Piracy may cost record
firms $1.65m a day

Indonesian record companies may suffer potential losses of Rp 16 billion (US$1.65 million) a day due to illegal downloads by no less than 6 million people via the Internet, the Indonesian Record Industry Association (AIRI) has said.

The association’s representative Jusak Irwan Sutiono said in Jakarta on Thursday that such piracy had seriously affected the industry.

The illegal download of Indonesian songs through the Internet has also caused a sharp decline in the sale of music CDs in the country. Last year, the sales of original music CDs totaled only 11 million copies, far lower than the average 90 million copies a year several years ago.

Industry Ministry small and medium sized enterprise director general Euis Saedah said the government’s anti-piracy campaigns had been launched 13 years ago, but people’s awareness of intellectual property rights remained low.

According to Indonesian Indigenous Entrepreneurs Group (HIPPI) chairman Suryani Motik, the time consuming process and the large fees in obtaining patents had become a major issue for many businesspeople registering their brands.

“It takes about 18 months to obtain a patent for a brand. The procedure is also very complicated,” she said.

She also explained that intellectual property rights (IPR) could be a powerful tool for economic development in the country, if people were aware of them. In US, for example, creative industries, including music and film, contributed at least 38 percent to state revenues.

Speaking at another occasion, Deputy Trade Minister Bayu Krisnamurthi told reporters on Tuesday that the Indonesian creative industry had a bright future as it was home to many talented young people, but they should be protected from patent infringement in order to be able to take advantage of market potential.

“Protecting IPR is not only because we want to serve other country’s interests in protecting their products, but it is also for ourselves. I believe someday there will be many more of our products globally competing in the international market,” he said.

The IPR consists of copyright and industrial property rights in which copyright is for literary and artistic works such as books, music, paintings, sculptures and films, while industrial property rights are for goods, services and technological inventions.

The procedure for registering IPR in Indonesia is done through a complicated paper form registration, while in the US people can register their IPR through online applications taking two to three months or through paper forms for copyright registrations, taking five to six months. (koi)

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