Copyright is an exclusive right given to the owner of a copyright for a specific period of time. Copyright protection in Malaysia is governed by the Copyright Act 1987. As of 1st of June 2012, Malaysia has introduced Voluntary Notification Registration System.

What does Copyright Protect ?

Work eligible for protection are;

  • Literary Works;
  • Musical Works;
  • Artistic Works;
  • Films;
  • Sound Recordings;
  • Broadcasts;
  • Derivative Works

These works shall be protected irrespective of their quality and purpose for which they were created. However, the Copyright protection shall only extend to expression and not ideas, procedures, methods of operation or mathematical concept and etc.

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 assign shall be the owner.

How long does Copyright last?

Generally, Copyright in any literary, musical or artistic form shall subsist during the life of the author, plus another 50 years after the author’s death.



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