Literally speaking, this refers to the right to copy. In the legal sense, however, a more accurate definition would be ‘the right to control copying'.

Typically, the types of work which confer copyright include books, drawings, sculptures, musical or dramatic works, maps, engravings and even computer softwares among many others.

So if you’re an author, artist, musician, computer programmer, architect or anyone with a copyrightable work for that matter, be sure to have your rights fully protected.

Copyright is a legal term describing rights given to creators for their literary and artistic works.

To apply for copyright protection, the work must meet the following criteria:

  1. Originality. The work must be originated from the author and some effort must have gone into the work creation.
  2. The work must be written down, recorded or otherwise reduced to material form.
  3. The Author must be an individual who is a citizen in Malaysia or a corporate body established in Malaysia, or a person from any of the contracting states under the Berne Convention.
  4. The Author must demonstrate that sufficient effort has been expended to make the work original in character.
  1. Literary Works
    Literary works include novels, dramas, choreographic works, treatises, histories, biographies, essays, articles, encyclopaedias, dictionaries, letters, reports, lectures, addresses, sermons, tables or compilations and computer programs.
  2. Artistic works
    Artistic works include graphic work, photographs, industrial applied designs, sculpture, collage, a work of architecture being a building or a model for a building, or a work of artistic craftsmanship.
  3. Musical works
    Musical work is defined as any musical work and includes works composed for musical accompaniment. The definition would appear to include both the music and any accompanying works, such as the lyrics or words or any action.
  4. Derivative works
    Derivative works are works derived from any pre-existing copyright works. Copyright subsists in a derivative work as an original work independent of the copyright in the pre-existing work.
  5. Subject matter other than original works
    The owner of the copyright in a literary, musical or artistic work has the right to control the doing of various acts in respect of his work, including the performance and broadcasting of the work. Such activities may give rise to the creation of other works, which may form the subject matter of separate copyright, such as sound recordings, films and broadcasts.
  6. Published editions of works
    Typographical layout of a published edition of work can be protected under this category. The copyright is conferred on the publisher of the published edition.

Performers in Malaysia are granted with exclusive right to prevent their performance related activities to be copied illegally.

Sound recording, distribution and rental of fixation of any live performance are restricted.

The performer must be a citizen or permanent resident of Malaysia. Where the performer is not a qualified person, performers' right is conferred if the performance:

  1. Takes place in Malaysia;
  2. Is incorporated in sound recordings; or
  3. Has not been fixed in a sound recording but is included in a broadcast qualifying for protection under the Act.

The duration of performers' right in a live performance lasts for a period of 50 years.

Copyright may be infringed by the following act:

  1. Reproduction in any material form;
  2. Communication of work to the public;
  3. Performance, playing or showing to the public;
  4. The distribution of copies to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership; or
  5. Commercial rental of copies of work to the public.