Protection of copyright in Vietnam’s digital environment

By ELITE Law Firm

Copyright infringement is not new, but it has never lost its topicality in Vietnam. Especially when the digital environment is developing, opening up many opportunities and also full of challenges and difficulties in copyright protection.

So what are the solutions to help protect copyright, as well as promote copyright enforcement activities in Vietnam, especially in the growing digital environment? The analysis and sharing that lawyer Nguyen Tran Tuyen, Managing Partner of ELITE Law Firm gives in the interview below will help you have a better overview of this issue.

  1. What are the causes of copyright infringement in Vietnam’s digital environment?

The causes of copyright infringement in Vietnam are many, in my opinion, some of the main causes leading to this situation can be mentioned as follows:

  • The first is that copyright infringement nowadays is extremely easy and fast due to the rapid development of printing technology, copying technology, storage technology, and transmission technology in written or technical form. With today’s information technology revolution, copying, cutting, merging unauthorized works, appropriating, impersonating, and appropriating copyrighted works in the digital environment via computer (PC) or smartphone is done quickly with many technologies and applications to support infringers.
  • Second, while infringement is easy to commit, it is difficult for copyright owners to detect because the characteristics of copyright are very easy to duplicate without affecting the right to use and exploit the work of the right owner. At the same time, with the development of technology, copyright infringers in the digital environment, and the internet are effortless to erase traces and evidence of infringement, making it very difficult to handle, for example, the deletion or withdrawal of an article, a video clip of copyright infringement can be done in seconds immediately after they are detected, making the collect the infringement evidence process for disposal will be extremely difficult.
  • The third is that the owner of the copyright and related rights works has not proactively carried out the enforcement of protection against the infringement of it’s This may be because enforcement is often difficult, complicated, and expensive.
  • The fourth is that public knowledge and legal awareness of copyright are not high, they may not know what is copyright infringement, so they can commit copyright infringement without knowing.
  • Fifth, in my opinion, the procedure for enforcing copyright protection is often complicated, causing time-consuming and financial costs, while fines and compensation may not be proportional or compensate for damages caused by infringement.

According to current regulations,

  • Fines according to administrative measures (procedures for handling VPHC): the maximum fine for legal entities/companies is VND 500 million and VND 250 million for violating individuals;
  • Regarding civil measures, the maximum compensation for mental damage is VND 50 million, compensation for material damage is based on evidence of actual damage caused by the infringement;
  • Criminal remedies (Article 225 of the Criminal Code): maximum penalty for (i) individuals: VND 1 billion or 3 years in prison, (ii) for legal entities (companies), the maximum penalty is VND 3 billion or suspension of operation for up to 2 years or prohibition from doing business or raising capital for up to 3 years.
  1. What is considered a copyright infringement in Vietnam’s digital environment?

Article 28 of the Vietnam IP Law stipulates 28 types of acts of copyright infringement, including acts of infringement of authors’ moral rights such as misappropriation, impersonation, publication, correction, and unauthorized mutilation; Acts of infringement of property rights including copying, using, renting, making derivative works, duplicating, publishing, distributing, illegally exporting, importing, destroying measures to protect works without permission of the owner of the work.

In the digital environment (internet environment) common infringements are usually:

  • Unauthorized copying:

For example, a person who sees a video clip of another person’s song video, or advertisement, or someone else’s article copied/copied to include in the advertising content to sell his business products or services, that person has committed copyright infringement: unauthorized copying.

  • Acts of repairing or mutilating unauthorized works:

For example, a person who sees a video clip of another person’s song video or advertisement, a good article copied by another person and then repairs or cuts that video clip or article to include in the content advertising the sale of his business products or services, that person has committed copyright infringement.

