03 notable issues on using online music for business activities in Vietnam

Using online music for business activities is a concerning matter in Vietnam. Accordingly, users of online music for business activities need to note currently some legal issues on the copyright and related rights (“Copyright”). Through this article, BLawyers Vietnam would like to provide 03 notable issues on using online music for business activities in Vietnam as follows:

1. Obligation to ensure no Copyright infringement for using online music

Organizations setting up social networks and websites are obliged to implement intellectual property regulations relating to the provision and use of information. If these organizations implement the following acts, they must compensate for damage due to Copyright infringement:

  1. publishing, transmitting or supplying the content of digital information by Internet and telecommunication network and editing, truncating, copying the content of digital information in any manner without permission of the author, copyright owner, performer, producer of audio and visual fixation, broadcasting organization (“Copyright Holder”);
  2. intentionally canceling or disabling technical measures performed by the Copyright Holder for protection of Copyright;
  3. being secondary distribution sources of digital information content due to Copyright infringement.

In addition, users of social networks, websites infringed the Copyright for using online music will be warned, deleted, and removed contents by organizations setting up social networks and websites.

Regarding users of online music for business activities without social networks or any websites that infringe the Copyright will be sanctioned as prescribed. For example, individuals who use music without paying the Copyright Holder shall be fined from VND5,000,000 to VND15,000,000, or copy music without permission shall be fined from VND15,000,000 to VND35,000,000, depending on the severity of the violation. Twice of such fine will be applied to organizations.

2. Permission and payment of royalties and remuneration

For published online music that is used directly or indirectly by organizations or individuals for:

  1. commercial purposes in making broadcasts which are sponsored, advertised, or charged in any forms;
  2. business and commercial activities such as restaurants, hotels, shops, and department stores; in establishments providing karaoke, post, telecommunications, or digital environment services; in tourist, aviation, and mass transit activities.

must not request permission but pay royalties and remuneration as agreed to the Copyright Holder from the time of use.

Except for the activities (i), (ii) as above, organizations or individuals using online music in other business activities must request permission and pay royalties and remuneration as prescribed.

3. Behaviors that are not implemented when using online music for business activities

Organizations and individuals using online music for business activities in Vietnam must not implement the Copyright infringement acts such as:

  1. Impersonating the Copyright Holder;
  2. Publication and distribution without the permission of the Copyright Holder;
  3. Modifying, editing, or distorting a work in any way which prejudices the honor and reputation of the Copyright Holder;
  4. Copying, using, or leasing a work without permission, without payment of royalties, remuneration, and other material benefits by law;
  5. Duplicating, producing copies of, distributing, displaying, or communicating a work to the public via a communications network or digital means without permission from the Copyright Holder;
  6. Intentionally canceling or disabling technical measures performed by the Copyright Holder for protection of Copyright or deleting, changing electronic information in a work regarding the management of the rights to such work; or
  7. Implementing other violations as prescribed.

Organizations/individuals that infringe the Copyright when using online music for business activities in Vietnam will be dealt with by civil, administrative, or criminal measures depending on the level of the violation.

Should you have any questions about the above contents, please revert to BLawyers Vietnam at consult@blawyersvn.com. We are more than happy to hear from you!

Date: 13 January 2022

Writer: Thu Tran

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