On 16 September 2014, the Indonesian Parliament passed the Copyright bill which amends the current Copyright Law no. 19 of 2002. The bill is expected to come into force and take effect on 16 October 2014, if not earlier, depending on when the President signs it.

This will repeal the old Copyright Act no. 19 of 2002 and contains significant amendments and clarifications of some previous ambiguities under the old Law.

The following provisions are of particular interest:

Type of protected works

The definition of protected work has been expanded to include translations, adaptations, arrangements, transformations, or modifications of traditional cultural expressions as well as compilation of traditional culture.

Under the old law, the explanatory notes state that drawings for the purpose of industrial designs are excluded. In the new law, such exclusion has been deleted from the explanatory notes, suggesting that it may now be possible to claim for copyright protection even for industrial designs.

Economic rights

Under the old law, exclusive rights are divided into rights of publication and reproduction.The new law introduces the term economic rights to encompass the following exclusive rights:

  1. Publishing work
  2. Duplicating any kind of work
  3. Translating work
  4. Adapting, arranging, transforming work
  5. Distributing work and its copy
  6. Performing a work
  7. Informing a work
  8. Communicating work
  9. Rental of work

The old law included "importation" as one of the exclusive rights. This is now removed which suggests that parallel importation no longer requires consent of the copyright owner.

Under the old law, although copyright was expressly deemed as a movable property. Under the new law, there are express provisions that recognize that copyright works may be registered as collateral under fiducia security. This suggests that copyright work can now be pledged as a security.

Duration of protection

Copyright protection of works has been extended from 50 years to 70 years after the death of the author, unless the work is owned by a legal entity in which case the period of protection still remains the same - 50 years from publication.

Enforcement

Landlord liability

In addition to the ability to enforce the expanded economic rights, there is the welcome provision of the creation of landlord liability.

Online infringement

In respect of online infringement, there is also now a dedicated section that gives new powers to the Ministry of Information to block access to infringing material on websites. The implementation of this provision requires further regulations to be passed. Depending on what the regulations requires, it may provide copyright owners with additional tools to tackle online infringement.

Complaint based offence

Copyright infringement is now classified as a complaint based crime, bringing it in line with all other IP rights – trademarks, industrial designs and patents. The advantage would be that in theory, the police or enforcement department in the IP office has to investigate an offence when a complaint is filed. This will also allow the copyright owner to have better visibility and control of the criminal complaint process and be in a position to query or withdraw the complaint, if needed.

Criminal sanctions

Under the criminal provisions of the new law, the mens rea element has been removed. The old law requires the mental element of "intentional act". This suggests that it may be easier to secure conviction under the new law.

The punishment has been adjusted as follows:

Please click here to view table.

The explanatory notes do not provide further clarification on what constitutes "form of piracy" which would warrant the higher sanctions.

Collecting societies

Collecting societies are now regulated under Chapter XII. The provisions require collecting societies to register with the Ministry of Law. They also need to meet various requirements such as minimum number of rights owners that they need to represent and the maximum sum that can be appropriated for operational cost from royalties.

The implementation of these provisions requires the passing of further procedural regulations to be issued by the Ministry of Law.  

While the changes in the legislation are promising, the challenge is in the implementation and enforcement of the new provisions