Lately, the Indonesian Music World has been on fire with the incident of musician Posan Tobing who sued Warner Music for allegations of copyright infringement and royalties. Posan Tobing stated that he felt a huge disappointment and royalty loss from this incident.
With that said, most of you might be familiar with music royalties and some of you might not. Music royalties are payments that go to recording artists, songwriters, composers, publishers, and other copyright holders for the right to use their intellectual property. In Indonesia, the regulation on music royalties is contained in PP (Peraturan Pemerintah) 56/2021. PP 56/2021 explains the management of song and music copyright royalties in Indonesia. Under these rules, someonoe who uses songs and music commercially or for public services is required to pay royalties. In this regulation, there are fourteen types of commercial public services that are required to pay song royalties such as hotels, restaurants, cafes, pubs, bars, bistros, music concerts, cinemas, television and radio broadcasters, karaoke, and others. This regulation on royalties was signed by President Joko Widodo on March 30, 2021.
However, before this regulation was signed, the royalties regulation had a long history. This regulation originally emerged from the idea of Amir Pasaribu. Amir Pasaribu is a well-known music composer in Indonesia. In 1950, Amir Pasaribu’s article on music copyright was published in a magazine. In his article, Amir Pasaribu explained the origins of copyright in music and emphasized that music is copyrighted and will receive royalties if it is used in public services. Amir Pasaribu also refers to the principle of copyright in music which has been confirmed through the International Convention in Berne. However, at that time Indonesia had not ratified the Berne Copyright Convention because Indonesia still needed many musical works from abroad, and for Indonesia, the music copyrights are considered very expensive.
Besides Amir Pasaribu, Bing Slamet has also initiated an idea of copyright and royalties. Bing Slamet was once fined as much as 2000 US dollars for allegedly violating copyright when singing an American song. From this incident, Bing Slamet was then inspired to establish an Indonesian musicians institution that functions to manage copyright and royalties. However, Bing Slamet’s idea did not go smoothly because at that time people were more focused on political interests.
In 1982, the Indonesian government finally made a copyright law called Undang-Undang No. 6 (UU No.6) on February 26. In addition, Indonesia has also ratified the International Conventions of copyright. The journey does not stop here, this law continues to envolve until it becomes PP 56/2021 with more specific regulations on 2021.
With this long journey through copyright and royalty regulations, now, muscisians don’t have to worry about copyrights or royalties because everything is specially regulated. So keep on making music, musicians!
Sources: Historia, LMKN, Icon Collective
Picture Credits: UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music
Written by: Nadia Khairun Nisa