Q 59: What is copyright? The basis for the arising of copyright?

Copyright is a form of legal protection that gives creators of original works exclusive rights to control the use and distribution of their works. Copyright law in Vietnam is based on the Vietnamese Law on Intellectual Property, which provides protection for a wide range of creative works.

Copyright automatically arises from the moment a work is created in a certain material form, regardless of content, quality, form, medium, language, published or unpublished, registered or unregistered.

Copyright protection applies to both published and unpublished works.

In addition, copyright protection is automatic and does not require registration. However, registering the copyright can serve as evidence in case of infringement and make enforcement of rights easier.

Q60: Works subject to copyright registration?

  1. Literary, art and scientific works can be protected include:
    • Literary and scientific works, textbooks, teaching materials, and other works expressed written letters or other characters;
    • Lectures, addresses, and other speeches;
    • Press works;
    • Musical works;
    • Dramatic works;
    • Cinematographic works and works created by similar methods;
    • Fine art works and applied art works;
    • Photographic works;
    • Architectural works;
    • Sketches, plans, maps, and drawings relevant to topography, architectural or scientific works;
    • Folklore and folk art works;
    • Computer programs and data collections.
  2. Derivative works, if it does not harm the copyright owner’s rights to the work used to create derivative works.

Q 61: What types of works are not protected by copyright in Vietnam?

The following objects are not within the scope of copyright protection:

  1. Purely informative news.
  2. Legal normative documents, administrative documents, and other documents in the field of justice, as well as official translations of such documents.
  3. Processes, systems, methods of operation, concepts, principles, and data.

Q 62: What are related rights in Vietnam?

Copyright-related rights (“related rights”) refer to rights of organizations and individuals to performances, phonograms, video recordings, broadcasts, and encrypted program-carrying satellite signals.

Related rights arise when a performance, phonogram, video recording, broadcast, or encrypted program-carrying satellite signal is fixed or displayed without any prejudice to copyright.

Protected related rights include: Rights of performers; Rights of producers of audio and visual fixation; Rights of broadcasting organizations.

Q 63: What are the benefits of registering a copyright?

In Vietnam, copyright registration is an important step in protecting one’s IP rights. The benefits of copyright registration in Vietnam include:

  1. Legal Protection: Copyright registration provides legal protection for the author’s work. It serves as evidence of ownership, and in the event of infringement, the author can take legal action against the infringing party.
  2. Exclusive Rights: Copyright registration grants the author exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute, perform, and display their work.
  3. Public Notice: Registration puts the public on notice that the work is protected and that the author has rights in the work. It can deter potential infringers from using the work without permission.
  4. Damages and Remedies: Copyright registration can increase the potential for damages and remedies in an infringement suit. Registered works can be eligible for statutory damages, which can be significant.
  5. International Protection: Copyright registration in Vietnam can also facilitate protection in other countries. Vietnam is a member of the Berne Convention and the World Intellectual Property Organization, which provide international recognition and protection for registered copyrights.

Overall, copyright registration in Vietnam is an important tool for authors to protect their IP Rights and to prevent infringement.

Q 64: Is it necessary to obtain a copyright registration certificate for enforcing copyright?

Although copyright law grants automatic protection to works that meet the requirements for copyrightability, obtaining a copyright registration certificate can be beneficial for enforcing and protecting a work. While it is not mandatory to obtain registration, a certificate of copyright registration can serve as prima facie evidence of ownership of the copyright. Although there is no requirement for a deposit or notice of copyright work, it is highly recommended to obtain a certificate of copyright registration to take advantage of its legal benefits.

Q 65: Can foreign citizens or organizations qualify for copyright protection under the provisions of the IP Law of Vietnam?

Vietnam’s copyright law extends protection to both Vietnamese nationals and foreign citizens or organizations, provided that they meet certain criteria.

Specifically, foreign individuals or organizations whose works were first published in Vietnam and have not been published in any other foreign country, or whose works are eligible for protection in Vietnam according to international treaties to which Vietnam is a party, are entitled to copyright protection.

Q 66: How can a foreign individual or company register a copyright in Vietnam?

According to the provisions of the IP Law, foreign individuals or foreign companies can apply for copyright registration for their works in the territory of Vietnam. However, they are not allowed to directly submit the application for registration of copyright but authorizing the licensed copyright representative.

Q 67: What are the requirements for copyright registration?

  1. Application form: The copyright registration application form must be completed and signed by the author or copyright holder.
  2. Eligible works: Only original works that fall under the protection of the Vietnamese Copyright Law can be registered for copyright. These works include literary, artistic, and scientific works.
  3. Work samples: Copies of the works that are being registered must be provided. For computer programs, source code or object codes can be submitted.
  4. Proof of ownership: The applicant must provide evidence of ownership of the work, such as a contract or agreement showing that the author has transferred ownership to the applicant.
  5. Power of attorney: Foreign authors and/or foreign copyright owners must appoint a local copyright qualified agent to apply for copyright registration in Vietnam.
  6. Other documents: Depending on the type of work being registered, additional documents may be required.

It is worth noting that the COV may request additional documents or information during the registration process.

Q 68: Time for obtaining a copyright certificate in Vietnam?

The process typically takes around 1 month, but it may take longer if the COV requests additional information or if there are any complications with the application.

