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Regulating Media and Digital Platform Business Relations, Presidential Decree "Publisher Rights" Ratified

Define press and digital platform collaboration in four ways: paid licensing, revenue sharing, aggregate data and other agreements

President Joko Widodo has signed Presidential Regulation (Perpres) Number 32 of 2024 concerning the Responsibilities of Digital Platform Companies to Support Quality Journalism or Presidential Decree on Publisher Rights on Monday, February 19 2024.

This regulation basically wants to protect the media in order to support sustainable journalism. This is because digital platforms are required to support quality journalism by collaborating with press companies.

"This Presidential Regulation aims to regulate the responsibility of digital platform companies to support quality journalism so that news which is journalistic work is respected and its ownership is valued fairly and transparently," wrote the Presidential Decree.

President Jokowi said, "After a long time, after a long debate, yesterday I finally signed the Presidential Regulation on the Responsibility of Digital Platforms to Support Quality Journalism or what we know as the Presidential Decree on Publisher Rights."

According to him, the regulation has gone through a long discussion stage with discussions and various opinions from the press ecosystem in the country. Then weigh it and examine the implications.

"After there began to be a point of understanding and common ground, plus the Press Council urging it, representatives of press companies and representatives of media associations also continued to push. Finally yesterday, I signed (signed) the Presidential Decree," he said.

Jokowi emphasized that this Presidential Decree regulates the rights of publishers, business relationships between press companies and digital platforms, not to reduce press freedom by regulating press content. The government wants to ensure the sustainability of the national media industry, fairer cooperation between press companies and digital platforms, and provide a clear general framework for this cooperation.

Obligations of digital platform companies

This presidential regulation defines digital platform services as services owned by digital platform companies which include collecting, processing, distributing and presenting news digitally, as well as interacting with news which functions to mediate news presentation services aimed primarily at business. In other words, platforms like Google, Facebook, and X are the targets of the above definition.

Furthermore, the Presidential Decree requires Google et al to do the following:

  • Do not facilitate the distribution and/or commercialize news content that is not in accordance with the law regarding the press after receiving the report.
  • Help prioritize the facilitation and commercialization of news produced by press companies.
  • Provide fair treatment to all press companies.
  • Carrying out training and programs aimed at supporting quality journalism.
  • Designing news distribution algorithms that support the realization of quality journalism in accordance with democratic values, etc.
  • Cooperate with press companies

According to this regulation, the cooperation in question can be carried out in four ways:

  • Paid license.
  • Profit sharing.
  • Sharing aggregate data of news users.
  • Other agreed forms.

"Profit sharing is the distribution of income from the use of news by digital platform companies produced by press companies based on economic value calculations," as quoted from the Presidential Decree.

Transition period and committee formation

This regulation has a transition period of six months. For this reason, the Ministry of Communication and Information (Kominfo) together with a number of press companies are taking proactive steps by forming a mitigation team. The aim is to anticipate and handle various possibilities that may arise before the regulation takes effect.

Minister of Communication and Information Budi Arie also requested that committees and business processes to be implemented be formed within that time. This committee consists of representatives from elements: the press council which does not represent press companies, the Ministry, and experts in the field of digital platform services who are not affiliated with digital platform companies and press companies.

The committee's duties are:

  • Supervise and facilitate the fulfillment of digital platform company obligations.
  • Providing recommendations to the Minister regarding the results of supervision.
  • Implementation of facilitation in arbitration or alternative dispute resolution between digital platform companies and press companies.

Industry response

Quote from CNBC Indonesia, Google Indonesia representatives said they understood the government's decision to ratify Publisher Rights. Next, Google will study the details of these rules in depth.

"So far we have worked closely with news publishers and the government to support and build the future of a sustainable news ecosystem in Indonesia. It is very important for our products to be able to present news and diverse perspectives without prejudice and bias," said a Google representative in his official statement, Tuesday (20/2).

Furthermore, Google representatives emphasized that the implementation of these regulations must pay attention to fairness for all platforms.

More Coverage:

"So, in this joint effort, we always emphasize the need to ensure that the Indonesian people have access to a variety of news sources, and also the need to strive for a balanced news ecosystem in Indonesia, namely an ecosystem that can produce quality news for everyone, while enabling all news publishers to , both big and small, to grow," said Google.

Apart from Google, Chairman of the PWI Expert Council, Agus Sudibyo, said that the main problem with the press industry in Indonesia is not a deficit in press freedom, even though there is a tendency for the quality of democracy to decline. But digital disruption has reduced the power of the media business.

Now advertising income and media readability levels are declining. According to him, this presidential regulation is relevant to overcome this problem because its main substance is to require digital platforms to serve requests for economic value negotiations from the media.

"The presidential regulation does not regulate how much mass media companies get and in other countries it is the same (it only regulates negotiation obligations). What is regulated is the obligation of digital platforms to carry out negotiations. This means that the presidential regulation regarding publisher rights strengthens the media's position," said Agus, quoted from Kompas.id.

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