What’s pencak silat, and how association hopes to resolve copyright issue
Pencak silat, a traditional sport, is being increasingly discussed on social media after a controversy over the Thai team’s use of a copyrighted logo on the uniform without permission.
Many people might wonder what is pencak silat and how has it found a place among the Southeast Asian Games disciplines.
Unconventional sports are the special charm of the regional sports extravaganza, as the SEA Games Federation allows the host country to include its traditional sports in the competition, which could increase their chances of winning medals.
The 2021 Southeast Asian Games is being held in Hanoi, Vietnam from May 12 to 31. The 31st SEA Games will feature 40 sports with 523 events. They are separated into three categories:
- Compulsory sports (athletics and aquatics)
- International sports (Olympics and Asian Games mandatory sports)
- Non-Olympic / traditional sports (the host can choose from 8 to 12 sports)
Pencak silat is an Indonesian martial art that is a full-body fighting form, incorporating strikes, grappling and throws in addition to weaponry. Every part of the body is used and subjected to attacks.
The sport was included for the first time at the SEA Games hosted by Indonesia in 1987. It also featured at the 2018 Asian Games, also held in Indonesia.
On Wednesday, a graphic designer posted on his Facebook that the Thai pencak silat team, which won the first gold medal for the country at the 2021 SEA Games earlier this week, had used his copyrighted design on the team uniform without permission.
The Thai Pencak Silat Association explained at a press conference on Thursday that the association did not intend to steal the design. They had hired a clothing store to make the team’s uniform so the store might have taken the design from the internet.
The association president, Panu Uthairat, said the design should be considered auspicious as the team had won its first and a historic gold medal when wearing this uniform.
He said the association is contacting the designer to solve this issue and ask for permission to retain the design. He said that if the team can keep using this design, it might bring more medals.
Meanwhile, deputy secretary Nakrob Thongdaeng said that the association had apologised to the designer and told him that they did not know about the copyright violation. He explained that the association had hired this store for 10 years and never had any issues.