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Elon Musk’s X hit with copyright lawsuit by France’s AFP

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The French news service, Agence France-Presse, is taking legal action against Elon Musk's X (former Twitter) for refusing to negotiate payment terms for the agency's news content. 

In 2019, France adopted European Union copyright regulations, which mandated social media companies to compensate publishers for specific types of content. 

Google has agreed to pay French publishers for news content after extensive negotiations.

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The agency said: “These rights were established to enable news agencies and publishers to be remunerated by digital platforms which retain most of the monetary value generated by the distribution of news content."

In a tweet, Elon Musk called the lawsuit “bizarre.”

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He wrote on the platform: “They want us to pay *them* for traffic to their site where they make advertising revenue and we don’t!?”

The growth of internet giants like Google and Facebook over the past two decades has vastly eroded the advertising revenue that traditional news outlets have historically relied upon. 

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Policymakers worldwide have been advocating for measures to require social media platforms to pay for news posted on their sites.

In June, Meta said it’s blocking Canadians from sharing news on Facebook and Instagram after a new Canadian law mandating social media firms to compensate domestic publishers for their content.

Australia enacted a similar law in 2021, requiring companies to reach a deal with Australian news outlets for the content posted on their platforms. 

Google complied with the law shortly after passing, but Facebook initially restricted news sharing in Australia before reaching an agreement with the country's publishing companies.

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