‘MARC’ initiative to protect rights of authors, publishers and visual artists

The Malaysia Reprographic Rights Centre (MARC), the first-of-its kind initiative in the country, is for the protection of rights of authors, publishers and visual artists, said Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Rosol Wahid.

Speaking at the National Seminar on Managing Copyright in Malaysia Education on Thursday (Aug 18), Rosol said MARC has the responsibility of monitoring and enforcing rights, as well as for collecting and distributing royalties to the rights holders.

In partnership with relevant entities such as the Education Ministry and Higher Education Ministry, he stated the organization will be responsible for monitoring the re-use of print and digital works across Malaysia, such as at schools, universities, libraries, and print centers.

MARC, as the Collective Management Organisation (CMO), will work with local universities to develop a simple and efficient system that will determine a fair licence fee and assist with information to enable equitable distribution of the fee to authors and publishers,” he stated.

MARC will also effectively license photocopying and collect remuneration for authors, publishers and visual artists, and the licence agreement could set the terms and conditions for permitted copying agreed upon with the consent of rights holders.

MARC is made up of the Malaysian Book Publishers Association (MABOPA), the Malaysian National Writers Association (PENA), the Malaysian Scholarly Publishing Council (MAPIM), and the Malaysian Comic Activist Society (PEKOMIK), the Malaysian Children’s Picture Book Association (MYCPB).

At the same time, Rosol said the copyright owners are urged to register their works at the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO) through the Copyright Voluntary Notification System, as they could use it to assist in providing prima facie evidence of ownership and evidence of date of creation.

Meanwhile, he said Malaysia is doing its best to ensure better intellectual property (IP) practices, laws and regulations in the country, in order to maintain an attractive business environment.

“By establishing MARC as a [collective management organization], it will provide legitimate access to information at a low cost.”

“They also protect a favorable climate for invention by giving appropriate remuneration to rights holders and encouragement for future creations,” he added.

According to Rosol, MyIPO will also organize various awareness events and extensive campaigns around the country to teach the public about copyright and the law, so that people may recognize the importance of such rights and uphold them.

Malaysia is actively involved in international copyright problems through MyIPO, and the Copyright (Amendment) Act 2022, which went into force on March 18 this year, demonstrates the government’s attempt to provide more effective protection of copyright works in the digital world, he said.

Malaysia’s accession as a member of the Marrakesh Treaty will contribute to the country’s socio-economic progress by providing exemptions from obtaining permission from copyright owners to make and distribute reading materials in accessible format copy for the visually impaired.

Malaysia’s participation in this treaty will provide wider access to approximately 51,323 visually impaired people registered with the Social Welfare Department, said Rosol. – Bernama

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