Malawi

Legal background

Scope and duration of copyright

Does copyright end immediately after the minimum period mandated by the Berne Convention? No
Has a court or tribunal ever limited the exercise of IP rights under competition law, for example by imposing compulsory licensing or regulating royalties charged by dominant rights holders? No
Has a court or tribunal ever limited the exercise of IP rights pursuant to a bill of rights or similar human rights instrument, for example by preventing copyright from being used to stifle protected speech? No
Can databases of non-original material be reproduced without infringing a copyright or sui generis database right? No
Are rights holders prohibited from excluding user rights under copyright law? No
Is computer software excluded from the scope of patentable subject matter? No

Freedoms to access and use

By Home UsersIs there any general user right that is based on a set of balancing criteria, such as a "fair use" right?
Is time, space and format shifting allowed (such as ripping music from CD to an MP3 player)? Yes
Can consumers reproduce copyright material for their own use in the original format, for example for backup purposes? Yes
Can works be communicated to a limited public (for example, family and friends) without infringing copyright?
For EducationMay students copy works for private research or study? In part
Does any such research and study provision cover distance and online education? Yes
May translations of works be made for educational purposes? Yes
May educators copy works for use in the classroom? Yes
OnlineAre temporary or transient copies, incidental to a lawful use, excepted from copyright? Yes
Does the law exclude or limit the liability of intermediaries such as ISPs for copyright infringements carried out on their network? No
Is Internet access free of ISP filtering or monitoring for potential copyright-infringements? Yes
By content creatorsIs there any protection for consumers who non-commercially remix or mash up copyright works? No
May computer software be reproduced or transformed for the purpose of reverse-engineering interoperable software? No
Is the incidental inclusion of a work in other material permitted? No
Is there are copyright exception for parody or satire?
By the pressIs there a copyright exception for the news of the day? No
May copyright material be reproduced for the purposes of review and criticism? Yes
Academically
May quotations be used for any purpose? Yes
By LibrariesMay libraries copy works if they cannot reasonably be obtained commercially? No
May librarians copy works for users for the purpose of research or study? Yes
With permission from the owner. Usually copied for free; however all academic papers like thesis or dissertations are suposed to be published for filing in Libraries of the resective academic institution.
Are libraries allowed to make preservation or archive copies of materials in their collections? Yes
Only by altering covers and binding.
Can lending libraries operate without incurring public lending rights fees to copyright owners? Yes
By disabled usersIs it permissible to copy or adapt work for the use of those with disabilities? No
In public affairsAre laws excluded from copyright? Yes
Are other governmental works either excluded from copyright, or routinely shared under permissive licences? Yes
Government works are largely sharable unless classified as confidential.
Are the results of publicly funded research required to be published under an open access licence? No
Not by requirement. But can be shared publicly as per current practice. This includes music productions for educational/public awareness purposes.

Freedoms to share and transfer

Do copyright owners have the right to release their works to the public domain, without any limitation on how those works may be used? Yes
Can public domain works be used without the need for any payment or registration of the use? Yes
Privately. Copyright Society charges flat levies USD120 for public service use for commerical entities as coyright fees.
Does the law make special provision for the legal use of orphaned works? No
Is parallel importation of copyright works permitted? Yes
Are there national programmes or policies to promote the use, production or dissemination of openly-licensed material such as free and open source software or open educational resources? Yes
Universal Access Policy
Are there national programmes or policies that specify or promote the use of open document formats? No

Administration and enforcement

What is the maximum penalty for copyright infringement for an individual? $0
What is the maximum penalty for copyright infringement for a corporation? $0
Is innocent infringement of IP treated differently by the law? No
Ignorance of law is deemed not execusable
Is the creation or distribution of devices that can circumvent technological protection measures (TPM) permitted, where such devices can be used for legal purposes? No
Is the use of such devices by consumers or intermediaries permitted in the legal exercise of user rights? No
Does national copyright or consumer protection law require that the effect of TPMs distributed with copyright works be disclosed to consumers? No
Are there cases in which the availability of injunctive relief for IP infringement is limited by the law on public policy grounds?
Does the law protect a user's Internet access from being suspended for alleged copyright infringement, except after a hearing in court?
Are criminal sanctions limited to cases of large-scale commercial counterfeiting?
Are damages for copyright infringement limited to the loss sustained, rather than a pre-established or statutory damages award?
Is there provision to penalise the wrongful allegation of copyright infringement? No
Is there provision to penalise the obstruction of consumers' exercise of user rights? No
Does the patent system allow for pre-grant opposition?

Recent or upcoming changes

Summary of position

To be added.

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