Saturday, June 06, 2009

A letter about clarification on Intellectual Property

I was at the Intellectual Property Right Exhibition KL Convention Centre last month and learn few things especially creating, making and copyrighting works related to arts, music and films. There difference between trademark and copyright, which I will discuss further next time. One of the main issue that crawling in my head is about creating and selling my artwork and still owning the right on it. So this is what I got from a discussion with a consultant from Sirim Berhad and he emailed me back the clarification of understanding of rights making, selling and purchasing artworks. Please read it on.

"Dear Ms. Bennylita,

This is regarding copyright issue with regard to the selling of original painting/manuscript or other similar matters which we discussed during the IP exhibition last Sunday. Upon consultation with colleague as well as referring to other sources, I believe that the copyright (economic rights as well as moral right) still belong to you and you may exercise your right over the work in any way you wish. This is particularly due to the principal of "assignment" of copyrighted work. The act of offering and acceptance (selling) could be considered as assignment of the right from the original owner to the purchaser. However, such assignment must be made in writing (Section 27(3) of Malaysian Copyright Act 1987) to have an effect where the terms are clearly stated in the agreement. Without such written agreement, the purchaser is not considered to have obtained all rights related to the work, except for the personal right. That personal right only entitled the purchaser to do whatever he wish with that one copy of the original work such as selling it to other, putting it in exhibition, etc. He has no right to re-produce (making copies) of the original work, putting it in a catalogue to be sold, and other related economic activities. If a written agreement has been made between the original owner and the purchaser and the terms clearly state that all rights are transferred to the purchaser (actually you may select which right to be transferred, which territory, duration, etc), then it would be a different matter and he is entitled to do anything with regard to the economic rights of the work. Under the normal selling and purchasing of original work such as painting without any written agreement, the author or the original owner will retain his rights.

Hope this will clear some of the issues.

If you require any further clarification, do contact me.


A. Rahman Zuhri
Intellectual Property Services

Thanks Mr Rahman for the info. I really look forward and hope everybody out there will benefit from his mail. Here is some idea what does it mean with Economic Rights and Moral Rights.

We have all this rules and regulations on paper but there are still some easy people go around and steal other people's artwork and make products without permisson. Shame on you easy people!

much love and happy hoot!

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