IP Rights in Macao: The basics

A. Copyrights
WHAT are Copyrig hts?
Copyrights ar e rights that g uarantee the ow ner exclusive uses
of literary an d artistic work s, sound and vid eo recordings, ra dio
and TV broad casts, artistic p erformances and public spe ctacles.
Literary an d artistic work s are underst ood very broadly an d
potentially incl ude any creative te xts (includi ng computer
soware), images (photos, paint ings, drawings, etc.), shapes
(for example, sculp tures), sounds (especially musical work s) and
compilations (for exam ple, databases).
Use of a literary or ar tistic work is also a ver y broad legal concept
that includes n ot only copying but al so any form of public
exploitatio n of the work (translat ing, broadca sting, leasing t o
the public, e xhibiting, etc.). Ind ustrial designs and design er works
can also be prot ected by copyright.
Copyright s in Macao: What you n eed to know
Copyrights i n Macao are grante d automatically by l aw to the
creators of literar y and artistic work s, performers, broadca sters,
producers of sou nd or video recordin gs and producer s of
spectacle s, irrespective of any formalit y.
In case original wor k is created under an employm ent contract or in
th e cou rs e of ful lli ng the o cial du ties , the own ers hip of ec ono mic
rights must be d ecided according to the agreem ent in advance.
In principle, xation of the literar y or artistic work in a material
form (pa per, canvas, stone, lm, etc.) is not required, however,
for copyright to subsis t and be protec ted by the relevant l aws,
the original work s hall be reduced int o a material and tan gible
form of expression .
How LONG does leg al protectio n in last?
As a general ru le, copyrights last the lifet ime of the creator plus
50 years. A few main excep tions should be ta ken into account
Nature of work Duration of Copyright
Audio-visual works (for example,
movies) as well as copyrights
acquired by legal persons on
literary or artistic works
50 years aer publication of
the work
Applied arts works
(for example, designs)
25 years aer the making of
the work
Collective works 50 years aer the rst
disclosure or publication
Artistic performances
(for example, a piano recital)
25 years aer the performance
is recorded in audio or video
Sound and video recordings
50 years aer the publication of
the recording or, in case there
is no publication, 50 years aer
the recording is made
Radio and TV broadcasts 20 years aer the broadcast
All the above ex piry terms are calcula ted from the 1st of January
of the year that follows t he relevant event.
HOW do I registe r?
There is no registr ation. Literar y and art istic works are
automatically p rotected by law o nce they are create d and
expressed in a ny form (for example, public ation of a text ,
exhibition of an ima ge, broadcast of a mo vie, live performan ce
of a song, etc). Radio a nd TV broadc asts are prot ected once
they star t. Sound an d video recordings a re protecte d once the
recording is made. A rtistic per formances are prot ected once t he
performance ha ppens or is recorded.
IP Factsheet: Macao

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