The French Court of Appeal upheld a decision by the French competition authority, which had called for fairer negotiations with publishers in France on the subject of ‘neighbouring rights’ – a key element outlined in the EU Copyright Directive.
The court dismissed all of Google’s arguments, concluding that the authority’s “injunction does not impede the improvements and innovations offered by Google. In July 2020, when the deadline for negotiations was drawing near, negotiations broke down and Google appealed the competition authority’s order on the basis that it would be detrimental to innovation.
After the ruling, Fabrice Fries – CEO of AFP – said in a statement: “The French Court decision is very clear in all aspects, including the eligibility of press agencies to neighboring rights. It puts press agencies in a good position to negotiate for their fair share of the rights. AFP is proud to have fought for this.”
Agence France-Presse, a member of the News Media Coalition, has been at the centre of the efforts throughout the legal proceedings.