Malaysia's FINAS establishes anti-piracy committee

The Malaysian National Film Development Corporation (FINAS) has established the Piracy Eradication Committee as part of its efforts to proactively combat the illegal distribution of films. FINAS said in a statement that this will strengthen the enforcement of regulations and licencing conditions on distribution under the Malaysian National Film Development Corporation Act 1981 (Act 244).

FINAS also reminded film distribution licence holders to stop any illegal activities by selling, renting or lending via social media platforms, e-dagang and websites involved in online sales and rental without valid distribution licence as they have violated the stipulated licensing conditions. 

"FINAS also conducted detailed monitoring of public complaints received regarding film distribution activities without the permission of the copyright owner," it said, adding that it would take stern action against parties involved in illegal distribution activities, which violates Section 22 (1) of the FINAS Act 1981 and Section 25(1). If convicted, individuals will be fined not exceeding RM50,000 or face a jail term of not more than two years or both upon conviction. The statement added that FINAS is open to working with any relevant agency in combating the illegal activities of film distribution.

Illegal film distribution is unfortunately nothing new in Malaysia. In August this year, FINAS investigated the sale of pirated local films on eCommerce platforms. Astro AWANI reported that local films including Iskandar Family The Movie and Ada Apa Dengan Dosa were sold illegally on Shopee without the production company's permission.

FINAS CEO CEO Ahmad Idham Nadzri said it was disappointed with the actions of the irresponsible sellers and that its investigation is to determine if the sellers have a distribution licence, and whether they have received permission from the producers to sell the films, Astro AWANI reported.

Meanwhile last year, FINAS formed a special team to tackle the issue of digital piracy after illegal recordings of Upin & Ipin: Keris Siamang Tunggal were circulated online four days after its release.

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