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Facebook Agrees To Pay French Publishers For News

 |  October 22, 2021

Facebook has reached a multiyear agreement to pay French publishers for re-sharing their content on its platforms, it announced today.

The social media giant said the licensing agreement with the Alliance of national and regional newspapers “means that people on Facebook will be able to continue uploading and sharing news stories freely amongst their communities, whilst also ensuring that the copyright of our publishing partners is protected.”

Facebook declined to specify how much it’s paying for the arrangement with l’Alliance de la presse d’information générale (APIG) in France when we asked. But in a blog post trumpeting the deal it wrote: “After constructive negotiations, this solution will further our investment in the news industry, and strengthen the news experience for both people and publishers on Facebook.”

The blog post also specifies that it will be investing “at least” a billion dollars to support media companies over the next three years — however that’s a collective pot not a France-only pot. So who is getting what exactly — and where — remains unclear.

Facebook’s largesse in France is not voluntary: The development relates to EU law that was updated to reform digital copyright rules back in 2019 to, among other tweaks, extend neighboring rights to snippets of publishers’ content in response to criticism from the newspaper industry that adtech giants were freeloading off quality journalism that users of their platforms share.

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