Saturday, May 12, 2012

Copyright disaster for Indonesian novelist

Andrea Hirata is the best selling Indonesian author of Laskar Pelangi or Rainbow Troops, a hugely successul novel about island people and education. He is reportedly upset about the piracy situation in his native Indonesia and so will write his next novel in English.  “I have stopped writing in Indonesian,” he said as he was presented with a World IP day award for the creativity of his intellectual property rights. His next novel will be first published in the USA because Laskar Pelangi was widely copied in Indonesia.  “During one book promotion event, I even signed about 2,000 copies of Laskar Pelangi before realizing that none of them was original,” he said.

IP Komodo laments the loss of creative talent which comes fundamentally from a lack government interest in serving its citizens by providing a proper infrastructure. 

But further than this it reminds IP Komodo of Jerome K Jerome's 'Author's Advertisement' at the start of his 1890s comic masterpiece Three Men in a Boat. He mentions that a retired book pirate told him that his book had been widely copied in another country, due to a lack of copyright protection there, selling over a million copies for which Jerome earned nothing. That country was the USA. 

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