Dalelorenzo's GDI Blog
9Mar/210

Why India must make Google, FB pay for content

As the world’s largest democracy, as its second-largest online market, as a soon-to-become fastest growing major economy, India should have taken the lead on moving Google and Facebook- two alarmingly prevailing world super-monopolies- repay a fair share of earnings they perform from domestically produced news content on the internet.Even more so because, first, India’s government has demonstrated it is perfectly willing to take on Big Tech on numerou other figureheads and, second, it has made atmanirbharata( self-reliance) its economic program mantra. A gigantic democracy with growing internet market power run by a government that champions regional enterprise and can get tough on world participates is just about the excellent candidate to be a key player in this fight.But it was Australia that made the lead-in. A rule that’s almost certain to be passed by its parliament will impose payment indebtedness on Big Tech. And Australian PM Scott Morrison was entirely right to call for a global alliance of democracies to construct Google and Facebook pay much more for word material they profit from.Some other democracies have made a few stairs or half paces. Led by France, European countries have started determining rules and launched investigations. Discussions on remedial activity are collecting momentum in the US. So far, there’s nothing in India. Even though , nothing could be clearer than the example for realizing Big Tech spit up more fund to democratic India’s news content publishers. Let’s explain it simply, site by detail: Plausible, fact-checked news is a bedrock of republic. This should be self-evident. Imagine waking up one morning and finding out that tweets, posts and internet videos by just about anyone , none of whom has a reputation to protect or responsibility to adhere to or is bound by laws, is your ONLY source of story. How will our republic exist that? It can’t.Producing credible report takes fund, a lot of fund. Reporters have to be trained and paid. A big report gathering infrastructure has to be paid for.The internet has become a major distribution channel for word, like it has for so many other things. But two companies dominate internet traffic for word. Around 80% of external traffic to story websites is carried by Google and Facebook. Also, news is a big source of traffic for internet behemoths. Around 40% of trending queries in Google are news related.Now, because Google and Facebook dominate internet traffic, they take away a huge share of advertising revenue- between 70% to 80%- that comes from digital consumption of story. As digital dispensation of news stretches, and therefore, income from other distribution representations comes down, the current internet model for bulletin leaves fewer and less revenue for publishers.Remember, while this is happening, the cost of producing plausible news is not coming down. So, story publishers has become more and more constricted over time.So, what happens? Domestic, reputable publishers who have painstakingly constructed a report symbol over decades start challenging an unsustainable business model. As the country’s news industry flinches, the dissemination of information regarding plausible word comes under threat. And then we face the prospect of a republic where bulletin is what trolls on Twitter say it is.Now think of a situation where Google and Facebook are by law or regulation obliged to pay a bazaar share of earnings from digital delivery of story. This is what will happen 😀 omestic bulletin manufacture, vital to India’s democracy, is financially viable. Because its revenues from digital news distribution increase.Hundreds of thousands of jobs in the news industry are saved over time in a country where increasing the proportion of white collar employment is a critical goal of public policy.The government comes more tax revenue because it is far easier to collect tax from the domestic news industry than from multinational tech companies.This is the proposition Australia’s proposed law is based on. Its government wants the information publishing business to be financially viable because it knows Australian democracy needs a viable Australian news media. That’s why France and the UK, Germany and Spain have started taking on Big Tech. And this is why India’s government must act, too.And India has one advantage as a late starter. It has been noted that concerted government war can unbend global super-monopolies. In Australia, Google is inducing is working with individual publishers. Facebook, after a inessential blackout of news, is seeking to renegotiate. And modifications of the Australian statute are a tower threat both tech beings now face across democracies.India can- and must- start acting on its own version of a statute or an appropriate set of the rules of procedure. And once it does, because of its current busines size and future market potential, there’s no way Google and Facebook can simply discount what’s being done here.How can the government start the process? There are currently several options. The Competition Commission of India can start a suo motu investigation. Or the information and broadcasting ministry can be the agency that kickstarts the process. For example, it can call for, say, a 45 -day consultation period asking for inputs from all stakeholders. And then placed a time frame for drafting a bill, as Australia did.Some professionals hint the government can down the line set up a new digital busines to tackle all complex issues, including those involving news publishing, arising out of dominance of Big Tech. Others intimate looking at the Copyright Act for options on imposing licensing cost for content, roughly the itinerary France has taken.Therefore, there’s plenty the government can do, and do swiftly. The world environment has finally turned. Big Tech is on notice in other republics for destroying the viability of independent journalism. It must be on notice in India, too. An atmanirbhar India needs an atmanirbhar news industry.

Read more: economictimes.indiatimes.com