Vietnam, Korea join hands to provide legal copyright protection

Vietnam and Korea have just coordinated to organize the forum ‘Copyright policy in the digital environment and cooperation plans’.

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Nowadays, many readers are willing to pay to listen to audiobooks.

At the forum, Korean partners introduced many copyright protection solutions as references for the current situation of creative development in Vietnam's digital environment.

Lee Ha Young, Deputy Head of the Department of Cultural Trade Cooperation under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Korea, said that the internationalization and sophistication of the circulation of illegal content cause use without authors’ agreement to increasingly widespread.

In that context, the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism cooperates with relevant ministries and agencies to announce a policy to prevent the illegal circulation of digital content (referred to as K-content). This policy comes with specific measures, including quick response, international cooperation, scientific investigation and change in perception.

However, one of the positive and important moves in copyright protection is the establishment of the Korean National Copyright Museum, located in Gyeongnam Province’s Jinju City.

The museum was established on November 22, 2023, including 5 spaces such as discovery of copyright in everyday life, understanding of copyright, experience and use of the work, composition space, and awareness of the importance of copyright. In addition to these 5 spaces, the museum also has other amenities such as classrooms and libraries.

Currently, the National Copyright Museum of Korea stores 839 documents which are arranged into different thematic groups. However, according to Ms. Lee Ha Young, the main goal of the museum is not to display documents but to let visitors experience issues related to copyright. Visitors can directly use the works, create them, and register their copyrights.

Through these activities, visitors will have the experience and feeling of becoming authors so that they can feel their legitimate rights. Based on that, it will help each visitor realize that everyone needs to respect copyright, said Ms. Lee Ha Young.

According to Deputy Director Pham Thi Kim Oanh of the Copyright Office, Korea is currently providing great support to Vietnam in activities related to copyright issues.

Korean content has been used a lot in Vietnam, especially digital content related to literary and artistic works and vice versa. In addition to sharing legal and practical information, Vietnam and Korea can cooperate with each other in exploiting and protecting copyright, and jointly oppose copyright infringement, especially in the digital environment, according to Ms. Kim Oanh.

Vietnam is already a member of international copyright treaties, each with nearly 200 member countries. Therefore, in the digital environment, cooperation is needed to be able to execute together, and Vietnam will also be protected in each member country.

Deputy Director Pham Thi Kim Oanh of the Copyright Department

Not only Vietnam and Korea, copyright in the digital environment is a burning issue in many countries around the world. This requires not only the efforts of each country but also cooperation amongst countries.

From 2004 to the present, Vietnam has been a member of 8 international treaties on copyright and related rights including Berne (2004), Geneva (2005), Brussels (2006), Rome (2007), TRIPs (2007), WCT (2022), WPPT (2022) and Marrakesh (2023). Along with that, the Southeast Asian country has improved and perfected its legal corridor. Thanks to that, the issue of copyright protection in the digital environment in Vietnam is having positive changes.

According to lawyer Phan Vu Tuan, Head of Phan Law Vietnam Law Office, by 2022, the entire amount of money earned from online music in the world will be about US$26.2 billion, accounting for more than 80 percent of the money from music in general.

Lawyer Phan Vu Tuan added that according to data from the Vietnam Music Copyright Protection Center, 80 percent of this center's revenue comes from online music. On average, a Vietnamese person pays $1 a year (or about VND25,000) to listen to music online. Although the above number is not huge, it shows that Vietnamese people are starting to have the habit of paying to listen to music.

In the publishing industry, especially in the field of electronic publications, there are also positive changes.

According to data from the Department of Publishing, Printing and Distribution, by the end of 2023, of 57 publishers, 27 have participated in electronic publishing and distribution, an increase of 26.3 percent over the same period in 2022, accounting for 42.1 percent of all publishers. In 2023, 4,000 publications were electronic publications up 19.4 percent over the same period in 2022 with an estimated 36,000 copies (up 11 percent).

Revenue from publishing activities and issuance of electronic publications reached more than VND9 billion with a profit of nearly VND1 billion. Some units with revenue of VND1 billion or more such as Tre Publishing House (VND1.2 billion), Vietnam Environmental Resources and Map Publishing House (VND3.1 billion), People’s Army Publishing House (VND1 billion), and Hanoi Publishing House (VND1 billion).

However, Ms. Pham Thi Kim Oanh said that although the legal corridor has been improved and people's awareness has been raised, in reality, many violations were still seen especially in the digital environment. Many people still use material for free or take advantage of the digital environment to earn profit. To solve this problem, cooperation and many simultaneous solutions are needed.

Ms. Kim Oanh suggested the government continue to raise people’s awareness, especially the initiative of rights holders. In the digital environment, it is necessary to apply technological measures to monitor use and pay copyrights transparently.

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