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Malta Copyright Act :: The Recent New Amendments [13th May 2009]

On the 13th May 2009, Parliament approved the Bill which amends Malta’s Copyright Act. The object of the Bill is to render the Copyright Act compliant with the obligations emanating from the WIPO Copyright Treaty 1996 and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty 1996.

The Bill amends and clarifies various definitions within the Copyright Act. For instance it defines that the mere provision of physical facilities for enabling or making of a communication does not in itself amount to an act of communication to the public and communication to the public also includes making the sounds or the representations of sounds fixed in a sound recording audible to the public.

Dancers were included within the definition of ‘performers’ as prior to these amendments dancers were excluded from the definition.

The following new definition has also been included: “producer of a sound recording” means the legal entity who or which takes the initiative and has the responsibility for the first fixation of the sounds of a performance or other sounds or the representation of sounds”.

The making available of a work to the public was amended as follows: “provided that in the case of a work, the making available to the public had taken place with the consent of the author or other owner of copyright, and in the case of a sound recording, with the consent of the producer of the sound recording or his successor in title.

For the purposes of article 19, a sound recording made available to the public by wire or wireless means in such a way that members of the public may access it from a place and at a time individually chosen by them, shall be considered as if it had been published for commercial purposes.

Sound recordings made available to the public by wire or wireless means, in such a way that members of the public may access them from a place and at a time individually chosen by them, shall be considered as if they have been published for commercial purposes.

Most importantly the new amendments provide that copyright protection shall not extend to ideas, procedures, methods of operations or mathematical concepts as such.


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