X will have to communicate his income to the media

A description of the function of the X algorithms leading to the display of publications is also requested. (Photo: Getty Images)

Paris – Seized by a dozen media outlets including AFP, the judiciary on Thursday ordered X (formerly Twitter) to provide them with a series of commercial data that will allow them to assess the revenue the social network earns from their content.

The dispute between X and these media, which also Le Monde, Les Echos-Le Parisien And Le Figaro, relates to rights related to copyright. Extended to digital platforms in 2019 by a European directive, it enables newspapers, magazines or press agencies to be paid when their content is reused by giants such as Google or Facebook.

The summary judge at the Paris court ordered , likes, shares, etc.) and “advertising revenue generated in France per

A description of the operation of the X algorithms that lead to the display of publications is also requested.

This data, which must remain confidential between the parties, is necessary for a “transparent assessment” of the remuneration that the media deems due under rights related to copyright.

In order to obtain this payment, which the judge in a summary case (an emergency proceeding) did not rule on, they will have to appeal the case or negotiate.

According to AFP chief executive Fabrice Fries, “the decision confirms that the X/Twitter service is responsible for adjacent press rights”. He welcomes “a decisive step for this new right, so difficult to introduce”.

France in the lead

“This is unprecedented,” emphasized the agency’s lawyer Julien Guinot-Delery, while France is at the forefront of this issue. “X’s obstruction cannot continue,” he argued.

Pierre Louette, managing director of the Les Echos-Le Parisien group, welcomed a “first victory which reminds X of its duty of transparency regarding the use of our content and the generation of associated advertising revenue”. But “the road is still long”, he added, hoping for payment from X “of consideration in relation to neighboring rights”.

The American company’s defense did not want to respond immediately.

Last summer, the groups The world (Le Monde, Télérama, Courrier International, Le Huffington Post, Malesherbes Publications And The Obs), Le Figaro And Les Echos – Le Parisien had called X and its French subsidiary into summary proceedings because of their refusal to negotiate. So did Agence France-Presse.

During the March 4 hearing, X’s lawyer Isabelle Leroux argued that the social network, bought by US billionaire Elon Musk in October 2022, was “not subject” to related rights as it was based “on what users posted” and not self. .

But “when we buy a social network for 44 billion US dollars”, as Elon Musk did, promising to make it “the most reliable source of information”, “to come and maintain that we do not use journalistic content is extraordinary, ” launched the Press Council’s editor Alexandre Limbour. He reminded that the advertising revenue was taken up by the platform alone.

The sensitive issue of media fees from Internet giants is moving forward with great difficulty. After a long legal battle, several French and European media, including AFP, obtained remuneration from 2021 and 2022 for the use of their content from Google, the amount of which remained confidential.

But the case recently rose: the Danish Competition Authority fined Google 250 million euros, accusing Google of not having negotiated “in good faith on the basis of transparent criteria” with certain press publishers.

“Reliable, sourced and reliable information is invaluable, but it has a cost,” recalled Minister of State for Digital Marina Ferrari on this occasion.

Some publishers have also entered into a license agreement for the use of their content with Facebook.

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