Indonesia Proposes Law To Review & Tax Every Internet Application
from the that's-not-how-innovation-works dept
As has been discussed multiple times, one of the reasons why the internet has thrived (or even why the software industry has thrived) is that the barriers to entry are low. You don’t need to build a factory or get all kinds of approvals. You can just create something and go. But, perhaps not in Indonesia any more. Glyn Moody points us to a report on a proposed law in Indonesia that would first seek to tax all technology/software firms above and beyond existing taxes and (even more worrying) require anyone creating an application to get permission from the government before any application can be released. Apparently, this will apply to any application “which uses the internet to transmit voice, images, data, content based services, e-commerce, as well as other services provided through applications.” Yeah, pretty broad.
Developers in Indonesia are reasonably up in arms over this, claiming that it will devastate the industry if they have to get government permission for every app or web service they put up. The government’s defense of the law in the face of such criticism is hardly convincing:
Ministry spokesman Gatot Dewa Broto defended the proposed law in public statements, claiming it is there to ensure the laws aren’t going to be left behind once the industry takes off.
Well, yes, I guess if you put in place laws that pretty much guarantee that the industry will never take off, then, the laws won’t get left behind. But that hardly seems like a practical solution.