Sun, 09 May 2010

From: The Jakarta Globe

By Arti Ekawati
While the Trade Ministry has been encouraging Indonesian exporters to add value to their goods, some handicraft producers are complaining about the difficulty in getting copyright protection for their designs.

“I don’t have any copyright for my products,” said Mimin, a 35-year-old artisan from Yogyakarta, who was exhibiting her wares at a shoes and leather exhibition at the Jakarta Convention centre on Friday.

Mimin said her creative designs allowed her to command better prices. For example, some teak and leather chairs that she had painted with a batik motif fetched around Rp 800,000 ($87.20) each, compared with just Rp 600,000 for the same chairs without the design.

The chairs, which Mimin designed two months ago, have proved a hit with both domestic and foreign buyers and she has managed to sell about 20 of the chairs per month.

But Mimin said her business would be more secure if she was able to get intellectual property protection for her designs.

She said she had applied for copyrights three years ago but, despite paying a fee, had still not received any protection.

Verga, the owner of Galeri Lawang, a Semarang-based handicraft producer, said he would be interested in getting copyright protection for some of his works if it didn’t cost too much or take too long. He said he was not sure how to go about doing this.

However, Hesti Indah Kresnarini, the head of National Agency for Export Development at the Ministry of Trade, said the Trade Ministry, along with the Industry Ministry and the Justice and Human Rights Ministry had already made it easier for handicraft producers to protect their designs. But many smaller handicrafts producers were still not aware of the importance of protecting their designs, she said.

Indonesia’s creative industries sector is dominated by small-scale, often home-based business es.