Marcell Siahaan: Copyright Law Protects Creators and Performers

The judicial review hearing of Law No. 28 of 2014 on Copyright to hear the Relevant Parties, Wednesday (5/18/2022). Photo by Humas MK/Ifa.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022 | 22:38 WIB

JAKARTA, Public Relations—Copyright, in principle, cannot be owned absolutely and indefinitely, so the concept of ownership is absolutely irrelevant. The Copyright Law regulates the time period of time for obtaining economic rights of a work in various ways. Thus, ownership rights can be transferred through a license agreement and not by a sold flat agreement or an indefinite transfer, so the transfer of economic rights does not result in absolute ownership rights.

This statement was made by Marcellius Kirana H. Siahaan (Marcell Siahaan) virtually at the sixth judicial review hearing of Law No. 28 of 2014 on Copyright in the plenary courtroom of the Constitutional Court (MK) on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. The hearing had been scheduled for the testimonies of the Relevant Parties—Puji Rahaesita, Slamet Adriyadie, Sugito, dan Richard Kyoto—who had given power of attorney to Siahaan and his partners from the Defender of Copyright and Performers.

Siahaan further stated that Articles 18, 30, and 122 of the Copyright Law were constitutional because they aimed to provide proper protection for the rights of creators and performers. In other words, he explained, phonogram producers had been able to obtain economic rights from creators through a sold flat agreement indefinitely prior to the enactment of the a quo Law by exploiting economic rights for 25 years, or half of the 50-year period regulated for phonogram producers pursuant to Article 63 paragraph (1) letter b of the Copyright Law.

Meanwhile, for the remainder of the protection period, the economic rights that have been obtained by the phonogram producer should be returned to the creator and performer by asking the latter’s permissions for the exploitation of their creations, thus giving them a balanced bargaining position for better compensation.

“Therefore, Articles 18, 30, and 122 of the Copyright Law have created certainty, equality between creators, performers, and phonogram producers,” Siahaan said before the hearing chaired by Chief Justice Anwar Usman.

Including Written Works

Siahaan also said that Articles 18 and 122 of the Copyright Law not only regulate songs and music, but also books and all other written works. The Relevant Parties believed the Petitioner only considered song and music creation without considering the impact on the creation of books or other written works. As such, they asserted, the Petitioner had assessed the a quo norm but partially and incompletely.

“So, it is unfair if the a quo petition, which only reviews the enactment of Article 18 and Article 122 of the Copyright Law to song and/or music creations, is then granted and the decision applies to book and/or other written works as well,” Siahaan said.

Before concluding the hearing, Chief Justice Anwar Usman informed all parties that the next hearing would take place on Tuesday, June 14, 2022 at 11:00 WIB to hear testimonies from 2 experts and 1 witness for the Petitioner.

Also read:

PT Musica Studios Questions Duration of Economic Rights in Copyright Law 

PT Musica Studios Reduces Copyright Law Articles to Review 

House: Creator Should Have Received Great Economic Benefits 

Piyu PADI: Provision on Copyright Duration Protects Songwriters

Copyright in the Eye of Musicians 

The case No. 63/PUU-XIX/2021 was filed by PT Musica Studios, who argues that Article 18, Article 30, and Article 122 of the Copyright Law violate Article 28D paragraph (1), Article 28H paragraph (4), and Article 28I paragraph (2) of the 1945 Constitution.

Article 18 of the Copyright Law reads, “The Works of books, and/or all other written works, songs and/or music with or without text that are transferred in a flat fee agreement and/or indefinite transfers, are to be reverted to the Author when the agreement reaches a period of 25 (twenty-five) years.” Article 30 of the Copyright Law reads, “The economic rights to a Performer’s Work of songs and/or music that have been transferred and/or sold, return to the Performer after a period of 25 (twenty-five) years.”

The Petitioner argued that Article 18 of the Copyright Law had harmed their economic rights of works on which outright buyout agreement applies. The article stipulates a limit of copyright duration on a work, and the copyright shall be returned to the original copyright holder after 25 years. The Petitioner believes the provision is detrimental because they only have a status as a leaser and will have to return the right some time to the creator of the work.

They also argued that they lost economic rights due to the enactment of Article 122 of the Copyright Law, because by returning the copyright to the creator, they cannot receive royalties over another party’s exploitation of a phonogram of the work. Therefore, in the petitum, the Petitioner requested that the Court declare Articles 18, 30, and 122 of the a quo law unconstitutional and not legally binding. 

Writer        : Sri Pujianti
Editor        : Nur R.
PR            : Tiara Agustina
Translator  : Yuniar Widiastuti (NL)

Translation uploaded on 5/19/2022 10:16 WIB

Disclaimer: The original version of the news is in Indonesian. In case of any differences between the English and the Indonesian versions, the Indonesian version will prevail.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022 | 22:38 WIB 39