Facebook parent company Meta faced 600 million euro lawsuit from Spanish media

Photo of author

By vexwift.com

Meta, the company that owns Facebook and Instagram, is being sued by a group of Spanish media companies that say the social media giant has stolen their intellectual property and hurt their business. The lawsuit, which was filed in a court in Madrid on December 15, 2022, asks for more than 600 million euros ($660 million) in compensation from Meta for allegedly copying and sharing news articles and photos without permission or payment.

The plaintiffs include some of the most famous newspapers and magazines in Spain, such as El País, El Mundo, ABC, La Vanguardia, El Periódico, La Razón, El Confidencial, and El Español. They represent more than 80% of the Spanish news market and have a combined audience of more than 40 million readers. They claim that Meta has been using their content without their consent or authorization, and without paying any fees or royalties. The lawsuit says that Meta has been breaking the plaintiffs’ exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute, communicate, and transform their works, as well as their rights to collect and manage the income from their works. The lawsuit also says that Meta has been competing unfairly and abusing its dominant position in the online advertising market, by taking away traffic and revenue from the plaintiffs’ websites and platforms to its own.

The lawsuit is based on the Spanish Intellectual Property Law, which was changed in 2014 to include a rule known as the “Google tax” or the “AEDE tax”. This rule requires online platforms that collect and show news snippets or links to pay a fee to the publishers of those news sources. The fee is decided by a collective management organization called CEDRO, which represents the interests of the publishers and authors. The rule was introduced in response to the complaints of the Spanish media industry, which argued that online platforms like Google and Meta were making money from their content without sharing the benefits with them.

However, the rule has been controversial and ineffective, as it has caused some online platforms to leave the Spanish market, rather than paying the fees. For example, Google closed its Google News service in Spain in 2014, after the rule was approved, saying that it was not possible to operate under the new law. Meta, on the other hand, has continued to operate its Facebook News service in Spain, despite the protests and demands of the Spanish media outlets. Meta has said that its service helps the publishers by increasing their visibility and traffic, and that it does not need to pay any fees because it does not show the full articles or photos, but only snippets or links that lead users to the original sources.

The lawsuit is the latest in a series of legal challenges that Meta has faced around the world over its handling of news content and its impact on the media industry. Meta has been accused of undermining the quality and diversity of journalism, spreading misinformation and fake news, and harming the revenue and sustainability of news publishers. Meta has also been involved in disputes and negotiations with regulators and governments over the regulation and taxation of its news-related activities. Some of the countries where Meta has faced similar challenges include Australia, France, Germany, Canada, and the UK.

The result of the lawsuit in Spain could have important consequences for Meta and the Spanish media industry, as well as for the future of the online news ecosystem in Europe and beyond. The lawsuit could set an example and a model for other countries and regions that are looking to protect and promote their local news media, and to ensure a fair and balanced relationship between online platforms and news publishers. The lawsuit could also force Meta to change its policies and practices regarding its news-related services, and to pay more attention and respect to the rights and interests of the news creators and providers. The lawsuit could also encourage more dialogue and cooperation between Meta and the Spanish media outlets, and create a more constructive and mutually beneficial partnership between them

US seeks 4 billion$ from Binance.

Join us on Facebook

Leave a comment