Vietnam: Copyright transfer and 04 notes on the copyright transfer contract

Copyright is an important right recognized by the law for authors and owners of works, bringing them both material and spiritual benefits. Copyright transfers are now commonly done in Vietnam.

In this article, BLawyers Vietnam will point out 04 notes regarding the copyright transfer, especially on drafting the transfer contract. 

1. What is copyright transfer?

Copyright transfer means the ownership transfer of economic and moral rights over the work from the copyright owner to other individuals and organizations according to the contract or the relevant regulations of the law.

2. 04 notes when drafting the copyright transfer contract
  1. Regarding the form: By law, the copyright transfer contract shall be in writing.
  2. Regarding the content: The copyright transfer contract shall contain the following main contents:
    1. The sufficient name and address of the transferer and transferee;
    2. The ground of transfer;
    3. The price and payment method;
    4. Each party’s rights and obligations;
    5. The legal responsibility for breach of contract.
  3. Regarding the copyright permitted for transferring in the contract. By law, the author is granted moral and economic rights over his/ her work.

    (a) The moral rights permitted for transferring include: the work publication right or the right to permit other persons to publicize the work.

    (b) The economic rights permitted for transferring include the following rights:

    • The right to create derivative works;
    • The right to perform the work to the public;
    • The right to reproduce the works;
    • The right to distribute or import the original or copies of works;
    • The right to convey the work to the public by wireless or landline means, electronic information networks, or other technical means; and
    • The right to lease the original or copies of cinematographic works and computer programs.
  4. In the case of the joint ownership copyright: The transfer of such right must be agreed upon by all co-owners. In case the work is composed of separate parts that may be used independently, the copyright owner may transfer the copyright of his/her separate part without other owners’ consent.
3. The procedure for copyright transfer

Copyright transfer is conducted with the following steps:

  • Step 1: Drafting and signing the copyright transfer contract;
  • Step 2: Implementing the procedure for amending the Copyright Registration Certificate.

The Copyright Registration Certificate is re-granted if there is a change in the copyright owner. Thus, after signing the transfer contract, the parties must implement the procedure for amending the Copyright Registration Certificate by submitting the dossier to the Copyright Office.

The dossier for this procedure including:

  • Declaration of copyright registration;
  • Copies of the work;
  • Copyright transfer contract;
  • Copyright Registration Certificate; and
  • Other relevant documents.

Although the laws regarding copyright transfer are quite clear, parties should check carefully to mitigate legal risks.

The above is not official advice from BLawyers Vietnam. If you have any questions or suggestions about the above, please contact us at consult@blawyersvn.com. We would love to hear from you.

Date: 31 March 2023

Writers: Trinh Nguyen & Tuyen Pham

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