The Copyright Office of Vietnam

On February 20th, 1987, Copyright Protection Agency, the predecessor of the Copyright Office of Vietnam (COV), was established. The establishment of Copyright Protection Agency in the early of the country renovation process has shown the role of intellectual property rights in Vietnam’s economic – cultural -social construction and development. It is the best choice towards reaching human civilization. Under the management of the Government, the policy on the field of intellectual property, as well as achievements we had, is always accompanied by the Copyright Office of Vietnam.

Over the past twenty five years of construction and growth, the Copyright Office has imprinted a landmark in the history of copyright protection in Vietnam. The Copyright Office of Vietnam has made a great contribution to the achievements in the protection of intellectual property rights, including copyright and related rights, in the country.

The legal system is formed and applied to most of relation on creative activities and copyright protection

The Copyright Office has been leading and coordinating with other organizations, agencies to research and propose the draft of more than 30 types of legal documents, with a total of 620 articles on copyright and related rights, to competent authorities. The volume of work has been recorded in a series of provisions on the Constitution, the Civil Code, Administrative Law, the Criminal Code, Intellectual Property Law and other branches law, such as media law, publishing law, cinematographic law, heritage law, advertising law, custom law, as well as a series of directives, decrees and circulars. The content of articles on copyright and related rights is very fresh and complex.

The legal documents be enacted and amended in accordance with the new situation. The legislation is now effective enough to protect the fruits of creation in national and international scope, thus contributing significantly to confirm intellectual property policies in Vietnam and to improve the position of Vietnam in the international arena. It is the result of the institutionalization process of the Constitution through the periods.

Join eight bilateral and multilateral agreements on copyright and related rights, which integrate Vietnam into the international community

At recently, Vietnam has joined five conventions and international treaties on copyright and related rights, including: Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works; Rome convention, 1961 international convention for the protection of performers, producers of phonograms and broadcasting organizations; Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms; Convention Relating to the Distribution of Program-Carrying Signals Transmitted by Satellite; and Agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (The TRIPS Agreement ). The first convention took effect in Vietnam is Berne Convention, which took effect on 04/26/2004. The TRIPS Agreement entered into force on 11 May 2007, which simultaneously with the time Vietnam became a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Vietnam also has signed three bilateral agreements on copyright and related rights:Agreement between the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Government of the United States of America on the establishment of copyright relations; Agreement between the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Swiss Federal Council on the Protection of Intellectual Property and on Co-operation in the Field of Intellectual Property; and Agreement of The Trade Relations between the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Government of the United States of America.

There are also commitments on the protection of intellectual property rights, including copyright and related rights, in other bilateral and multilateral agreements which Vietnam has signed, for instance Economic Partnership Agreements between Vietnam and Japan, or Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) that Vietnam is participating in negotiations with other countries.

The above convention, treaties and agreements include more than 200 articles providing on the rights and obligations of the signatory parties. Citizens and organizations of signatory parties should be implementing their obligations when using the copyright and related rights of Vietnamese citizens and organizations and vice versa.

The convention and treaties mentioned above has an effect, with both the positive developments and limitations, on the literature and artistic creation of Vietnam.

Awareness and understanding of copyright and related rights are rising by many propaganda and legal education:

About 50 kinds of books, reference material of national legislation and international law on copyright and related rights were published and disseminated to interested people. The Convention and foreign laws on copyright and related rights, such as United States’ Copyright Law, the Federal Switzerland’s Copyright Law were translated into Vietnamese and disseminated to interested people.

The Copyright Office of Vietnam publishes the Directory of Vietnam Copyright Registration annually. The book includes information of works which were registered in The Copyright Office of Vietnam since 1987, as well as information of their authors and copyright owners. The information will be posted on the Website Copyright Office of Vietnam. This is an effective tool to look up information of registered works in The Copyright Office of Vietnam. Managers, enforcement agencies, organizations and individuals may obtain useful data and information of registered literary, artistic and scientific works in Vietnam, as well as detect infringement of copyright and related rights.

Comic books about copyright were published, the first 5 episodes content refer to career choices in the creative field, to the rights of performers, the rights of producers of phonograms, the rights of broadcasting organizations and the copyright in the digital environment. The story revolves around the group younger characters, including “Laptop”, “Aten”, “Chì tẩy”, that be known as traditional tools and modern equipments, though each of a shape, a character, but that share their interests love literature, art and dream become famous artists. They love to understand intellectual property law and the “Dr. Teu”, a traditional character became a doctor, give them advice on choosing careers and answer the questions about intellectual property law for the children. 50.000 copies of books, were published with impressive color-printing, and then disseminated to the library of the provinces and cities to server readers from age of 3 classes and above and other interested people.

