What is copyright?

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

Which areas of works are eligible for copyright?

A copyright protects the following list of works:

  • literary works including computer softwares
  • musical works
  • artistic works
  • films, sound recording and broadcasting

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 the author must be a qualified person. The work must be original and the author must have expended sufficient skill 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 subsist during the life of the author and 50 years after the death;
  2. For sounds recording, films and broadcasts, copyright subsist 50 years from the year following the publication of the work; and
  3. For published edition, copyright subsist 50 years from the year following the year of 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, i.e reproduction in the material form, transmit or distribute the work, perform, playing or showing to the public the work 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 suit 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 matter not protected by copyright include:

  • Ideas or concepts
  • Discoveries
  • Procedures
  • Methods

Must I register my work to enjoy protection?

Not necessary, since the protection is automatic by virtue of Berne Convention but in order to accord copyright owners more tangible protection and enforcement, the author may file a voluntarily notification and deposit of its 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 the symbol.

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