I was asked by BFM Radio to comment on the requirement under the Perbadanan Kemajuan Filem Nasional Malaysia Act 1981 (FINAS Act) which requires, among others, those who produce or distribute films to be registered with Perbadanan Kemajuan Filem (FINAS).

This issue came about when Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah, Minister of the Communications and Multimedia was asked in Parliament if the definition of “film” in the FINAS Act covers TikTok or IG TV videos which are distributed through social media. The definition of “film” in the FINAS Act is as such-

“films” includes feature films, short films, short subject films, trailers, documentaries, advertising filmlets and any recording on material of any kind, including video tapes and video discs, of moving images, accompanied or unaccompanied by sound, for viewing by the public or any class of the public;

s. 2 of the FINAS Act

However, according to the Hansard, the Minister did not give a direct answer but instead, informed Parliament that he will leave it to the relevant authority.

Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah later clarified that social media users do not need to apply for a license from FINAS to produce or publish videos and that the Ministry is looking to amend the laws under the Ministry.

Is it necessary for you to have a FINAS license to create personal content on social media? We speak to lawyer Foong Cheng Leong and filmmaker Jared Lee to understand how this will impact the industry and social media usage of Malaysians.

Produced by: Kelvin Yee, Adeline Choong
Presented by: Kelvin Yee, Hezril Asyraaf


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