Thursday, March 19, 2015

Trial and appeal leaves uncertainty over preliminary injunctions in Indonesia

Image result for Bung Karno: Indonesia Merdeka
The Soekarno film dispute reported here was the first Temporary (Provisional) Anton Pillar / Injunction order granted in Indonesia under its 2012 rules.
The case continued on to trial and appeal and a number of problems arose. The first was that the Plaintiff claimed in the lawsuit that she was the creator of the film "Bung Karno: Indonesia Merdeka". She claimed this was turned into the movie entitled "SOEKARNO". She claimed that there was a cooperation agreement to jointly produce the movie. Thus there was infringement of her copyright by the production of a movie otherwise than per that agreement.
The Defendants argued that the Plaintiff's contribution to the movie was only as areference (she is one of Soekarno heirs) and not as creator of the script used for the movie. Thus there was no copyright infringement. The Defendants also requested that the movie script and master copy of the movie which were seized by the preliminary injunction order be returned.
The Commercial Court had accepted parts of the Plaintiff's case by declaring that she was the creator of "Bung Karno: Indonesia Merdeka" and rejected the Defendants' claims. The Defendants appealed.

The Supreme Court overturned the first instance decision completely. They found that the Defendant did not create the movie based on the Plaintiff's script. Instead, it was written by another person who worked closely with the movie director under contract. The Judges stated that the contractual dispute was a side issue under the jurisdiction of the District Courts.  The Supreme Court ordered the Plaintiff to return the script and master copy of the movie to the Defendants.
It is not entirely clear how this case could be reversed so completely. It appears there is a wider dispute between the parties and that the use of a temporary injunction was premature. The Plaintiff convinced the Commercial Court to make an order perhaps without disclosing the full nature of the dispute. This demonstrates the difficulty of a system with no duty of disclosure of the wider picture to the court. The Commercial Court would have been reluctant to overturn its own decision on the injunction, when it was the first of its kind.  Presumably now the Defendants may now seek redress for a wrongfully granted injunction under the rules.
The net result is yet more uncertainty over the future of preliminary injunctions in Indonesia.

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