Myanmar Passed Copyright Law 2019

On 24 May 2019, the Union Parliament of Myanmar passed the Copyright Law (Law No. 15/2019) (“CRL”). It will come into force after the President of Myanmar issues a notification to that effect. It repeals and replaces the Copyright Act 1914 and establishes a new copyright protection system with the following major principles:-

1.   Copyright protection subsists in the following works without registration:

      (1)   literary and artistic works, performances of performers, phonograms created published by citizens or residents of Myanmar;

      (2)   works protected under a treaty on copyright protection of which Myanmar is a member state, provided that they are original works first  published in Myanmar or abroad but subsequently published in Myanmar within 30 days from their first publication date.

2.   Literary and artistic works include: written, oral, musical, choreographic, architectural, traditional and cultural expressions, lithographical and photographical works, works of print, works of applied art, illustrations, adaptations of works and datasets.

3.   Terms of copyright protection are shown in the table below:

Authors of literary and artistic works have a moral right over them throughout his or her lifetime plus an unlimited period of time after his or her death.

4.   Copyright owners have an exclusive right to reproduce, translate, adapt, arrange, transform, modify, distribute, sell, transfer, assign, license, rent the original or a copy of a copyright work.

5.   Reproduction of a copyright work without authorization of the rights holder under some circumstances such as reproduction for educational or personal use is allowed provided that it does not impact the rights of copyright owners.

6.   A copyright owner has the right, but is not obligated, to register a copyright work.


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