Shopee MY clarifies sale of pirated local films amidst FINAS investigation

Shopee's regional managing director Ian Ho has clarified that it has no part in creating the contents of listings and that the sellers on its platform are independent individuals or businesses who are not associated with Shopee. His statement to A+M came after Astro AWANI reported that Malaysia's National Film Development Corporation (FINAS) is investigating the sale of pirated local films on eCommerce platforms.

According to Astro AWANI, local films including Iskandar Family The Movie and Ada Apa Dengan Dosa were sold illegally on Shopee without the production company's permission. A quick check by A+M found that the listings for these two local films have since been removed. Quoting FINAS CEO Ahmad Idham Nadzri, Astro AWANI 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. Based on reports FINAS has received, however, permission was not obtained by the sellers.

Pertaining to this matter specifically on the sale of pirated movies, Iskandar Family The Movie and Ada Apa Dengan Dosa, Ho explained that Shopee has already removed the relevant listings and banned the involved sellers from its platform.

We have also taken preemptive measures to blacklist any related keywords to intercept new attempts to sell and buy such items.

"We would like to encourage users to reach out to Shopee if they encounter similar listings on our platform. Users can reach out to us via the menu circle at the top right-hand corner of any product listing and click on the 'Report this Product' option," Ho said. He also urged consumers to reach out via phone or email to report any concerns about products listed on Shopee.

"Shopee is a platform on which third-party sellers list their goods for sale. Shopee has a strict listing policy and only allows for the sale of products and services that are in accordance with Malaysian laws and regulations," Ho explained.

Shopee's prohibited and restricted items policy lists potentially infringing items. These include but are not limited to replicas, counterfeit items, and unauthorised copies of a product or item which may be in violation of certain copyrights, trademarks, or other intellectual property rights of third parties. Ho added that under its Terms of Service, sellers are required to adhere to its policies as well as the local government policies and regulations. Shopee also takes any violation of the laws seriously and will cooperate with local authorities in accordance with the laws.

Any products that are found to be illegal or in violation of our stringent policies will be removed from our listings. Sellers who are found to be in breach of these policies will be permanently banned on our platform.

"To ensure all our sellers are aware of local regulations and policies, we issue clear and detailed guidelines on prohibited and restricted items that are not allowed for sale on Shopee through the Shopee Help Centre and Seller Education Hub. These guidelines are regularly reviewed and updated," Ho added.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) also said it will not hesitate to block sites selling pirated products, Astro AWANI reported. It added that action will be taken after being notified by the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs.

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