Lawmaker, Government Raise Publishers' Rights vs Global Platforms Issue

Arfi Bambani
Speaker of Indonesia People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Bambang Soesatyo
Speaker of Indonesia People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Bambang Soesatyo - The concept of publisher's rights or journalistic copyright has an imminent role in building national sovereignty in the digital world, according to People's Consultative Assembly (MPR RI) speaker Bambang Soesatyo.

Soesatyo made the statement at the National Convention on Mass Media of the National Press Day 2022 themed "Equality of Responsibility Among Global Platforms and National Media" held in Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi, witnessed here on Monday.

According to Soesatyo, the publisher's rights, proclaimed by the Communication and Informatics Ministry, has a goal to protect the national press against the dominance of global platforms and act as an element in strengthening Indonesia's digital sector.

According to the speaker, Indonesia's digital sovereignty should be more empowered to guard the country's authority.

Through algorithm engineering and big data analysis, companies can use global platforms to record people's behavior and analyze their political preferences and views, he explained. In certain aspects, global platforms can be utilized for operational intelligence that could bolster the country's sovereignty. Hence, he deemed it necessary to domesticate global platforms in Indonesia.

"What we need now are strategic and careful measures to domesticate the global platforms and to structure their position and operations in Indonesia," he affirmed.

Soesatyo remarked that the presence of global platforms should be an object of law that can be regulated and operate within the Indonesian laws.

"This domestication is also interpreted as a regulatory transformation that can reach the global platforms. Thus, their position becomes at par with national business players, who have been obedient to tax provisions, media rules, and other regulations," Soesatyo remarked.

Soesatyo also emphasized that the policy is not aimed at countering the global platforms but instead to bring healthy competition, realize balance in power relations, uphold the principle of equality before the law, and equalize business positions.

Government Support

The government supports the efforts of the Press Council and the media community in creating an ecosystem with fair competition or a fair level playing field through the regulation of publisher rights. Director General of Information and Public Communication of the Ministry of Communication and Informatics (Kominfo) Usman Kansong said the arrangement would be able to create quality and economically sound journalism.

"One of our interventions or roles as subjects is to create an ecosystem that is fair level playing field through publisher rights. Even though it actually contains business competition or monopoly," he said in the 2022 HPN National Convention: Building National Sovereignty Amid the Wave of Global Digitization, quoted from a press release, Tuesday, February 8, 2022.

According to Usman, the government is currently discussing the rules that will be enacted, whether it will be in the form of a law (UU), a revision of the law, or a government regulation (PP). "If we look at the regime of publisher rights, it is also broad. Is it copyright in nature or is it more of a news bargaining code or what is the business competition? Each of them has advantages as well as weaknesses," he said.

Therefore, continued Usman, both the government and the media industry need to discuss whether to combine the rules or focus on one of them. Usman also hopes that this arrangement can be achieved in the near future.

Usman explained that the publisher rights model or news bargaining code has now become a global phenomenon. This is as implemented in the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code 2021 in Australia, the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act in the United States, then the "Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (CDSM)" in the European Union which was adopted by France, Italy and Denmark.

According to Usman, the regulation regarding publisher rights will create an ecosystem that is mandatory. “It means obligation, so it is an obligation or obligatory. Not initiative or voluntary. This is the importance of why we have to intervene through laws and regulations," he concluded.

Tag # publishers rights # facebook # google # social media # digital media # digital copy rigfhts # national sovereignty

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