Indonesia’s President Regulation on Publisher Rights: New Obligations Imposed to Digital Platforms

Feb 29, 2024

Upon long discussion between the government and relevant stakeholders, on 20 February 2024, President Joko Widodo finally enacted President Regulation No. 32 of 2024 on Digital Platform Company’s Responsibility to Support Quality Journalism (“Regulation 32/2024”), which will be fully in force 6 (six) months after its enactment, i.e., on 20 August 2024. Regulation 32/2024 was enacted to respond to the unavoidable connection between journalism and digital platforms that have a significant role in creating and distributing journalistic works to the public. Regulation 32/2024 is thought to be inspired by similar regulations in other jurisdictions, such as the “News Media Bargaining Code” in Australia and “Bill C-18” in Canada, which govern the rights of publishers regarding their relationship with digital platforms.

Regulation 32/2024 aims to maintain a healthy ecosystem of news-reporting businesses to support quality journalism in the digital world. Essentially, Regulation 32/2024 governs the relationship between Indonesian press companies and digital platforms (local and foreign) that collect, manage, distribute, and present news for commercial purposes. It also sets out specific obligations for digital platforms to follow. The issuance of Regulation 32/2024 will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the operation of digital platforms in Indonesia, particularly in their relationship with press companies.

Obligations of digital platforms

According to Regulation 32/2024, there are obligations that digital platforms must fulfill to support quality journalism. Those include the following:

  1. Not facilitating the dissemination of and/or not commercializing news content that is against the press law upon receiving a report through a reporting facility provided by the digital platform;

  2. Giving best effort to support prioritizing the facilitation and commercialization of news produced by press companies;

  3. Giving fair treatment to all press companies in offering a digital platform service;

  4. Organizing trainings and programs that aimed to support quality and responsible journalism;

  5. Giving best effort in designing an algorithm of news distribution that supports the establishment of quality journalism that is in line with the values of democracy, diversity, laws and regulations; and

  6. Cooperating with a press company.

It is important to note that the press company above refers to those that the Indonesian Press Council has verified.

Cooperation between digital platforms and press companies

As mentioned above, cooperation with a press company is one of the obligations that a digital platform must comply with. That means, upon the enactment of Regulation 32/2024, a digital platform must form a cooperation with an Indonesian press company(s).

According to Regulation 32/2024, the cooperation between a digital platform and a press company must be formalized into an agreement. The cooperation can be in the forms of paid licensing, profit distribution, sharing of aggregate data of news users, and/or other cooperation forms as agreed by the parties. As stipulated in Regulation 32/2024, there is no limitation to the form of cooperation allowed. Thus, it gives an opportunity for digital platforms to explore the form of cooperation to be executed with press companies.

Establishment of a committee to oversee the fulfillment of the digital platform’s obligations

It is also worth noting that the fulfillment of the digital platform’s responsibility under Regulation 32/2024 will be supervised by an independent committee established by the Indonesian Press Council. In addition to supervision, the committee also has the role of giving recommendations to the Ministry of Communication and Informatics (“MCI”) and facilitates arbitration or alternative dispute resolution in case of dispute between the digital platform and press company.

Regulation 32/2024 stipulates that the members of the committee shall consist of the following:

  1. Indonesian Press Council that is not representing a press company (maximum 5 (five) persons);

  2. MCI (maximum 1 (one) person); and

  3. Experts in the digital platform services field who are not affiliated with a digital platform or press company, appointed by the Minister of Political, Law and Security Affairs (maximum 5 (five) persons).

Our Recommendation

Although Regulation 32/2024 does not set out any sanction for violation, a digital platform should take necessary actions to adjust its operation in Indonesia to comply with the obligations under Regulation 32/2024, such as stopping the dissemination of contents that violate press law and designing algorithms for news distribution, which might require a technical adjustment from the digital platform. In addition, it is time for digital platforms to initiate communication with press companies in Indonesia to explore possible cooperation before Regulation 32/2024 finally takes effect in August 2024.

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K&K Advocates