Sacramento, Calif. – The California Assembly passed a bill today that would tax links based on internet search inquiries and social media connected to news stories. California’s AB 886, the “California Journalism Preservation Act,” institutes a link tax where digital services pay fees to send traffic to news sites. Experts have pointed out that this will encourage click bait journalism and benefit bigger corporate media rather than local news organizations.
The Computer & Communications Industry Association has advocated for policies that support access to information online for more than 25 years and submitted a coalition letter along with a floor alert opposing AB 886 signed by 12 public interest and tech groups. The letter raised concerns about potential problems with digital services’ ability to moderate content on their platform, and conflicts with federal law on copyright and the First Amendment.
The following can be attributed to CCIA President Matt Schruers:
“We support a thriving news media, but cannot support a link tax. Taxes on sending internet traffic from one site to another is not a sustainable business model for any party involved, and sets a dangerous precedent for governments and carriers to impose fees on users navigating the open internet.”