Rajya Sabha MPs question I&B min about enacting Australian style media code for India
I&B minister Prakash Javadekar reiterated that there is no proposal for the enactment of a law by the government
In response to Raut's question, Javadekar said 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. "Presently there is no such proposal for enactment of a law by the Government in this regard," he added.
While responding to Modi's question he noted that news publishers have reportedly requested Google to pay to newspapers and for having a level playing field between global tech companies and traditional media/ news organizations.
"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. Presently, there is no such proposal under consideration of the Government," Javadekar said.
Speaking in the Rajya Sabha recently, Modi had urged the centre to enact a law on the lines of Australia's News Media Bargaining Code to compel tech giants Google, Facebook, and YouTube to share ad revenue with news media companies in India.
He also said that the traditional media companies are passing through their worst phase in recent history. "They are in deep financial crisis. Earlier it was because of pandemic and now it is because of giants like YouTube, Facebook, and Google," he added.
Modi noted that traditional media companies incur heavy expenses in employing anchors, journalists, reporters, and advertisement is the main source of revenue for the news industry. "In the past few years with the advent of tech giants like Google, YouTube, and Facebook the larger share of advertisement is taken away by these tech giants," he stated.
He also said that the Indian government should Australia on this issue. "We should follow Australia. Australia has taken the lead by enacting a law News Media Bargaining Code. Last week, the Australian parliament passed by which they compelled Google to share advertisement revenue with news media. Australia has set precedent and now France and other countries are making laws for advertisement revenue sharing."
India, he said, should now take the lead in ensuring that Google and Facebook pay news publishers their fair share of ad revenue.
"I urge the Indian government that the way they have notified the intermediary guidelines and digital media ethics code 2021 to regulate social media and OTT platforms in the same way they should enact a law on the pattern of the Australian code so that we can compel to share revenue with traditional media. India must take a lead to make Google and Facebook pay a fair share of earnings they make from domestically produced news content on the internet."
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