Copyright awareness in Indonesia: Challenges and (proposed) solutions

Copyright awareness in Indonesia: Challenges and (proposed) solutions

Engaging in a movement that promotes open knowledge is an excellent opportunity to share our experiences and abilities with others. At this time, there are many movements and organizations working in this field, focusing on each aspect of openness. Creative Commons organization (CC) for example, which is very active in promoting copyright to the public to always comply with copyright law. CC also provides alternative open licenses for exclusive copyright owners who want to share their work without having to be burdened by classical copyright provisions. This effort led me to study every aspect in it in order to be able to apply its practice in contributing to Wikimedia projects, which require the use of open licenses on every work published on its platform.


Wikimedia, an organization that participates in providing opportunities for everyone in the world to get open and free knowledge, has long applied an open license on its project website. Wikipedia for example, where all the content in it, especially article text, uses a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license to open the access for contributors to edit and develop certain articles to be more comprehensive. The use of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license requires users who re-use text from Wikipedia to always provide attribution and ensure that the reused text uses the same license, so there are no practices that limit the use of the article’s text outside Wikipedia. In this case, Wikimedia and Creative Commons are two entities that are closely interrelated and complementary in disseminating knowledge and digital works that use free licenses.


In practice, however, applying an open license is not as easy as one might imagine. This is because the exposure to information in using licenses like this is still rarely socialized in Indonesia. A number of GLAM agencies (“Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums”) that we have met have limited knowledge or information about the open license. Therefore, when we invite cooperation to release their collections to Wikimedia Commons, a free licensed media repository that can be accessed at, they are reluctant to do so. In addition to this limitation, knowledge about the copyright period of each work stored in the institution is also still very limited so it does not know that there are manuscripts, photos and paintings that have been in the public domain so that the collection should be digitally distributed and distributed to wide community.


The process of digitizing Dr. Museum H.C. Oemboe Hina Kapita Museum’s collection after the socialization of the Law on the Cultural Enhancement and Creative Commons (Photo: Rachmat04)


The importance of introducing open licenses and their implications for works that use them is an effort that needs to be done to reduce knowledge disparities as in the case above. Our team strives to study the concept of open licenses, compare their impact with traditional licenses, and provide an illustration of how a work can be published online to meet the demands of dominant internet users to share these works and also reduce cases of copyright infringement that might occur.


In line with this effort, Wikimedia Indonesia (WMID) teams up with Creative Commons Indonesia (CCID) to promote open access to information and data in Indonesia. CCID has regularly visited a number of agencies, both government and non-government agencies, to campaign for Creative Commons licenses. A number of general workshops and seminars are also conducted to reach out and convey these ideas to the general public. Such activities are expected to arouse interest in academics, researchers, content creators, artists, writers and educators to share their work using open licenses so that such practices can be an example for others to do the same efforts.


This essay is a brief description of the perceptions of Indonesian people regarding copyright and how steps can be taken to bridge the “information gap”.


Author: Rachmat W.
GLAM Indonesia Coordinator, Participant of Creative Commons Certificate Course (September–December 2019)


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