Regulations pertaining to the voluntary notification of copyright came into force in Malaysia on June 1 2012.
There was no formal copyright registration process prior to the Regulations. Being a party to the Berne Convention, copyrighted works are protected immediately upon creation and fulfilment of certain conditions in the Copyright Act (original or derivative work; reduced to material form; author is a qualified person in Malaysia).
The Regulations require that every notification of copyright is made by a citizen or a permanent resident of Malaysia. An applicant may be the author, owner, licensee or assignee of a copyrighted work. Foreigners may also file an application but only upon appointment of a resident agent.
A complete notification of work consists of the proper application form (CR-1 or CR-2), statutory declaration, copy of work and the corresponding fee. Notifications filed through an agent require additional form CR-3. Where the title of the work contains a word that is not in the English language, the notification should include a translation into English. It is important that a copy of the work submitted by the applicant be of a clear and durable quality. If the controller is not satisfied, he may request for another copy, which has to be complied within 30 days, otherwise, the Notification shall be deemed withdrawn. The fee to be paid is based on the type of notification and size (soft copy) or quantity (document) of works.
Upon filing the notification of copyright, it is recorded by the controller of copyright who will notify the applicant accordingly. An applicant who desires to have a certificate of the notification may file form CR-5 and pay the corresponding fee.
Correction of clerical errors may be done by filing form CR-6. Also, any person requesting for certified extracts from the register may file his request in form CR-9. A change in address, on the other hand, may be reflected by filing form CR-10. A copyright work that has been transferred by way of assignment, testamentary disposition or operation of law may be so recorded by filing form CR-11.
With a voluntary notification process in place, it is expected that the certified extracts issued by the controller shall be prima facie evidence of the particulars therein and admissible in court. Hence, once ownership of copyright is recorded, the burden of proof that copyright does not subsist in the work is shifted to the infringer.
This article was first published in Managing Intellectual Property magazine, Issue 221, July/August 2012, p95.