In 2023, Vietnam has witnessed a significant step forward in the protection and promotion of copyright through the implementation of new regulations. These changes have been made to adapt to the rapid development of the digital economy and creative industries, providing new opportunities for creators and establishing an optimal legal environment to safeguard their works and creations.
This translates to a broad opportunity to promote creativity, innovation, and cultural development in Vietnam. In this article, we will explore the latest copyright regulations in Vietnam for 2023 and their importance for both creators and society as a whole.
Definition of Author and Co-authors
An author is someone who directly creates a work. In cases where two or more individuals directly contribute to a work with the intention of combining their contributions into a complete whole, they are considered co-authors. Persons who provide support, suggestions, or materials to others for the creation of a work are not considered authors or co-authors.
The exercise of personal rights and property rights over a work with co-authors must be agreed upon by all co-authors, except when the work has distinct separate parts that can be used independently without harming the rights of other co-authors or when other laws provide otherwise.
Types of Works Protected by Copyright
Copyright protection covers various forms of literary, artistic, and scientific works, including:
a) Literary and scientific works, textbooks, teaching materials, and other works expressed in written or other characters;
b) Lectures, speeches, and other spoken works;
c) Works of journalism;
d) Musical works;
đ) Dramatic works;
e) Cinematographic works and works created using similar methods (collectively referred to as cinematographic works);
g) Fine arts and applied arts works;
h) Photographic works;
i) Architectural works;
k) Charts, diagrams, maps, drawings related to geography, architecture, and scientific structures;
l) Folk literary and artistic works;
m) Computer programs, databases.
Derivative works are only protected if they do not harm the copyright owner’s rights to the original work used to create the derivative work. Copyright protection applies only to works created directly by the author’s intellectual labor and not copied from the works of others.
These regulations represent a substantial enhancement in the protection of intellectual property rights in Vietnam, catering to the evolving landscape of creative industries and digital technologies. They provide a robust framework for safeguarding the rights of authors and creators, fostering innovation, and promoting cultural development.
Understanding and adhering to these copyright regulations remains crucial for both individual creators and organizations operating in Vietnam. As the country continues to adapt to new challenges and innovations, staying informed about legal changes is essential for the development and success of creators and businesses in Vietnam. If you require detailed legal assistance or guidance on copyright matters, it is advisable to consult with a reputable law firm specializing in intellectual property in Vietnam.
Subjects outside the scope of copyright protection
Subjects outside the scope of copyright protection include:
- Purely factual news reporting.
- Legal texts, administrative documents, and other documents falling under the jurisdiction of the judiciary, as well as official translations of those documents.
- Procedures, systems, methods of operation, concepts, principles, and data.
Copyright in works as defined by the Intellectual Property Law includes both moral and economic rights.
Moral rights encompass:
a) The right to name the work. The author has the right to transfer the right to name the work to an entity or individual who acquires the property rights.
b) The right to be identified as the true author or under a pseudonym in the work; to be named as such when the work is published or used.
c) The right to disclose the work or permit others to disclose it.
d) The right to protect the integrity of the work, preventing distortion by others, and preventing others from modifying or editing the work in any way that harms the author’s honor and reputation.
Economic rights encompass:
a) The right to create derivative works.
b) The right to perform the work directly or indirectly to the public through live performance or recordings, video or audio recordings, or any other technical means at a location accessible to the public, though not at a time and in parts chosen freely by the public.
c) The right to reproduce the work, either directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, by any means or in any form.
d) The right to distribute, import for distribution, or transfer other ownership rights to the original work or copies of the work in tangible form.
e) The right to broadcast, transmit to the public the work through wired or wireless means, electronic information networks, or any other technical means, including providing the work to the public in a manner that they can access it at a location and time of their choosing.
f) The right to lease the original work or copies of cinematographic works and computer programs, except where the computer program is not the primary subject of the lease.
