Herman, Jakarta – The Indonesian government has blocked 1,130 illegal streaming websites in a major crackdown on video piracy, a minister said on Wednesday.
Communication and Information Technology Minister Johnny Plate said the move was taken to protect intellectual property rights.
"There are more than 1,000 websites that we have to close down. This country highly honors intellectual property rights, including those of foreign countries," Johnny said during a gathering at his residence in Cilandak, South Jakarta.
Johnny said keeping a blind eye on rampant pirate streaming websites could harm Indonesia's investment climate. The minister called on Indonesian internet users to stop streaming or downloading movies through pirate websites.
"We may stand accused of failing to protect intellectual property rights and that could harm our investment climate and economy," he said.
Johnny said the government had yet to take legal measures against illegal streaming sites in the time being. However, illegal website owners who continue offering streaming services after the closure could face criminal charges, he said.
"We are at the stage of educating people to become more mature in using our digital infrastructures. However, if the [copyright] infringements continue, we must enforce the rule of law," Johnny said.
Several websites have voluntarily announced to discontinue their streaming services. One of them is popular streaming site INDOXXI, who will close down by Jan. 1.
"It's a very hard call but we must do it. Thank you to our loyal viewers, we will discontinue the movie streaming on this website on Jan. 1, 2020," INDOXXI wrote on its homepage.
The website said the decision was taken "to support the Indonesian creative industry."
Johnny encouraged website operators to develop legitimate video streaming services in the country.
"We would be happy to support the development of local movie applications in this country. Don't waste your talent distributing illegal movies," Johnny said.