Vietnam/ 5.1 General legislation  

5.1.7 Copyright provisions

To join the World Trade Organisation, Vietnam was required to meet international standards of intellectual properties (IP) protection. Vietnam passed the new IP Law in 2006 and adopted the Berne Convention on copyrights. The result is that today Vietnam has relatively comprehensive set of laws covering most aspects of IP rights.

In the law on Intellectual property rights, Vietnam defines the objects of intellectual property rights as follows: 1. Objects of copyright include literary, artistic and scientific works; objects of copyright-related rights include performances, sound recordings, video recordings; broadcasting programmes; and satellite signals carrying encrypted programmes. 2. Objects of industrial property rights include inventions; industrial designs; layout-designs of semi-conductor integrated circuits; business secrets; trademarks; trade names; and geographical indications. 3. Objects of rights to plant varieties are plant varieties and its propagating materials.

State policies on intellectual property rights are as follows:

1. To recognise and protect the intellectual property rights of organisations and individuals on the basis of ensuring equal benefits to intellectual property rights holders and the public interest; not to protect the intellectual property objects that are contrary to the social morality and public order, or harmful to national defense and security.

2. To encourage and promote creative activities, exploitation of intellectual property assets to contribute to the socio-economic development and to improve people’s material and spiritual life.

3. To provide financial assistance to the assignment and exploitation of intellectual property rights for public interest; to encourage national and foreign organisations and individuals in financing creative activities and intellectual property rights protection.

4. To give priority to investment in training and improving the skills of officials, civil servants and other related people in the field of intellectual property rights protection and research, application of science and technology for intellectual property rights protection.

Vietnamese Prime Minister also had an instruction No 26/2008/CT-TTg to strengthen the implementation of copyright and the protection of related rights. In this document, the Ministry of Finance must ask customs officials to prevent any imports or exports violating copyright laws, particularly on computer and recorded programmes. The Ministry of Industry and Trade has also been asked to introduce strict punishments for organisations and individuals involved in circulating pirated goods.

In Vietnam, copyright violation occurred in many fields, particularly in music, literature, computer programme and television broadcast. The violations have negative effects on creative activities, the investment environment, social and cultural development, and the nation’s integration into the world economy. The main cause of infringement is that organisations and individuals have little awareness of copyright and related rights.

National Copyright Office of Vietnam was established on 27 February 1987 under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. The office is responsible on behalf of the Minister for guiding the development of copyright according to the Communist Party guidelines and the policies and laws of the state. Its principal functions include drafting laws, ordinances and regulations relating to copyright protection, registering copyright protection for the Vietnamese and foreign individuals and organisations and granting and revoking copyright certificates and operational licences for copyright services, providing guidance for municipal and provincial services of culture and information in exerting state management over copyright protection in the localities, organising and implementing co-operation projects involving foreign countries and international organisations concerned with copyright protection, organising the education and popularisation of legislation on copyright and disseminating information on copyright protection, and organising professional training courses on copyright protection for officials of the Ministry and related national and local organisations.

Chapter published: 30-11-2013