This Act was repealed on 2017-03-13 by Copyright Act.
- Assented to on 26 April 1989
- Commenced on 22 June 1989
- [This is the version of this document at 31 December 2014.]
- [Note: This version of the Act was revised and consolidated in the Fifth Revised Edition of the Laws of Malawi (L.R.O. 1/2018), by the Solicitor General and Secretary for Justice under the authority of the Revision of the Laws Act.]
- [Repealed by Copyright Act (Act 26 of 2016) on 13 March 2017]
Part I – Preliminary
1. Short titleThis Act may be cited as the Copyright Act.
2. InterpretationIn this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—“adaptation” —(a)in relation to a literary work, (whether the work is in its original language or in a different language) in non-dramatic form, means a version of the work in a dramatic form; or(b)in relation to a literary work (whether in its original language or in a different language) in a dramatic form, means a version of the work in non-dramatic form; or(c)in relation to a literary work (whether in a non-dramatic form or in a dramatic form) means—(i)a translation of the work; or(ii)a version of the work in which the story or action is conveyed solely or principally by means of pictures; or(d)in relation to a musical work, means an arrangement or transcription of the work;“artistic work”, irrespective of artistic quality, means any of the following works—(a)paintings, drawings, etchings, lithographs, woodcuts, engravings, product of photogravure and prints; or(b)photography not comprised in a cinematograph film; or(c)maps, plans, charts or diagrams; or(d)sculpture; or(e)works of architecture in the form of buildings or models; or(f)works of applied art, whether handicraft or produced on an industrial scale;“audio-visual work” means a fixation in any physical medium of images synchronized with or without sound from which a moving picture may by any means, be reproduced and includes cinematograph films, videotapes and videograms but does not include a broadcast;“association” means an association of persons whose works are protected under this Act;[22 of 1989]“author” means the person who creates a work, and—(a)in the case of a cinematograph film or sound recording, means a person by whom arrangements for the making of the film or recording were undertaken; and(b)in the case of a broadcast transmitted from within a country, includes the person by whom the arrangements for the making of the transmission within that country were undertaken;“Board” means the Board for the management of the Society as referred to in section 46;[22 of 1989]“broadcast” means the transmission of programmes or materials for reception by the general public over a distance by means of radio, television, electromagnetic emissions, light beams, wire cable or other means;“building” includes any structure;“choreographic work” means a dance composition or design by a dance composer of dance patterns winch rnay be used as blue print for unified dance presentations on stage or in recordings of any kind regardless of how long they may last;“broadcasting organization” means the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation, established by the Malawi Broadcasting Act and any other broadcaster whether licensed under that Act or any other written law;[Cap. 20:01]“commissioned work” means a work created, in pursuance of a contract between the author end an individual or a legal entity commissioning a specified work from the author against an agreed author’s fee;“communication by cable”, in relation to a work, means transmission over wires or other paths provided by a material substance of the work, production or performance of the work;“communication to the public” means making a work accessible to the public;“computer software” means a set of instructions, whether expressed in words or in schematic or other form, which is capable, when incorporated in a machine-readable medium, of causing an electronic or other device having information processing capabilities to indicate, perform or achieve a particular function, task or result;“copy” means a reproduction of a work in a written form, or in the form of a recording or in any other material form, but an object shall not be taken to be a copy of an architectural work unless the object is a building or model;“copyright” means copyright protected under this Act;“derivative work” means a work resulting from adaptation, translation or other transformation of an original work in so far as it constitutes an independent creation;“distribution” means, the distribution to the public for commercial purposes of copies of a work or production by way of sale, rental, lease, hire, loan or similar arrangement;“distributor” means the person who decides that the distribution should take place;“dramatic work” includes—(a)a choreographic show or entertainment in dumb show;(b)a scenario or script for an audio-visual work but does not include the audio-visual work;“engraving” does not include a photograph;“fixation” means the embodiment of images or, sounds or both in a material form sufficiently permanent or stable to permit them to be perceived, reproduced or communicated;“folklore” means all literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works belonging to (be cultural heritage, of Mala™ emoted, preserved and developed by ethnic communities of Malawi or by unidentified Malawi authors, and includes, in particular—(a)folk tales, folk poetry and riddles;(b)folk songs and instrumental folk music;(c)folk dances, plays and artistic forms of rituals;(d)production of folk art, in particular drawings, paintings, carvings, sculptures, pottery, terracotta, mosaic, woodwork, metalware jewellery, basket and costumes;(e)traditional musical instruments; and(f)any works designated as such by the Minister by notice published in the Gazette',“infringement of copyright” has the meaning assigned thereto in section 47;“infringing copies of a work” means