Facebook signs copyright agreement with French media after prolonged talks, paving way for tech giant to pay for news content

Facebook and parts of France’s press have reached an agreement on copyrights. Facebook also revealed the imminent launch of Facebook News France in 2022.

In a joint statement on Thursday, Facebook and l’Alliance de la presse d’information générale (APIG), a lobby representing leading French press groups such as Le Monde, Le Figaro, and Les Echos, announced that an agreement on so-called ‘neighboring rights’ – a form of copyright – had been reached. 

Although Facebook didn’t provide details about the contents of the agreement it is believed that this will allow the tech giant, Facebook to begin paying France for news content. 

Facebook announced the agreement “means that people on Facebook will be able to continue uploading and sharing news stories freely amongst their communities, whilst also ensuring that the copyright of our publishing partners is protected.” also available
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Google stated in January it had reached an agreement draft with APIG, its 121 members for the payment of news content. Google indicated that it would work with the members to negotiate individual licensing agreements. Google said it would pay per month based on the number of internet users and daily publications. 

Agence France-Presse, as well as other French news agencies are not members of the APIG group. Therefore the Google deal did not apply. The Google-APIG agreement was valued at $76 million for three years, according to documents obtained by Reuters. 

France, the EU directive regarding neighboring rights was adopted in 2019 as the first European nation. Google and Facebook refused to comply. They would be required to pay for news content. Tech firms claimed media organizations already enjoy millions of search engine clicks and social media visits that lead to traffic to their sites. 

News outlets are requesting that Google and Facebook pay them millions of dollars for ad placements alongside their news articles, amid declining print subscriptions.

Mark Zuckerberg’s firm also said it would be launching a French media service, Facebook News, in January, providing consumers with a “dedicated space to access content from trusted and reputable news sources.”

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