MIB denies mulling law mandating ad revenue share by tech giants
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3 years ago 06:00:42am Television

MIB denies mulling law mandating ad revenue share by tech giants

New Delhi, 03-May-2022, By IBW Team

India’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has said it suspended the registration of about 276 MSOs in April, though the reasons were not publicly outlined. However, the MIBs also stated that despite the latest action, the total number of MSOs in the country stood at 1761 at the end of April 2022. The number includes MSOs whose registrations were suspended. From the data put on the website of the Ministry, it is not clear whether the MSOs whose registrations got suspended could get back to delivering normal services as and when the objections raised by the government were addressed and anomalies in the registrations were rectified. A few of the suspended MSOs --- as highlighted by the MIB --- did change the structure of their companies from partnership to proprietorship entities. The list of suspended MSOs could be viewed on the MIB website at https://mib.gov.in/sites/default/files/List%20of%20Registered%20MSOs%20as%20on%2030.04.2022.pdf. There were four MSOs whose registrations were cancelled/surrendered during the month of April. The applications of Shivam Cable & Broadband Private Limited of East Medinipur in West Bengal and Gujrata State's Bhuj-based Rallyon Technology were rejected by the MIB owing to suppression of vital information. In March 2022 also MIB had rejected the application of two MSOs as they had withheld relevant information from the government. The registration of Panduranga Cable Network of Telengana was cancelled in April 2022 due to non-operation. Ditto for Karnataka’s RK Digital Cable TV Network. As per a government order of 2017, all registered MSOs, unless indicated in the registration order specifically, can operate anywhere in India.

At a time when a section of Indian policy-makers are pushing for making tech giants pay creators and publishers of news, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting denied any such plan relating to the print media was being contemplated at present.

“There is no proposal for enactment of a law by the government in this regard,” MIB minister Prakash Javadekar told his fellow parliamentarians in Lok Sabha yesterday when asked if the government was exploring bringing in a legislation that would empower owners and publishers of news in the print media vis-à-vis tech companies.

The government also denied having endorsed any demand of Indian Newspaper Society (INS) for sharing advertising revenue by companies like Google, Facebook etc. to compensate Indian newspapers for using their content. “No such demand has been endorsed by the government,” Javadekar clarified.

The minister was replying to specific queries from several parliamentarians whether the print media had asked the government to explore a legislation that will make tech companies share ad revenues with news publishers under better deals — a la Australian legislation that forced the likes of Facebook and Google to rework ad deals with news publishers.

However, earlier this week, Javadekar’s party colleague Sushil K. Modi in Rajya Sabha (Upper House) had given a clarion call to bring in legislation to make tech giants such as Facebook and Google pay Indian publishers of news content.

Raising the issue through a Zero Hour mention on Wednesday in Rajya Sabha or the Upper House of Parliament BJP leader and former deputy chief minister of Bihar Modi said, “The government must make Google, Facebook and YouTube pay print and news channels for the news content they are using freely.”

“I would urge the government of India that the way they have notified Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code to regulate social media and OTT platforms, they should enact a law on the pattern of Australian Code so that we can compel Google to share its revenue with traditional media,” Modi was quoted as saying in a PTI report.

Rajya Sabha Chairman and India’s Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu had remarked that the suggestion was “worth considering”.

The earlier report could be read at http://www.indianbroadcastingworld.com/make-tech-giants-pay-publishers-of-news-content-bjp-mp/

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