Copyright and Related Rights on the Internet in Vietnam PDF  | Print |  E-mail
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Wednesday, 05 August 2009 07:00

Impacts of the Internet on socio-economic life

Changing ways of living and working

iq0kpMaking its first presence in Vietnam in November 1997, the Internet has to date been so familiar to everyone in the country. It has become an inseparable part of daily activities today and is expected to continuously make us surprise with experiments that would go beyond one’s imagination.  

Having emerged as a new phenomenon in cultural and technological spheres, the Internet has produced significant impacts that have definitely changes our lives, including ways of working. With the Internet, it is absolutely possible for us to work at offices, from homes, or elsewhere, or even during travelling trips. The use of the Internet makes the office no longer the office that is trapped in the four walls as we know it is. And with the Internet, the world of leisure comes to entertain us with endless experiments to share and explore.

It is really hard to calculate a full account of macro and micro changes stemming from the Internet.

The Internet creates an infrastructure for an information society

It can be said that the Internet has created a fundamental infrastructure for the modern information society. It has transformed the conventional mode of operation that public agencies have applied for a long time and served as a major tool to aid the establishment of e-government. The Internet has provided a one stop service for public agencies to handle administrative procedures. Taking the customs office as an example in the case as it has adopted the Internet based platform to provide e-customs clearance service, helping businesses shorten their time to clear customs procedures significantly. The use of the Internet has greatly reduced the workload for public agencies and streamlined administrative procedures for businesses.

The Internet provides venue for information globalization

The Internet has pooled all advantages of other means of communications that enable its users to have fastest access to a very huge store of information in the most effective manner and with the most powerful effect it would have. It can be said that in the globalization process, the Internet has shown its efficient role in connecting the globe, people, societies, and nations around the world. In addition to that, the Internet has helped countries and territories sharpen their competitive edge and further boost their economic strength during the globalization process..  

The Internet forms online communities and insiders (so called Netizen)

The Internet has created an environment for the establishment of online communities and their insiders. In the meantime, it has also displayed its other role – that is to bring the people together to the blogging, chat rooms, and forums....

Overview of Internet in Vietnam

Internet in Vietnam – growing fast

Today, digital technology has evolved into an industry that made the best use of the abundant resources available on the Internet for making profits. Acting not only as a virtual network for the globe to interact in the global business environment, the Internet itself provides an ideal business space that would bring huge benefits to the best exploiters.  

According to the Internet WorldStats (IWS), Internet users in Vietnam have been growing rapidly in recent years. After 12 years of coming to Vietnam, the number of Internet users in Vietnam has exceeded 20 million and it is forecast to hit 25-30 million by 2010. IWS experts viewed such a surge as a lucrative opportunity for businesses to invest in the field under various forms.

The following statistics below provide proof of the skyrocketing growth rate of Internet usage in Vietnam:


(upto Dec.)


User per

Population (%)

DomainNames (.vn)


























(upto June)




Miniwatts Marketing Group (MMG)’s ratings also showed that by the end of March, 2009, Vietnam ranked 18th worldwide in Internet users. In Asia, Vietnam stood behind China, Japan, India, the Republic of Korea, Indonesia and Iran in terms of the number of Internet users.

In the 2000-2008 period, the number of Vietnamese Internet users grew by 95 times - the fastest rate recorded in the world. 

Internet use by Vietnamese businesses:

Using emails: 88 percent; searching information: 64 percent; downloading/uploading files: 48 percent.

Internet use by individuals in Vietnam:

Reading news and searching information: 97 percent; using emails: 97 percent; online chatting or messaging: 88 percent; Logging in website: 77 percent; looking for placement: 41 percent.

Source: Vietnam Post and Telecommunications (VNPT)

Specific targets set to 2010:

-  Internet users account for 30-35 percent of the country’s population;

-  8-12 Internet subscribers/100 people (including 30 percent being broadband service subscribers);

-  All public agencies are connected to broadband Internet service;

-  100 percent of districts, 70 percent of communes and almost all communes in key economic zones are provided with public Internet access;

-  All research institutes, universities, colleges, vocational training schools, senior high schools and over 90 percent of junior high schools and hospitals nationwide are connected to broadband Internet service.

Source: Vietnam Post and Telecommunications (VNPT)

Major acts of infringement of copyright and related rights in digital environment

- Photocopying, producing, disseminating, publishing, displaying or communicating a work to the public by network or digital devices without permission of the copyright owner;

- Intentionally canceling or invalidating technical methods applied by the copyright owner to protect copyright of his or her work; .

- Intentionally erasing or amending electronic information on copyright management of a work.

- Removing or altering any right management information in electronic format without permission of the related rights owner.

- Intentionally canceling or invalidating technical methods applied by the related rights owner to protect his or her related rights.

