Copyright registration in Macau. Macau also spelled Macao and officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (MSAR), is a city and special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China in the western Pearl River Delta by the South China Sea. Macau has a capitalist service economy largely based on casino gaming and tourism. Macau’s gaming industry is the largest in the world, generating over MOP195 billion (US$24 billion) in revenue and about seven times larger than that of Las Vegas. Accordingly, many businesses want to enter this market and one of the most important preparations a business needs to take before expanding to this country is to learn the procedure of copyright registration in Macau.
Copyright in Macau
Unlike other intellectual property rights such as trademarks, patents, industrial designs, plant varieties, etc., copyright does not need to be registered for protection but will be automatically protected from the time the works are created.
The creation must be visible in a certain material form, like content, quality, form, medium, language, published or unpublished, registered or unregistered.
Accordingly, whether registered or not, the copyright to the work will still be protected. However, the creator should still apply for copyright registration in Macau early because early registration will give the author/owner of the work many advantages in the event of a dispute.
When unauthorized use of work occurs around the world, the owner of a work who has made a copyright registration in Macau will not have to waste time and complicate matters with proving himself/herself to be the legitimate owner of the work.
Thereby, in order to avoid passivity, the owner of the work should make a copyright registration in Macau immediately to protect their rights and interests when there is an infringement.
Copyright registration in Macau
Macau is a member country of The Berne Convention for Copyright since 1999.
The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (the Berne Convention) is an international agreement governing copyright. The agreement was first accepted in Berne, Switzerland, in 1886.
As Macau is a contracting party of the Berne Convention, any work originating in Macau will be given copyright protection in each of the Berne Convention member countries.
In most countries, copyright protection is automatic as soon as the work existed in material form. However, the copyright registration in Macau is critical in order for the copyright owner to obtain evidence of copyright.
Evidence of copyright is extremely important even when the works are automatically protected according to copyright law.
When registering, the work will get an application submission date, as well as information about the creation and proof of creative concept and development. This provides unambiguous proof of authorship and ownership that can’t be denied.
Proof of copyright is essential in an age when the publishing, dissemination, and theft of material is extremely easy with the exposure of the Internet.
If copyright registration is not made, copyright owners will lose a big amount of money as well as time attempting to fight copyright issues and prove ownership of the original work.
If the copyright owner has already registered for copyright protection to the IP office, they would have a strong legal foundation which would increase their chance of winning against the violating parties.
Documents for copyright registration in Macau
To obtain copyright registration in Macau, the author of the work needs to prepare the following documents:
- Declaration of copyright registration in Macau;
- Two copies of copyrighted work;
- Documents proving the right to apply;
- Written consent of co-authors, if the work has co-authors;
- Written consent of the co-owners, if the copyright is jointly owned;
- Notarized identity card of the author or owner of the work;
- Power of Attorney, if the applicant is an authorized person;
- Notarized copy of the company’s business registration certificate (if the owner is a company).
The copyright law of Macau
Decree-law No. 43/99/M of August 16, 1999, on the regime of copyright and related rights regulates copyright in Macau, China. This Decree-Law contains detailed provisions concerning copyright and related rights, heavily influenced by the provisions of the Berne Convention which Macau has joined in since 1999.
Other international treaties related to copyright that Macau has joined in include:
- Rome Convention (October 26, 1961)
- Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) (April 15, 1994)
You can see a list of Macau IP firms here.