The ministry of information and broadcasting today clarified that it has “not endorsed” the Indian Newspaper Society’s (INS) demand that tech companies such as Google, Facebook, and others divide ad revenue with Indian newspapers to reimburse them for using their content.
I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar told Parliament today that the government earns GST at the relevant rates for the publishing industry and that the government has no plans to enact legislation in this regard. He was referring to a query about whether the government earns revenue from companies such as Google for Indian news that is published in print and electronic media, as is customary around the world.
This comes after the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) demanded that Google “compensate Indian newspapers for using their content” on Thursday.
On Thursday, INS president L. Adimoolam wrote to Google India’s country manager Sanjay Gupta, stating that the global search giant must increase publishers’ share of ad revenue to 85 percent.
According to the INS, publishers are struggling with a “highly opaque advertisement scheme” and are unable to obtain reliable information about Google’s advertising value chain.
“The Society demanded that Google raise the publisher share of advertisement revenue to 85 percent, as well as ensure more transparency in the revenue reports issued to publishers by Google,” INS said in a statement.
According to the INS, publishers have been highlighting the need for equal payment for content and proper sharing of advertisement revenue with Google for the past year all over the world.
The INS took action after hearing that the multinational tech giant had officially agreed to pay higher compensation to publishers in first-world countries such as the EU and Australia. The president of the INS is now requesting that Google pay more for news produced by newspapers. The demand is based on the large number of journalists employed by newspapers for newsgathering, verification, and processing both on the ground and in offices.
The INS has mentioned that news produced and published in proprietary and the credibility of their news from the validity enjoyed by Google since it arrived in India, prompted by the rise in advanced nations.
“There is a big gap between editorial reporting from quality media and fake news that is circulating on other information outlets,” according to the INS. The publishers believe they have given full access to trustworthy news, commentary, and entertainment.
The real reason news organisations are clamouring for more money is a drop in ad sales in the digital market, where Google is taking the lion’s share of advertiser spending.
The INS has been discussing the problem with Google for some time, but the challenges posed by the pandemic and evolving digital business model prompted the message.