French media outlet, Agence France-Presse (AFP) is taking legal action against Twitter related to payment for sharing news. In Wednesday’s press release, the world news platform said that it has taken legal action after X’s “clear refusal” to discuss payment for distributing news content.
The news agency is hoping a Paris court will order an injunction forcing X to hand over “all the necessary elements required for assessing the remuneration.”
The dispute relates to a French copyright law called “neighbouring rights” which was enacted in 2019. It says news publishers are entitled to payment from digital platforms which reproduce their work.
“As a leading advocate for the adoption of neighbouring rights for the press, AFP remains unwavering in its commitment to the cause, even four years after the law’s adoption,” the news agency said.
“The Agency will continue to employ the appropriate legal means with each relevant platform to ensure the fair distribution of the value generated by the sharing of news content.”
X owner, Elon Musk immediately reacted to the development, describing the lawsuit as “bizarre”.
“This is bizarre. They want us to pay *them* for traffic to their site where they make advertising revenue and we don’t!?”Elon Musk
AFP’s lawsuit comes on the heels of Meta turning off its news availability in Canada after the country enacted a similar law. The new law in Cannada, a similar model to the model adopted by Australia in 2021, required tech companies to pay media organizations if they host Canadian news on their platforms.
According to Meta, the company had no choice other than to comply with the rule with the bill having received royal assent. Meta’s statement reads;
“We have repeatedly shared that in order to comply with Bill C-18, passed today in Parliament, content from news outlets, including news publishers and broadcasters, will no longer be available to people accessing our platforms in Canada.”
X (Twitter) did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Twitter case: A similar lawsuit on news distribution
In 2021, Google was fined 500 million euros, the largest fine awarded by the French Competition Authority — for not respecting measures requiring it to negotiate compensation with the press “in good faith,” Euronews reports.
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