Google must pay for content: Newspapers

By Express News Service
NEW DELHI:  The Indian Newspaper Society (INS) asked Google to compensate Indian newspapers for using their content and to share its advertising revenues.

Google should increase the publisher share of advertising revenue to 85 per cent, it insisted, adding there should be more transparency in the revenue reports provided to publishers.

In a letter, INS president L Adimoolam said Google should pay for news generated by the newspapers which employ thousands of journalists on the ground, at considerable expense, for gathering and verifying information.

“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.”

Pointing out that publishers were providing complete access to “quality journalism with credible news, current affairs, analysis, information and entertainment”, the INS said there is a huge distinction between the editorial content from quality publications and fake news.

The Society said publishers have been raising the issue of fair payment for content and of proper sharing of advertising revenue with Google.

It noted that Google recently agreed to better compensate and pay publishers in France, the EU and Australia. It added advertising was the financial backbone of the news industry.  

“However, newspaper publishers are seeing 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.” 

The INS also raised the issue of giving greater prominence to editorial content from Registered News Publishers to tackle fake news, as Google picks up content from several sites that are not credible.

“Indian print media is the most credible source of news and information in the country, and newspapers play a vital role in nation building. However, the pandemic and the current digital business model have been unfair to publishers, making it unviable for the print media industry,” it said.