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Register your Copyright
Be a copyright owner that backup with legal rights

Copyright is the exclusive right given to the owner of a copyright for a copyright for a specific period. Copyright protection in Malaysia is governed by the Copyright Act 1987 and Copyright (Amendment) Act 1990 which comply with the standards and requirement of Berne Convention 1886. The Copyright Act was amended in 1996, 1997 and 2000 in order to streamline with the international development of the intellectual property system,

There is no system of formal registration for copyright in Malaysia. A work that is eligible is protected automatically upon fulfillment (1) sufficient effort has been expended to make the work original in character; (2) the work has been written down, recorded or reduced to a material form; and (3) the author is a qualified person or the work is made in Malaysia or the work is first published in Malaysia.

However, it is advisible for copyright owner to execute a Statutory Declaration as supporting document asserting his copyright any works eligible for copyright protection under Section 42 of Copyright Act, 1987. Tthe Statutory Declaration can become admissible as evidence in any infringement proceedings in the court and shall be prima facie proof of the facts contained therein.

What does Copyright protect?
Works eligible for protection are:
(1) literary works
(2) musical works
(3) artistic work
(4) films
(5) sound recordings
(6) broadcasts
(7) derivative work

Who owns Copyright?
Copyrights in a work vests initially in the author (writer, composer, maker of the work, etc). However, where the making of a work is made by an employee in the course of his employment, unless there is any contrary agreement, the copyright in the work shall be deemed to vest in the person who commissioned the work or the employer. The author's right is transferable by assignment, testamentary disposition or by operation of law, in which case the asignee shall be the owner.

How long does Copyright last?
Generally, copyright subsists during the life of the author plus 50 years after his death. However, if a work has not been published during the life time of the author, copyright in the work continues to subsist until the expiration of 50 years, following the year in which the work was first published. In the case of a work with joint authorship, the life of the author who dies last is used for the purpose of calculating the copyright duration of the work.

What are the legal rights of Copyright Owners?
Generally, owners of copyright works have the exclusive right to control:-
- the reproduction of the work in any form (including photocopying, recording etc);
- the performing, showing or playing to the public;
- the communication to the public; and
- the distribution of copies to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership.

What constitutes Copyright Infringement?
The copyright in a work is infringed when a person who, not being the owner of the copyright, and without licence from the owner, does or authorises any of the following acts:-
- reproduces in any material form, perfoms, shows or plays or distributes to the public, 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;
- sells, letsfor hire or by way of trade, exposes or offers for sale or hire any infringing copy;
- distributes infringing copies;
- possesses, otherwise than for his private and domestic use, any infringing copy;
- by way of trade, exhibits in public 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;
- causes the work to be performed in public.

Who enforces Copyright?
The Copyright Act 1987 provides for the enforcement of the law by the Enforcement Division of the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, apart from the Police. The act also provides necessary clout to the enforcement agencies to effectively carry out anti-piracy measures. Copyright owners shall lodge an official complaint supported by the necessary documents to the Enforcement Division of the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs if they suspect infringement. Immediate action will be taken by the said authority. The Division will conduct the necessary investigations and prosecutions.

is Copyright Tribunal?
The Malaysia Copyright Act provides for a Copyright Tribunal whose function is to grant licences tp produce and publish in the National Language a translation of a literary work written in any other language and arbitration of disputes relating to use of copyright works.


We welcome you becoming our client in Intellectual Property Division for your right protection.


Source/ Courtesy of MyIPO


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