Measures against infringement of copyright and related rights

The country’s law system has also boasted specific provisions detailing administrative, civil and criminal measures to deal with infringements of copyright and related rights. Of which, the civil sanctions required organizations and individuals to make compensation for incurred damages and destruction of commodities, raw materials and implements used to produce and trade in illegal goods. Meanwhile, the administrative measures included the imposition of a monetary fine of up to 500 million VND (equivalent US$ 30,000). Supplementary sanctioning measures included confiscating commodities, raw materials, and implements used to manufacture and trade in copies without permission of the right holders, and at the same time suspending production and business activities of the business entities involved.

Consequences remedies included forcible removal of originals and copies of works, performances, phonograms, video recordings and broadcasts already illegally transmitted on the digital networks, and compelling removal of copies of works, performances, sound/video recordings, and broadcasts illegally reproduced in the electronic form. The Penal Code has stipulated a maximum monetary fine that amounts to 1 billion VND and sentences ranging from six months to five years in jail for those who committed infringements of copyright involving factors that constitute crimes.

The Challenges of Vietnam

At present, the process of international integration of economy and trade and the development of the digital technology era and Internet have brought lots of opportunities and challenges on a global scale. Firstly, infringement activities of copyrights and related rights are cross-border activities, such as infringement activities against satellite signals carrying encoded programs, using optical disks for unauthorized duplication of copyrighted programs from one country for sale in another country. Organized crime related to copyrights and related rights, which happens widely and is very difficult to handle without global cooperation. In order to effectively combat these infringements, it is necessary to have awareness and cooperative actions in the scope of global solutions.

In Vietnam, the rate of infringement of copyright and related right is still high. Piracy activities happen regularly, for example piracy of printed matters, using music works without royalty payment to authors, using illegal computer programs, infringement to sattelitte signals carrying encoded programs, and so on.

We are now living in the era where economic and cultural globalization is taking place and where there is an information and technology boom that allow different forms of literary, scientific and artistic works protected by law to exist in the digital network – the format that gives people the ability to easily reproduce, disseminate and store those works.

The digital revolution in the fields of re-publishing, reproduction, and storage of digitalized information, including protected works, has created both positive and negative effects. On the one hand, it enabled the authors to introduce their works to a larger number of people more quickly, conveniently and economically than in the past. On the other hand, however, this technological advance has also prepared the ground for the creation of new illicit forms of exploitation and use of protected works.

The digital era has also brought challenges to intellectual property issues, concerning how the owners of copyright and related rights protect their rights and interests when they use new technologies to produce and sell their products in the context that illegal exploitation and unfair competition are rampant everywhere. The era has also challenged the right holders in self-defending their rights and State agencies in managing and enforcing copyright and related rights protection.

At present, Vietnam is facing multiple challenges in the protection of copyright and related rights on the Internet. Those challenges include:

- There is a lack of regulations in legal documents that mandate the Internet service providers’ responsibilities for copyright and related rights;

-There is a limitation in the public’s awareness on copyright and related rights on the Internet;

- Collective management organizations are not very competent to self-defend the rights of copyright and related rights owners;

- Enforcement forces are short of professional knowledge on copyright and related rights on the Internet;

- The Internet sparks new issues regarding the definition of appellations related to copyright;

- The Internet changes the relations and the balance of benefits held by the copyright owners and the users, requiring legal bodies to adopt efficient policies to ensure the harmony of these benefits.

Necessary issues to improve Vietnam legal regulation of copyright and
related rights on the Internet

Over the past years, the policy on copyright and related rights protection that Vietnam pursued has proven to work effectively. There has been a high sense of respect for copyright and related rights in almost all activities in the fields of culture and information and by the press, publishers, the cinema, artistic performers, plastic artists, and radio and television stations when they exploited and used protected works.

However, infringements of copyright and related rights remained rampant. The use of protected works without permission of copyright and related rights owners has been occurring across the spectrum of areas in life, especially in the very new and complicated environment – the digital world in general and the Internet in particular. Such copyright infringements caused harm to the rights and benefits of organizations and individuals both inside and outside the country, adversely affected creative activities, and hindered the country’s socio-economic and cultural development as well as its integration into the global economy.

To better its management and enforcement of copyright and related rights on the Internet, Vietnam needs to deploy the following tasks:

- To soon issue legal documents prescribing responsibilities of the Internet Service Providers (ISP) regarding copyright and related rights. In the coming time, the Ministry of Information and Communications will work with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to work on and issue an inter-branch circular to define the responsibilities of the providers of Internet, telecommunication and intermediary services relating to copyright and related rights in an effort to implement the Prime Minister’s Instruction No. 36 on measures to enhance management and enforcement of copyright and related rights protection.

- It is necessary to issue specific regulation to forbid the uploading and downloading of protected contents in the absence of copyright owners’ consent.

- It is necessary to formulate regulations to balance rights and legitimate benefits of copyright owners and ISPs and the users who download text, video and audio programs from websites.

