Local film producer to take legal action against e-commerce platform for pirated copies of film on site


‘Ada Apa Dengan Dosa’ was released in June and pirated versions of the film were then offered on an e-commerce platform. — Astro First

A local film producer said she is planning to take legal action against an e-commerce platform after discovering that sellers were offering pirated copies of her film from as low as 80sen each.

“I’m disappointed because the platform allowed this to happen. I found out that people can contact the seller, make payment and then they will get a link to download the film through Telegram,” Datuk Normashayu Puteh said when contacted by LifestyleTech.

The producer, who is also known as Ayu Puteh, said her film Ada Apa Dengan Dosa (AAAD) which has a RM2mil production budget was released on Astro First in June. She later discovered that pirated copies of the film have been made available on an e-commerce platform shortly after the film’s release.

A screengrab of Ada Apa Dengan Dosa pirated copy listing on the e-commerce platform. — Photo: DATUK AYU PUTEHA screengrab of Ada Apa Dengan Dosa pirated copy listing on the e-commerce platform. — Photo: DATUK AYU PUTEH

Ayu said she is planning to sue for RM50mil, as she claimed the e-commerce platform never sought distribution rights from her, nor did they obtain her permission to sell her film.

“Now with the movement control order and Covid-19 pandemic putting a strain on the local film industry, I don’t understand why people are taking advantage by pirating a product and then offering it for a low price on another platform,” she added.

Ayu claimed that she has raised the issue since June but only saw action being taken to removed the listings after Finas CEO Ahmad Idham Nadzri released a statement on Aug 3.

“We will be investigating both the e-commerce platform and seller for the local pirated film sale. We need to determine whether they have distribution license and permission from the producer to sell the films,” he said.

Based on reports that Finas has received, Ahmad Idham said both parties did not have permission from producers to sell those films.

Ayu also said that there are a number of chat groups on Telegram where users share links to download pirated copies of films. She hopes that the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) will take action to shut down such groups.

She added that fellow industry players have expressed support towards her plan to take legal action against the e-commerce platform.

Dimsum Entertainment chief marketing officer Lam Swee Kim said e-commerce platforms should be vigilant in eliminating pirated goods, regardless of whether they are online content or physical goods.

“They should take an active role in curbing this rather than claiming ignorance. Some have resorted to taking legal action because all other efforts to protect their IP rights and ownership have failed,” she said.

She added that people’s perception towards piracy also needs to change as most still believe that it’s a “trivial matter”.

Film producer Ku Mohamad Haris Ku Sulong said due to fears of online piracy in Malaysia, he has decided to never release his award-winning film Redha on any digital platform.

“We have been approached by a number of parties and turned down all offers as we felt that there was no guarantee that the film won’t end up being pirated. It’s less income for us but we have to do what we can until we see more action or initiatives being taken to curb piracy,” he said.

He felt that it was worse to see pirated local films being offered openly on e-commerce platforms.

“We need to tell people that piracy is cutting into people’s income and livelihood. Just because it’s free and easily available, they are not thinking about how it could really hurt people in the long run.”

On Ayu's potential lawsuit, he said RM50mil is a good amount to “scare them off”.

“She can set the precedence for others to start taking issues related to piracy more seriously.”

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