• Copyright Laws in MY

The primary copyright law which provides legal copyright protection for copyrightable material in Malaysia is the Copyright Act 1987. All creators of such content in Malaysia have their rights protected by this law.

Copyright laws protect the creative works created by any photographer, author, producer, musician, artist, sculptor, or any other person. The Malaysian copyright laws are related to musical works, artistic, literary work, sound recordings, films, and broadcasts; all are eligible for copyright protection. The primary copyright law in Malaysia is the Copyright Act 1987. This law ensures that a copyright is given to a person as soon the person creates the original piece of work. A copyright certifies that a certain original work belongs to its creator.

The Copyright Amendment Act 2012 also contains sections such as Sections 26A, 26B, and 26C which also serve to protect copyrights in Malaysia. Other laws created to protect copyrights in Malaysia include the Industrial Designs Act 1996 which protects industrial designs as well as the Industrial Designs Regulations 1999.

Artists, designers, creators, sculptors, photographers, and people who work in any other related field in Malaysia must ensure that their original work is protected by copyright according to the Copyright Act. The Malaysian government has also implemented a system of registration of copyrights in the country known as voluntary notification.

Protection of Copyrights in Malaysia

Copyrights provide the creator of literary, musical, or artistic work with the exclusive rights to such a work. The protection of such works also helps in providing the owner from unauthorized adaptations or reproduction of the works involved. Copyright laws also protect any related organization by safeguarding its revenue-earning assets which are derived from any work which could be copyrighted.

To establish ownership of any copyrightable work in Malaysia, the creator of the work should prepare the appropriate documentation to prove ownership. Copyright owners may either claim their ownership through a statutory declaration or by filing a voluntary notification with the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO). This process allows anyone to protect unauthorized use of their content on any platform.

Duration of Copyright Protection in Malaysia

The duration of the period for which a copyright is valid differs depending on the laws of the country in which the copyright is granted. In Malaysia, copyrights related to literature, music, or any other form of artwork last until 50 years have elapsed following the death of the creator of the copyrighted work. This therefore means that the music, literature, or artwork in question is released into the public domain when this exclusive right to control expires.

Should any work which is copyrighted in Malaysia be designed, curated, or written jointly, the copyright will be in effect until the death of all authors or creators. The artwork will be protected until 50 years after the death of all authors or creators.


Items Permitted to Be Copyrighted in Malaysia

Copyright laws in Malaysia specify the creative items which may be protected through a copyright issued in the country. Among the items which may be copyrighted in Malaysia are musical works, literary works, films, sound recordings, artistic works, derivative works, and broadcasts. Before any of these creative works may be copyrighted, sufficient evidence must be provided which confirms that such works are original pieces.


Rights of Copyright Owners in Malaysia

The government of Malaysia has provided certain rights to copyright owners. These include legal, moral, and economic rights. Legal rights allow the owner, author, creator, or designers of any copyrighted work in Malaysia to protect their work according to the copyright laws of Malaysia. If there is any copyright infringement, the creator or author is allowed to take action against those at fault.

Moral rights allow the author to claim the rights to originality of the creation. These rights also involve the right to prevent any user from mutilating, distorting, or modifying the author’s work in an unauthorized manner.

Economic rights are granted to to the owner of the work so that the owner will receive the right of communication to the public, right of reproduction, right to perform, right to distribution, and right of commercial rental. These rights may be exercised according to the Copyright Act 1987. Economic rights also allow creators to receive financial benefits through the use of their works for commercial purposes.

Copyright Laws in Malaysia FAQs

Can anyone receive copyright protection in Malaysia?2020-04-29T11:44:56+08:00

Any person who is the original creator of any artwork, literary work, film, or any other copyrightable work is legally permitted to receive copyright protection in Malaysia. Such is the case as long as the work has not been copied from any other present source or any previously existing work. If such is ever found to be the case, the work in question will not be protected by copyrightIn Malaysia, certain conditions are to be fulfilled before a certain work may receive copyright protection. One of these is that the owner of the work must be able to provide the work in its original form. The work must also exist in material form so that in case the author or creator intends to display it to the public, it can be shown without any difficulty. The work must also belong to one of the categories of the protected works as recognized by the Malaysian government. Such works include literature, film, photographs, and sculptures among others. The work must also be able to be verified as genuine before it may receive copyright protection. Any person’s work which has fulfilled all the requirements which have been stated will automatically receive protection according to the copyright laws of Malaysia. 

It should also be noted that works created by an architect or engineer will only receive copyright protection if the work is completely designed, built, and located in MalaysiaIn the case of broadcasts, only broadcasts which have solely been transmitted through Malaysia are protected by the country’s copyright laws. 

Can Copyright protection be transferred or revoked?2020-04-29T11:44:24+08:00

In certain cases, the creator of a certain work might desire to transfer copyright protection to another person or entity. In Malaysia, such a move is certainly possible as long as the details of this transfer are registered with the copyright office in Malaysia. The certified copy which confirms the transfer as well as the signatures of all people involved must also be supplied. 

Transfers of copyright protection are not the only method by which one may relinquish ownership of copyright protection in Malaysia. In certain circumstances, there is a possibility that copyright protection might be revoked. According to the Copyright Act 1987, any author or creator who resides in Malaysia may revoke the copyright protection which has been transferred to another person. The copyright can be revoked if the work is being used for an unethical purpose or distorted in an unacceptable mannerWhen copyright protection is to be revoked, a notice from certain authorities will be issued. The notice will be sent to the current owner of the work so that the copyright can be revoked according to current legal stipulations. Should the original creator of the work in question have already died, it is possible for the copyright protection to be revoked by the spouse or children of the authorcreator, or designer. However, if the original creator of the work does not have any spouse or children, the copyright protection cannot be revoked in this way. If revocation of copyright protection is nevertheless sought, the assistance of an attorney will be required. 

Can anything which originates from abroad be Copyrighted in Malaysia?2020-04-29T11:43:48+08:00

Anything that originates from a creator from another country is permitted to be copyrighted in Malaysia. This is the case due to the details stated in the Berne Convention. The Berne Convention is an agreement which has been signed by the vast majority of countries in the world today. It serves the purpose of providing protection for the works of the authors, musicians, sculptors, photographers, and others in similar lines of work. This convention also specifies that all the foreign countries who have signed this pact must protect the work of the creators, authors, and designers from other countries through implementation and enforcement of local copyright laws. These local copyright laws must be related to the copyright protection of the country in question. 

Due to the effects of the Berne Convention, no person in foreign country is permitted to either reproduce or distort the creators work because the creator of the work is protected abroad according this pact. However, those who have received the permission of the creator or author to reproduce the work are permitted to do so as long as the reproducer gives complete credits to the author or creator.  The reproducer must also pay a sum of money which would have been mutually decided by the two parties. 

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