What is copyright?

Copyright basically refers to the exclusive right granted to the copyright owner to have control over his/her work (for when another person intends to reproduce, publish, perform, etc his/her work). Copyright only protects the original expression of ideas, not the ideas themselves.

Which areas of works are eligible for copyright?

A copyright protects the following list of works:

  • literary works including computer software
  • musical works
  • artistic works
  • films, sound recordings,  and broadcasts

What are the qualifications for work to be protected under the Copyright Act 1987 in Malaysia?

Copyright subsists in every work eligible for copyright when the work is made and an author is a qualified person. The work must be original and the author must have expended sufficient skills and effort to produce the work, and must have been written down, recorded or reduced to material form.

How long does a copyright last?

  1. For literary, music and artistic works, copyright subsists during the life of the author and 50 years after death;
  2. For sound recordings, films, and broadcasts, copyright subsist 50 years from the year following the publication of the work; and
  3. For published edition, copyright subsists 50 years from the year following the year of the edition was first published.

When does an infringement of copyright occur?

An infringement occurs when any of the activities under the exclusive control of the copyright owner are conducted without his/her license or consent, for instance, reproducing the material transmitting or distributing the work, performing, playing or showing the work to the public, etc.

What are the remedies for infringement of copyright?

According to Sec. 37 of the Copyright Act 1987, infringement of copyright is actionable at the will of the owner of the copyright, the court may award damages or account of profits made delivery up of the infringement article and may grant an injunction to prevent further infringement. With the current implementation of the Voluntarily Notification, the proof of just submitting the certificate will reduce the hassle of finding back old artworks or Statutory Declaration.

What is not protected by copyright?

Subject matters not protected by copyright include:

  • Ideas or concepts
  • Discoveries
  • Procedures
  • Methods

Must I register my work to enjoy protection?

Not necessarily, since the protection is automatic by virtue of the Berne Convention, but in order to grant copyright owners a more tangible protection and enforcement, the author may file a voluntary notification and deposit of his/her copyrighted work with MyIPO.

How do I use a copyright symbol?

In practice, the © symbol is usually followed by the year when copies of the work were first made available, and the name of the copyright owner. Sometimes there may also be a statement indicating the terms of permitted use. In cases where owners only allow their works for very limited usage, the term “All Rights Reserved” may be found after this symbol.

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