Copyright is a physical expression of ideas – creations of the mind – originated by a creator in all creative works such as text, artistic works, music, broadcast, computer programs, sound recordings, films and etc.
As of 1st of June 2012, Malaysia has introduced the Voluntary Notification Registration System under the Copyright (Amendment) Act 2012. It is governed by the Copyright Act 1987 and Copyright Regulations 1987.
Protected under law
However, copyright is automatically protected under law if sufficient effort is made on the work to be original. The work must either be written down or recorded or reduced to a material form. The author of the copyright work must also be a qualified person.
The work of copyright vests initially with 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 assignee shall be the owner.
Copyrights (generally) in any literary, musical or artistic work shall survive during the life of the author plus 50 years after his death.
If you have any queries about copyright or copyrights registration, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Copyrights Registration Process
There was no formal Copyrights registration process prior to the Regulations. A Copyright comes into existence as soon as the work is created and belongs to the creator of the work automatically.
However, the traditional way of proving a Copyright is by Statutory Declaration, where a Statutory Declaration is drafted swearing that all the information of the work done is true and originates from the creator. This Statutory Declaration would then be stamped by the Commissioner of Oath or notarized by a Notary Public. This document should be kept safe by the creator of the work until needed.
The traditional method of proving Copyright is easy to apply but there is a lengthy verification process needed to prove the eligibility of the Statutory Declaration.
Breakdown of the Process
- Complete the Copyrights Registration Form
- Provide a Statutory Declaration declaring that the Applicant is the original creator of the work
- Provide a copy of the work that the Applicant wishes to Copyright. This can be in hardcopy or softcopy digital form.
- Make payment