- It needs to adopt policies and effective measures to further improve collective management organizations’ capacity for managing and enforcing effectively laws on copyright and related rights protection.

- It needs to further perfect the legal system on copyright and related rights to make it more compatible with international standards.

Together with the making of a unified awareness on copyright and related rights protection, changing this awareness to enforcement laws, and together with a determination to act, surely we shall resolve all the said challenges and have a brighter future in enforcing copyright and related rights, including on the Internet in Vietnam.

Vu Ngoc Hoan (COV)

World IP Day – enhancing the protection of copyright and related rights PDF  | Print |  E-mail
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Friday, 25 April 2008 07:00

Since 2001, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and its Member States have celebrated World Intellectual Property Day on April 26 with activities, events, and campaigns. They seek to increase public understanding of IP rights, the protection of these rights, and to promote creativity and innovation. World IP Day marks a significant event to attract the media and public interest to IP-related issues.

The WIPO Director General sends a message to all of its Member States on this annual occasion, with a theme that varies from year to year. At the same time, the WIPO also dispatches promotional materials to all IP offices and other interested organizations around the world. On World Intellectual Property Day this year, WIPO's focus will be on celebrating innovation and promoting respect for intellectual property. As such, the WIPO Director General’s message is that, “On World Intellectual Property Day we are celebrating not only the enormous power of human creativity, but also the intellectual property rights that help to fuel and channel it, making it such an important driving force for economic, cultural and social development.” And so, “on World Intellectual Property Day, we pay tribute to the inventors and artists, great and small, who enrich our existence with the fruits of their innovative thoughts and creative vision. And we remember why it is that their intellectual property rights, the rights that they have earned through their individual and collective talents, deserve our admiration, our protection, and our respect.”

The crucial point in this message is that we should respect and protect IP rights, including copyright and related rights, through concrete and practical actions. These actions stem from appropriate awareness of IP rights and strict compliance with existing legal regulations. In the dialectical relationship of rights, one can give rise to another. Consequently, respect for and protection of IP rights of others are to consolidate the respect for and protection of one’s own rights.

Globalization is taking place at a rapid pace, which finds expression in more in-depth trade and investment integration in the world. This requires a transparent environment based on strict compliance with national laws and international conventions on copyright and related rights. Bilateral and multilateral relations are bound by commitments to the exercise of copyright and related rights. Effective protection and legal usage of copyright and related rights, which are applicable to all objects inside and outside a country, have become an urgent task for all individuals, enterprises, and organizations in Vietnam.

The boom of the Internet has exposed new challenges in the protection of copyright and  related rights. These rights are now not only bound by national characters, but also by global features as well. As a result World IP Day 2008 celebrations in Vietnam focus on Internet copyright and related rights. Under Internet websites are encouraged to legally use records and clips, to fully exercise all rights related to authors and rights owners inside and outside the country, and to be subjected to severe sanctions for violations. So far, six websites have entered into agreements with the Vietnam Recording Industry Association to legally use musical recordings. The license granting ceremony was solemnly held on April 19, 2008 in Ho Chi Minh City. In cooperation with the Inspectorate of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Copyright Office of Vietnam has required websites that breach the copyright law to discontinue their violations. Another activity in celebration of the 2008 World IP Day are training workshops on laws related to copyright and skills for exercising copyright in publication. This workshop, co-organized by the Department of Publication, the Copyright Office of Vietnam, and a Swedish partner, lasted from April 21 to 23, 2008 in Hanoi and from April 24 to 26, 2008 in Ho Chi Minh City.

Vu Hoan (COV)


Pay-TV – Cooperation and competition PDF  | Print |  E-mail
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Friday, 25 April 2008 07:00

Rapid, continuous development of Vietnam’s economy has created a necessity for leaders and Party members to set objectives for sustainable development in the next few years. The entertainment industry, including publishing of books, newspapers, and magazines, music, movies, and broadcasting, plays an essential, direct role in this. The intense growth and competition that accompanies is quite a big challenge to overcome. In addition, potential is also an advantage. We should make use of this advantage in order to develop. This article will  find out an answer from Pay-TV industry

Law environment

Literary, artistic, and scientific organizations and persons are protected all over the world under international treaties that are co-managed by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and others including organizations in Berne, Rome, Geneva, and Brussels. Among them, the Rome Convention has provisions to protect the rights of broadcasting organizations, the Brussels Convention protects the distribution of program signals transmitted by satellite and technology measures that manage the rights of broadcasting organizations. Vietnam is a member of the Berne, Rome, Brussels, and Geneva Conventions, as well as the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights or TRIPS Agreement. Member countries of such international treaties have the duty to protect the legal rights of other members under international treaty and national legislation. Contrariwise, citizens and legal persons of the member countries of the international treaties shall enjoy the rights according to the international treaties and national legislation.

