There are at least two types of buyers and readers of pirated books. First, those who are completely innocent and do not understand that books can get into their hands through a long process and involve many people in it. For them, the knowledge in a book is the main thing and sometimes even thinks that the author must like the book to be read even though it is illegal. Meanwhile, the second is those who really know that they are fond of pirated books and collect them consciously.
As a result, so far those who have been harmed by these acts of piracy can only be nervous and at least call on readers to refuse to buy pirated books. But at least, since August 2019, the drums of war against pirates through legal channels have been raised by the Jogja Publisher Consortium (KPJ) and since then the echo of resistance has been increasingly felt in the city. It is worth waiting for when this resistance finally succeeds in targeting the big criminals, not just sellers in pirated book stalls.
Talking about books and piracy, Indonesia does have a fairly bad reputation. From various surveys issued by well-known institutions around the world, this country has always fallen in the lowest ranks in terms of interest in reading and book publishing per population. The matter of piracy is in fact quite classy and it seems that intellectual property rights, especially related to copyright in book publishing, seem to be violated arbitrarily.
There is no accurate data yet on how many pirated titles and copies of books are now circulating in kiosks and online shops (marketplaces), but it seems that we can capture the reactions of book activists in various cities that have shown that this piracy problem has enter into a realm that is serious, worrying, and even damaging to Indonesia's culture and public literacy ecosystem. Knowledge indeed belongs to everyone, but the value of its production is not something that can be taken casually when we enjoy the fruits of someone's intellectualism.
The books that have come to our hands are the result of heavy-weight and long-duration collaborations from writers, editors, translators, visual designers, and even workers in paper factories. The work must pass a monthly inspection period before it is finally displayed in bookstore windows. Such a workflow that is disrespected by those who hijack books. The pirates simply took a book title and duplicated it, then sold it at a slanted price. The hard work of writers and publishers, they don't care. This is why consultant company Indonesia is needed to help creative industry defend against piracy.
From any perspective, this cannot be justified. Indeed, sometimes there are arguments that say that pirated books at least expand the ratio of the distribution of knowledge to the lower middle class groups of society or even benefit the author because his books are increasingly being read by people. However, this permissiveness should only apply in truly extreme situations and of course there must be formal legal permission from those whose work is hijacked; something that was impossible at this time. What is there is systematic violation of the law.
Indonesia actually already has a clear legal umbrella regarding this matter, for example, Law Number 28 of 2014 concerning Copyright, which excerpts the contents are usually attached along with the publisher's call not to duplicate it in the books they publish. Penalties range from 1-4 years and fines range from one hundred million to four billion rupiah. But this regulation is sterile, and even the hijackers sometimes duplicate the page because they know the government will not move.
The state does seem to tend to ignore the problem of book piracy, especially if we see the half-hearted signs of the government in supporting writers and book industry players, starting from the tax problems of writers which are burdensome to the difficulty of people accessing libraries that are really good as a place to read. . The problem is, how long does the state have to keep quiet when its authority as a protector and promoter of access to knowledge of its people is ridiculed by pirates just like that?
The state apparatus must have the courage to target book hijackers, whatever the books are, as they often raided left books in various regions even though the books were authentic and not legally problematic. The related government agencies must also have the courage to openly and clearly in issuing a strong appeal: it is prohibited to sell and buy pirated books or will be severely punished, especially in the kiosks which are currently so popular.
Another thing that is no less important is educating readers to be smarter and more ethical in buying books. Pirated books are tempting because they are cheap and possibly the quality is eleven and twelve with the original books, especially for lay readers like me 10 years ago. However, this neglect must not be a bad character which is perpetually maintained. Readers must understand that what they are doing, namely buying pirated books, is destroying the future of the Indonesian book world.