4 Controversies in the `RUU Permusikan` Draft Music Bill



Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Hundreds of musicians in the national coalition against the draft music bill or ‘Koalisi Nasional Tolak RUU Permusikan’ collectively believes that Article 19 contained in the bill will suppress musicians’ freedom of expression.

    “From its editorial obscurity, the unclear subject or object that is regulated, up to the fundamental issue on the freedom of expression in music,” said indie musician and coalition member Rara Sekar in a written statement dated Sunday, February 3.

    Musician Danilla Riyadi also views that the bill can potentially overlap other regulations stated in the Copyright Law, ITE Law, and Print and Record Works Handover Law.

    Here are 4 controversial points in the draft music bill (RUU Permusikan) being opposed by the national coalition of musicians:

    1. Elastic and Ambiguous Law

    The coalition found a number of ambiguous articles in the draft bill which was highlighted by Efek Rumah Kaca vocalist Cholil Mahmud, who said that the bill’s Article 5 contains rules with stretched interpretations. He maintains that Article 5 may open room for anyone to persecute creative processes they simply disagree on with rules against creating music containing elements of blasphemy up to provocative music.

    1. Marginalizes Independence and Pro with Major Industries

    Endah Widiastuti from ‘Endah n Resa’ said that RUU Permusikan fails to understand the underground music movement with drafts seemingly supporting major industries. It is indicated in the rule overseeing musical worker certifications and Article 10 that oversee music distributions that support large industries and leaves a small margin for musicians to distribute their work independently.

    1. Obtrudes and Discriminative

    One of the rules in the RUU Permusikan mentions musicians’ competence tests and certifications. Composer Mondo Gascoro said even though a number of countries have competence tests, they are left as choices and not state-requirements. This single rule can potentially discriminate against self-taught musicians and bar them from performing just because they have not participated in a competence-test.

    1. Contains Public Information and Regulates Redundancies 

    Several Articles contain obscure editorial on what the bill oversees and who monitors them, such as Article 11 and 15 that only mention general information on how to distribute known and practiced musical works and how the public enjoys such work. This is seen as a rule that lacks the weight and value on this level of Law.

    Article 13 in the RUU Permusikan on the mandatory Indonesian language label is also criticized as an attempt to intrude the right of a musician to use language as a form of art itself.