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INS asks Google to compensate publications for use of content

Wants the tech giant to share 85 per cent of the ad revenues.

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NEW DELHI: The Indian Newspaper Society (INS) has asked search giant Google to compensate print publications for carrying their content online and share 85 per cent of the ad revenues amid a widening global face-off between big tech and media companies.

Spurred by the closely-watched tussle between the Australian government and Facebook over the last few weeks, INS president L Adimoolam has written a letter to Google country manager Sanjay Gupta, stating that the US company "should pay for news generated by the newspapers which employ thousands of journalists.”

"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," the letter read.

Over the past year, publishers across the world have been raising the issue of fair payment for content and proper sharing of advertising revenue with Google, the society said, adding that the company recently agreed to better compensate publishers in France, the European Union and Australia.

"Advertising has been the financial backbone of the news industry. However, newspaper publishers are seeing their 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," it said, calling current policies "opaque".

The INS, which represents around 800 publishers, also raised the issue of giving greater prominence to editorial content from genuine news publishers to tackle fake news, as Google picks up content from several sites that are not credible, thus "amplifying misinformation and propagation of fake news".

The Australian parliament on Thursday passed the final amendments to the news media bargaining code which compels Google and Facebook to pay for news. The legislation sets a global precedent and other countries are looking to emulate it to reinvigorate the struggling news businesses. Facebook and Google have each said they will invest around $1 billion in news around the world over the next three years.

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