A new U.S. government report focused on identifying both online and physical marketplaces around the world where the sale of pirated and counterfeit goods takes place on a large scale included for the first time four malls located in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia.
Issued by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative on February 12, 2014, the report, entitled the “2013 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets,” paints a mixed picture overall, noting some recent successes against online marketplaces such as the Chinese sites taobao.com and baidu.com, but also identifies numerous “particularly infamous markets” that “engag[e] in commercial-scale IPR infringement,” including those in Indonesia.
The December 2012 version of the report only listed one market—Harco Glodok in Jakarta—that was “one of many, and the largest in Indonesia, known for counterfeit and pirated goods.” The 2014 report continues to list Harco Glodok but also includes three other Jakarta-based malls—Manggua Dua Mall, Ambassador Mall/ITC and Ratu Plaza—known for their sale of pirated and counterfeit products.
While not intending to be an exhaustive list, the report highlights the difficulties faced in stemming the tide of IP-infringing products in Indonesia. For example, the popular new Governor of Jakarta, Joko Widodo, issued a Governor’s Decree in 2013 “calling on mall owners to respect IPR.” His equally popular Deputy Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnomo met with the Indonesian IP Office (“DGIP”) in July 2013 and publicly stated that if malls or international trade centers (“ITCs”) allowed their vendors to sell pirated or counterfeit products after being warned about such behavior, the Jakarta government would revoke their operating licenses.
However, despite such a promising proposal, it would appear that little has been done to follow through on these threats, as pirated goods are still widely available in various malls and ITCs around the city, including those cited in the USTR report. Additionally, online piracy has emerged as perhaps an even bigger problem, with the Business Software Alliance (“BSA”) placing the software piracy rate in Indonesia at a staggering 86%.
Some changes may be on the horizon, though. A draft version of the new Copyright Act contains provisions that would impose landlord liability on those who allow vendors to sell infringing products, as well as creating criminal liability for consumers who buy certain infringing works, among other proposed changes. It is possible—though still uncertain—that a new, revised Copyright Act could become law later this year.
These would be welcome additions to Indonesia’s copyright protection regime, as the USTR’s Special 301 Report for 2013 noted with concern the “gaps in Indonesia’s laws relating to the protection and enforcement of IPR, including laws related to copyright.”
However, new laws are clearly not enough. More efforts must be made regarding public education in an effort to change the culture surrounding copyright protection if there is to be any hope of real progress in the fight against pirated and counterfeit products in Indonesia.