France’s AFP Sues Elon Musk’s Twitter/X for Refusal to Pay For Links Shared on the Platform

Agence France-Presse (AFP) has recently announced that it is pursuing legal action against X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. The legal action is based on alleged copyright violations and a refusal by Twitter/X to engage in discussions regarding the remuneration of news content shared on the platform.

The news agency has filed a lawsuit in a court in Paris, seeking an urgent injunction to compel the platform to provide essential information concerning the reuse of AFP’s news content. This information is crucial for calculating the appropriate compensation under France’s neighboring rights legislation, which was established to ensure fair compensation for news agencies and publishers whose content is distributed by digital platforms.

In a press release, AFP expressed its concerns over the platform’s refusal to engage in talks about the implementation of neighboring rights for the press. These rights were introduced to address the substantial monetary value generated by the distribution of news content on digital platforms, which often goes uncompensated.

The extension of copyright law to encompass excerpts and snippets of news content shared on digital platforms was endorsed by the European Union in 2019 and incorporated into French law shortly thereafter. 

It appears that Twitter/X did not comply with these regulations. The extension covers various forms of news content, including text, photographs, videos, and infographics, for a period of two years after publication.

Twitter/X owner Elon Musk, in his tweet reacting to the matter, made no mention of the extension of the copyright law.

This legal action brings to light the ongoing tension between digital platforms and news publishers over fair compensation for content reuse. Notably, search giant Google faced a similar situation in France, resulting in a substantial fine and negotiations with publishers.

While Twitter/X’s position in the search market may differ from Google’s, this legal challenge underscores the global trend of legislating fair revenue sharing between tech platforms and news publishers. 

Australia and Canada have also implemented measures to ensure fair compensation for news content shared on digital platforms, prompting industry leaders like Meta (formerly Facebook) and Google to engage in vigorous lobbying efforts.

Back in the US, Musk’s litigious platform is also facing a lawsuit (among many others) over claims that Twitter/X has been profiting from copyright infringement by allowing users to post videos containing unauthorized music without compensating the creators.

Information for this story was found via Reuters, Forbes, Fortune, BBC News, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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