Indian newspapers demand Google pay for news

India could soon be the new battlefront for the search engine, which recently agreed to better compensate publishers in France, the European Union and in Australia

newspapers, magazines, Maharashtra, coronavirus, COVID-19
Newspaper publishers are seeing their share of the advertising pie shrinking in the digital space. Photo: iStock

Google is facing calls from newspapers in India to compensate them for carrying their content online and share 85 per cent of the ad revenues.

India could soon be the new battlefront for the search engine, which recently agreed to better compensate publishers in France, the European Union and in Australia.

Recent developments Down Under especially could have reverberations around the world. Following ugly recriminations over a new law and a much criticised news shutdown in Australia, a chastened Facebook returned to the table. The networking site said it had struck a deal with the Australian government and would once again allow users and news publishers in the country to share and post links to news articles.

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Also read: Facebook ‘re-friends’ Australia, agrees to pay for content from media houses

On Thursday the Indian Newspaper Society (INS), which represents around 1,000 publishers, said Google “should pay for news generated by the newspapers, which employ thousands of journalists”.

“Since the content which is generated and published by newspapers at considerable expense is proprietary, the Society pointed out that it is this credible content which has given Google the authenticity in India ever since its inception,” the association said in a statement.

Also read: Facebook stops news feeds in Australia to oppose new media law

The INS said advertising has been the financial backbone of the news industry. “However, newspaper publishers are seeing their share of the advertising pie shrinking in the digital space, even as Google is taking a ‘giant share of advertising spends’, leaving publishers with a small share,” it said, calling current policies “opaque”.

The INS also said giving greater prominence to genuine publishers will help tackle fake news.

Australian Lawmakers Pass Final Amendments

On Thursday Australian lawmakers passed the final amendments to the law requiring tech giants such as Google and Facebook to pay for news. The law was amended after Facebook blocked access to Australian news outlets on its pages.

The original legislation would have forced firms like Facebook to pay media organisations for news shared on the social network. The government can now assess whether companies like Facebook have made a contribution to the local news industry before deciding where payments are necessary. It also lets the companies strike their own deals with local publishers.

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