Neighboring rights: the press reaches an agreement with Facebook



Posted on Oct 21, 2021 at 10:00 AMUpdated Oct 21, 2021, 4:18 PM

This is the long-awaited moment. Almost two years to the day after the entry into force of the French law on neighboring rights, the Alliance of the general information press (Apig) reaches an agreement with Facebook setting the general principles that will govern the remuneration of content published and shared on the American platform. In keeping with the spirit of the French transposition of the 2018 European directive establishing a new neighboring right, this agreement “strengthens the quality of online information for Internet users and publishers in France », Can we read in a press release. Concretely, this agreement sets a framework for Facebook to obtain and remunerate the licenses for neighboring rights to content. This will allow users and publishers to continue to freely share quality information within their communities on the social network.

“The terms we have reached will allow Facebook to apply the directive and French law, while generating significant funding for Alliance publishers, especially the smallest of them,” said Pierre Louette, President of the Alliance and also CEO of the Les Echos-Le Parisien group. This first step in the concrete implementation of neighboring rights shows that solidarity between publishers is essential to effectively defend their interests ”.

Towards stable remuneration

This agreement confirms several advances. Nearly 300 publishers are affected, with a minimum level of remuneration for each. It lays the foundations for three-year renewable license contracts, which guarantees a new source of income for press titles. It also marks Facebook’s desire to fully recognize neighboring rights. There will also be remuneration to cover rights relating to the time elapsed since the entry into force of the law in 2019. “This process has been long, but it is the result of collaborative, meticulous and in-depth work. Facebook remarked in a post on the Internet. And the tech giant to highlight its efforts in favor of the press. In addition to local initiatives and the audience it generates for publishers, Mark Zuckerberg’s group has spent $ 600 million to support media companies and plans to invest at least $ 1 billion over the three years. future.

For their part, the editors of the alliance who so wish will have the possibility of signing two types of license: one for the services already existing on Facebook, and the other for Facebook News, a space dedicated to “news content of reference ”which will be launched in France in January. Launched in the United States in 2019, this news feed has also been deployed in Australia, the United Kingdom and Germany.

Negotiations with Google

“This is the birth of a new category of stable income,” emphasizes Pierre Louette. This proves that the neighboring right is here to stay. Despite the difference between the platforms, we can hope that the conclusion of this agreement will accelerate the ongoing negotiations with Google ”. Apig brings together four families from the French press (national, regional, departmental daily press and regional weekly press). At the head of this organization, Pierre Louette launched actions against Google a year ago and initiated negotiations with Facebook, which resumed about a year ago. The Alliance did not have to go through a complaint before the Competition Authority concerning Facebook, in particular because the social network does not have an identified dominant position, unlike Google. with Facebook. Le Figaro made an announcement to this effect during the Médias en Seine conference on October 12. Le Monde also reached a signature in September. However, the new round of negotiations that representatives of the newspaper industry began with Google in September is continuing. If these discussions do not come to an end by mid-November, the Competition Authority will look again at Google’s good faith and could implement the threat of daily late penalties that weighs on the American group.

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