Agence France-Presse

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is the oldest news agency in the world. It is also the largest French agency and the third largest news agency in the world.

The agency is based in Paris, with regional centres in Washington, Hong Kong, Nicosia and Montevideo and bureaux in 110 countries. It sends out news in French, English, Arabic, Spanish, German, Portuguese and Russian.

AFP was founded in 1835 by Charles-Louis Havas as Agence Havas.

Status

AFP is a nonprofit autonomous public corporation chartered under a specific 1957 law, operating commercially and independently of the French government. It is administered by a CEO and a board comprising 15 members:

The board elects the CEO for a renewable term of three years.

AFP also has a superior council charged with ensuring that the agency operates according to its statuses, which mandate absolute independence and neutrality.

The primary client of AFP is the French government, which purchases subscriptions for its various services. In practice, those subscriptions are somewhat a subsidy to AFP. AFP statutes prohibit direct government subsidies.

Dispute with Google

In March 2005, AFP sued Google for $17.5 million, alleging that Google News infringed on its copyright because "Google includes AFPs photos, stories and news headlines on Google News without permission from Agence France Presse."[1] (http://news.dcealumni.com/376/20305-googles-news-sued-for-infringing-agence-france-presse-copyrighted-work/) It was also alleged that Google ignored a cease-and-desist order, though Google counters that it has opt-out procedures which AFP could have followed but did not.

It is possible that AFP will make additional arguments in court that it has not yet made in public, but currently, many pundits are confused by the decision to sue [2] (http://weblog.physorg.com/news1362.html)[3] (http://www.bayoubuzz.com/articles.aspx?aid=3538)[4] (http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/2080.html) because Google does not display the full article on its site, provides a link to one of AFP's 600 online clients such as Channel News Asia (which presumably benefits AFP because more people view the article and advertising), and because the articles are available via the providers' websites regardless of Google's actions. It was argued that had AFP wanted to prevent free use of its articles, it should have asked its providers to require subscriptions rather than suing Google. Additionally, "in 2002, a federal appeals court ruled that Web sites may reproduce and post 'thumbnail' or down-sized versions of copyrighted photographs," so Google News' thumbnails are likely legal.[5] (http://news.dcealumni.com/376/20305-googles-news-sued-for-infringing-agence-france-presse-copyrighted-work/)

External links

fr:Agence France-Presse no:Agence France-Presse pl:Agence France Presse

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