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Jakarta Post

Intellectual property lost as authorities sleep

Jakarta   /   Wed, August 20 2008   /  10:21 am

Last week on a flight back to Melbourne, passengers were offered Chinese fried fish and vegetables or Malaysian beef semur for lunch. Under normal circumstances I would have good-humoredly dismissed the fact Indonesian semur had somehow become Malaysian with a "what's a cuisine item or two between cultural siblings?" and promptly forgotten about it. However, I have become far more sensitive about such things recently. I learned about incident after incident like this one while I was in Indonesia, so I now sit up and take notice each time an Indonesian item appears dressed up in another country's name. While there is widespread unawareness of intellectual property issues among those who produce and practice the creative arts in Indonesia, the relevant authorities -- instead of informing artisans and facilitating the process of registering necessary copyrights and...