Vietnam has signed three bilateral agreements with the United States of America and Switzerland, which include stipulations for copyrights and related rights. In addition to the obligations and rights granted in 5 multilateral international treaties, Vietnamese organizations and individuals have to implement the obligations according to these 3 bilateral treaties in order enjoy the protection of their own rights.

National legislation provides for protection in Vietnam, and ensures international integration. The Civil Code of 2005, the Intellectual Property Law 2005, and Decree 100/2006/ND-CP of Government instruction for these laws marked important legislative standards that encourage and protect talent and creativity. Provisions for rights, limitations, exceptions, terms of protection, owner rights, transparency, and assignment of broadcasting organizations were also included in these laws. However, the rights of Broadcasting Organization is related to copyright, so that these rights only arise when the broadcasting organization doesn’t  harm  to copyright

National and international laws protecting broadcasting organizations are consistently open and transparent, leaving enforcement of the laws the most important task remaining unfulfilled. Broadcasting organizations and TV Service Corporations, which must take initiative in applying measures that are not prohibited by law to protect their legal rights. An example of this is the implementation of obligations with respect to owner rights when broadcasting performances, recordings and programs. Enforcement authorities must try their best to protect the intellectual property rights of broadcasters and owners effectively and according to ordinance law. Among themselves, they must enhance monitoring systems and settle disputes and infringements competently. This challenge is not only limited within the national borders of individual countries, but also across borders throughout the globe. Vietnam is not only a member of many bilateral and multilateral international treaties, as mentioned above, but has also joined the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Violation – Law’s role

All countries in Asia have legislation protecting the rights of broadcasting organizations, and many international treaties have been put into effect in these countries. But Asia is the world’s most diverse region in terms of television broadcasts. Estimated losses in Asia from Pay – TV piracy in 2006 were US$ 1.13 billion. According to the Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA), the violation of domestic and international copyright laws by broadcasting organizations saps the economic vitality of the industry. Theft of signals and decoding, and distributing programs to subscribers by national cap services companies happens everywhere.  This includes taping into cable lines, illegally distributing codes, using the same internet line or satellite, and reproducing cards. These activities play out at different levels around the region, which damages investors in broadcasting and pay-tv providers. Under the eye of investors, Vietnam is considered an unfriendly marketplace because these behaviors are widespread

Infringement on the rights of broadcasting organizations which limit economic growth, damage investments, creativity, government finance and legislation, and digital developments.

To resolve this situation, there is an effective piece of legislation with a number of criterions as follows:

- Create an equal, transparent and feasible play ground;

- Promote competition, increase selection for consumer, attract investment in the key fields such as digital technology;

- Do not restrict distribution or the provision of programs;

- Do not limit advertisements;

- Promote television activities to reserve and develop national culture, and science and modern technology;

- Protect copyrights and related rights effectively (rights of performers, phonogram  producers, and broadcasting organizations), especially electronic rights.

Copyright holders must apply technology, within the limits of the law, to protect rights management information, and to prevent accession and illegal exploitation. Rights management information is attached to works or copies of works about authorship, ownership, and conditions of usage and payment.

In this case, the technology measures are barriers, step-by-step solutions, and can be changed to optimize security and prevent infringement of copyrights. Passwords are just one tool that legal users have to ensure safety when dealing with sensitive materials. This means investors need to deploy the most advanced security technology in existence to protect the rights of authors, producers, and others.

Cooperation and competition

In the current period of rapid globalization digital technology and broadcasting have reached far beyond the traditional, local markets connected to a specific place, in order to meet the demand of an increasingly extensive and diversified, global market. Thus, cooperation and competition are must happen in conjunction with the development of the entertainment industry. Partnership implies counterweight and vice versa. Counterweights result in the solutions of existance and development. Monopoly market is abolished because competition among television channels in distribution have attracted many investors. Broadcasting organizations and investors compete and cooperate in the provision of technologies and services, such as satellite, cable, and mobile TV.

Organizations that have high quality programs and competent service have a better chance of controlling the market and attracting many customers.

According to forecasts, there will be 120 million Mobile TV users world-wide in 2011, a major boost from the 2.56 million users in the year 2006.  It is also predicted that there will be 146 million Pay-TV subscribers in the Asian - Pacific Ocean by 2011.

With 20 million households using tivi, 17 million mobile telephone subscribers, and 1,1 million subscribers of pay-television, Vietnam is a potential market for local and foreigner investors. Many big firms associated with Irdeto provide Vietnam with services such as DTH, DHT, Cable, IPTV, DVTV, DVB- H, and DMB. Presently Vietnam's partners include VTC, BTV, HTVC, SCTV, VCTV, HTV, VTV, VNPT, FPT, VDC, Vinaphone, Mobiphone, Vietel, and Sphone.

