'Govt is aware of growing risks of dominance of various big tech platforms'

Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics and Information, said that the government is deploying tools and capabilities to deal with the growing risks

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Dec 2, 2021 8:59 AM
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Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar has said that the government is aware of the growing risks of dominance of various big tech platforms and is deploying tools and capabilities to deal with the same. He also said that the Indian government has no proposal to enact a law on the lines of Australia's 'News Media and Digital Platform Mandatory Bargaining Code' which mandates tech giants like Google and Facebook to pay publishers for news content.

"It is informed that the Australian Parliament had in February 2021 enacted a law, called the “News Media and Digital Platform Mandatory Bargaining Code”, requiring global digital companies to pay for local news contents," Chandrasekhar said in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

"Government is aware of the growing risks of the dominance of various big tech platforms on the Internet and is deploying tools and capabilities to deal with the same including actively working with social media intermediaries. Presently, there is no proposal for enactment of a law by this Ministry in this regard." In May, Google had launched its online experience and licensing programme Google News Showcase in India in partnership with 30 news publishers across national, regional, and local news organisations. The media partners include The Hindu Group, HT Digital Streams Ltd, Indian Express Group, ABP LIVE, India TV, NDTV, Zee News, Amar Ujala, Deccan Herald, Punjab Kesari, The Telegraph India, IANS (Indo-Asian News Service) and ANI.

As part of licensing agreements with publishers, Google is also paying participating news organizations to give readers access to a limited amount of paywalled content. This feature means readers will have the opportunity to read more of a publisher’s articles than they would otherwise be able to, while deepening readers’ relationships with publishers and encouraging them to subscribe. This programme incentivises and supports news publishers to curate high-quality content on Google’s News and Discover platforms, connecting readers with the news they need.

In March, former Information and Broadcasting (I&B) minister Prakash Javadekar had also said that there is no proposal for the enactment of a law by the government to mandate tech companies like Google and Facebook to share advertising revenue with newspaper publishers.

"There is no proposal for enactment of a law by the Government in this regard," Javadekar had said in the Lok Sabha in response to a question whether the government proposes to bring legislation on this issue. He had also said that the government has not endorsed any demand by the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) for compelling tech companies like Google and Facebook to share advertising revenue with publishers. "No such demand has been endorsed by the Government," he had said on being asked whether the government has endorsed the demand of INS for sharing advertising revenue by Google and Facebook to compensate Indian newspapers for using their content.

In February, Javadekar had said that the Indian government is monitoring the developments in Australia and other markets like Singapore, European Union with respect to making tech companies like Google and Facebook pay news publishers for using their content. "India is following those developments with respect to making social media platforms pay for news content," Javadekar had said when asked if the Indian government will emulate the Australian government in making tech companies compensate news publishers.

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