As France tightens grip on Google, why should India take notes?

Edited By: Gravitas desk WION
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Jan 21, 2021, 11.36 PM(IST)

File photo Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

This report explains why India should also make tech giants pay for news

Nothing is free in this world and tech giants are learning it the hard way.

Google will now have to pay news publishers for carrying their content online in France.

This agreement comes at a time when countries around the world are mulling similar measures.

Also read | After Google, Apple and Amazon suspend Parler social networking app for 'threats of violence'

This report explains why India should also make tech giants pay for news. 

First for Europe

In a first for Europe, Google will now pay news publishers for posting their content online.

The deal comes after months of bargaining after the European Union revamped its copyright rules.

At the heart of these changes is a simple fact: tech giants take content for free and make profits.

This money is not shared with news websites or content creators.

The rise of the internet has led to a decline in circulation with the result being a massive drop in revenues for news organisations worldwide.

Money, money, and more money!

While the profits of the tech giants have skyrocketed, Google has made more than four billion dollars from the news industry in 2018.

Combined with Facebook, both tech giants ferry more than 80 per cent of the external traffic to different websites. 

This iron grip of big tech on what users read, watch or listen to gives these companies enormous powers. 

Developed economies around the world are realising the need for a level playing field. 

Besides Europe, Australia too wants tech giants to pay for news.

Last year in December, the Australian government tabled its own law.

The proposed law forces Google and Facebook to negotiate a fair payment with news organisations for using their content.

The tech giants have been fighting this legislation tooth and nail.

While Google says the law will fundamentally damage google search, Facebook insists that it might block news on its platform.

America tries to rescue

The American political establishment has jumped in to rescue these tech companies.

Just before Donald Trump left the White House, his office asked Australia to scrap the proposed law.

But the Australian government has refused to relent.

India needs to take note

The new laws were only a matter of time.

Already, Facebook has been asked to pay news publishers tens of millions of dollars in the UK

With Google now being forced to pay for news in France, the day isn't far when other tech companies start getting invoices from publishers.

India needs to track these trends and follow suit.

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu has already called for revenue sharing between social media companies and the traditional media.

The Indian government must step in to break the monopoly of big tech.

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