Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Interview with Anang Hermansyah on the Debated Music Draft Bill

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Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Member of House of Representatives' (DPR) Commission X Anang Hermansyah is currently under the highlight after he initiated the music draft bill (RUU Permusikan) that was met with strong resistance from a wide range of national musicians.

    Tempo was granted the chance to interview him at his house in South Tangerang on Tuesday, February 5. Anang said that he will never back down before the bill is named. He strongly believes that Indonesia’s music industry will prosper from this draft bill.

    The following is Tempo's interview with the musician-turned-legislator Anang Hermansyah.

    Why are you so insistent on introducing this music draft bill?

    Here’s how it started, Indonesia’s music exists and producs many benefits. Look into the book of Indonesia’s 100-year music industry which shows we are growing but with unclear royalty.

    Music continues to transform but not with its management. Is there a problem? There surely is and it varies according to the type of music itself. Traditional and contemporary music faces its own problems.

    In its journey, music practitioners and the benefits must be laid out. Which turns out to advantageous as it benefits the practitioners (musicians) and the country in the form of tax. This is crucial.

    If this is managed, it can have a significant impact. The existence must be designed. The development, literation, data bank, how to preserve the culture, and those are the product of the juridical foundation.

    Many consider the first point in the draft bill is covered in Law No.28/2014 on copyright, why not revise that law instead?

    This draft bill was initially built upon musicians that came to criticize Law No.28. The music industry has its problems. They came for the Law No.28 that covers so little, but the law is not, it is almost 40-50 percent about music.

    Musicians are hoping on that Law. But is it possible for it to become a juridical foundation? Will the Law No.28 on copyright be able to cover the entire basis?

    One of the points in the draft bill considered to be troubling oversees musicians’ certifications. Why is this put to light?

    This is a problem itself, artists who want to hold concerts overseas must be equipped with a certification required by the foreign country. I tried looking into this issue and end up stumbling upon a piece from Berkley where in the US, holding a piece of studio equipment itself has a minimum standard of payment, moreover its producer.

    From there I thought to myself when Indonesia could be like that. Doing it myself I tried to lobby the parliament, where I spent four years to lobby other ‘smart ones’ to share the same understanding.

    One of the fears behind the draft bill is that it would restrain musical creativity. How do you respond to that?

    I can almost say that it would be impossible [to curb music creativity], considering that it has a juridical, philosophical, and sociological basis. Because it could possibly be addressed with other Laws since we are referring to Law No.28.

    What is your next step since this has sparked many pros and cons from fellow musicians?

    We will involve the musicians, I ask for everyone to provide input. We will hold more discussions with them. I will soon travel to Bandung, Yogyakarta, and Jember where there is resistance.

    They are not against the bill but wants [the troublesome] articles to be dropped. But that is the point, many musicians intend to come later in the evening to ask why it was formulated.

    In the future, we will have more discussions, whether for input or introducing the importance of such Bill. I will continue to fight for it despite not being in parliament anymore. I will be visiting many regions for advice.

    EGI ADYATAMA