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The War On News, Live

Note: a version of this op-ed (without the links for reference) first appeared today in the Times of India. Read it here. It's Sunday, the 15th of February, 2015, and you're up far too early for it to be just another day. At the Adelaide Oval India are playing Pakistan in the fourth match of the ICC Cricket World Cup, and you curse your luck because you don't have a TV in your hotel room. Almost out of habit you open Cricinfo on mobile, and you find that the scores are delayed by 15 minutes. You SMS CRI to Indiatimes' 58888, and get the same delayed score. This situation exists even today, where websites (like Yahoo, Cricinfo and Cricbuzz), telecom operators and mobile application developers are being prevented from providing cricket scores and ball-by-ball commentary, unless they pay licence fees to the company that has won these rights from the BCCI. Four court cases (one, two, three, four) that will decide the future of real-time media are currently in progress at various levels of the Indian judiciary, and a case filed by Star India has reached the Supreme Court of India, without much of an alarm from the fraternity it affects most: the media. I remember initially hearing of ''Hot News'' at a press conference for the 2010 Asia Cup, where Vrock Mobile announced that it had won exclusive mobile rights for the tournament. Jatin Ahluwalia, the company's founder and CEO, appealed to journalists present to help him prevent ''piracy'' of…

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Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

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