Facebook and parts of the French press have reached an agreement over the copyrights of articles and stories posted on its site. Facebook News will be launched in France in 2022, according to the company.
Facebook and l’Alliance de la presse d’information générale (APIG), a lobby representing prominent French press organisations including Le Monde, Le Figaro, and Les Echos, declared on Thursday that they had struck an agreement on so-called “neighboring rights” – a type of copyright – in a joint statement.
While Facebook did not disclose any information about the agreement’s substance, it is believed that the arrangement would allow the tech giant to begin paying for news material in France.
Facebook said the deal “means that people on its platform 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.”
Google said in January that it had struck an agreement with APIG and its 121 members to pay for news content in a draft agreement. The company stated that it will negotiate individual licensing with the group’s members. Google would be compensated depending on the daily number of articles and monthly online readership, according to the group.
France was the first European country to adopt the EU directive on neighbour rights in 2019. Google and Facebook had refused to abide by the rule, which required them to pay for journalistic material. According to the IT companies, media companies already benefit from millions of visits to their websites as a result of social media and search engine clicks.
In the face of declining print subscriptions, news organizations have demanded that internet behemoths such as Facebook and Google compensate them for millions in revenue generated by advertisements that display alongside news items on their platforms.
In January, Mark Zuckerberg’s company announced the launch of Facebook News, a French media service that will provide users with a “dedicated place to view information from trustworthy and respected news sources.”