Agence France-Presse pursues copyright case against X, formerly known as Twitter

FILE - The AFP (Agency France Press) headquarters is pictured in Paris, Wednesday Aug. 31, 2011. France's international news agency Agence France-Presse says it is pursuing a copyright case against X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, in an effort to secure potential payment for its news content. The news agency said it applied Wednesday Aug.2, 2023 to a Paris court to compel Elon Musk's rebranded company to provide data it says is needed "for assessing the remuneration owed to AFP." (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon, File) (Jacques Brinon, AP2011)

PARIS – France's international news agency, Agence France-Presse, says it is pursuing a copyright case against X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, in an effort to secure potential payment for its news content.

The news agency said it applied Wednesday to a Paris court to compel Elon Musk's rebranded company to provide data it says is needed “for assessing the remuneration owed to AFP.”

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The news agency announced the legal action in a statement. It said it is seeking payment under European Union intellectual property rules that cover “neighboring rights,” which allow news outlets and publishers to seek payment from digital platforms for the sharing of their work.

France was the first EU country to adopt the rules into national legislation, in 2019.

“As a leading advocate for the adoption of neighboring rights for the press, AFP remains unwavering in its commitment to the cause," the news agency said.

It described the legal action against Twitter as "in line with this ongoing commitment.”

AFP said it “will continue to employ the appropriate legal means with each relevant platform to ensure the fair distribution of the value generated by the sharing of news content.”

The agency's statement claimed that it has faced a “clear refusal” from X to discuss the copyright protections that allow news agencies to seek compensation from digital platforms.

In a tweet, Musk called the case "bizarre.”

“They want us to pay (asterisk)them(asterisk) for traffic to their site where they make advertising revenue and we don’t!?” he asked.

News companies pushed for the EU copyright reform amid worries that quality journalism is declining as ad revenue gets siphoned off by the digital giants.