When officially kicking off the National Convention at the State Palace, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono instructed intensive eradication of intellectual property rights violations.
"We must intensify the fight against crimes in intellectual property rights. There are the National Police Chief, the Attorney General, and the Coordinating Minister of Political, Legal and Security Affairs as the team leaders," the president said.
He stated that the fight must be conducted seriously and concretely until the pirates go to jail and would feel discouraged to commit similar crimes in the future.
Last year`s survey conducted by Hong Kong-based Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC) showed that Indonesia had the worst record when it came to protecting IPR in Asia.
Indonesia was given the worst score of 8.5 out of a maximum 10 points compared to 11 other Asian economies in the PERC survey of 1,285 expatriate managers carried out between June and mid-August 2010, AFP reported in August 2010. Zero is the best possible score.
More advanced economies fared better, with Singapore heading the list with 1.5, followed by Japan (2.1), Hong Kong (2.8), Taiwan (3.8) and South Korea (4.1).
At the other end of the scale, Vietnam was second worst at 8.4, China scored 7.9, the Philippines 6.84, India 6.5, Thailand 6.17 and Malaysia 5.8, according to AFP.
PERC recognized that Indonesia "has passed new laws that should improve protection of intellectual property, but those rules are not enforced effectively at all, and piracy levels in Indonesia remain among the highest in the world."
The importance of certainty in the law enforcement was emphasized by President Yudhoyono in his speech. "Piracy of intellectual property rights must be stopped, because only the pirates get profits, while the creators get nothing or just very small profits," he said.
The head of state said he had received complaints from many parties about complicated bureaucratic process in the registration of the rights.
Therefore, he instructed the ministry of justice and human rights to improve its services to those registering their copyrights.
"Please make sure that the services are good, fast and correct. Don`t let them feel despair and later register their copyright overseas," the president said.
Justice and Human Rights Minister Patrialis Akbar on the occasion said his ministry is expected to process around 5,000 IPR applications in 2011.
This year, the ministry is implementing a special program to cut bureaucratic procedures in an effort to speed up the IPR application process, and even offer a free-of-charge registration for applicants from universities, schools and small scale businesses.
The National Convention on IPR was organized by the ministry of law and human rights in observance of the World Intellectual Property (IP) Day. It also coincided with the half century of Indonesia`s first regulation on intellectual property rights, namely Law No. 21/1961 on Trade Brand.
The aims of World IP Day are among other things to raise awareness of how patents, copyright, trademarks and designs impact on daily life; to increase understanding of how protecting IP rights helps promote creativity and innovation; and to celebrate creativity, and the contribution made by creators and innovators to the development of societies across the globe.
China, which in 2010 was the third worse in piracy in Asia and given the score 7.9 by PERC, this year celebrated the World IP Day by destroying more than 26 million pieces of pirated and illegal publications.
It demonstrated China`s determination to protect IPR, Chinese news agency Xin Hua reported on Friday (22/4). Pirated discs and books as well as unauthorized newspapers and periodicals were destroyed on Friday after being confiscated by authorities in all 31 province-level regions on the Chinese mainland.
While in Indonesia, to mark the World IP Day, the justice and human rights minister presented awards to several figures and institutions considered having significant contribution in promoting and protecting IPR.
Among the recipients are the late Wage Rudolf Supratman (composer of Indonesia`s national anthem: Indonesia Raya), the late Ismail Marzuki (composer of a number of monumental patriotic songs), Bimbo music group, and Taufik Ismail (noted poet and composer).
Young inventor awards are given to Fahma Waluya Rosmansyah and Hania Pracika Rospansyah for their achievement in creative industry in the field of information technology.
Awards for academician helping promote intellectual property rights are presented to Prof. Dr. Tien R. Muchtadi MS, a dean of the Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB), and the most prominent inventor award was given to Prof Dr Eng Roosseno Soerjohadikoesoemo.
Senayan City is recognized as a shopping mall which is free from piracy, and Melly Goeslaw is named as an intellectual property rights envoy for her achievement in composing more than 500 songs.
Bustaman, owner of Sederhana restaurant chain, is awarded as a successful intellectual property rights holder, and the Sumedang District Head is presented with a certificate of Geographic Indication for Molle Sumedang tobacco.
For the media, the award recipients are respectively Bisnis Indonesia Daily as a print media which has played a significant role in promoting the intellectual property rights to the public, and Trans TV for its program called "Investigative Reportage".
Being appointed as IPR envoy, Melly Goeslaw (37) continues to be critical against piracy and the government`s failure to crack down IPR pirates.
Melly has composed more than 500 songs and been active in promoting the protection of the intellectual property rights so far.
The noted singer and productive composer urged the government to be serious in dealing with intellectual property piracy as musicians were losing billions of rupiah due to the criminal practice.
She criticized the government for not taking enough concrete actions in fighting the piracy. She said the government was not serious enough and mostly talked about intellectual property rights only in seminars.
Many of the general public and even those involved in industry are not yet aware of the intellectual property rights and sanction for pirating one`s copyright, according to the singer.
Last year`s survey by PERC and Melly`s criticism should be considered as a wake up call.
Moreover, President Yudhoyono earlier stated in his speech that a country is considered advanced only when the people could produce creative and innovative works and appreciate the intellectual property rights. (*)