Innovation Not Piracy Is the Way To Go: SBY

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Tuesday urged Indonesians to respect intellectual property rights and promote innovation in a bid to boost economic growth.

“I call on all Indonesians to acknowledge, provide incentives to, and protect intellectual property rights in our country,” he said at an event to mark World Intellectual Property Day, which fell on Tuesday.

“This is for the sake of justice and the welfare of property rights owners. We shouldn’t let people’s creations be pirated, thus depriving them of any benefit.”

Indonesia has for the past two years been on the United States Trade Representative Priority Watch List for lax enforcement of intellectual property rights.

The USTR has highlighted continuing concerns over weaknesses in this nation’s enforcement system, including an unreliable judicial system for intellectual property rights cases, a low number of criminal prosecutions and non-deterrent penalties.

It estimates the American music and film industries lose more than $205 million annually as a result of copyright infringement in Indonesia.

Yudhoyono said protecting intellectual property rights would motivate Indonesians to come out with more innovative products.

“If we respect, acknowledge and protect intellectual property rights, we could be more competitive,” he said.

“Developed states are those that are strong in innovation. This will contribute significantly to our economic growth.”

Asked about lax law enforcement, Justice and Human Rights Minister Patrialis Akbar said the government was working hard to combat piracy.

“There’s actually a national team working on this issue, involving police, prosecutors and entrepreneurs.”

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