  • Impersonating the author:

For example, a person sees a video clip of someone else’s song or video or commercial, or someone else’s good article copied and then repairs or crops that video clip, or article and writes his or her name as the author’s name to include in the advertising content for the sale of the product,  in his business service, he or she has infringed copyright;

  • The act of illegal publication of the work:

For example, a person who sees, copies (copies) a video clip of a song or a video or an advertisement of another person, a good article of another person but that clip or work has not been published to the public or has not been published to include in the content of advertising the sale of his/her business products or services, that person has committed copyright infringement;

  • The act of cracking or cracking passwords or securing software for use and or sale is also known as software cracking.
  • The act of printing (photocopying) the author’s signature into the work for illegal sale or business.
  1. What basic measures will Vietnam’s government need to take to curb these violations?

In my opinion, to prevent and handle copyright infringement, the Government and IP enforcement authorities should take some of the following measures:

  • The first is to build a more effective IP legal system. Accordingly, the Government needs to invest properly to improve the quality of protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in Vietnam in practice, such as investing in training, building facilities for registration authorities and enforcing IP rights, and copyrights, etc reforming the legal system, strengthening the capacity of state IP management authorities, IP rights enforcement authorities, courts … so that IP law both protects the rights of businesses and is a tool to promote innovation and business productivity of enterprises. For example, consideration should be given to amending the provisions on evidence proving damages in civil remedies (litigation in court) to be more open so that the right holder sees this measure as feasible, and can compensate for its damages to proactively take measures to handle infringement in court. At the same time, the application of fast trial procedures for copyright infringement cases has clear evidence to shorten the time for court proceedings.
  • The second is to improve the capacity to enforce IP protection, in which, in terms of policies and legal regulations: it is necessary to consider sanctions to handle sufficient deterrence and prevention of infringements, for example: it is necessary to review the maximum VPHC sanction of VND 250 million for individuals and VND 500 million for legal entities that are sufficient to deter or not yet. In my opinion, this fine is not enough in the current context, it is necessary to consider increasing the fine enough to deter parties from infringing copyright in the digital environment.
  • The third is to improve the teaching and dissemination of legal knowledge about IP in general and copyright in particular to people to improve knowledge and a sense of respect for IP rights and copyrights of people. In my opinion, the Government should study and soon introduce the teaching of IP law into schools from the secondary school level and above.
  • Fourthly, the State copyright management authorities should actively propagate and raise awareness of individuals and organizations about acts of copyright infringement, and minimize violations and disputes in the current digital environment. The goal is that people respect and protect IP rights and can use the IP legal system to motivate the creation of new technology products, businesses, and enrichment from intellectual property. That’s how developed countries are doing it.
  1. What should authors do to protect their rights in the digital environment?

In my opinion, to proactively protect their rights, against copyright infringements in the digital environment, authors and rights owners should:

  • Firstly, actively register for the protection of their rights at Vietnam’s Copyright Office to have a legal ground for handling infringement quickly.
  • Second, actively declare their ownership rights on the work, invest in work security tools such as selling, distributing works via App/mobile application, making security tools attached to each work, and distributing works through copyrighted media technology companies such as Spotify, Netflix, Youtube, film studios, television studios ….;
  • Third, proactively detect and coordinate with rights enforcement authorities to thoroughly and immediately handle copyright infringement;
  • Fourth, actively promote and disseminate their works to the public and fully inform consumers/customers, and the public about infringing acts, how to distinguish original works (officially copyrighted) and works that infringe rights, and legal consequences for infringement of rights so that users know and choose to use original works right.

Fifth, copyright owners also need to plan to contribute to coordinating with State management agencies to disseminate and educate IP law and raise the awareness of IP rights protection, copyright for people and students, or through dissemination projects on works as well as exchange on copyright law, and relevant rights.

Source: Tien Phong

Address: 255 Hoang Van Thai Ward, Thanh Xuan District, Hanoi City, Vietnam

 

 

Hotline: (+84) 988.746.527 | Tel: 024-37373051

 

 

Email: info@lawfirmelite.com

Comments

X
Contents