A journalist won a lawsuit against the Culture and Information Publishing House for copyright infringement early this week.
Journalist Pham Thi Ha, under the pseudonym of Ha Linh, was an employee of Thoi bao Kinh te Viet Nam (Vietnam Economic Times). She sued the publishing house for using eight of her published works without her permission in a book entitled Successful Entrepreneurs and Experience in the Business World under the pseudonym of Phan Lan.
Ha cited evidence that the works had been published in the Vietnam Economic Times between July 2003 and March 2004, including: Oil King Rockefeller’s Ambition to Rule the US, Wilbur Ross becomes Billionaire Thanks to Bankrupt Companies, and General Director with Monthly Salary of US$1mil.
Compared to the eight works in the book, they were copied word-for-word, except for some changes in titles and paragraph order.
Representative from the publishing house said the house had relied on two contracts to issue the book. One, with Phuong Bac Culture Co Ltd, gave the company’s responsibility to supply drafts and make payment to writers who complained about copyright.
The representative said the publishing house had left the work to its partner from the first step (receiving draft) to the last (publishing), so the house had no knowledge of the authors of the material in the book.
Phuong Bac Culture Co similarly denied knowledge because it took the draft from another. The supplier was discovered to have paid VND800,000 for the draft from another who copied Ha’s work from the internet.
The court decided that the Culture and Information Publishing House had to take main responsibility for the copyright infringement. It was ordered to apologise to the plaintiff three times in the Nhan Dan (The People) newspaper and suspend further publication of the book without agreement from the plaintiff.