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What is Copyright, How to Copyright

Copyright in Malaysia


1. What is copyright

  • Copyright is the exclusive right given by law for a determinable time period to the author of the work to control the use of the work in Malaysia.


2. How to copyright and prove as an ownership

  • Make a Statutory Declaration in accordance with the Statutory Declaration Act 1960; or
  • Self-address the work in a sealed envelope.


3. Works eligible for copyright

  • literary works
  • artistic works
  • sound recordings
  • broadcasts
  • musical works
  • films
  • musical works
  • derivative works


4. Does Malaysia have a registration system for copyright

  • There is no registration for copyright in Malaysia. The work is protected automatically upon creation.


5. What are the qualifications for protection of copyright

  • The author is a qualified person;
  • Sufficient effort has been expanded to make the work original in character;
  • The work has been written down, recorded or otherwise reduced into material form; and
  • The work is made in Malaysia or the work is first published in Malaysia.


6. Who Owns Copyright

  • Contract of service - Copyright is owned by the employer.
  • Contract for service - Copyright is owned by the author.
  • Commissioned work - Copyright is owned by the person who commissioned the work.


7. Can copyright be transferred or assigned

  • Copyright is transferable by assignment, testamentary disposition and by operation of law.


8. What is the duration of copyright

  • For literary, music and artistic works - copyright subsist during the life of the author and 50 years after his/her death;
  • For published edition - copyright subsist 50 years from the year following the year of edition was first published;
  • For sounds recording, films and broadcasts - copyright subsist 50 years from the year following the publication of the work.


9. What are the exclusive rights of the owner

  • The copyright owner has the exclusive right to control the whole or substantial part of the work especially:
    • The communication to the public;
    • The commercial rental to the public.
    • The reproduction in any material form (including making photocopies, recording and others);
    • The performance, showing or playing to the public;
    • The distribution of copies to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership; and


10. What Constitutes Copyright Infringement

  • The copyright in a work infringed when a person who, not being owner of the copyright, and without license from the owner, does or authorizes any of the following acts:
    • Sells, lets for hire or by way of trade, exposes or offers for sale or hire any infringing copy;
    • Distributes infringing copies;
    • Reproduces in any material form, performs, shows or plays or distributes to the public;
    • By way of trade, exhibits in public any infringing copy;
    • Communicates by cable or broadcast of the whole work or a substantial part thereof either in its original or derivative form;
    • Imports any article into Malaysia for the purpose of trade or financial gains;
    • Makes for sale or hire any infringing copy;
    • Causes the work to be performed in pub;
    • Possesses, otherwise than for his private and domestic use,  any infringing copy;
    • Imports into Malaysia, otherwise than for his private and domestic use, an infringing copy;
    • Makes or has in his possession any contrivance used or intended to be used for the purpose of making infringing copies.


11. Who is responsible for enforcement of copyright

  • The Minister of Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism (Enforcement Division) and The Royal Malaysia Police are responsible for enforcement of the law.
sources referred from: MYIPO
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