Facebook agrees to pay French media outlets for their content after months of copyright talks

Le Figaro and Le Monde had recently signed a similar agreement with Facebook over their content.
Le Figaro and Le Monde had recently signed a similar agreement with Facebook over their content. Copyright Martin Bureau/AFP
By Euronews and AFP
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The social media giant reached an agreement with some French dailies just weeks after signing an agreement with newspapers Le Monde and Le Figaro.


Facebook has reached an agreement with French news publishers to remunerate them over the copyright of their content, the US social network announced on Thursday.

It comes just weeks after Facebook signing similar agreements with newspapers Le Monde and Le Figaro.

This licensing agreement signed with lobbying group the Alliance for the General Information Press (Apig), which represents national and regional dailies, "provides that Facebook obtains and remunerates licenses for neighboring rights," according to a statement.

"In addition, it will give the possibility to the publishers of the Alliance who wish to participate in Facebook News," a new service dedicated to information that is to be launched in France in January 2022, the social network said.

"The terms we have reached will allow Facebook to apply the directive and the French law, while generating significant funding for the publishers of the Alliance, especially the smallest of them," Pierre Louette, president of the Apig and CEO of Groupe Les Echos-Le Parisien, said in the statement.

Neither the amount of the remuneration nor the method of calculation of how much Facebook will pay have been disclosed.

Ongoing negotiation over copyrights

So-called "droits voisins," or "neighbouring rights" are explicitly provided for by new EU legislation adopted in 2019, which was immediately transposed into French law.

It opens the way to remunerate authors of press content extracted from articles, photos, videos and infographics which are in turn appear on the results pages of the big internet platforms, such as Google.

But the latter have long contested this and negotiations with the press have been very laborious.

A framework agreement concerning the payments due from "neighbouring rights" had been announced in January between Apig and Google, but it must be reviewed to take into account a condemnation in July of the search engine by the French Competition Authority to a fine of €500 million for not having negotiated "in good faith" with the press publishers.

The watchdog asked the American giant to resume negotiations with the publishers and propose a new compensation offer.

Le Monde and Le Figaro both announced less than a month ago separate agreements with Facebook, as they had done previously with Google, for the remuneration and the highlighting of their content.

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