In order to improve the knowledge on copyright and related rights for students, 100,000 leaflets, which quote the policies of the Government and Intellectual Property Law, were published and disseminated to universities and colleges.

Website Copyright Office of Vietnam, which provides information on international and national law on copyright and related rights, protection activities of copyright and related rights and data of copyright registration, have met the demand of Vietnamese people, as well as foreigners. The website is built in both Vietnamese and English. National and international activities on copyright and related rights may be uploaded promptly in writing, audio and images.

The film series “Vietnam Intellectual’s wisdom from cultural heritage” were produced to introduce the Vietnamese nation’s cultural quintessence. This film series includes six episodes: “Deft hands” (episode 1), “Unique features in Vietnamese architectural heritage” (episode 2), “Vietnamese ancient sculptures” (episode 3), “Culture of the Fruitfulness” (episode 4), and “Traditional CHEO jesters” (episode 5) and “The art of Vietnamese Xam singing” (episode 6). These are really messages to remind generations today and in the future to understand traditional culture and make contribution to preserve respectfully and to develop ancestors’ abundance cultural creation values, which be protected by Intellectual Property Law

Website Copyright Office of Vietnam was administered and controlled by staffs of the Copyright Office, with the cooperation of the involved experts.

Nationwide activities to direct guide and check the implementation of national law and international treaties on copyright and related rights have been held regularly

The legal documents are declaredand disseminated to the involving parties, as soon as be enacted by the competent authorities, through the press conferences and the website Copyright Office of Vietnam. There were many nationwide and regional conferences forcreators, users, management and implementation agencies of central and local levels have been held. Several seminars on copyright enforcement in different areas, such as journalism, publishing, film, visual arts, theater, cultural heritage, advertising, in universities and colleges, have been organized. The intensive workshops on copyright implementation for the translated books, computer programs, sound recordings, electronic copy, in the digital environment, have been held. The symposia on copyright licensing services, royaltiescollection and distribution, data management and administration activities of collective management organizations have also been organized. Besides that, many workshopson strategies, mechanisms and policies of intellectual propertyin general, copyright and related rights in particular, also be organized to analyze overview of the copyright protection status and to forecast the trends in this field. These workshops are held in Vietnam with the support of WIPO, CISAC, IFPI and other international organizations.

In the past 25 years, the Copyright Office has been independently or jointly held 115 turns’ seminars, training courses with the participation of thousands of people.

Copyright and related rights collective management organizations were established

The copyright and related rights collective management organization system is formed with four organizations, including: The Vietnam Literary Copyright Center (VLCC); The Recording Industry Association of Vietnam (RIAV); The Vietnam Center for Protection of Music Copyright (VCPMC) and The Vietnam Reproduction Rights Organization (VIETRRO). As the result of many the study visit, survey activities and experiences from foreign countries and many conferences and seminars offered, the collective management organization on copyright and related rights was founded in Vietnam. This type of organizations is non-governmental, non-profit organization. On the behalf of rights owners, collective management organizations exercise copyright licensing service, collect and distribute of royalties to the authors and the rights holders who authorized to them.

Copyright and related rights collective management organizations have tried their best to implement the mission, some of organizations have achieved good results, for instance VCPMC. To the end of 2011, VCPMC has collected the amount of royalties about 101billion VND. All activities of collective management organization, including authorized contract, using license, collect and distribute royalties, protect the interests of the members who have the rights be exploited and used abroad and vice versa, as well as management activities, are fresh. There is no precedent, so the collective management organizations have to learn from the experience of other countries to carry out their mission.

The Copyright Office of Vietnam has been gradually improved, enhanced to meet the need of copyright, related rights management and enforcement

Although there were only four staffs in the Copyright Office of Vietnam at the beginning, but we were responsible for national copyright legislation and administration. At recently, organizational structure of the Copyright Office is fairly complete. There are 25 officials and public servants on the payroll to perform the role of Government on copyright and related rights management. The Office has four divisions, including: General Administration Division, Copyright Division, Related Rights Division and Information Division. There are also two Representative Offices in southern and central of the country, one in Ho Chi Minh City and another one in Da Nang city. Website Copyright Office of Vietnam is an important tool for the competent agency to direct and guide the activities of copyright and related rights according to the law.

The Copyright Office has also attached special important to improve the knowledge of officials and public servants. The staffs of the Office has participated in many training course on political theory, public administration and training programs by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and other relevant international organizations. Most staffs of the Office can speak English fluently, some people can speak two foreign languages. The staffs of Copyright Office have also participated in the negotiation delegations of the Government on copyright and related rights. About 30 totals of staffs of the Copyright Office have post-graduated degree. The Copyright Office of Vietnam plays an important role in implementing the tasks of the Government of Vietnam.

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