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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Indonesia Copyright registration leads to court


IP Komodo has in the past expressed his disapproval of copyright recordal systems, because they can be too easily abused to distort the truth of subsistence and ownership and so prejudice the real creators.

An Indonesian case illustrates this.  The Central Jakarta Commercial Court decided a copyright revocation dispute on 2 March 2012. The defendant Indra Surya claimed to own a work entitled “Investasi Cerdas ala Rencana Emas (Intelligent Gold Investment Plan)”. The paper explained a gold trading strategy and was published on the gold trading website antam.com. Surya had registered his paper as a copyright at the Copyright section at the Intellectual Property Office. Copyright registration is voluntary in Indonesia and unexamined.

It turned out that the paper written by Indra Surya copied most of its content from an e-book on gold trading strategies written by the plaintiff, Arie Indra Manurung. He had published his work on another gold trading website goldgram.co.id. Indeed he also registered his copyright in 2008.

In its decision, the court stated that Surya registered his work in bad faith and cancelled the copyright registration. The evidence indicated that the defendant was unable to prove the originality of his article and the court concluded had had copied specific parts of the the plaintiff's Goldgram book.

What this shows is that recordal of copyrights with no or little examination gives a copycat a huge leg up against others.  He may undertake enforcement, and use his government chopped certificate to make claims which are untrue. The real owner later has to go through the expense time and risk of court litigation to prove his ownership.

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