copies of a work produced by any process and in any form the making of which involves infringement of the copyright in the work or the rights granted to performers, broadcasters, and producers of sound recordings under this Act and includes copies the making of which infringe the provisions of this Act relating to folklore;“literary work” irrespective of literary quality, includes any of the following—(a)novels, stories or poetical works;(b)plays, stage direction, film, scenario or broadcasting scripts;(c)textbooks, treatises, histories, biographies, essays or articles;(d)encyclopaedias, dictionaries, directories or anthologies;(e)letters, reports or memorandum;(f)lectures, addresses or sermons; and(g)computer programmes;“manuscript”, in relation to a work, means the original document embodying the work whether written by hand or otherwise;“musical work” includes any musical work irrespective of its musical quality, and includes words composed for musical accompaniment;"performance" means the presentation of a work by such action as dancing, playing, reciting, singing, delivering, declaiming or projecting to listeners or spectators, live or by any means whatsoever;“performer” means actor, singer, declaimer, musician, or other person who performs a literary or artistic work and includes the conductor or director of a performance of any such work;“photograph” includes photolithograph and other work produced by any process analogous to photography but does not include any part of an audio-visual work;“plate” means any material object in which a work, production, performance or ediction has been embodied and by the means of which copies or reproductions of the work, production performance or edition may be made;“public performance” means the performance of, a work which is presented to listeners or spectators not restricted to specific persons belonging to private group;“publication of a sound recording” means the offering of a sound recording to the public in a quantity sufficient to satisfy a reasonable demand for the sound recording;“published works” means works reproduced with the consent of their authors in copies made available to the public in a quantity sufficient to satisfy a reasonable demand for the work;“rebroadcasting” means the simultaneous or subsequent broadcasting in part or in whole by one broadcasting organization of the broadcast of another broadcasting organization;“reproduction" means the making of one or more copies of a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work or expressions of folklore or fixation in any material form including any audio-visual or sound recording, and in the case of an artistic work, includes converting a work into a three dimensional form or, if existing in three dimensional, converting it into a two dimensional form;“Society” means the Copyright Society of Malawi established under section 41;“sound recording” means—(a)a recording of sounds from which the sounds may be reproduced;(b)a recording of a literary, dramatic or musical work from which sounds reproducing the work may be produced, in either case, regardless of the medium on which the recording is made or the method by which the sounds are reproduced;“work” means any work or other matter in which copyright subsists under this Act;“works of applied art” means an artistic work applied to objects for practical use whether handicraft or works produced on industrial scale;“works published in Malawi” includes works published abroad but thereafter published in Malawi within thirty days;“works of joint-authorship” means a work created by the collaboration of two or more authors in which the contribution of each author is not separable from the contribution of the other author or authors.
Part II – Copyright
3. CopyrightSubject to the provisions of this Act, an author of any work shall, by the mere fact of its creation, enjoy an exclusive property right in the work against all persons.
4. Works in which copyright subsist
Part III – Literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works
5. Copyright in literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works
6. Derivative works
7. Works not subject to copyright protectionCopyright protection shall not extend to—
8. Economic rightsSubject to section 10, the author of any work eligible for copyright under this Part shall have the exclusive right in respect of such work to do, or authorize any other person to do, the following acts in relation to the whole work or any part thereof—
9. Moral rights
10. Permitted free uses of a workThe following uses of a work under this Part, either in its original language or in its translation, shall be permissible without the author’s consent and without the obligation to pay remuneration for the use of such work—
11. Ownership of copyrightIn determining the person vested with the copyright under this Part, the following principles shall apply—
12. Employed authorsSubject to any written law relating to contracts of employment and to the terms of any specific contract of service or for services, when a work is created by an author—
13. Duration of copyright
Part IV – Transfer of rights and compulsory licences
Division I—Transfer of copyright
14. Transferability of copyright
15. Contracts for authorization of use of rights under this Act
16. Commissioned work
Division II—Compulsory licences
17. Compulsory translation licence
18. Conditions of a compulsory licence
19. Translation licence for broadcasting purposes
20. Compulsory reproduction licence
21. Conditions of a compulsory reproduction licence for
22. Compulsory reproduction licence for audio-visual works
23. Production of recording of musical works
Part V – Expressions of folklore
24. Copyright in expressions of folklore to vest in GovernmentSubject to the provisions of this Part, copyright in expressions of folklore shall vest in perpetuality in the Government on behalf and for the benefit of the people of Malawi.
