AFP News Agency Files Copyright Case Against Social Media Giant
On Wednesday, AFP News Agency launched a copyright case in France against social media giant Twitter, which has recently rebranded as X. This legal action is part of a global effort by media groups to demand that tech companies pay for news content shared on their platforms.
Media groups have long argued that their stories and images add value to platforms like X, Facebook, and Google, and therefore, they should receive a share of the profits. In 2019, the European Union implemented a law allowing for payments to be made for sharing content under a system called “neighboring rights.” Eventually, Google and Facebook agreed to pay certain French media outlets.
However, AFP has accused X, which is owned by billionaire Elon Musk, of refusing to discuss neighboring rights. The news agency has stated that X has shown a “clear refusal” to engage in any discussions regarding fair compensation. AFP has filed a case in Paris to compel the platform to provide data that would enable the estimation of an appropriate level of compensation.
In a statement, AFP expressed its firm commitment to advocating for neighboring rights for the press, stating that it will continue to utilize all necessary legal measures to ensure the fair distribution of the value generated by the sharing of news content. When contacted by AFP, the company was not immediately available to comment on the matter.
Although media groups in France have achieved some victories, major tech companies have strongly resisted similar efforts in other regions. Meta, formerly known as Facebook, recently blocked users in Canada from viewing posts from news organizations due to a law mandating compensation for content. Google has also threatened to take similar actions. Both Meta and Google have opposed similar proposals in Australia.
These tech giants, which dominate online advertising, have been accused of depleting the financial resources of traditional news organizations by using their content without payment. However, as a smaller platform, X has not faced the same level of scrutiny.