Q 69: What is the duration of copyright protection in Vietnam?

This varies depending on the type of work.

Copyright in works shall include two types: (i) moral rights, and (ii) economic rights.

The moral rights, under Article 19 of Vietnam IP Law, include rights:

  1. To give titles to their works;
  2. To attach their real names or pseudonyms to their works; to have their real names or pseudonyms acknowledged when their works are published or used;
  3. To publish their works or to authorize other persons to publish their works;
  4. To protect the integrity of their works; and to forbid other persons to modify, edit or distort their works in whatever form, causing harm to the honour and reputation of the author)

The economic rights, under Article 20 of Vietnam IP Law, include rights:

  1. To make derivative works;
  2. To display their works to the public;
  3. To reproduce their works;
  4. To distribute or import the original or copies of their works;
  5. To communicate their works to the public by wireless or landline means, electronic information networks or other technical means;
  6. To lease the original or copies of cinematographic works and computer programs.

The moral rights stipulated in clauses 1, 2 and 4 of Article 19 of Vietnam IP Law shall last indefinitely.

The moral rights stipulated in article 19.3 and the economic rights stipulated in Article 20 of Vietnam IP Law shall enjoy the following terms of protection:

  1. Cinematographic works, photographic works, works of applied art and anonymous works have a term of protection of 75 (seventy-five) years from the date of first publication. For cinematographic works, photographic works and works of applied art which remain unpublished within twenty-five years from the date of fixation, the term of protection is 100 (one hundred) years from the date of fixation. For anonymous works, when information on their authors is published, the term of protection will be calculated under Point b below.
  2. A work not specified at Point (i) is protected for the whole life of the author and for 50 (fifty) years after his/her death. For a work under joint authorship, the term of protection expires in the fiftieth year after the death of the last surviving co-author;
  3. The term of protection specified in Points (i) and (ii) above expires at 24:00 hrs of December 31 of the year of expiration of the copyright protection term.

Q 70: How does copyright infringement occur in Vietnam, and what are the legal consequences for infringement?

Copyright infringement in Vietnam can occur in many ways, including but not limited to:

  1. Reproducing or distributing copyrighted works without permission: This includes making copies of copyrighted works, distributing them without the owner’s consent, or selling unauthorized copies of copyrighted works.
  2. Public performance or display of copyrighted works without permission: This includes showing or performing copyrighted works in public places such as theaters, bars, or restaurants, without obtaining the proper authorization from the copyright owner.
  3. Adaptation or modification of copyrighted works without permission: This includes making changes to copyrighted works without the permission of the copyright owner, such as translating a work into a different language or creating a derivative work.
  4. Failure to credit the author or owner of a copyrighted work: This involves failing to attribute the copyright owner or author of a work that is being used.

In Vietnam, the legal consequences for copyright infringement can be severe. Those found guilty of copyright infringement may face civil, administrative, and criminal penalties, including:

  1. Civil penalties: The copyright owner can file a lawsuit against the infringer to seek damages or other remedies, such as an injunction to stop the infringing activity.
  2. Administrative penalties: In cases where the infringement is not considered serious, the competent authority may impose administrative sanctions, such as fines or seizure of infringing goods.
  3. Criminal penalties: In cases where the infringement is deemed serious or repeated, the infringer may face criminal prosecution, which can result in imprisonment or substantial fines.

It’s worth noting that copyright infringement can also result in reputational damage to the infringer, which can negatively impact their business or personal life. Therefore, it’s essential to respect the intellectual property rights of others and obtain permission before using copyrighted works.

Q 71: How can copyright owners protect their works against infringement in Vietnam?

Copyright owners in Vietnam can protect their works against infringement through various means, including:

  1. Monitoring: Owners can monitor the marketplace to detect any unauthorized use or distribution of their copyrighted works.
  2. Cease and desist letters: Copyright owners can send cease and desist letters to individuals or companies suspected of infringing their copyright, demanding that they stop the infringing activity.
  3. Negotiation: Copyright owners can negotiate with infringers to reach a settlement that compensates the owner for the infringement.
  4. Legal action: If negotiation fails, owners can pursue legal action against the infringer. This can involve filing a lawsuit in court and seeking a court order to stop the infringing activity and/or seeking compensation for damages suffered as a result of the infringement.
  5. Enforcement by authorities: In some cases, copyright owners can also request the authorities to take action against infringers, such as by seizing infringing copies or taking down infringing content from websites.

It’s worth noting that copyright owners in Vietnam may find it helpful to work with a local attorney who has experience in copyright law and enforcement in the country.

Q 72: How many collective management organizations (CMOs) in Vietnam?

There are currently five collective management organizations (CMOs) in Vietnam:

  1. Vietnam Center for Protection of Music Copyright (VCPMC)
  2. Recording Industry Association of Vietnam (RIAV)
  3. Vietnam Literary Copyright Center (VLCC)
  4. Vietnam Reproduction Right Organization (VIETRRO)
  5. Vietnam Association for Rights Protection of Music Performing Artists (APPA)

In addition, there are several international CMOs that have a presence in Vietnam, including:

  1. International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO)
  2. International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC)
  3. Association of Rights Management for Audiovisual and Cinematographic Works (AGICOA)
  4. International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).