Govt steps up to protect film property rights

Nadya Natahadibrata, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The Creative Economy Agency, along with the Communications and Information Ministry and Law and Human Rights Ministry, has agreed to step up efforts to protect intellectual property rights and tackle piracy in the film industry.

“We have the authority to crack down on piracy sites but we have limited capacities, therefore we need the public to help us by informing us of websites that violate the intellectual property rights regulation,” Communications and Information Minister Rudiantara said during a discussion on how to protect and monetize property rights in the film industry at JS Luwansa hotel in Jakarta on Wednesday. Indonesia is a home to many online piracy websites.

Creative Economy Agency head Triawan Munaf said that one of the agency’s main agendas this year was to boost efforts to protect IP rights. The agency would immediately sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Law and Human Rights Ministry’s directorate general for intellectual property rights to strengthen its fight against the infringement of intellectual property rights.

“The film industry does not significantly contribute to the country’s GDP [gross domestic product] in the creative sector. Piracy hampers the growth of this industry,” Triawan said.

Association of Indonesian Film Producers (APROFI) head Sheila Timothy said that with the protection of intellectual property rights, moviemakers can develop films into other creative products, including games, books, music, as well as performance art.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla said that in addition to urging the Law and Human Rights Ministry to immediately enforce the law on piracy, making movie watching affordable for all would also encourage the public to stop obtaining pirated movies.

“The country’s movie watching habit is low. Movie tickets are relatively expensive; obviously lower-income people cannot afford them. We have to encourage more people to watch movies by providing more affordable theaters,” Kalla said.

The law and human rights ministry would set up the LKM (Collective Management Body), which would collect and channel royalties owed to the owners of intellectual property rights, said Ahmad M. Ramli, head of the intellectual property rights directorate general.

It was aimed at increasing the country’s GDP from the intellectual property rights sector to 6 percent from the current 2 percent. Indonesia’s GDP from the creative sector currently stands at Rp 641 billion (US$49.37 million), far less than Singapore’s $5.2 billion and South Korea’s $93.6 billion.

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