25. Certain uses of expressions of folklore to be subject to authorizationSubject to the provisions of section 29, the following uses of the expressions of folklore shall be subject to prior written authorization by the Minister when they are made for gainful purposes or outside their traditional and customary context—
26. Free uses of expressions of folkloreThe provisions of section 25 shall not apply to any use of the expressions of folklore in the following cases—
27. Source of expressions of folklore to be acknowledgedIn any printed publication or communication to the public wherein expressions of folklore have been used, except for uses referred to in section 25 (c) and (d), the user of the expression of folklore shall acknowledge in such publication or communication the source from where the expressions of folklore so used by him have been derived.
28. Authorization for use of expressions of folklore
29. Non-hindrance development of folkloreThe protection of expressions of folklore under this Act shall not in any way be construed so as to hinder the normal use, maintenance and development of expressions of folklore.
30. Protection under this Part to be additionalProtection of any expressions of folklore conferred by this Part shall be additional to, and shall not in any way limit or prejudice protection on such expressions conferred by any other written law or treaty or convention to which Malawi is a party.
Part VI – Broadcasters, performers and producers of sound recordings
31. Rights of broadcasters, performers, and, producers of sound recording not to affect copyrightThe protection granted under sections 32 to 39 relating to rights of broadcasters, performers and producers of sound recording shall not in any way affect copyright in a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work under this Act, and accordingly no provision in any of those sections shall be construed so as to affect copyright in any such work.
32. Acts requiring authorization of performers
33. Granting of authorization by performers
34. Acts requiring the authorization of producers of sound recording
35. Obligations of producers of sound recordings
36. Notice of protection of rights of producers of sound recordings
37. Sound recording performance in public placesWhere in any public place, by means of broadcasting, cinematography, jukebox or other apparatus, sound recording or other devices are used in public performance the authors, performers and the producers of sound recording shall be entitled to royalties in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
38. Rights of broadcasting organizations
39. Exceptions to certain provisions under this PartThe provisions of sections 33, 34, 35, 36 and 37 shall not apply where the acts referred to therein are concerned with—
Part VII – Public domain
40. Works in the public domain
Part VIII – The Copyright Society of Malawi
41. Establishment of a Copyright Society of MalawiThere is hereby established an institution to be known as the Copyright Society of Malawi (in this Act referred to as the “Society”) which shall be a body corporate having perpetual succession and a common seal and shall, under that name, be capable of suing and being sued and of purchasing, or otherwise acquiring holding and alienating moveable or immoveable property and, subject to the provisions of this Act, of doing or performing all such acts and things as bodies corporate may by law do or perform.
42. Functions of the SocietyThe functions of the Society shall be—
43. Powers of the SocietyFor the better performance of its functions, the Society shall, subject to this Act, have power—
44. Funds of the SocietyThe funds of the Society shall consist of—
45. Accounts and audit
46. Constitution, proceedings and other matters of the Society
Part IX – Infringement of copyright, offences and miscellaneous provisions
47. Infringement of copyright, etc.
48. Offences and penalties
49. Compensation to victims of offence
50. Proof of facts in proceedingsAn affidavit made on oath, affirmation or other like manner before a magistrate, notary public or other person competent to administer an oath or affirmation under the law of the country where the oath was made, which—
52. Entry into premisesSubject to the provisions of this section, an inspector may, at any reasonable time and on production of his certificate of authority enter any premises, ship, aircraft or vehicle for the purpose of ascertaining whether there is or has been, on or in connexion with those premises, ship, aircraft or vehicle any contravention of this Act.
53. Mode of inspection
54. Inspectors not personally liable for acts done under this ActAn inspector shall not be personally liable in respect of any act done by him in the course of his employment and in the execution or purported execution of any duty under this Act.
55. Extension of the application of this ActThe Minister may, by notice published in the Gazette, extend the application of this Act to any works, expressions of folklore, performances, sound recordings and broadcasts which are first publications in a country or created by a person who is national of or resident in or a company incorporated in a country which is a party to a copyright treaty or convention to which Malawi is also a party and which grants reciprocal provisions.
56. RegulationsThe Minister may make regulations for carrying out or giving effect to the provisions of this Act and without prejudice to the generality to the foregoing, such regulations may—
57. Applications to works created before and after commencement of this ActThis Act shall apply in relation to works created before the commencement of this Act as it applies in relation to works made thereafter.
History of this document
13 March 2017
Repealed by Copyright Act
22 June 1989
26 April 1989