The Jakarta Post
A stock illustration highlights the issue of piracy, with illegal streaming services and pirated DVDs the main culprits causing trillions in losses to the national film industry. (Shutterstock/File)
The film industry has reportedly lost around Rp 1.5 trillion (US$ 107 billion) to piracy in four cities, according to a 2017 study by the University of Indonesia’s Institute for Economic and Social Research (LPEM FEB UI).
Senior researcher Chaikal Nuryakin said on Thursday during the Digital Economy and Creative Content Forum, held at the JS Luwansa Hotel in South Jakarta, that the research covered Jakarta, Deli Serdang regency and Medan in North Sumatra, as well as Bogor, West Java. The cities were chosen because they were representative of administrative divisions.
Chaikal estimated if the study was conducted in 30 cities across the country, the total loss could be up to Rp 5 trillion.
Involving respondents between the ages of 15 and 45, the study discovered that people accessed illegal films online or through pirated DVDs because they had limited access to movie theaters. It also found that many respondents were unaware that watching illegally distributed creative content broke the law. Their method of engaging in piracy depended on internet speed as well as peer justification.
Chaikal explained that those who watched pirated movies believed they were "justified" and that the practice was acceptable, since many of their peers watched pirated movies.
The study also discovered that pirated DVDs were a substitute for cable TV.
People who watched films on illegal streaming sites tended to stop going to cinemas, causing losses in cinema revenues.
Chaikal suggested that, based on the results of the study, movie theaters should apply price discrimination to tickets.
He also recommended the expansion of access to legal platforms, running an effective anti-piracy campaign, revising the copyright laws and creating stricter piracy laws that punished both distributors and viewers of pirated movies.
Association of Indonesian Film Producers (APROFI) head Fauzan Zidni said the organization has made several efforts to fight piracy, including reporting illegal streaming websites and composing a list of websites that infringed copyright.
During the forum, Chapman University professor Brett Danaher also shared his study on “Copyright Enforcement: Measuring the Effect of Piracy Website Blocking”, which was conducted in the United Kingdom.
The study discovered that blocking one large piracy website was not as effective as blocking several illegal streaming websites simultaneously.
In response to Danaher’s research, Indonesian Film Council (BPI) member Alex Sihar said that people in Indonesia visited piracy websites to look for content that was not being offered through legal channels.
Alex stressed the importance of educating the public about copyright to fight piracy. As with Chaikal, Alex also suggested that the copyright laws be revised.
Lifelike Pictures producer Sheila Timothy shared a similar view on raising public awareness.
“Combating piracy is a continuous effort that cannot be done in the blink of an eye," she said, stressing that educating the public was important. (asw)