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France's AFP sues Musk's X social media, cites refusal to discuss payment for news

France’s AFP files a lawsuit against Musk’s X social media, citing a refusal to discuss news fee arrangements

The news organization Agence France-Presse (AFP) announced on Wednesday that it has filed a lawsuit in Paris against Elon Musk’s X social media platform, formerly known as Twitter, accusing it of neglecting to address potential remuneration for the distribution of the news organization’s content.

A copyright regulation known as “neighboring rights” was implemented in France in 2019 and requires major internet platforms to engage in negotiations with publishers seeking payment for news.
According to a statement from the news organization, “Agence France-Presse has expressed its concerns over the clear refusal from Twitter (recently rebranded as “X”) to enter into discussions regarding the implementation of neighboring rights for the press.”

In a post on the X social media platform, Musk criticized AFP’s action.

This is strange. They want us to pay *them* for visits to their website, from which they profit from advertising while we do not, he said.

An inquiry for comment from X was not answered.

The French antitrust regulator fined Alphabet’s (GOOGL.O) Google 500 million euros in 2021 for disobeying directives on how to handle negotiations with the nation’s news publishers.

Since then, Google has vowed to settle the conflict and has made agreements with AFP and a number of other top French news agencies. A few French publishers have struck arrangements with Meta Platforms’ Facebook as well.

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