The ultimate investment package is the cooperation between:

TV Firm+ Exploiter DTH, DHT, Cable, IPTV, Mobile TV+ Business model uses conditional access technology + digital rights management

Economic growth tool.

It be industrial branch entertainment "coin money", television is one of quality banyan field invested attractive, vantage exploitation of many modern technologies, multi - feature.

A typical example of this is Time Warner, is a communication and entertainment corporation with the first world trademark for communication services on demand, cable transmissions, films, television, and publishing networks. CNN, Cartoon Network, Turner, HBO, Cinema, and Time Inc are names that are provided all over the world. The Turner Corporation has developed all over the world, including Asia with its attractive market place in China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam.

The STAR Firm was damaged by a copyright violation in the 1960s, but has recovered with 400 channels and 87 million subscribers. wider band is 30 million subscribers, GDP growth is 3, 2%, 70 milliard USD income.

In Malaysia, with 3% of television copyright infringement, the income of TV broacasing was nearly USD 60 million in 2000, and increased to 150 million USD in 2006. In Thailand,  with a rate of  television copyright infringement 71%, the income was only USD 40 million in 2000 and increased to  USD 60 million in 2006. Similarly, in Philippines, the income was USD 10 million in 2000 and raised to USD 40 million in 2006 while the rate of television copyright infringement was 70%.

The evidence above reflects significant business expansion and added investment value of Pay -TV services, although it still is unknown in Vietnam. It is also clear that television infringement is a global problem, especially in Asia.

Pay -TV has two income sources. Besides revenue earned on subscription fees, they also collect money from advertisers. According to international experts, the turnover of television advertising is 60% lower than the rate of subscription turnovers. In an industrial base on those both the income source who is chance as well as challenge. According to the situation of CASBAA, the Vietnamese market has an advertising and subscription “cake” (that has the potential to reach, or that reached?) 350 million USD  in only 5 years time.

For this reason CASBAA and the Copyright Office of Vietnam organized a workshop on Pay -TV in Ho Chi Minh City on 10th July 2007. It provided a good opportunity for foreigner investors, as well as broadcasting organizations, television companies, and technology and service providers to cooperate with each other for successful, legal economic growth.

DR. Vu Manh Chu (COV)


Global Culture and the Internet PDF  | Print |  E-mail
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Friday, 25 January 2008 07:00

1. A new phenomenon in culture and technology

The Internet is a relatively new technological phenomenon. This creation had led to unprecidented globalization, and widespread access to information. It has become the main infrastructure of a modern, global  society, and has made changes to modes of production and the activities of society. People are now able to collaborate regardless of the distance between nations, territories, continents, or oceans. Borders are only terms used on the earth, they do not apply to the Internet. A new space, a new world has been established. The residents of this new world are Internet users. Anyone who wants to use the Internet needs only a computer and an Internet connection, or "an entry gate". In this world, users can receive everything, from colours to sounds and images. They can also create anything they want.

This Internet world has attracted many people. There are even people who have become so consumed by the Internet that they do not eat or sleep for many days. As a consequence, the Internet has also become a cultural phenomenon creating a convenient environment for cultural development. At the same time, it has had many negative influences. Each country may have its own behaviour guidelines with regards to this new technology and new cultural phenomenon, but the most suitable is positive, responsible behaviour while using the Internet. By doing that, the virtual, Internet world will become a positive, friendly place.

2. A new tool for creating

The achievements of the digital technology age have developed new tools for creative activities. Traditionally, people used paper and pens for writing literature, poems, and composing music, a brush and ink for drawing pictures, and a ruler for architectural design. Those are the traditional tools of human creativity in all forms of artistic and scientific work. Nowadays, an additional tool has transformed the creative process, and that is the computer. By using a computer, people can create any kind of the above works. A novel, a piece of music, or plans for a house can be created with this one useful tool from any location where electricity is available.  An Internet connection further allows these creations to be shared with the world and archived for later use.

A kind of electronic diary has appeared, called a personal blog, and global culture has become more open than ever before. According to one overseas service company, there are more than three million blog addresses on its server. On average, one blog entry is posted on the Internet every 5.8 seconds from around the world. Many blogs use digital technology for all kinds of creative activities and posting intellectual writings on the Internet.

These new tools for creating and sharing creative work is a significant labour saving method. By using computers and the Internet, people can shorten the time it takes to create and transfer  human thought into tangible works of art more quickly. Moreover, this tool helps the works become more exact and allows them to be copied them with absolute accuracy.

With digital media, one person can play many roles in the creative process. For example, in a cinematographic work, one person can be the author of the script, the director, the camera operator, the sound and light operator, the actor, the publisher, and the editor of that work at the same time. Many videos posted on the Internet are of this kind. Digital media has also changed how these things are preserved. Before, photographic and cinematic work were recorded on photosensitive materials, but now these things can be created and saved in the nearly indestructible digital environment. A photograph taken with a digital camera can be further created using Photoshop to crop the picture, take out or add content, or even changing the background. It can be said that digital technology, the digital environment, the Internet are dangerous tools in some aspects. It's preeminence is not denied, but there are some individuals, who use it to express their own inept, non-scientific, non-artistic, even unhealthy opinions.

