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Malaysia Copyright Introduction

Updated:2018-4-12 16:11:45    Source:www.tannet-group.comViews:329

In Malaysia, copyright protection is provided under the Copyright Act 1987. Unlike trademarks, designs and patents, there is no specific system of registration for copyright in Malaysia. Copyright exists as soon as the original work is created and belongs to the creator of the work automatically. Copyright protects creative works made by authors, producers, photographers, musicians, songwriters, artists, sculptors and other persons in creative businesses.

What can be protected by copyright?
Books (traditional or digital), scripts, music, pictures, videos, source codes for software, manuals/guidebooks, university journals, and other kinds of creative works or materials have special intangible rights attached to them. These rights, known as “copyrights”, are owned by the people who create the work - authors, producers, photographers, musicians, songwriters, artists and such who can choose to do anything and everything they wish with their exclusive rights.

Copyright protects the expression of the author’s artistic and literary works and is also related to the exclusive right to prepare derivative works and to perform and display the work. Subject to the provisions of the Copyright Act 1987, artistic, literary and musical works, films, sounds recordings and broadcasts are eligible for copyright protection.

The only criteria for a creative work to be eligible for copyright is that there must have been sufficient effort applied or put into the work to make the work original and the work must be reduced to material form. Works are eligible for copyright regardless of the quality of the work and the purpose for which they were created.

How is copyright protected in Malaysia?
Although copyright is a non-registrable right in Malaysia and enjoys automatic protection, ownership of copyright is difficult to establish. As such, proper documentation can be prepared to prove ownership. Copyright owners can claim ownership by way of a Statutory Declaration or by filing a Voluntary Notification at the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO).

How long does copyright protection last?
Copyright terms differ from country to country. In Singapore, US and the EU countries for instance, copyright lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years.

Copyright in Malaysia is slightly different. In Malaysia, copyright in literary, musical and artistic works subsists during the life of the creator and continues 50 years after his/her death. This means that the estate of the deceased author, artist or designer can benefit from the copyright for a further 50 years.

Copyright in literary, musical or artistic works is released into the public domain once the duration of the copyright expires.

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