Malaysia: Public Consultation on the proposed changes to the Copyright Act 1987 [Act 332] until 3 December 2021

In brief

The Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO) has issued Public Consultation Paper No. 1/2021/CP/tb, to collect feedback on the proposed changes and new provisions to the Copyright Act 1987 ("Copyright Act"), which are mainly aimed at updating and streamlining the provisions of the Copyright Act.  The closing date for submission of feedback to MyIPO is 3 December 2021.


Through the public consultation, the MyIPO is seeking feedback on its proposed amendments to the Copyright Act, which are primarily aimed at updating the current copyright regime to ensure that it has rights that are reasonable, clear and capable of being effectively enforced. A topic of particular interest is the introduction of provisions that would criminalize, inter alia, the sale or let for hire of an illicit streaming device, and the act of providing and/or sharing access to an online location which enables a user to access works or copies of works without the right holder's authorization.

The following topics reflect MyIPOs proposals on possible changes to the Malaysian copyright regime.

  • Accession to Marrakesh Treaty: Provisions to enhance access to information to print-disabled person will be introduced, some of which are as follows:
    1. the current waiver of the copyright owner's right to control of copyright will be extended to caregivers of print-disabled persons and authorized entities representing the disabled person; and
    2. the act of making, issuing, distributing, making available, importing, and exporting of accessible format copies without authorization from right holders for a print-disabled person and authorized entities will be permitted.
  • Enhancement of Voluntary Notification: Improve the delivery system for voluntary notification and simplify the procedure for voluntary notification application by, among others, disposing of the requirement for a statutory declaration.
  • Collective Management Organization (CMO): The term "licensing bodies" will be replaced with "collective management organization" to better align with international practice. Further, a declaration as a collective management organization will be effective for a period of 2 years and shall be renewed every two years.
  • Guidelines for Collective Management Organization: The Controller may issue guidelines in relation to any matter on the declaration and operation of the collective management organization. 
  • General Offences: A new provision will be introduced to criminalize the act of providing or sharing access to an online location of any works or copies of works to other person without the right holder's authorization.  In other words, it is an offence to share or make an available link(s) to other websites hosting copyrighted content that was not made available to the public with the copyright owner's authorization.
  • Compounding Offences: The Controller, Deputy Controller or any person authorized in writing by the Controller will, with the written consent of the Public Prosecutor, be granted the power to compound any compoundable offence under the Copyright Act. The quantum of the compound shall not exceed 50% of the maximum fine of the relevant offence.  
  • Offences Regarding Streaming Technology: Criminal liabilities will be introduced for copyright infringement of a copyrighted work through, among others, the manufacture, import or sale or let for hire of an illicit streaming device.
  • Obstruction to Search: It will be an offence to conceal and/or destroy any evidence relating to the commission of an offence or knowingly give false information in relation to the offence, with the intention of screening the offender from legal punishment.
  • Test Purchase: Assistant Controllers will be granted the power to direct copyright owners, or any person authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner, to make a test purchase to facilitate the Assistant Controller in the exercise of its functions.
  • Power of the Assistant Controller: An Assistant Controller will be empowered to require the provision of any information, documentation or evidence relevant to the Assistant Controller's power and functions.
  • Validation and Indemnity: The imposition and collection of fees with respect to declarations made under Section 27A of the Copyright Act for the period from 1 June 2012 preceding the commencement of the amended Copyright Act shall be validated.


The Public Consultation Paper may be accessed here. Stakeholders should consider the implications of these amendments and new provisions on their businesses and contribute feedback as applicable.  Feedback on the public consultation paper should be submitted in electronic form with the subject "Public Consultation on the Proposed Amendments to the Copyright Act 1987" to Mr. Syaufiq Latif at  MyIPO will continue to accept feedback on the public consultation paper until 6.00pm on 3 December 2021.


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