3. A new way of archiving and communicating work to the public

In the past, people used a variety of avenues to communicate works to the public. In the Middle Ages, discoveries in philosophy, science, literature, and art were written down on tree bark, rocks, animal skin, and clay. Birth and death certificates were issued by witch-doctors. These are consider the beginning form of books. People used spoken languages to tell stories and sing folk-songs, both were ways to transmit information by way of mouth.

Nowadays, with digital technology and the Internet people can bring their work and ideas to the virtual world. All kinds of work can be digitalized for better archiving. This new way of archiving allows the public to access information anywhere and at anytime. People who have access to the Internet can read or view information from any place at any time. Exploiting this unlimited access around the globe there are some websites, blog posts, texts, and images which are not suitable with traditional culture, and may even violate the international and national law. Many personal secrets also are disclosed on the Internet, leading to indignation in the public opinion.

This new way of communicating also allows for electronic commerce as people can advertise theirs goods on the Internet. They can give rights management information attached to originals or copies, including information about the author, the owner, and the conditions of use in order to prevent users who have not met such requirements to access the work. The electronic commercial market has developed strongly around the world, and we hope that this market can be opened and developed in Vietnam in the near future.

Also through new ways of communicating, motives for profit regardless of law and morality have copied and published information illegally. Moreover, hackers have attacked and destroyed the spirit and profit possibilities for website owners.

In such a new field, there are many global problems with managing and enforcing international standards for the Internet. In Vietnam, solutions for a managing regime and clear policies of enforcement are needed. Law and policy must developing the Internet healthily and steadily. This must be the consciousness and responsibility of all people when using the Internet.


Music piracy - an international problem PDF  | Print |  E-mail
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Thursday, 29 November 2007 07:00


We are living in a modern technological world where globalization is the norm, and all creative activities lead to increase in multi-media literary artistic works. The development of new ways for promoting this artwork to the public has lead to works that can be used universally. As a result, piracy rates have also risen. The challenge of the battle opposing copyright piracy in general and music piracy in particular falls on the copyright owners' and authorities' shoulders of each country. This essay gives an overview of music piracy, identifies methods of piracy, explains reasons for piracy and proposes solutions in order to restore order.

Music piracy

We can identify acts of music piracy as unauthorized reproductions of original recordings without permission of the owners including decorating artwork, labels and trademarks, or designing copies of originals in order to deceive consumers for a profit. In addition, the acts of fixation, copying and circulating and broadcasting programs without the permission of the performers, are also acts of music piracy.

The current situation of music piracy is not only limited in national borders but has become an international problem. Given the spread of piracy, the whole world must make many efforts in the battle against music and film piracy. There are over 1 billion pirated music albums sold worldwide. 37% of all music albums published are pirated, with 4.5 billion US dollars of damage done to the legitimate producers. In the year 2005, the rate of music piracy was 37% of the piracy market, worth 4.6 billion US dollars. Also in 2005, worldwide total of pirated discs seized was 82.1 million, including 7.5 million CDs, 4.4 million DVDs, 65.5 million recorded CD-Rs, and 4.7 million recorded DVD-Rs. Besides that, 78 optical disc replication lines, 48.7 million blank CD-Rs, 13.65 million blank DVD-Rs, 40,202 CD-R burners, and 10,905 DVD-R burners were seized. Of the total number of seized pirated CDs 80% were from Asia.

The experiences of many nations indicates that the production of pirated products can be carried out anywhere at any time in factories, offices, business places, or private houses. Pirated products can be smuggled by all transport means, including on public transport systems such as a bus. For example, criminals have designed specialized ships with containers that can be cut off, droping pirated goods into the sea and destroying the evidence when the piracy ring is discovered by authorities.

According to the International Federation of Phonographic Industry (IFPI), music piracy has a close relationship with organized crime. Income from music piracy funds other criminal activities such as violence and intimidation, tax evasion, and corruption and money laundering. There was also a case in which CD packaging was used to conceal the trafficking of heroin.

Identifying pirated music

In order to distinguish pirated music it is necessary to check the information about name of  the producer or songwriter, the name of the performing artists and titles, the list of tracks, the reproduction license granted by a collective management organization, the trade mark, the catalogue number and management information, and the copyright warning. Buyers can not only suspect but also can affirm that a disc is a pirated copy if it has no label, was purchased at a low price, is of poor quality, has spelling mistakes on the label and no SID code printed on the disc, or is missing the registration code of the music producer with the LBR symbol.

