Intellectual property law and the politics of scale in Indonesian arts

Intellectual property law and the politics of scale in Indonesian arts

Most Indonesian arts have historically operated without Intellectual Property (IP) regulation. As we know, it is important to find ways to benefit traditional artists and their communities. In the old days, wealthy art owners also owned a work’s IP. Most countries have enacted laws that stipulate that living artists receive a percentage of subsequent sales of their works. Similar laws now also exists in Indonesia. The link to this journal article about IP and traditional arts is very much on the academic/anthropologist side of things and one for those who have the attention span for academia – but it is a valuable read:

“International and national agendas are redesigning the terms of intellectual-property (IP) laws to create cultural property for developing nations. Debates over IP and cultural-property “rights” or legal needs for “protection” are critical to … [efforts] to reflect on how the production of knowledge, even culture itself, is variously construed to originate with, or “belong to,” particular individuals, ethnic communities, or nation-states. [This journal article explores] the implications of two Indonesian legal documents to show the disjunction between discourses of regional artists who describe the ritual exchanges, relationships, and transgenerational messages their arts shape and (inter)nationalist legal initiatives that bypass artists’ concepts of process, access, and authority in an effort to disembed and control ritual-based expressions as products with exclusive owners”.

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