Exceptions that do not infringe on copyright
Exceptions that do not infringe on copyright include:
a) Making a personal copy for scientific research or individual educational purposes without commercial intent. This provision does not apply to copying using copying equipment.
b) Reasonable copying of a portion of a work using copying equipment for scientific research or individual educational purposes without commercial intent.
c) Proper use of a work for illustration in lectures, publications, performances, audio recordings, video recordings, or broadcasting for educational purposes.
d) Use of a work in the performance of official duties by a government agency.
e) Proper citation of a work without altering its meaning for commentary, introduction, or illustration in one’s own work; for writing articles, using it in periodicals, or in broadcast programs or documentaries.
f) Use of a work in library activities without commercial intent.
g) Performance of stage, music, dance, and other artistic works in cultural and propaganda activities without commercial intent.
h) Photographing, recording, filming, or broadcasting artistic, architectural, photographic, or applied art works displayed in public places for the purpose of introducing the image of those works, without commercial intent.
i) Importing copies of others’ works for personal use without commercial intent.
k) Copying by republishing in newspapers, periodicals, broadcasting, or other forms of public communication lectures, speeches, or other spoken works presented to the public within an appropriate scope for news purposes, except when the author declares copyright.
l) Photographing, recording, filming, or broadcasting events for news reporting purposes, including the use of works heard or seen in those events.
m) Disabled individuals, illiterate individuals, or others who cannot access works in the usual way, as well as caregivers or caretakers, complying with the conditions stipulated by the government.
In cases where works are used for commercial purposes, but permission is not required, and copyright must be acknowledged along with the author’s name and the source of the work, this includes:
a) Broadcasting organizations using published works, works for which copyright owners have permitted shaping them into audio or video recordings for commercial broadcasts, sponsorship, advertising, or revenue generation. Payment of copyright royalties is required but no permission is needed.
b) When a copyright owner permits a work to be shaped into audio or video recordings for commercial purposes, individuals and organizations can use those audio or video recordings in their business or commercial activities without requiring permission but must pay copyright royalties to the copyright owner as agreed upon.
The use of works must not contradict the normal exploitation of the work and must not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the author or copyright owner. These provisions do not apply to cinematographic works.
Vietnamese organizations and individuals enjoy benefits for translating foreign works into Vietnamese and copying them for teaching and research purposes without commercial intent, following international agreements of which Vietnam is a member, as regulated by the government.
Organizations and individuals who wish to use published works of Vietnamese organizations and individuals but cannot locate or identify the copyright owner must follow government regulations.
The duration of copyright protection
The duration of copyright protection for moral rights as stipulated in Articles 1, 2, and 4 of Article 19 of the Intellectual Property Law is indefinite. The duration of moral rights as stipulated in Article 3 of Article 19 and property rights as stipulated in Article 20 of the Intellectual Property Law are as follows:
a) Cinematographic works, photography, applied art, and anonymous works have a protection term of seventy-five years from the first publication; for cinematographic works, photography, applied art not published within twenty-five years from the date of their creation, the protection term is one hundred years from the date of creation; for anonymous works, the protection term is calculated based on the provisions of point b of this clause when information about the author becomes available.
b) Works not falling under the categories mentioned in point a of Article 27, Clause 2, have a protection term for the life of the author and fifty years after the author’s death; in the case of joint authors, the protection term ends fifty years after the death of the last surviving joint author.
c) The protection terms specified in points a and b of Article 27, Clause 2, expire at 24:00 on December 31 of the year that marks the end of the copyright protection term.
Infringement of copyright includes:
a) Infringing on moral rights.
b) Infringing on property rights.
c) Not fulfilling or not fully fulfilling the obligations specified in Articles 25, 25a, and 26 of the Intellectual Property Law.
d) Deliberately canceling or rendering ineffective effective technological measures implemented by the author or copyright owner to protect their copyright in their work in order to engage in activities as specified in this Article and Article 35 of the Intellectual Property Law.
e) Producing, distributing, importing, offering for sale, selling, promoting, advertising, marketing, leasing, or storing for commercial purposes equipment, products, components, or services when knowing or having reason to know that such equipment, products, components, or services are produced or used to circumvent effective technological measures protecting copyright.
f) Deliberately erasing, removing, or altering management information without permission from the author or copyright owner when knowing or having reason to know that such actions will incite, enable, or facilitate copyright infringement as specified by law.
g) Deliberately distributing, importing for distribution, broadcasting, transmitting, or providing copies of works to the public when knowing or having reason to know that management information has been deleted, removed, or altered without permission from the copyright owner; when knowing or having reason to know that such actions will incite, enable, or facilitate copyright infringement as specified by law.
h) Not fulfilling or not fully fulfilling the provisions to be exempted from legal liability of intermediary service providers as specified in Article 198b, Clause 3, of the Intellectual Property Law.