Qualification for Protection

In Malaysia, copyright is automatic i.e. there is no registration system. A copyright work qualifies for automatic protection in Malaysia where:-

  1. the creator of the said work ("author") is a Malaysian citizen or permanent resident, or a company incorporated in Malaysia; or
  2. the said work is first published in Malaysia; or
  3. notwithstanding 1 & 2 above, the copyright work is made in Malaysia.

For foreign works in general, the author must be a citizen or resident of, or a company incorporated in a Berne Convention country, or the work must first be published in a Berne Convention country (if first publication occurred in a non-Berne Convention country then it must subsequently be published in Malaysia within 30 days of the first publication).

Performers of live performances who are citizens or permanent residents of Malaysia also qualify for automatic protection.

For non-citizens or non-permanent residents, performers' rights can subsist if the performance:-

  1. occurs in Malaysia;
  2. is incorporated in sound recordings protected under Malaysian copyright law; or
  3. has not been fixed in a sound recording but is included in a broadcast protected under Malaysian copyright law.