Vietnam

Legal background

Scope and duration of copyright

Does copyright end immediately after the minimum period mandated by the Berne Convention? Yes
Has a court or tribunal ever limited the exercise of IP rights under competition law, for example by imposing compulsory licensing or regulating royalties charged by dominant rights holders? Yes
Has a court or tribunal ever limited the exercise of IP rights pursuant to a bill of rights or similar human rights instrument, for example by preventing copyright from being used to stifle protected speech? Yes
Can databases of non-original material be reproduced without infringing a copyright or sui generis database right? No
Are rights holders prohibited from excluding user rights under copyright law? In part
Is computer software excluded from the scope of patentable subject matter?

Freedoms to access and use

By Home UsersIs there any general user right that is based on a set of balancing criteria, such as a "fair use" right? No
However it is allowed to exploit work without permission from, and without payment to, the copyright owner in specified cases, which is consistent with the three-step test of Berne Convention.
IPL Articles 15, 25, 32
Is time, space and format shifting allowed (such as ripping music from CD to an MP3 player)? No
Can consumers reproduce copyright material for their own use in the original format, for example for backup purposes? No
Can works be communicated to a limited public (for example, family and friends) without infringing copyright? No
For EducationMay students copy works for private research or study? In part
Translation and reproduction in limited quantity of copies is allowed for use for class room teaching or research, provided that the translation or reproduction shall not be published or distributed.
IPL Articles 25, 32
Does any such research and study provision cover distance and online education? Yes
May translations of works be made for educational purposes? In part
Translation and reproduction in limited quantity of copies is allowed for class room teaching provided that the translation or reproduction shall not be published or distributed.
IPL Articles 25, 32
May educators copy works for use in the classroom? In part
Reproduction in limited quantity of copies is allowed for use for class room teaching or research, provided that the translation or reproduction shall not be published or distributed.
IPL Articles 25, 32
OnlineAre temporary or transient copies, incidental to a lawful use, excepted from copyright? Yes
The law does not contain specific stipulation on this.
Does the law exclude or limit the liability of intermediaries such as ISPs for copyright infringements carried out on their network? Yes
Is Internet access free of ISP filtering or monitoring for potential copyright-infringements? No
ISPs are obliged to filter or monitor their system to prevent copyright infringement.
By content creatorsIs there any protection for consumers who non-commercially remix or mash up copyright works? No
May computer software be reproduced or transformed for the purpose of reverse-engineering interoperable software? No
Is the incidental inclusion of a work in other material permitted? In part
Only permitted to reuse for citation.
Is there are copyright exception for parody or satire? In part
The law does not contain specific stipulation on this.
By the pressIs there a copyright exception for the news of the day? Yes
Reuse or citation of a published work in newspapers, periodicals, at radio stations, television stations or any other media for the purpose of reporting current events is allowed.
IPL Article 25
May copyright material be reproduced for the purposes of review and criticism? Yes
Appropriate quotation from a published work in one's own work for the purposes of introduction to, or comments on, a work, or demonstration of a point is allowed.
May quotations be used for any purpose? In part
Appropriate quotation from a published work in one's own work for the purposes of introduction or comments or demonstration of a point is allowed.
By LibrariesMay libraries copy works if they cannot reasonably be obtained commercially? In part
Libraries can only copy works, including digital copy for back-up or preserving purpose.
IPL Article 25
May librarians copy works for users for the purpose of research or study? In part
Are libraries allowed to make preservation or archive copies of materials in their collections? In part
Can lending libraries operate without incurring public lending rights fees to copyright owners?
By disabled usersIs it permissible to copy or adapt work for the use of those with disabilities? In part
It is permitted to transliterate a published work into Braille and publish the work so transliterated, or provide the published written work via information network to the blind in a non commercial manner.
IPL Article 25
In public affairsAre laws excluded from copyright? Yes
Laws are not copyrightable.
Are other governmental works either excluded from copyright, or routinely shared under permissive licences? Yes
Regulations, resolutions, decisions and orders of State organs,or other documents of a legislative or administrative nature and their official translations are not copyrightable.
Are the results of publicly funded research required to be published under an open access licence? In part
Intellectual property rights, inclusive of computer software copyright or IC layout designs, derived from the governmental fiscal funded research projects belong to the researchers. In the case where the researchers fail to implement the relevant intellectual property in reasonable period or for the purpose of protection of national security,national interests or important public interests, the State may implement it for free or grant licenses to others for free or for charge.

Freedoms to share and transfer

Do copyright owners have the right to release their works to the public domain, without any limitation on how those works may be used? No
Can public domain works be used without the need for any payment or registration of the use?
Does the law make special provision for the legal use of orphaned works? No
The owner of orphan works is the Government.
Is parallel importation of copyright works permitted? Yes
Are there national programmes or policies to promote the use, production or dissemination of openly-licensed material such as free and open source software or open educational resources? No
Are there national programmes or policies that specify or promote the use of open document formats? No

Administration and enforcement

What is the maximum penalty for copyright infringement for an individual? 500.000.000 VNd (US$ 25.000) IPL Article 205
What is the maximum penalty for copyright infringement for a corporation? 500.000.000 VNd (US$ 25.000) IPL Article 205
Is innocent infringement of IP treated differently by the law? Yes
Is the creation or distribution of devices that can circumvent technological protection measures (TPM) permitted, where such devices can be used for legal purposes? Yes
The law does not contain specific stipulation on this
Is the use of such devices by consumers or intermediaries permitted in the legal exercise of user rights? No
Although the provision is unclear, it seems to cover circumvention even for non-infringing purposes.
IPL Article 28
Does national copyright or consumer protection law require that the effect of TPMs distributed with copyright works be disclosed to consumers? No
Are there cases in which the availability of injunctive relief for IP infringement is limited by the law on public policy grounds?
Does the law protect a user's Internet access from being suspended for alleged copyright infringement, except after a hearing in court? No
Are criminal sanctions limited to cases of large-scale commercial counterfeiting? No
Are damages for copyright infringement limited to the loss sustained, rather than a pre-established or statutory damages award? No
Is there provision to penalise the wrongful allegation of copyright infringement? Yes
Is there provision to penalise the obstruction of consumers' exercise of user rights?
Does the patent system allow for pre-grant opposition?

Recent or upcoming changes

Summary of position

Vietnam's Intellectual Property Law is a unique piece of legislation that combines copyright, patents, trade marks and plant varieties in a single Act.  Amongst the countries analysed in this Watchlist, it is the last to adopt legislation covering these fields, in 2005.

One might expect, then, that the law would be modern, and adapted for the digital age.  Unfortunately this is only so in the rights-holder's favour; thus, circumvention of technological protection mechanisms is outlawed, but digital rights for the consumer, such as format shifting or backup, are not.

Equally, the limitations and exceptions contained in the legislation are scanty.  There is no private use exception, and minimal provision for libraries and education. This legislation bears all the hallmarks of not having been presented for consultation by consumers, and is already sorely due for reform.

Creative Commons license icon
This work is licensed under a Attribution Share Alike Creative Commons license

Report Completeness

50% complete