HDR Candidate: Laurensia Andrini

Milestone: Mid-candidature review

Title: Accommodating Computer-Generated Works into Indonesia’s Copyright Law: Challenges and Possibilities

Time and date: 3.30pm, Thursday 27 January 2022

Zoom link: https://uqz.zoom.us/j/86302869343


Advances in computing, including those pertaining to artificial intelligence (AI), have long presented challenges to the operation of copyright law. This thesis focuses on issues that arise around the production of Computer-Generated Works (CGWs) produced through machine learning approaches, a higher-order AI software capable of learning patterns from datasets and using such patterns to produce new works. Specifically, the key issue in these debates tends to be whether machine learning CGWs should attract copyright protection and, if so, to whom does this right accrue.

This thesis explores these issues within the context of Indonesian copyright law. Indonesia is an interesting location within which to explore the relationship between technological change and copyright law for several reasons. Firstly, existing scholarship on this topic tends to focus solely on European or North American jurisdictions with little attention paid to Asian or middle-income countries such as Indonesia. Secondly, despite having a vibrant IT sector, Indonesia is often seen as either a pirate nation or a site of ‘tradition’. As a consequence, scholarship on Indonesian copyright law tends to focus on the international pressures to prevent copyright violations. Thirdly, Indonesia has historically deployed copyright law in experimental ways for the purposes of fostering public welfare. Fourthly, legal certainty regarding copyright in CGWs is desirable as more Indonesian and global stakeholders produce and use CGWs.

In gaining a deeper understanding of this topic, this thesis focuses on: i) the circumstances through which Indonesian copyright, and copyright law in general, comes to consider CGWs as an object of protection; ii) stakeholders’ (government agencies, developers of AI generating CGWs, and academics) view on whether copyright protection should apply to CGWs; and iii) how Indonesian copyright law can be reconfigured to accurately reflect the creative processes involved in the generation of CGWs. To do this, the thesis employs both doctrinal and qualitative methodologies.

This thesis finds that CGWs require Indonesian copyright law to revisit its requirements around the notion of ‘authorship’ and ‘creativity’, as well as the balance of public and private interests.

The latter is especially relevant as Indonesia’s national strategy plans to utilise CGWs to support the development of its public sector (health and smart city). Finally, CGWs also challenge how Indonesian copyright law attribute moral and economic rights since their creation involves multiple actors who might potentially be considered to have authorial input, including the software.