Indonesia is one of the countries often included in the Priority Watch List (PWL) which is issued by the United States Chamber of Commerce (USTR).  In 2021, Indonesia, along with Argentina, Chile, China, India, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Venezuela are considered the countries with the worst Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) violations in the world.

USTR conducts surveillance on nine countries that have trade relations with uncle Sam’s country in an effort to reduce losses due to IPR violations for the United States. The list issued by USTR is based on the recommendation from Intellectual Property Promotion Association (IIPA), an international organization engaged in the supervision of IPR . In its report, IIPA assessed that the level of IPR violations in Indonesia was relatively high, especially in the fields of Copyright, Brand and Patent.

The Indonesian government has been attempting to emit Indonesia from of PWL. This effort has been carried out by the Directorate General of Intellectual Property (DGIP) of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights and the National Police by eradicating pirated and illegal goods.

However, such efforts have not been fruitful. In the last two years, Indonesia is still on the USTR watch list.

There are a number of factors hindering  Indonesia to emit itself from the list, namely;

  1. Low economic level

The high cost of branded or original goods causes most people, especially  those from low-income bracket, to use pirated goods that are sold at much lower prices. For example,  original computer softwares are considered too expensive from many people. Due to  limited purchasing power, many people prefer to buy pirated computer softwares as they are considered to be of the same quality with but more affordable than the original ones.

2. Low level of awareness

In general, people lack the awareness to appreciate a creative or a quality work. In fact, general public appreciation toward creative or quality goods or works is very important to maintain creativity alive.

3. Need increased occupancy

Low awareness automatically affects people’s understanding of IPR. Generally, people do not understand that it requires considerable energy, time and money to produce a quality work. Consequently, it is natural that the results of such quality work gain a return  economically.

Efforts to enforce law and combat piracy are often carried out by the authorities, but it is still not enough.  The perpetrators of IPR violations have not been sanctioned in accordance with existing laws and regulations.

In fact, the sanctions in Law 28 of 2014 on Copyright (UUHC) are considered too lenient to ensnare the perpetrators. There were violations cases that ended with much lenient sanctions in comparison the maximum sanctions set by law, although many ended up with strict sanctions.

The imposition of sanctions on IPR violators is closely related to how the case goes during the trial and how the parties prove their respective arguments. The sanctions given should be able to provide a sense of justice for litigants so that the climate of IPR enforcement becomes definite and unambiguous.

Strict sanctions are expected to reduce or even eliminate IPR violations. In brand violations, if the culprit is given very severe sanctions, it is not impossible that there are no more pirated goods products on the market.

However, this must also be accompanied by efforts to increase public awareness not to buy pirated goods. Based on economic theory, if the demand for goods is high, manufacturers will continue to produce such goods.

For this reason, there needs to be joint-efforts between the National Police and the DGIP in combating IPR piracy.  IPR observers and consultants, who are partners of DGIP, must also play the role of promoting the importance of law enforcement against IPR violators. In addition, there must be concerted drive to increase public awareness that IPR is indeed one of the sources of state income from creative economy sectors.

In addition, the government and other relevant parties must continue to promote the importance of IPR. Children from an early age should also be taught the importance of appreciating the creative works of others.

Other efforts may be  done by educating schools ranging from elementary level to college about IPR and its importance to society. This is done so that people are accustomed to appreciating the creativity of others.

If the effort continues to be carried out massively, people will no longer prioritize the price  in purchasing original goods or works.  On the contrary, people will be able to see from the point of view that a result of human creativity must be rewarded and appreciated.

Admittedly, drives to achieve public awareness  require considerable time and money  However, without such e effort, there will not be public awareness of IPR. Public  awareness cannot be achieved  automatically in a society  with low level of  IPR appreciation.

Therefore, there needs to be a joint-effort between the community and all elements of the nation to emit Indonesia from PWL. Indonesia is a great nation. We all have a shared responsibility to  free Indonesia from IPR piracy.

Author / Contributor:

 Rakhmita Desmayanti S.H., M.H



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