Elon Musk and X, the site formerly known as Twitter, are facing further legal challenges in the UK. The Agence France-Presse (AFP) is taking legal action against X for refusing to participate in discussions regarding payment to a French publisher in exchange for featuring their articles on the platform.
In 2019, France enacted neighboring rights legislation, which extended copyright protection to content created by news publishers, including text and videos, for a period of two years after release.
The law mandates that any platforms sharing such content must negotiate remuneration with the publishers, rather than distributing it without compensating the creators.
According to the AFP’s press release, they have expressed their concerns about X’s clear refusal to engage in discussions regarding the implementation of neighboring rights for the press.
These rights were established to ensure that news agencies and publishers receive payment from digital platforms, which currently retain the majority of the monetary value generated by the distribution of news content. X is not the first tech company that the AFP has confronted.
In 2020, France’s competition authority instructed Google to enter into negotiations with publishers. Although an agreement was reached in early 2021, the company was subsequently fined €500 million ($546 million) for failing to reach a fair agreement.
One of the arguments presented in that case was that Google holds a 90 percent share of the search market, putting them in a position where they could potentially exploit their power if a fair deal was not reached.
Twitter’s influence in this particular realm of the internet is not as substantial, so it remains to be seen whether it will encounter a similar battle.
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