Google asked to compensate Indian newspapers for content

Publishers’ investment in quality journalism must be paid for, says Indian Newspaper Society

The Indian Newspaper Society (INS) has urged Google India to compensate print media publishers for use of news as it is proprietary content generated by them.

Also read: Google, pay: The Hindu Editorial on re-use of news content

In a letter to Google India’s Country Manager Sanjay Gupta on Wednesday, INS president L. Adimoolam raised various proposals with Google. Pointing to the discussions between INS’s digital committee and the Google team during the past six months, he said it helped in clarifying the strategic and collaborative possibilities between news publishers and Google.

Highlighting some of the concerns, he said the print media industry invested heavily on journalism, which is the core of news operation. Indian publishers have been providing quality journalism with credible news that Google’s web crawlers shared with its readers.

While print publishers deployed several journalists on the field to ensure credible news was covered, the publisher-generated content that appears on Google is not compensated. Google should pay publishers for the use of news that is generated by print media publishers, said Mr. Adimoolam.

Advertising revenue

Google must also consider increasing the publisher’s share of advertising revenue to 85% and ensure more transparency in its revenue report. In the digital space, publishers are left with only a small share as Google takes a giant share of advertising spends, he said.

Also read: France rules Google must pay news firms for content

The INS also requested Google to give more prominence to editorial content from registered news publishers to deal with fake news. This was because Google picked up content from sites that were not credible and contributed to propagation of fake news.

Mr. Adimoolam also underlined that publishers across the world have raised similar issues. Google had agreed to pay publishers most recently in France, the EU and Australia. The INS has urged Google to look into the proposals favourably as a vibrant print media was the backbone of Indian democracy.

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