The Panel of Judges at the Commercial Court of Central Jakarta has recently delivered a decision in favor of PT Aneka Tambang (Antam), an Indonesian state-owned mining company, which was named as a defendant in a copyright infringement lawsuit pertaining to a gold saving system.
The lawsuit was filed earlier this year by an individual named Arie Indra Manurung, who claimed that he has created an internet-based system for people who wishes to make investments or transactions in gold as well as other precious metals. Arie named his system “Goldgram”, which he went on to create a website under domain name www.goldgram.co.id. Arie also wrote a paper describing his Goldgram system, which he duly record as a Copyrighted Work to the Indonesian copyright office.
Believing that the system contained in Goldgram purely came from his own inspiration, Arie alleged that Antam through its “Brankas LM” system had infringed his copyright on Goldgram system, as the system contained in “Brankas LM” is allegedly similar to that of his own “Goldgram” system. In his lawsuit, Arie demanded Antam to cease the gold and precious metals transaction and investments services provided by its Brankas LM system. Arie also demanded Antam to pay for damages in the total amount of IDR 292 billion.
In response to Arie’s claims, Antam through its legal representatives argued that copyright protection system in Indonesia under Law no. 28 of 2014 concerning Copyright does not provide exclusive rights upon ideas, system or concepts. On the contrary, exclusive rights under copyright only cover expression of such ideas, system or concepts, and accordingly, Antam’s Brankas LM system is a totally different form expression from Arie’s Goldgram system, no matter how close one may suggest both are judging from the system.
This argument was also supported by an expert witness that appeared before the court on behalf of Antam. The expert, who has been an intellectual property experts in his vast experience as both bureaucrats and academics, emphasized that under copyright, “merely ideas are not protected”.
The Panel of Judges agreed in a consensus that Antam’s Brankas LM system was neither copied nor reproduced from Goldgram system as claimed by Arie. Accordingly, it was decided whatever similarity that existed between the two system cannot qualify as copyright infringement, since according to Article 41(b) of the law 28 of 2014 concerning Copyrights, ideas and concepts are not copyrightable.
The Plaintiff, Arie Indra Manurung, has decided to file for cassation to the Supreme Court following the first instance decision.