Social Media Filming Needs Licence from Finas? Even Personal Social Media!

Social Media Filming Needs Licence from Finas? Even Personal Social Media!
July 27, 2020 Venessa from theAdsBiz

We are back for more sharing. Have you heard of this news yet? Let’s be honest, being in the industry for so many years, it is so frustrating to see the many changes that our Government have implemented, and their impact on digital marketing. At first, it was the withholding tax that the Malaysian government expanded to include the digital marketing arena since 2016. That created a big fuss for us in the digital marketing industry, and now there will be another challenge in social media filming?

According to Stastica.Com, the digital advertising market in Malaysia is projected to reach US$536m in 2020, and is expected to show an ad spending growth of 10.6% in 2021! With this growth, even if this social media filming licensing protocol is confirmed, there is nothing much we can do, but to comply.

However, that was some of our honest thoughts. What is filming licensing? Allow us to break it down for you.

What is filming licensing?

Filming permits are permits issued by Governments to allow the filming of motion pictures. Quoting Secition 2 of the Finas Act, Minister of Communications and Multimedia, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said that ‘film’ includes “feature films, short films, trailers, advertising “filmlets” and any recording on material of any kind, including videotapes and video discs of moving images, accompanied or unaccompanied by sound, and documentaries, for the viewing of the public.”

He said the Ministry monitors film activities in its efforts to preserve and develop the film industry based on the Finas Act 1981. Finas issues three types of licences to the film industry, they are licences to produce, distribute and broadcast films or videos.

According to Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, Section 22 (1) of the Finas Act reads that “no one can take part in any activities to produce, distribute or broadcast any film unless a licence is issued to the person.”

What does this filming licensing means?

Addressing the Dewan Rakyat, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah added that filming licensing means that “it is compulsory for film producers to apply for the Film Production Licence and the SPP, whether they are from mainstream media agencies or personal media producing a film on social media platforms or through traditional channels.” 

How does it impact digital marketing or social marketing creators?

It will involve investing more time, more procedures and may cause delay in the output of content. This can be create a huge problem for social media agencies like us. Besides, the key concept of social media content is ‘timeliness’, and with additional licensing procedures involved, it will definitely never be the same.

Update as per 23 Jul 2020 Conclusion of filming licensing at this juncture

As latest media statement received from Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission on 23 Jul 2020 from Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah Minister of MCMC in Bahasa Malaysia:


“Terdapat laporan yang tular berkaitan dengan keperluan lesen FINAS untuk perfileman berikutan jawapan saya kepada soalan yang ditujukan oleh Ahli Parlimen Kluang di Dewan Rakyat pada pagi ini (23 Julai 2020). Sebahagian daripada laporan tersebut memberi gambaran yang tidak tepat sehingga membawa kepada makna yang berbeza daripada maksud jawapan saya.

Ketika menjawab soalan itu, saya hanya menerangkan tentang undang-undang yang sedia ada, iaitu Akta Perbadanan Kemajuan Filem Nasional Malaysia 1981 [Akta 244] yang diluluskan Parlimen pada tahun 1981.

Akta tersebut telah digunakan selama ini, iaitu oleh kerajaan-kerajaan terdahulu, termasuk BN dan PH. Pada 1981, teknologi pada masa itu tiada langsung media sosial seperti Tik Tok, YouTube dan sebagainya.

Kementerian Komunikasi dan Multimedia Malaysia (KKMM) ambil maklum bahawa Akta ini perlu penambahbaikan.

Ini telahpun saya nyatakan dalam sidang media Kad Laporan 100 hari saya sebagai Menteri KKMM pada 20 Jun 2020, iaitu KKMM sedang menilai semula semua undang-undang di bawah pengawasannya.

Perlu ditegaskan bahawa kerajaan PN tidak pernah dan tidak berniat menggunakan Akta ini untuk menyekat kebebasan peribadi individu dalam media sosial, iaitu fenomena yang tidak wujud ketika Akta ini digubal.

Oleh yang demikian, kami di KKMM terbuka untuk menerima apa-apa cadangan dalam memperbaiki bukan sahaja Akta dibahaskan pagi tadi, malah, semua undangundang di bawah pengawasan KKMM supaya bersesuaian dengan kehendak semasa.”

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This article is intended to convey general information and sharing based on our industry experience. It does not constitute advice for your specific needs nor referring to any of theadsbiz’s client specifically. All info are accurate at time of publication