IIPA had hoped that the 2005 passage of the IP Code in Vietnam, revisions to the Criminal Code in 2009, an administrative enforcement Decree (No. 47) also in 2009, and a nationwide judicial reformprocess would lead to steady improvements in copyright protection, allowing a legitimate creative marketplace to emerge in Vietnam. Unfortunately, online and mobile piracy has gotten significantly worse in Vietnam, and end-user piracy of business software remains largely unchecked, among other piracy problems. Increased Internet and mobile penetration and more widely available broadband capacity have led to a severe increase in the trade of illegal copyright files online. Technological advances in Vietnam have outpaced the government’s response to copyright issues, notwithstanding that the Vietnamese have long recognized that piracy in the country is increasingly “sophisticated” and involves violations of “most of the objects of the rights”. The Vietnamese Government has taken very few enforcement actions over the years, and no criminal case has ever been brought to address copyright piracy. Because of that, IIPA has launched the priority actions requested in 2012 to reduce the piracy situation in Vietnam: Enforcement:
* Devote greater resources and Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) Inspectorate and Economic Police manpower to running raids and bringing cases under the Criminal Code through targeted criminal actions,e.g., against online piracy, retail and source piracy,.. * Take effective enforcement measures against notorious infringing sites whose business models are based on providing access to infringing content, including in particular those sites such as Socbay.com, Bamboo.com,… * Enforce Ordinance No. 4 and Decree No. 47 on administrative remedies for copyright infringement, imposing maximum penalties. * Reduce pirated imports from China.
* Reduce signal theft by removing illegal content from local cable operators and stopping retransmission of signals from neighboring countries without license. Legislation and Market Access
* Issue implementing guidance for the revised Criminal Code so that prosecutions can commence, in line with Vietnam’s BTA obligation, including by confirming that the Code applies to online distributions, and providing detailed interpretations of “commercial scale” infringements that include those undertaken without a profit motive. * Make necessary changes to IP Code and implementing decrees to ensure Vietnam is in full compliance with its BTA and other international obligations, and otherwise facilitate the free exercise of rights by copyright owners. * Expedite the drafting process for, and provide public consultation as to, amendments to the Internet Decree (or circular) on ISP liability that clarifies the secondary liability of ISPs and requires ISPs to take responsibility and cooperate with right holders to combat online infringements both in the hosted and the non-hosted environment. * Afford U.S. right holders greater access to the Vietnamese market, by eliminating foreign investment restrictions and other entry barriers with respect to production, importation and distribution of copyright materials whether in the physical or online/mobile marketplaces. * Extend the term of protection for sound recordings to the BTA-compatible term (75 years or more) and otherwise extend copyright term in line with the international trend (life of the author plus 70 years). * Pass optical disc licensing regulation.
III. The actual out come of the 2011 decisions (the result in 2012 after applying priority actions requested in 2012) IIPA hopes the issuance and entry into force in 2012 of the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) and Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism (MCST) Joint Circular on Stipulations on the Responsibilities for Intermediary Service Providers in the Protection of Copyright and...