Indonesia Anonymus

We are a group of Indonesians, ranting about our beloved country. This blog is a result of many people grumbling about many things in many ways.
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Anonymus is the Latin word for anonymous, the correct English spelling. The Latin spelling, however, is traditionally used by scholars in the humanities to refer to an ancient writer whose name is not known, or to a manuscript of their work. Read more at Wikipedia.

Our blog in Bahasa Indonesia (but rarely updated) can be found here.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Patent this !

Read this: US government decided to grant 150 yoga-related copyrights, 134 patents on yoga accessories and 2,315 yoga trademarks [1].

"Under the new patent, those teaching yoga will have to pay a royalty to an American patent holder if he or she imparts the knowledge [2]."

The Indians are furious.
"Yoga has its roots in India. How can anyone else think of patenting it?" asked a surprised Deepika Jindal, wife of steel baron Ratan Jindal and an ardent yoga enthusiast. [3]

Suketu Mehta called this intellectual piracy [1].

(Hmm. Apparently piracy works both ways. After all, we pirate their music, movies and software... But hey, at least for us we never consider it legal in the first place!)

In response, "The Indian government had set up a task force to create a database of yoga techniques in order to stop others from patenting the centuries-old knowledge. The task force has begun cataloging yoga in the form of traditional knowledge, including ayurvedic remedies and hundreds of yoga poses, to protect them from being pirated and copyrighted." [2].

And now the usual question:

What about Indonesia? Are we doing anything to protect what's ours?
Or are we going to pay royalty everytime we use our batik pattern, or teach pencak-silat moves, or build a rumah gadang?

Maybe we ought to listen to Deepika Jindal:
"That's the thing with us. We don't take our possessions seriously until someone else tries to grab it from us." [3].

-----
Source:
[1] NYTimes - A Big Strech
[2] Khaleej Times - India Strikes Angry Pose
[3] Yahoo India - Experts, enthusiasts oppose patent for yoga

11 Comments:

Anonymous roi said...

I hate those yankees....

6:10 PM  
Anonymous yodee said...

ah so this is the infamous indonesia anonymus. cool beans! will definitely come back for more :0
*besitos!*

9:55 PM  
Anonymous Silverlines said...

Indeed.
We've lost many things that our great great grandparents had invented, and I guess we'd lost for more if we're still this ignorant.

10:14 AM  
Anonymous yodee said...

wait... batik, pencak silat and rumah gadang are patented by other countries? not by indonesia??
i know the japanese patented our tofu...or tahu

10:08 PM  
Blogger Indonesia Anonymus said...

roi,
take it easy, mate. :)

silverlines,
thank you. You know exactly what we were trying to convey.

yodee, no, we did not say that batik, pencak silat or rumah gadang are already taken. We were just trying to illustrate the risk of being ignorant.

About tofu, not sure if it is really ours in the first place.
It may well be from Japan originally...

1:48 PM  
Anonymous wandira said...

few Batik style already patented by Malaysia, more to come ....

and yes we are greedy and being ignorant, others are caring but greedy.

10:38 AM  
Anonymous atha said...

Not to sound cynical, but we (many Indonesians) can't even respect the intellectual property of others in spite of the presence of a patent or not. Can we expect others to repect our patents? You know if somebody did decide to patent batik, pencak silat and rumah gadang...

Hey, don't get me wrong... I'm all for it. It's just a thought ;-)

12:13 PM  
Anonymous Intox said...

Didn't they do this to our Balinese handcraft and stuff? It was by an american fashion company if I'm not mistaken.

This kinda news wouldn't get to us, seriously. And if it does, people wouldn't care so much about it cus there are apparently other more important topics i.e. the affairs of celebrities and shit.

8:32 PM  
Blogger nadia febina said...

hi Indonesian anonymous, I think what the American's doing is stealing. Everyone in the whole universe knows where yoga comes from. To patent yoga is like claiming somebody else's child is yours just because that somebody else does not have proper legitimate letters.

That also happens in Indonesia. Who would've thought that some neighbour country is going to steal our beloved batik? Again, batik root is from Yogyakarta or Pekalongan. Batik is Yogya, Yogya is Batik. Every Indonesian knows that as well as Malaysians.

It is not us being ignorant, it is being normal. Somebody else patents our mother culture and they are stealing.

Do you know where to go to do this patent thing and who in Indonesia is suppose to act on this? Maybe we can help. I think we have to start now to list every of our root culture that are potentially going to be stolen by somebody else and patent them. We have to act now. Don't let the rendang, batik and tempe stories repeat.

4:09 PM  
Blogger Indonesia Anonymus said...

Nadia,
we're not sure ourselves who should really act on this.
We actually raised it once (informally) during lunch with some government hotshots, but the topic was dismissed with a sentence: "you guys worry too much!" ...

5:12 PM  
Blogger gombang said...

I don't think batik, pencak silat or rumah gadang is patentable. You only patent something new and original, otherwise it is a prior art. But I'm not a lawyer :)

9:22 PM  

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