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
- musical works
- 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.