French publication Agence France-Presse (AFP) sued X—previously Twitter—over its “clear refusal” to debate potential fee for the distribution of the information company’s content material yesterday (Aug. 2).

The authorized motion, for which AFP searching for an pressing injunction earlier than the Judicial Courtroom of Paris, stems from X’s alleged non-compliance with a regulation France enacted in July 2019, referred to as “neighbouring rights,” which compels massive on-line platforms to open talks with publishers searching for remuneration for information.

“These rights have been established to allow information companies and publishers to be remunerated by digital platforms which retain a lot of the financial worth generated by the distribution of stories content material,” AFP mentioned in its assertion. “The Company will proceed to make use of the suitable authorized means with every related platform to make sure the honest distribution of the worth generated by the sharing of stories content material.”

The regulation’s writer, senator David Assouline, claimed “publishers maintain the stability of energy underneath the regulation,” however in observe, it’s not fairly so easy. Researchers fear such agreements deal with systemic imbalances as a result of the focus of energy relating to information dissemination nonetheless lies with a handful of personal firms.

Quotable: Musk criticizes AFP’s authorized motion

“That is weird. They need us to pay *them* for site visitors to their web site the place they make promoting income and we don’t!?” Elon Musk’s Aug. 2 tweet

Tech giants and neighbouring rights in France, by the digits

500 million euros (then $593 million): Effective France’s antitrust watchdog slapped on Alphabet-owned Google in July 2021 for failing to adjust to orders on methods to conduct talks with the nation’s information publishers. The company threatened fines amounting to €900,000 per day if Google didn’t current a suggestion of remuneration to publishers inside two months

Unknown: The quantity Fb (now Meta) spent on a multiyear settlement with Alliance de la presse d’data générale (APIG) in France to pay French publishers for resharing their content material on its platforms in October 2021. When Google up to date an analogous deal with APIG final March, its financial phrases have been additionally not identified

300: Nationwide, regional and native information teams represented by APIG that stand to profit from the tech behemoths’ offers

Rabbit gap: AFP passes on neighbouring rights to journalists

In Could 2022, AFP grew to become the primary media firm to provide its journalists a slice of the neighbouring rights paid by platforms. The three-year agreements signed between three unions—Normal Confederation of Labour (CGT), Staff Power (FO) and Nationwide Union of Journalists (SNJ)—and AFP administration, guarantee a minimal gross quantity of €275 ($300) yearly per journalist working full time all 12 months spherical.

For journalists based mostly in a European Union nation the place neighbouring rights are much less beneficial than in France, and for journalists based mostly in non-EU nations that don’t recognise neighbouring rights, the publication supplied a compensatory fee.

In complete, round 1600 full-time AFP journalists stood to profit on the time of the announcement.

Case of curiosity

Earlier this week, X sued the Middle for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH)—a gaggle of impartial researchers face authorized motion for documenting hate speech on Twitter. Musk was making an attempt to “bully us into silence,” CCDH chief govt Imran Ahmed mentioned in response, including that “Musk is making an attempt to ‘shoot the messenger’ who highlights the poisonous content material on his platform relatively than take care of the poisonous setting he’s created.”

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