Facebook Signs Copyright Agreement With Some French Publishers

Global tech giant Facebook announced on Thursday that it has signed a preliminary copyright agreement with a French news publisher lobby group pushing for local news publishers to receive payments for their news content from social media companies in France.

The decision to sign an agreement comes months after talks with the lobby group Alliance de la presse d’information generale (APIG) representing the country’s leading publications like Le Monde, Le Figaro and Les Echos. According to a source who knew about the agreement, it came in form of a “term sheet” of a few pages. The source also mentioned that the preliminary deal entails the main principle of the accord between Facebook and the lobby group and the copyright fees that every member is entitled to.

Also, according to the source this “term sheet” will be followed up by a framework agreement soon. The framework agreement will require the lobby group’s members to sign individual licenses with Facebook. The licenses are, however, of two types. One is meant for the use of news content on Facebook’s main platform and the other is for Facebook’s imminent news service which will get its content from selected publications. This is similar to the agreement that Google reached with the lobby group as it ties the remuneration of news content to the use of its “News Showcase” service.

Facebook has not provided any information regarding the deal but the head of Le Monde group Louis Dreyfus has confirmed that the American multinational giant has already signed a deal with them. The Facebook-APIG deal comes after France’s adoption of an EU directive that gives Publishers the right to seek remuneration from online platforms thriving on or using their news content.

Facebook has also revealed that its news platform Facebook News will be launched in France in 2022.

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