New association aims to prevent piracy

August 31, 2009

The Vietnam Reproduction Rights Association (Vietro) has been established to curtail illegal book printing and distribution via photocopying and the Internet.

The Vietro establishment board.


Recently, police discovered over 50 tons of illegally-printed books in HCM City. Over 4000 literary works of Vietnamese writers have also been uploaded without the author’s permission to the Internet.


“We have to invest heavily in the publication of a book, but our profits are very low because as soon as the book is published, it is also reprinted illegally,” complained Hoang Trong Quang, director of the Medicine Publishing House.


Nguyen Chi Tuyen from the World Publishing House notes that, during negotiations, foreign publishers always ask about Vietnam’s measures against illegal printing, not the prices.


Chairman of the Vietnam Publishing Association Nguyen Kiem observes that foreign authors and publishers don’t want to publish their works in Vietnam because of piracy.  He argues that thus Vietnamese readers have missed opportunities to enjoy world famous books.


Previously, three organizations controlled copyright issues in the fields of music, recording and literature, none of which managed reproduction rights. As a result, the illegal printing of books has been a big problem throughout Vietnam.


The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism recognized the establishment of Vietrro, chaired by Nguyen Kiem, on August 11.  This association will represent those who hold the reproduction rights of written works and will also serve as a bridge between those who hold the rights and thos who use the works.


Doan Thi Lam Luyen, Director of the Vietnam Literary Copyright Center, says that Vietnam has learned from many models in the world, including the “voluntary,” “compulsory” and “voluntary with legal assistance” models. Luyen said the “voluntary with legal assistance” model is very successful in northern Europe and seems to be suitable for Vietnam.


International organizations operating in the area of copyright and related rights such as the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organizations (IFRRO) and its member organizations, are assisting Vietrro’s board.


In particular, Norway’s NORCODE has promised technical and financial assistance for Vietro and is also willing to help Vietnam to set up a non-fiction writers’ association.


The Vietro establishment board is headed by Nguyen Kiem, Chief of the Publication Department under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.


The 11 members are Dao Duy Quat, Editor-in-Chief of the Communist Party of Vietnam’s online newspaper; writer Do Kim Cuong, head of the Culture and Literature Division of the Central Propaganda and Education Board; photographer Vu Huyen, Vice-Chairman of the Vietnam Photographers’ Association; Tran Doan Lam, Director of the World Publishing House; Nguyen Thu Dung, former General Director of the Vietnam Book Distribution Corporation; Le Phuoc Dung, Director of the Mapping Publishing House; Dam Duc Vuong, former Vice-Chief of the Ho Chi Minh Institute; Pham Huu Tien, former head of the Institute for Scientific Information; Cao Kim Anh, senior expert on IT and advisor to the Directorate of the Vietnam Center for Literary Copyright; Le Xuan Thao, member of the Hanoi Bar Association and the Vietnam Bar Association; and poet Doan Thi Lam Luyen, Director of the Vietnam Center for Literary Copyright.



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