Technology companies that display news content in their search results and feeds, such as Google and Facebook, must give a “fair share of revenues” to publishers, the Centre said on Friday, according to The Indian Express.
Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar and Information and Broadcasting Secretary Apurva Chandra said that doing so was important for the financial health of the news industry.
They made the remarks at the inaugural session of a conclave held by the Digital News Publishers Association, an organisation comprising 17 news outlets.
“For the growth of the news industry, it is important that digital news platforms of all these publishers, who are the creators of original content, get a fair share of revenues from the big tech platforms which act as aggregators of content created by others,” Chandra said, according to NDTV.
The official said that Australia, Canada, France and the European Union have passed laws and bolstered their competition commissions in order to ensure that revenues are split fairly between news content creators and aggregators.
Chandrashekhar said that the structure of the internet leads to severe disadvantages for smaller organisations.
“We hope to address this issue of disproportionate control and imbalance of dynamics between content creation and its monetisation and the power that ad-tech companies and platforms hold today,” he said.
The minister said that the government hopes the Digital India Bill will address this imbalance.
The Digital India Bill is expected to replace the Information Technology Act, according to The Indian Express. The government is reportedly considering bringing social media companies, e-commerce platforms, fact-checking portals and artificial intelligence-based platforms under the ambit of the law.