No revenue earned from content uploaded by Centre: Google to HC

Google Inc today told the Delhi High Court it has not earned any revenue out of the agreement with the government or any other monetary benefit from content uploaded on the YouTube platform under the deal.

The company also told a bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva that petitioner K N Govindacharya has “failed to establish that the content provided by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting under the agreement has been monetized by Google Inc”.

“Any allegation in this regard is absolutely denied as being unfounded and baseless.

“based on verification of records maintained by Google Ireland in relation to agreement and made available to its parent entity i.e. Google Inc, that Google has not monetized the content owned and uploaded by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on the YouTube platform under the agreement,” Google Inc, the parent company of Google Ireland which operates YouTube, in its affidavit said.

Google Inc’s submission was opposed by advocate Virag Gupta, representing former BJP leader Govindacharya, saying the court in its March 14 order had directed for clear cut affidavit on the line, which Google India had filed.

Earlier, Google India Pvt Ltd had submitted that it has not earned any revenue out of the agreement with the Centre.

The court recorded the statement of Google Inc that it did earn any revenue or any other monitory benefit out of the agreement with the government and disposed of the petition.

Earlier, the Centre had told the court that it has no “customised agreements” with Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. There are no customised agreements with YouTube (Google) either, except the one (with Google Ireland/YouTube) mentioned above”.

These submissions were made by the authorities concerned on a PIL filed by Govindacharya raising questions on social media usage by the government.

On January 27, the government had filed the content licence agreement entered into with Google Ireland in 2013 regarding content put up on YouTube.

The petitioner had said the social networking sites are not paying due taxes on their Indian operations as per provisions of double taxation avoidance agreement and the government is not taking any action to safeguard the national interest and sovereignty of India.

The petition had also said social networking sites should be directed to ensure verification of all existing and future users and refrain from allowing access to children below 13 years, which against law.