What are the Differences between Author and Copyright Holder?

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Copyright Holder Am Badar & Am Badar

We are living in the increasingly interconnected world of creative industries, with challenges of copyright ownership in cross-border collaborations. However, not everyone knows the differences between author and copyright holder.

Meanwhile, with the rise of Indonesian creative content on the global stage, understanding the specifics of copyright laws in Indonesia is crucial for successful international partnerships, especially if you are looking for holdership of copyright in this country.

As a prominent IP law firm, we at Am Badar & Am Badar stand ready to offer expert guidance on copyright ownership and collaboration within the Indonesian context. Also, read about “How long does copyright Duration last in Indonesia?”. More than it, you can check insight and services page, or contact the team.

What’s a Copyright Holder in Indonesia?

In Indonesia, the concept of a holdership of copyright is clearly defined by The Law of the Republic of Indonesia Number 28 of 2014 on Copyrights. This law outlines who can hold a copyright in Indonesia.

Copyright, as per Article 1 of the Indonesian Copyright Law, refers to the exclusive rights granted to authors automatically upon the creation of their works.

This is based on the declaratory principle, meaning that copyright is established as soon as the work is fixed in a tangible medium, without needing a formal registration source. The rights include control over reproduction, distribution, and public performance of the work.

This legal framework is essential for managing and protecting intellectual property in various creative sectors, including literature, art, music, and more.

Now, what is a copyright owner/holder in the Indonesian legal context?  You are considered a holder if you are the author or creator of a work that is protected by copyright. Also, you can hold copyright if you receive these rights legally and directly from the author.


Furthermore, other parties can also acquire these rights from the original copyright owner in a valid and lawful manner. However, to be recognized as a copyright owner, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. Your name is stated as the author or creator of a work;
  2. Your name is mentioned in connection with the work;
  3. Your name is listed in the General Record of Copyright as the author or creator;
  4. Your name appears on the official copyright registration certificate issued by the Directorate General of Intellectual Property (DGIP).

For instance, in a work context, the employer can also become a copyright holder of works created by their employees. However, this ownership is not automatically granted by the employment relationship.

According to the Copyright Law, the author of a work (in this context, the employee) holds the copyright to their creation unless there is a specific agreement or contract stating otherwise between the employer and the employee.

Typically, agreements regarding the transfer of copyright ownership from employees to employers are included in employment contracts. Such agreements can be binding and involve the employee, employer, and applicable regulations.

There can also be multiple copyright owners. This applies to joint or collective ownership. Collective copyright holdership of a work occurs when the work is written or created together by two or more authors.

But, this condition applies only when no single party oversees and leads the completion of the entire work. The author who assembles work as a whole is considered the creator without diminishing the copyright ownership of others for each separate part of the work.

And, if there is a supervising party, the ownership of a work with distinct sections by two or more authors is held by that supervising party. Collective ownership can also occur when part of the economic rights are transferred from the copyright owner to another party.

What are the Differences between Author and Copyright Holder

The differences between author and copyright owner are clearly defined as per Article 1 of the Indonesian Copyright Law. Here are the details:

  • Definition

According to Article 1 Number 2 of this law, an author is defined as an individual or group of individuals who create a unique and personal work.

These works can include scientific, artistic, and literary creations originating from the author’s inspiration, creativity, and skill. Essentially, the author is the original creator of the work, whether it’s a novel, painting, song, or any other tangible creation.

Meanwhile, a copyright holder is a broader term. It can refer to the author themselves, a person who legally acquires the rights from the author or someone who subsequently receives these rights from the initial acquirer.

This means that the holder might not always be the original creator of the work but has the legal authority to control its use and distribution.

  • Rights and Ownership

According to Article 5, Paragraph (1) of the Copyright Law, authors inherently possess both moral and economic rights over their creations.

Moral rights are perpetual and include the right to claim authorship, use pseudonyms, and protect their work from alterations that could harm their honor or reputation.

These rights remain with the author even if they transfer their economic rights to another party. For instance, an author can always demand recognition for their work, regardless of who owns the copyright.

On the other hand, copyright owners or holders primarily have economic rights. These include the ability to reproduce, distribute, perform, and financially benefit from the work.

Additionally, economic rights can be transferred from the author to another party through various means such as inheritance, written agreements, or sale.

However, a copyright holder does not possess moral rights, which means they cannot claim authorship or prevent modifications that might harm the author’s reputation.

Collaborative Advantage with Am Badar & Am Badar

Collaborating with us provides significant advantages for international Intellectual Property (IP) firms navigating the nuances of copyright ownership in Indonesia. Here are what we offer:

  • In-depth Knowledge of Indonesian Copyright Law

As a local law firm, we have a profound understanding of Indonesian copyright regulations to ensure compliance with legal requirements and navigate the complexities of ownership attribution.

  • Effective Communication and Negotiation

Effective communication is crucial when dealing with copyright issues across different cultures and languages. In this case, we can help you bridge the language and cultural gap when collaborating with Indonesian creators or rights holders.

  • Drafting Clear Copyright Agreements

We also excel in drafting agreements that outline ownership rights, licensing terms, and dispute-resolution mechanisms. These documents are tailored to meet the specific needs of each client.

By collaborating with Am Badar & Am Badar, you can ensure that your interests are protected, your collaborations are legally sound, and you can apply for a copyright holder right smoothly.

For expert guidance on copyright matters in Indonesia, contact us or visit our insights page. Check out our full range of services, and read “A Step-by-Step Guide to Copyright Recordation in Indonesia” for more information.


Reviewed by Nabil Argya Yusuf

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