Brief Overview

Copyright is the exclusive right to control creative works created by the author, copyright owner and performer for a specific period. Hence, copyright is a right given to the creators of literary (includes computer programs and websites), dramatic, musical and artistic works and producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings. It provides a bundle of rights ranging from rights to reproduction, communication to the public, adaptation and translation of work.

In general, work done / created after its creation need not to be registered. However, registration provides a prima facie evidence for the ownership of the product. Therefore, it is highly advisable to protect the completed work by registering it.

The term for copyright protections varies according to the type of work produced. Generally, the length of protection for a copyright work in Malaysia is as follows:-

  • Literary, Musical or Artistic Works (include computer programs and websites) Generally, this categories of copyright work reflects to the human beings which shall subsist during the life of the author plus 50 years after his death.
  • Film, Sound Recordings and Performer. This categories of copyright work shall subsist for 50 years from the work was published, fixed in a fixation for the film and sound recording. For performer, the copyright work shall subsist from the performances was perform or fixation in a sound recording.
  • Broadcasts. For the copyright in broadcasts, it protection occurred in way of transmission either by wire or wireless means, the period for fifty years shall be computed from the which the broadcasts was first made.