Maharashtra Government Releases Guidelines for E-Commerce and Food Delivery Firms, Significance of Growth of eCommerce policy in India, MasterCard’s report details growth of eCommerce in 2020, Shopify to get an eCommerce Grocery-Selling App, Saregama and Triller Enter into Global Music Licensing Deal and TikTok inks Licensing deal in South Africa.
MAHARASHTRA GOVT. RELEASES GUIDELINES FOR E-COMMERCE AND FOOD DELIVERY FIRMS
On April 4th 2021, the Maharashtra Government released a “Break the Chain” order. Effective from April 10th 2021, the order requires e-commerce and food delivery services personnel to get vaccinated, or carry a negative RT-PCR certificate, which will be valid for 15 days. Since the guidelines issued by the Central Government only permit vaccination of persons above the age of 45, delivery personnel under the age of 45 must get tested repeatedly.
To ensure continued deliveries during curfew hours and lockdown period during the weekend in the state, Amazon has stated that it is looking into the most recent guidelines issued by the Maharashtra State Government. Amazon said that they are practicing stringent preventive measures for the safety of their delivery personnel. Flipkart has stated that it continues to adhere to the highest levels of safety and standard operating procedures (SOPs) in the interest of its employees, customers and all other stakeholders conducting business with it. Food Delivery firms Zomato and Swiggy have said that they are covering the costs of RT-PCR testing for their delivery personnel. The E-commerce and Food delivery firms are seeking clarification from the Maharashtra Government on the guidelines for the delivery personnel.
SIGNIFICANCE OF GROWTH OF E-COMMERCE POLICY IN INDIA
In light of the exponential growth of eCommerce, its dynamic nature and the changing expectations of the society, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has been reviewing guidelines governing intermediaries and eCommerce platforms. eCommerce in India can provide links and access to markets across the world. It can increase competitiveness among local manufacturers and provide avenues for marketing their products worldwide, thereby promoting inclusive growth. However, this brings in the hurdle of compliances at various levels, including local, state and central laws and foreign laws as well. To facilitate operational ease and development, while fulfilling complex compliances, the growth of the e-commerce industry in India should not be stifled by policy, and bureaucratic restrictions.
Social and financial security in contemporary employment circumstances have received attention from policymakers under the Code on Social Security 2020. Through their work, e-commerce platforms workers have enabled e-commerce platforms to solidify their presence in the market, wherein it promotes productivity and sustainable employment. For the sustenance of online markets, training, access to consumables and tools of high quality and efficient utilization of the latest technology become imperative.
MASTERCARD’S REPORT DETAILS GROWTH OF E-COMMERCE IN 2020
According to MasterCard’s report titled ‘Recovery Insights: Commerce Evaluation’, eCommerce spending has gone up by USD 900 billion in the year 2020. USD 1 out of every USD 5 that is spent on retail is through e-commerce. While e-commerce and online shopping has kept several businesses afloat during the Covid-19 pandemic, from the market perspective, the digital shift has not been universal because of geographical and economic disparities. Only 20-30% of the digital shift will be permanent according to the report.
The incentive to shift to digital permeates down to even the smallest businesses in the market. This is because e-commerce facilitates money to travel far and wide, irrespective of the size of the business. The shift to digital also greatly benefits the consumers, who now have increased choice and access to not only local markets, but international markets as well.
SHOPIFY TO GET AN E-COMMERCE GROCERY-SELLING APP
GreenDropShip is launching an eCommerce app for Shopify, which will enable sellers to sell groceries through their online stores. The eCommerce grocery-selling app will facilitate easy import by merchants of products from top brands. Merchants will have access to upwards of 20,000 products through the app. The catalogue of products will include food and beverages, non-edible goods like vitamins, skin care products, and more.
The use of the app provides for seamless automation, saves times and allows the merchants to save on development costs. Many other apps that started out with food and beverages only, later expanded into other areas. This has pushed Shopify to move into food and beverages as well to diversify their product catalogue and give consumers more choice.
SAREGAMA AND TRILLER SIGN GLOBAL MUSIC LICENSING DEAL
Saregama has entered into a global music licensing deal with Triller, a short format video platform. Under this deal, Saregama is licensing its entire catalogue to Triller. This deal will allow creators on Triller, to create content using the music from Saregama’s diverse catalogue of more than 1, 30,000 songs across multiple Indian languages. It will also ensure that the music publishers are duly compensated for the use of their music by creators on Triller. Triller’s spokesperson stated that, through this deal, they aim to support publishers in South Asia and across the world.
TIKTOK INKS LICENSING DEAL IN SOUTH AFRICA
TikTok has entered into a multi-year licensing deal with South African Music Rights Organization (SAMRO) and Composers Authors and Publishers Association (CAPASSO). The agreement will span across 58 territories across Africa and include the repertoire of 21 separate collective management organizations. This deal comes as African music has been gaining immense popularity on TikTok, garnering millions of views from TikTok trends. Song by African artists, like ‘Jerusalema’ by Master KG ft. Nomcebo, have received international recognitions and success in the charts in Europe and the US after TikTok videos containing the song go viral.
TikTok has said that this deal seeks to protect the interests of all stakeholders in the music business across Africa, including songwriters, composers and publishers and ensure that they will benefit from the use of their music on TikTok. This deal will allow African artists to connect with a global audience and reach global superstar status by showcasing their talents to the world.
Authored and compiled by Neharika Vhatkar (Associate, BananaIP Counsels) and Sahana Simha (Legal Intern)
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