Monday, July 24, 2006

The Basics of the Copyright Law in Indonesia


On July 29, 2002, the President of Republic of Indonesia has enacted the Law No. 19 Year 2002 regarding Copyright. The law supersedes the Law No. 6 Year 1982 which has been consecutively amended by the Law No. 7 Year 1987 and the Law No. 12 Year 1997. The law shall be effective as of July 29, 2003.

The New Copyright Law has been enacted in order to give more protection to the ethnical arts and literatures, and also to accommodate the development of information technology. Several new provisions in relation with information technology applied, such as data base, electronic information and technology control medium.

The Law shall apply for: (i) all works of Indonesian citizen and Indonesian legal entities; (ii) all works of non-Indonesian citizen and non-Indonesian legal entities which the first publication is in Indonesia; and (iii) all works of non-Indonesian citizen and non-Indonesian legal entities which their state has bilateral agreement regarding protection of copyright with the Republic of Indonesia, or their state and the Republic of Indonesia are parties of the same multilateral agreement regarding protection of copyright.

What Works are Protected by the Law?

The Law defines copyright as an exclusive right for creator or the receiver of right to publish or reproduce Works or to give permission to others to do the same within the constraint of the prevailing law and regulation. Works shall be the product of creator’s creation in any material form which shows originality in the field of science, arts or literatures. Copyrightable works include the following categories:

a. books, computer programs, pamphlets, lay out of published works, and all other written works;
b. sermons, lectures, addresses, and other spoken works;
c. visual aids made for educational and scientific purposes;
d. song or music, with or without lyrics;
e. drama or musical drama, dances, choreographic works, pewayangan (Indonesia’s puppets show), and pantomimes;
f. all forms of art, such as paintings, drawings, engravings, calligraphy, carvings, sculptures, collages, and handy-crafts;
g. architectures;
h. maps;
i. batik art;
j. photography;
k. cinematographic works;
l. translation, interpretations, adaptations, anthologies, database, and other transforming works.

The works as stipulated in point l above are considered works in their own right, but copyright of the original works remain with the original creator. Protection for the above mentioned works includes the works which has not or has not yet been published, but already in the tangible form which may possible to reproduce.

How to Secure a Copyright?

No publication or registration or other action in the Copyright Office is required to secure copyright. The Law stipulates that copyright is secured automatically when the work is created, but from legal point of view it is strongly advised to have a copyright registered. Although copyright certificate is not a sole and final evidence of ownership which could be further examined together with other evidences within the framework of prevailing laws and regulations.

The Law acknowledges a copyright licensing arrangements and it is also provides that copyright licensing agreement must be registered at the Copyright Office. Any license agreements must be registered at the Copyright Office otherwise it will have no legal effect against any third parties.

How Long Copyright Protection Endures?

Generally, the work is automatically protected from the moments of its creation and is ordinarily given a term enduring for the author’s life plus an additional 50 years after the author’s death. In the case of a joint work prepared by two or more creator, the term lasts for 50 years after the last surviving creator’s death.

For computer programs, cinematographic works, photography, database, works produced by transforming, and the lay out of published works, the duration of copyright will be 50 years from the first publication. The duration of copyright for work which published part by part will be counted from the publication of its last part.

How the Copyright may be Assigned?

The Law stipulates that the copyright is the movable asset. The copyright may be assigned by the following method:

a. Inheritance;
b. Grant;
c. Testament;
d. Written agreement; or
e. Other reasons permitted by the prevailing laws and regulations.
Should the creator has passed away or the creator has passed away but the work has not or has not yet been published, the copyright shall be assigned to his/her heir or the receiver of his/her testament.


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