By: Dr. Iman Sjahputra, SH, SpN, LL.M *)

Multiplying or copying the copyright is still the central issue of the law enforcement in Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) field.  Moreover in this borderless world with the existence of internet accompanied with the rapid of the development of information technology.  The internet existence gives positive benefits and also negative effects.  

From the positive perspective, the community has benefited with so many ease such as email sending, getting all the information up to chatting.  But from the negative perspective, there are also many problems arisen from the internet.  One of the problems is the copyright infringement which clearly violates somebody’s copyright.  Whereas law, in this case is the Copyright Law, is very firm in regulating the forms of copyright infringement.

That is also the reason why the multiplying and copying of a copyright material displayed in the internet has created pros and cons whether such action can be categorized as copyright violation or not.  Some people opine that multiplying a material taken from the internet is legal because based on the reason that the material that has been displayed in the internet has become a public domain.  Therefore legally it does not violate somebody’s copyright.

Is this paradigm correct?  A copyright is a creation of someone in the science, art or literature field.  For creating a work, aside from thoughts and energy, it also takes a fund which is quite a lot.  Therefore the Copyright Law really appreciates of someone’s efforts to create.

The Moral and Economy Rights.

That is the reason why the Copyright Law gives moral and economic appreciations towards someone’s creation.  The Economic Right on a creation of course being valued from the financial aspect whereas it is permitted the creator to produce, sell and multiply his/her creation in the market.  While from the Moral Right is the name of the creator shall be attached in the publication.

Therefore both rights shall be respected.  In other word, in case a creation, either in literature and science, is published by the creator in the internet, then any party wants to multiply and distribute it whatsoever way shall get the permission from its creator.  That is the law.  Further, the Copyright Law No. 19 Year 2002 in the Article 72 paragraphs (1), (2) and (3) forbid the multiplication and distribution, except certain matters allowed, for examples, for education, research, legal defend in the court, and lectures, whereas these exceptions are also shall be based on the fair use principle.

This regulation is not exaggerating.  Even now some countries have increased it into the criminalization on the copyright violation, especially in the field of copying and distributing.  One of those countries is Hong Kong whereas in its amendment of the Copyright Ordinance proposed to confirm the copying and distributing of the materials from a magazine or newspaper within 14 days, which is more than 1.000 copies, without the permission from the publisher can be categorized as copyright violation that can be criminalized.  Further, the copying a book more than 15 percent of the book’s content within 180 days, with the trade value of more than HK$ 8.000 is also can be criminalized.


Different to Hong Kong, Singapore is much more affirmed in its legal enforcement, especially in the investigation of the copying and distribution of copyrighted materials in the internet.  Recently the Singaporean Police has investigated 33 internet users who want tried to copy and distribute the copyrighted songs.  This investigation is based on the report from the International Federation for Phonographic Industry (IFPI), an organization consisted of 1.500 music companies, including Sony BMG and EMI.  If the result of the investigation is proven that they are the multiplier and user then they can be punished with 5 years imprisonment and the penalty of Sin$ 100.000.  How about Indonesia?