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Amendments to Malaysia's Copyright Law

Malaysia's Copyright (Amendment) Act 2022 and Copyright (Voluntary Notification)(Amendment) Regulations 2022: What You Should Know

21 March 2022

The Copyright (Amendment) Act 2022 and Copyright (Voluntary Notification)(Amendment) Regulations 2022 have come into force in Malaysia on 18 March 2022, however there are a number of sections within the Act that will only come into force at a later date.

The Copyright Voluntary Notification assists copyright holders in providing evidence of ownership and evidence of date of creation of work.

In this note, we would like to share some of the pertinent changes under the amendments which are highlighted as follows:-

Offenses

The amended Act defines the following new offences:-

  • Any party who shares access to an online location of copyright work without the authorization from the copyright holder is guilty of an offence.

  • Any party who manufactures, imports, sells or lets for hire an illicit streaming device.

  • Any party causing obstruction to search by intentionally destroying evidence that an offence under the Act has been committed, or provide false information in respect of the offence, with the intention of screening the offender from legal punishment.

Changes to filing of a Copyright Voluntary Notification

  • Statutory Declaration is no longer required in support of a Copyright Voluntary Notification.

  • The official fee payable is from RM 200 onwards post amendment.

  • A licensee of a work is no longer a recognized applicant for a Copyright Voluntary Notification submission.

Searching and Seizing of Infringing Copies by the Authority

Any enforcement officers (including police officers, customer officers, Assistant Controllers) may seize infringing copies with or without application from the rights owner.

Expansion of Enforcement powers

  • The amended Act empowers the Assistant Controller to compound any offence punishable under the Act by making a written offer for a sum of money not exceeding 5% of the amount of the maximum fine

  • The amended Act empowers the Assistant Controller to order the right holders to conduct a test purchase to determine a punishable offence under the Act

  • The amended Act empowers the Assistant Controller to require the provision of information and evidence from any person if the Assistant Controller has reason to believe that the person has the relevant information or document. It is a punishable criminal offence if any person fails or refuses to provide the information or document as requested.

Licensing Body renamed as Collective Management Organization (CMO)

  • A licensed body to collect royalty on behalf of a group of copyright owners is now known as a CMO.

  • An approved CMO is only valid for two (2) years and subject to renewal(s), as compared to previously being valid indefinitely. 

  • The Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO) is empowered to issue guidelines pertaining to the declaration and operation of a CMO.

  • The Copyright (Collective Management Organization) Regulations 2022 has also come into force on 18 March 2022.

 

The following provisions are included in the Copyright (Amendment) Act, but will only come into force at a later date:-

Malaysia’s Accession to the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled

The Marrakesh Treaty aims to permit reproduction, distribution and making available of published works in formats designed to be accessible to people with visual impairments, and to allow exchange of these works across borders by organizations that serve the visually impaired.  

Malaysia’s accession to the Marrakesh Treaty provides an exemption and accessibility to reproduce copyright works for print disability person including their caregiver and authorized entities representing the disability person, without authorization from the copyright holder.

We will provide updates as soon as they are made available to us. In the meantime, should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@advanz.com.my.