The existing Copyright Act in Myanmar came into force on 24 February 1914. According to this law, copyright ownership lasts for the life of the creator plus fifty years after their death. The Act covers literary, dramatic, artistic, and musical works.
On 24 May 2019, a new Copyright Act was enacted by the Parliament, replacing the old Copyright Act of 1914. The new law consists of 24 Chapters and a total of 102 Sections, and it allows authors to register their works and obtain substantial evidence of copyright ownership in case of any disputes. While the new law has indeed been enacted, its enforcement has been pending until the administrative body under the law is established. As of today, Myanmar is not yet a member of the Berne Convention.
In recent updates, the Deputy Director-General of the Intellectual Property Department of Myanmar announced that the new copyright law will come into effect in October 2023, as stated in the Global New Light of Myanmar Newspaper on 10 August 2023. This will be the second implementation of a new IP law in Myanmar; the first implementation was the Trademark Law that came into effect on 1 April 2023.
To register for copyright, applicants can apply online or in person at the counter. The application steps for copyright registration in Myanmar are as follows:
Application Process (Online/Counter)
- Step 1. Filing of application
- Step 2. Examination
- Step 3. Grant/Refuse
- Step 4. Publication for registration
- Step 5. Issue certificate