Elon Musk’s platform, X, formerly Twitter, is once again embroiled in legal complexities. French publisher, Agence France-Presse (AFP), is filing a lawsuit against X for their failure to enter into dialogue concerning payment for the use of AFP’s articles on X’s platform. In 2019, France enacted a law pertaining to neighboring rights, effectively extending copyright protection to content generated by news publishers, including text and video materials, for two years post-release. This legislation mandates any platforms that distribute such content to engage in negotiations about compensation with the content creators, rather than freely disseminating the content without any form of remuneration.
In a public statement, AFP expressed its dissatisfaction with X’s evident reluctance to enter into negotiations on the implementation of neighboring press rights. These rights were designed to ensure that news agencies and publishers receive adequate compensation from digital platforms that derive most of their revenue from the distribution of news content.
This isn’t the first time that AFP has initiated legal proceedings against a tech giant. In 2020, France’s competition watchdog required Google to negotiate with publishers. While an agreement was reached in early 2021, Google was later slapped with a fine of €500 million ($546 million) later that year for failing to negotiate a fair agreement. Part of the argument held that Google’s domination of 90% of the search market enabled them to exploit their power if a balanced deal was not attained. Twitter’s sway in this internet sector isn’t as substantial, hence it remains to be seen if it will encounter a similar challenge.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about AFP sues Elon Musk’s X
Who is suing Elon Musk’s X platform?
The Agence France-Presse (AFP) is suing Elon Musk’s platform X, formerly known as Twitter, due to issues surrounding news content payments.
Why is the Agence France-Presse suing X?
AFP is suing X because the platform has not entered discussions about payment to the AFP for their articles that appear on X. This is in violation of the neighboring rights law passed by France in 2019, which extends copyright law to news content for two years after release and requires platforms to negotiate payment with publishers.
Has AFP sued any other tech companies before X?
Yes, the AFP has previously taken legal action against Google. In 2020, France’s competition authority mandated Google to negotiate with publishers. Though an agreement was initially reached, Google was fined €500 million ($546 million) for not reaching a fair agreement later that year.
What is the neighboring rights law?
The neighboring rights law was passed by France in 2019. It extends copyright protection to content produced by news publishers, such as text and videos, for two years after it’s released. The law requires any sites that share this work to negotiate with the publishers for payment, instead of sharing it without compensation.
How does this lawsuit relate to Twitter?
X is the new name for the platform formerly known as Twitter. Twitter was rebranded as X by its new owner, Elon Musk. Hence, the lawsuit against X is essentially a lawsuit against the platform that was once Twitter.