PETALING JAYA: When it comes to digital piracy, any individual can get into the act, thanks to social media.
And this is why director Osman Ali has learned to take matters into his own hands.
In August, his movie Kau Yang Satu was illegally broadcast by an audience member on Facebook Live and was viewed over 500,000 times.
Adding salt to the wound, his new movie Pinjamkan Hatiku released on Nov 30, was also illegally broadcast on Facebook Live within days of its release.
“After seeing an FB live broadcast, we reached out to the user to inform him that we were going to make a police report.
“The user immediately removed the video from his account,” Osman said.
However, Osman and his production company Nuansa Sdn Bhd still filed a police report over the matter on Dec 4.
On Dec 8, he held a press conference with the Facebook user, identified as 21-year-old Mohd Shafiq Adam, who made a public apology to Osman and Nuansa.
“He didn’t know that what he did was illegal. Shafiq also made a plea to all to stop using Facebook Live and other social media broadcasting apps in the cinema.
“We used that opportunity to educate others and raise awareness about the implications of online piracy,” Osman said.
The director revealed that he did not withdraw his police report against Shafiq.
“I informed him that I will let the police carry on with their investigation,” he added.
The Star reported yesterday that to curb piracy, the industry came together for the first time to work with the Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Ministry to tackle the problem.
A meeting was held between industry stakeholders and Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin on Thursday, with a memorandum handed to him to help the industry counter the problem.
The delegation from the industry was led by Star Media Group managing director and CEO Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai.
Hamzah said the ministry would speed up the current process by getting the industry to inform the ministry on new original content before the release date so enforcement could be carried out immediately if copyright was infringed upon.
Meanwhile, it has been pointed out that cinema house-rules do not allow any form of recordings during a movie screening, no matter how brief it is or whether it contains “spoilers”.
Cinema stewards often patrol the halls during the course of a movie to monitor audiences and check for any recording devices being used, said a spokesman from a major cinema chain.
He said recording and photography were prohibited, although handphones were allowed to be taken into cinema halls.
“If any moviegoer is caught, the first course of action is to lodge a police report. It really is that serious an offence.
“As for staff caught doing so, there will also be the extra action of an immediate dismissal,” he said, adding that house rules are clearly displayed at most areas of the cinema, including a broadcast message before movies are shown.
Section 43A of the Copyright Act 1987 states that any person who is caught using or attempting to use a recording device in a cinema faces a fine of not less than RM10,000 and not more than RM100,000, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or both.
This includes attempts to live-stream footage filmed through streaming options such as Facebook Live.