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

The use of online music for commercial activities is an issue of concern in Vietnam. As a result, users of online music for professional purposes should currently take note of certain legal issues regarding copyright and related rights (“Copyright”). Through this article, Vietnam Lawyers would like to provide 03 notable issues on the use of online music for business activities in Vietnam as follows:

1. Obligation to guarantee the absence of copyright infringement for the use of online music

Organizations creating social networks and websites are required to implement intellectual property rules relating to the provision and use of information. If these organizations perform the following acts, they must compensate damages due to copyright infringement:

  1. publish, transmit or provide the content of digital information through the Internet and telecommunications network and edit, truncate, copy the content of digital information in any way whatsoever without the authorization of the author, the right holder author, performer, producer of audio and visual fixation, broadcasting organization ( “Copyright owner”);
  2. intentionally overriding or disabling technical measures taken by the copyright owner for copyright protection;
  3. being secondary distribution sources of digital information content due to copyright infringement.

In addition, users of social networks, copyright-infringing websites for online music use will be warned, removed, and content removed by organizations setting up social networks and websites.

Regarding online music users for commercial activities without social networks or any websites that infringe copyright will be punished as prescribed. For example, people who use music without paying the copyright holder will be fined VND5,000,000 to VND15,000,000, or who copy music without permission will be fined from 15,000,000 VND to 35,000,000 VND, depending on the seriousness of the offence. Double this fine will be applied to organizations.

2. Authorization and payment of fees and remuneration

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

  1. for commercial purposes in the making of sponsored, advertised or billed shows in any form;
  2. commercial and commercial activities such as restaurants, hotels, shops and department stores; in establishments providing karaoke, post, telecommunications or digital environment services; in tourism, aeronautics and public transport activities.

must not ask permission but pay royalties and remuneration as agreed to the copyright holder from the time of use.

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

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

Organizations and individuals using online music for commercial activities in Vietnam must not carry out acts of copyright infringement such as:

  1. impersonate the copyright owner;
  2. Publication and distribution without the permission of the copyright holder;
  3. Modify, edit or distort a work in a way that damages the honor and reputation of the copyright holder;
  4. Copy, use or rent a work without authorization, without payment of royalties, remuneration and other material advantages in accordance with the law;
  5. Duplicate, make copies of, distribute, display or communicate any work to the public via a communications network or digital means without the permission of the copyright owner;
  6. Intentional undoing or disabling of technical measures taken by the copyright owner for copyright protection or deletion, modification of electronic information in a work relating to the management of rights in that work; Where
  7. Implement other violations as prescribed.

Organizations/individuals who infringe copyright when using online music for commercial activities in Vietnam will be subject to civil, administrative or criminal action depending on the level of infringement.