Economic aspect of copyright and related rights in the Intellectual property Law PDF  | Print |  E-mail
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Monday, 30 October 2006 07:00

Becoming a WTO member, Vietnam has signed multilateral trade agreement, in which has improved the legal system in compliance with the international standards. In this Article, I would like to refer to the improvement of intellectual property system in general, including copyright and related rights; the economic aspect of copyright and related rights; the remedies to infringement activities on copyright and related rights

The improvement of intellectual property system in general, including copyright and related rights

In only 11 months, the Intellectual Property Law had been studied, drafted and passed to improve the Intellectual Property System in Vietnam.

The Intellectual Property Law includes 222 Articles, regulates 03 fields as followings: copyright and related rights, industrial property, new plant variety. The field of copyright and related rights has regulated by the provisions in Civil Code, Intellectual Property Law and the Decree No. 100/2006/ND-CP on detailed regulations and guidance to the implementation of a number of provisions in the Civil Code and the Intellectual Property Law on Copyright and Related Rights. In addition, other specific laws such as Publishing Law, Press Law, Cinematographic Law, Library Ordinance also have the provisions relating to copyright and related rights. The Criminal Code, Ordinance on administrative fine and punishments have the provisions to handle the infringement on copyright and related rights.

In general, the present copyright provisions are in line with the international standards and principles established by Berne, Rome, Geneva, Brussels Convention and WCT, WPPT, TRIPS. We also have referred to Wipo model law and copyright laws of some countries as United States, Switzerland, China, Indonesia, Thailand…during the period drafting the Intellectual Property Law.

The Intellectual Property Law which came in to effect from 1 July, 2006 is the support of Vietnam to the messages of Director General of WIPO by the occasion of the Intellectual Property day 2006: “Ideas shape our world. They are the raw materials on which our future prosperity and heritage depend. This is why it is important to provide environments in which innovative ideas are encouraged and rewarded. This is why intellectual property exists.”

The economic aspect of copyright and related rights

Intellectual Property is a kind of property, so the economic relationship will determine the content of the copyright and related rights legal system. The WIPO conventions on copyright and related rights, the copyright law of other countries have been passed to regulate this special relationship. The Vietnam Intellectual Property Law also has provisions to protect the economic rights of author, performer, producer of phonogram, videogram and broadcasting organization. 

Especially, the economic rights have been regulated as exclusive rights of right owners. These exclusive rights are explored by right owners or by others with the authorization from right owners. The right owners will receive the royalty when authorizing others to explore their rights. That is the basic provisions of Intellectual Property Law. However, in order to making balance of interest between the copyright owners, the users and the public, the Intellectual Property Law also has provisions on limitation of copyright and related rights.

The remedies to infringement activities on copyright and related rights

The Intellectual Property Law has regulated the specific infringement activities on copyright and related rights. These provisions inflect the particular conditions on enforcement of copyright and related rights in Vietnam in comparison with the Intellectual Property Law of other countries.

The Intellectual Property Law also has regulated civil, administrative or criminal remedies to handle the infringement of copyright and related rights. On civil remedies, the Intellectual Property Law have provisions on Compelling compensation for damages, Compelling destruction in respect of goods, materials and implements the predominant use of which has been in the creation or trading of copyright and related rights infringing goods. If the plaintiff succeeds in proving that the infringement of copyright and related rights has caused spiritual damage to him or her, he or she shall have the right to request the court to determine the rate of compensation ranging from VND 5 million to VND 50 million, depending on the level of damage. The following provisional measures are shall applicable to goods suspected of infringing upon copyright and related rights or to the materials, raw materials or implements for producing or trading such goods: Seizure; Attachment; Sealing, prohibition of changing status or displacing; Prohibition of transferring ownership.

On administrative remedies, the Intellectual Property Law has regulated the monetary fine rates shall be at least equal to the value of the discovered infringing goods but must not exceed five times of that value. Depending on nature and level of the infringement, the infringing organizations and individuals are liable to the following complementary remedies: Confiscation of intellectual property counterfeit goods (pirated goods in the field of copyright and related rights), materials, raw materials and implements mainly used for manufacturing or trading such intellectual property counterfeit goods; Suspension of relevant business activities for a definite term.

Individuals who have committed acts of infringement of copyright and related rights having factors that constitute a crime shall be liable to the criminal liabilities in accordance with the criminal laws and regulations, with the fine up to 200 millions VND and 3 years imprisonment.

We are in the era of development of information technology, in which the literary and artistic works can be digitalized. Thus, the users can access to works easily at a place or at a time chosen by them. However, it is also a challenge to right owners to protect their rights as well as competent authorities in management and enforcement on copyright and related rights.

At this moment, the ministry of culture and information has been drafted the Decree on administrative remedies to infringement activities on copyright and related rights, the Supreme Court have been drafted the Circular guidance to provisions of crime on copyright and related rights. These provisions will improve the legal system on copyright and related rights in Vietnam, as well as to promote the creation activities, to push up economic growth, investment attraction to Vietnam.  

   Dr. Vu Manh Chu                      

 Director General of Copyright Office of Vietnam

 
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