Copyright protection in Malaysia is governed by the Copyright Act 1987. Copyrights are proprietary rights subsisting in works which has been written down, recorded or reduced to a material form such as literary, artistic, musical and dramatic works. Copyright also protects software, mobile application, sound recordings, published editions, films, broadcasts and performer’s rights.
Works Eligible For Copyright
- literary works;
- musical works;
- artistic works;
- sound recordings;
- broadcasts; and
- derivative works
Copyright owners can claim ownership by way of a Statutory Declaration or voluntarily registering their copyright at the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO). Registration is advisable due to the fact that ownership of copyright may be hard to establish without proper documentation.
Generally the Copyright Act grants copyright protection, in any literary, musical or artistic work shall subsist during the life of the author plus 50 years after his death. However, for unpublished works during the lifetime of the author, copyright in the work continues to subsist until the expiration of 50 years, following the year in which the work was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.
Malaysia is a signatory of the Berne Convention and therefore, copyrighted works created in Malaysia would be recognized by a total of 177 contracting parties of the Berne Convention including but not limited to the European Union, the United States, China, Singapore, Indonesia and Japan.