective is again a concern since visibility will be reduced.

However, links that contain just “individual words” of an article will be exempt from the proposed changes and links of this sort will continue to be added to the website without any penalisation.

The EU haven’t currently clarified whether long-tail keywords with links to another website will be affected by the tax. What is clear, is that the uncertainty and the obscurity of the proposals is the reason behind people fearing the worst.

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