Sunday, November 24, 2013

Jakarta's popular mayor targets IP crime

Gubernur DKI Jokowi.jpgJakarta’s famous Tanah Abang market, supposedly the largest in SE Asia, is cleaning up its act. Known for fake goods as well as a large range of other illegal activities, it is in the sights of radical populist Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo. This is his second foray into the IP area.
The market is under renovation, following a dispute over control with local businesspeople, but the Governor seems now firmly in charge. Governor Jokowi as he is known, is on a mission to clean up Jakarta and he has also said this will include pirate and counterfeit products. The renovation is the real driver with illegal hawkers the first targets. Increasing Satpol public order office patrols aims to reduce the general level of criminality too. The general consensus is that the IP benefits are a knock-on effect.
Back in October Jokowi released a 'Governor Appeal' to Jakarta’s high end malls, asking them to cease selling fake goods. In fact few high end malls do now sell fakes. This followed lobbying by copyright and trademark associations of the Governor's office. He is regarded as one of the only bureaucrats making an effort to improve things.
The difficulty is that the Governor's office has limited authority over IP crimes, and while he can do a lot to clean up the image and on the ground activities in Jakarta, his office has no authority over IP violations, which are criminal offences. At least someone is taking the initiative however; the criminal authorities are as usual, largely inactive.

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