(31 January 2017) The copyright law of Myanmar was enacted over a century ago in 1914, and is one of many laws that are being replaced. It is based on the 1911 Copyright Act of the United Kingdom and although the law is still on the statute books, in practice it is defunct. Foreign works in Myanmar are not currently protected by copyright. In 2013, Myanmar signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement with the US that includes provisions on the protection of intellectual property rights.
With more than 5,000 libraries in Myanmar, including a network of public libraries throughout the country’s villages and a newly-formed consortium of academic libraries, libraries are poised to become a catalyst for development in the new Myanmar.
The new copyright law must support libraries to deliver on national priorities such as the provision of online distance education, and increased availability of reading material in minority languages, especially in rural and remote areas.
It should allow activities that are core to the provision of effective library services in the 21st century, such as the use of digital technologies.
For several years EIFL has championed copyright reform in Myanmar to support the work of libraries. Read the full account here.