Sat, 13 Aug 1994

Music royalty evaders get stern warning

JAKARTA (JP): Police warned music royalty evaders to pay what they owe yesterday or face tough punishment.

"Thus far, we prefer to resort to persuasive measures because we think stricter measures are not yet suitable. There are just too many people who remain poorly informed about the copyright law. We think what we are doing is enough for now. We will be assertive but not forceful for the time being," Lt. Col. Aryanto Setiadi, chief of the Economic Investigative Office at city police headquarters, told The Jakarta Post and Kompas yesterday.

Aryanto said police recently summoned the owners of 10 entertainment businesses for questioning following reports from the Indonesian Creative Works Foundation that they had not paid the necessary royalties for music they were using.

The foundation, which was founded in 1990, is the sole agency authorized by the authorities to collect music royalties on behalf of songwriters.

Aryanto said the pressure exerted by the police during questioning had motivated the majority of the 10 entertainment businesses to promise to pay royalties and that negotiations on the amounts were now taking place.

"But, there is one entertainment business owner who never shows up no matter how many times we summon him. We think it is time that person came to understand that we are not reluctant to confiscate musical instruments or other equipment," Aryanto said.

He said the identified entertainment business is the "Monggo Mas" pub on Jl. Gajah Mada, West Jakarta.

As for the businesses which are now willing to pay the royalty after being pressed by police, Aryanto said under the law the police should have continued the legal process until the owners were prosecuted.

"However, we think our main target in this case is to simply see that the royalties due are paid."

The foundation holds rights over 19,000 local songs and around one million foreign songs.

The royalties on foreign songs are to be paid to the composers via similar organizations abroad. These groups in turn pay royalties owed on Indonesian songs through the foundation. (jsk)