Reasons for music piracy

Reasons for music piracy include a lack of awareness, lack of political will, insufficiency of legislation, no deterrent penalties, and low priority for IPR crime prevention. The most important thing that should be fully recognized in order to prevent piracy is that organizations, individuals, and especially organized crime syndicates are strongly attracted by the profits to be made from piracy. IFPI is especially interested in the activities of production, trade, and the import and export of music. Discs can be used for many purposes, among them is storing individual information and official records. According to IFPI, the total disc capacity worldwide is 60 billion units, while the total legitimate demand is 20 billion units.

Solutions for preventing music piracy

There is no easy solution for dealing with music piracy,but it is necessary to apply many different solutions. This text only mentions one solution, which had been applied in many countries and recommended for Vietnam. Year after year, workshops on this matter have been organized or co-organized by IFPI, the ASEAN Secretariat, and the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) with the participation of representatives from Vietnam's management and enforcement agencies. There are now nine nations and territories  in Asia that have legal documents regulating the management of compact discs used for data storage. Depending on it's economic, cultural, and social circumstances and legislative tradition, each nation and territory has enacted different kinds of legal documents. Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, and Taiwan have enacted specific legislation. Other nations and territories such as China, Hong Kong, Macau, Indonesia also have legal texts regulating this matter.

In Vietnam, realizing the importance of promoting effective enforcement of copyright and related rights, gaining experiences from other nations and heading IFPI's advice, enacting legal documents to adjust manufacturing practices, regulating exports and imports, business, and managing copyrights for performances, phonograms, and broadcasts is very necessary. Therefore, a Working Group established by the Ministry of Culture and Information formerly, and the Ministry of Culture,  Sport and Tourism presently is responsible to draft a Decree regulating the above-mentioned acitivities. In Dalat, from 10th to 11th August 2007 the Copyright Office of Vietnam, in cooperation with the IFPI and the Support for Trade Acceleration Project, USAID, and Funded Project (STAR-VIETNAM), organized a workshop on "Effective regulation and enforcement against optical disc piracy." Attending the workshop were representatives of central authorities and management and enforcement agencies. At the workshop, the representative of the Working Group introduced the main contents of the first draft of the Decree for consulting. This important work of drafting the document is continuing to be carried out and is hoped to receive positive support from the involved organizations and individuals.

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Tuesday, 28 November 2006 07:00

The private property right includes rights to tangible assets which are the literary and artistic value in the literary, artistic, and scientific works.  This legislative concept is again recognized in the Constitution in 1959, 1980, and1992. In the existing 1992 Constitution, the State of Vietnam declares: “Citizens have rights to carry out scientific and technical research, discovery and invention, innovations, rationalize production and to engage in literary, artistic creation and criticism, and other cultural activities. The State protects copyrights and the right to industrial property”. ( Article 60)

Supported by the ex-agency of the former USSR for Protection of Copyright (VAB), in 1986, Decree No. 142/HDBT – the first ever legal instrument on copyright -- was issued. In October 1994, the Standing Committee of Assembly adopted the Ordinance on Protection of Copyright. To meet the needs of development, the 8th session of the National Assembly IX adopted the Civil Code which, included provisions on copyright. With 36 articles in Parts 6 and 7 of the Civil Code, these provisions regulate nearly all civic relations of copyright and related rights. In the context of the transition from bureaucratic centralism to market mechanism, and in order to promote intellectual property protection in the country and international integration,  the 7th session of the National Assembly XI adopted a new amended Civil Code, which included 14 articles on copyright and related rights in Part 6 of Chapter XXXIV,   . Following the concept of renewal from the amendment of the Civil code, in the 8th section of the 11th term, the National Assembly agreed to adopt the Intellectual Property Law. The Intellectual Property Law includes 6 parts, 18 chapters with 22 articles, regulating social relations that pertain to creative activities and protecting copyright and related rights, the right to industrial property and the right to new plant variety.

Regarding the provisions on copyright and related rights in the Intellectual Property Law, I (the author of this article) would like to refer to the value of [this] legal document approved by The National Assembly and made into effect on July 1st, 2006.

The Intellectual Property Law, with provisions on copyright and related rights, is the result of intensive research and experiments, and has been considered and adopted by The National Assembly. The Intellectual Property Law can be appreciated in the following aspects.

1. The Intellectual Property Law has inherited legislative ideology, legislature’s value in relation to copyright and related rights from a legal document that has been tested in practice.

The progressive and humane legislative view on human rights of the State of Vietnam has been established in previous legal documents. It continues to be recognized and concretized in the Intellectual Property Law. Obviously, the nature of copyright is human right. Among the many rights of citizens provided in the Constitution, codes and laws, copyright is a special right. The objects of copyright are literary, artistic, and scientific works, the subjects of copyright are citizens – the authors. This has been the guiding principle throughout the legislative process in this field in Vietnam. However, with progressive legislative activities, the Intellectual Property Law of 2005 expresses an author’s rights more clearly and completely. In particular, economic right has been expressed fully and accurately.

