Pros and Cons of Netflix in Indonesia

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Netflix’s presence in Indonesia reaps the pros and cons. There are those who welcome the arrival of Netflix for enriching quality entertainment content, but there are also those who oppose for various reasons, ranging from regulations to morals. One of the counter parties to Netflix is ​​Telkom. The largest telecommunications company in Indonesia has blocked access to Netflix since 2016 because it is considered unable to meet the rules in Indonesia.

Telkom and Netflix have actually held talks to find a way out of this problem. However, until now no agreement has been reached between the two.

The Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI) said that Telkom’s decision to block Netflix was based more on business interests. Not only doubting the reason for blocking, the party which was founded in 2014 also accused Telkom as violating the principle of net neutrality. That, they said, would actually be detrimental to consumers because internet service providers (ISPs) could suddenly block other services that were their competitors.

In line with PSI, Sudaryatmo, Daily Deputy Management of the Indonesian Consumers Foundation (YLKI), said that the steps taken by Telkom could violate their consumer rights. Unilateral blocking by ISPs without state orders, he said, would only make users exclusively consume the services provided by the ISPs, without being given any alternative.

Telkom has a higher bargaining position than its consumers. This allows Telkom to block Netflix without directives from the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (Kominfo). On the other hand, according to Heru Sutadi, an ICT observer and digital economy, Telkom’s decision to block Netflix was right. According to him, there is no country in the world that really runs the principle of internet neutrality.

Heru added, not implementing the principle does not mean a bad thing. In fact, this is actually considered useful to protect the social norms of society.

Telkom has a higher bargaining position than its consumers. This allows Telkom to block Netflix without directives from the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (Kominfo). On the other hand, according to Heru Sutadi, an ICT observer and digital economy, Telkom’s decision to block Netflix was right. According to him, there is no country in the world that really runs the principle of internet neutrality.

Heru added, not implementing the principle does not mean a bad thing. In fact, this is actually considered useful to protect the social norms of society.

Netflix is ​​considered to violate social norms

Pornographic and LGBT content can indeed be watched freely on Netflix. This is one reason why a number of parties asked Netflix to follow the rules in Indonesia about the content being aired. Moreover, there are fears that adult shows are being watched by children.

Regarding allegations that the content violates Indonesian social rules and norms, Netflix has provided various features where users can sort out the content they and their children want to watch.

For example, Netflix provides rating guides and synopsis of episodes that users can use to choose what content suits them. In addition, the video streaming platform also has a Parental Control feature that parents can use to limit what movies their children will watch.

The availability of these features was appreciated by Agung Suprio, Chairperson of the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI). According to him, although Netflix is ​​not within the scope of KPI’s surveillance, the video streaming platform has followed KPI’s rules. However, Agung considers that the Netflix initiative alone is not enough to anticipate content that is not in accordance with Indonesian norms. According to him, the government needs to make regulations where streaming platforms such as Netflix enter into the broadcasting surveillance radar.

Agung added, at present his party has no authority to oversee new media such as Netflix. This is because KPI is only obliged to supervise conventional broadcasting. There was a discourse that KPI could monitor platforms such as Netflix in the revision of the Broadcasting Law, but it seems that this discourse will not be realized.

If later you have the authority, KPI may not be able to supervise Netflix considering that the platform does not currently have a Permanent Business Entity (BUT) in Indonesia.

Have not paid tax in Indonesia

The absence of BUT Netflix in Indonesia is of particular concern. there is an opinion that consumers will find it difficult to sue Netflix if they find content that violates existing rules. Besides harming consumers, the absence of Netflix offices in Indonesia also harms the country. As is well known, over the top (OTT) companies operating overseas such as Netflix do not pay taxes to the Indonesian government.

The Indonesian government itself is preparing OTT company taxation rules which will be included in the Tax Omnibus Law. Netflix claimed to have discussed with Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani and Minister of Communication and Information Johnny G. Plate regarding the application of taxpayer regulations.

In the last few weeks, the name Netflix has been widely discussed, starting from content issues to taxes that have not been fulfilled. This time, the Minister of Communication and Information (Menkominfo) Johnny G Plate questioned the subscription package on Netflix. Initially Johnny told me he supported the existence of Netflix in Indonesia. Especially if the US-based company presents original Netflix that contains elements of local content.

Johnny realized that the subscription price terms were company policy. But with more competitive prices, it is quite possible that the number of Netflix customers in Indonesia is increasing. In addition, in a meeting with Netflix, Johnny told them that they would raise Indonesian films.

The Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) will oversee digital media content, such as Youtube, Netflix, Facebook, and the like. The KPI said it would be done following the many public complaints related to the new media. The complaint aims to protect children from pornography and violence. The KPI plan also refers to the actions of the Australian parliament that made regulations regarding social media content some time ago.

Some time ago the Indonesian broadcasting commission (KPI) said that it would oversee digital media content. the facts behind this discourse are:

1. This supervision aims to protect children from pornography and violence

2. KPI refers to a policy in Australia that published social media regulations in early 2019

3. recruiting KPIs, the legal umbrella for supervision is UU no. 32 of 2002 concerning broadcasting

4. KPI will reprimand the manager of the digital media, not the creators

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