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Copyright Act to be Amended to Require Royalty Payments

Issued: July 01 2011

Malaysia’s Copyright Act 1987 will be amended by parliament in October to include payment of royalties to protect the welfare of local artists, according to the official Bernama news agency.

Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the act should have been read for the second time last month but was postponed to make way for other acts including Trade Descriptions Act 1972, the news agency reported.

“After it is tabled in parliament, the act will be presented to [the Senate before being] submitted to Yang di-Pertuan Agong to be gazetted and implemented in June next year,” he said after opening a symposium in Kuala Lumpur. Yang di-Pertuan Agong is the Malaysian monarch’s office.

Ismail said the amendment will include terms of royalties collected by Collective Management Organisers (CMOS). The ministry will decide the minimum rate and CMOs must obtain consent of artists via agreement or appointment letter before they could collect, he said.

“The Copyright Tribunal will be activated and its role expanded as many artists did not seem to know about its existence,” he said, urging performers to register their music with the Malaysia Intellectual Property Corporation (MyIPO) to ensure that copyright of songs are protected. “If a song is stolen and the case goes to court, the certificate issued by MyIPO can be used as proof that it is his composition,” he said.


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