The Intellectual Property Law 2005 is a legal document that incorporates values from the legal instruments which have been tested in practice. Many proper provisions stipulated in the previous legal instruments have been expressed in the Intellectual Property Law with the more advanced legislative technology. The contents of many circulars of the Ministry of Culture and Information and joint have been upgraded into legal instruments in the Intellectual Property Law.

The Intellectual Property Law is a document summarizing twenty years of management and enforcement experiences, from the time the State implements this new, important and complicated task.

2. The Intellectual property Law expresses the harmony of  interests among the creators, users, and public

Referring to legislation means referring to regulation of interests among communities. The success of a society first of all originates from the establishment of code of conducts provided or recognized by the State. . Accordingly, the Intellectual Property Law has expresses the deal complying with the interests of the creators, distributors, and public customers. The rights of authors to their literary, artistic, and scientific creations; the rights of performers to their performances; the rights of phonogram producers, of broadcasting organizations; all have been provided clearly and completely in the Intellectual Property Law. However, the restriction of right is applied in cases where the works have already been published.  This is to enable more users to participate in bringing the products to the public, for the public good or humanitarian purposes. Ultimately, the public is the target of all creative activities. They are the people who enjoy the literary and artistic value and the ones who eventually pay royalty. Through the public’s enjoyment and indirect payment, authors and artists can realize their creative value and continue to invest in creation. Therefore, the rights of authors, performers, phonogram producers, and broadcasting organizations should not be unlimitted.

3. The Intellectual Property Law complies with the international standards

Most provisions of the Intellectual Property Law comply with international multilateral and bilateral treaties. During the research and drafting of the law, the draft team have studied and referenced the sample laws of WIPO; eight Conventions on copyright and related rights; three bilateral treaties between Vietnam and United States of America, Vietnam and Switzerland; and copyright laws of countries such as the United States of America and China .The draft team have also consulted experts from WIPO, Star Vietnam project, and relevant international organizations such as the International Confederation of Authors and Composers Societies (CISAC), International Federation of Phonographic Industry (IFPI). It has sent many delegations to international workshops organized by WIPO on topics of international laws. Specially, some team members were invited to the United States of America to discuss the draft of the Intellectual Property Law. In summary, the draft team has invested much effort to ensure the Intellectual Property Law complies with international standards.

However, some provisions in the Intellectual Property Law have been confusing to overseas experts.  The reason is that the Intellectual Property Law must comply with the economic, cultural, and social conditions of Vietnam.  In the case of conflict with international bilateral and multilateral treaties to which Vietnam is a member, the legal basis for protecting the interest of organizations and individuals of the involved countries are the treaties themselves.

With the above clause, we believe the Intellectual Property Law will be an efficient legal instrument to help Vietnam enforce international treaties.

4. The Intellectual Property Law protects national interests

National laws must reflect and suit the political, economic, cultural and social conditions of their country. This is a requirement for all legal documents. The Intellectual Property Law has been developed based on this point of view. Moreover, because of its vital role in all aspects of the international integration of Vietnam – culture, economy, business, and investment -- the law must fulfill international requirements.

In each article, the draft team, other authorities, and the National assembly tried their best to strike a balance between protecting national interests and satisfying international requirements. On some articles that conflict with international standards, the National Assembly have democratically and publicly voted and resolved each provision based on the particular circumstances and characteristics of the country.

5. The Intellectual Property Law has been made available to the public during the period of drafting, discussion, and approval, The content of the Intellectual Property Law is transparent and feasible.

All the draft versions of the Intellectual Property Law on copyright and related rights have been posted on the website of the copyright office of Vietnam, and distributed at workshops and seminars for feedback. They have also been reviewed by legal experts of several WTO members for compliance with international laws.

Basically, the content of the provisions is transparent. For some unfamiliar terms that are used in international practice, the government has issued a set of definitions to ensure unity in enforcement.

As they have been inherited and improved from former regulations as well as international bilateral and multilateral treaties, most provisions are feasible. However, there remain some provisions which have been stipulated in the Civil Code in 1995 but not yet been applied. These provisions may be challenges for us.

To conclude, the Intellectual Property Law, passed by National Assembly XI at the 8th session on November 29th, 2005 and made into effect on July 1st, 2006, is the product of a collaborated effort. It has been carefully researched and prepared with the participation of literary and artistic societies, collective management organizations, authorities in state management and enforcement, and other organizations that produce and distribute copyrighted works such as press agencies, publishers, theaters, film producers, and broadcasters. This result was finally made possible by the democratic and responsible working spirit of National assembly’s members at the 8th session of the National Assembly XI.

Dr. Vu Manh Chu

Director General of Copyright Office of Vietnam



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