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Vietnam Joins WIPO Copyright Treaty

14

SEP

2022

Copyright is an important part of intellectual property rights. Copyright protection plays a crucial role in contributing to economic, cultural and social development and is also one of the conditions for international economic integration. The Fourth Industrial Revolution creates many opportunities and simultaneously poses lots of challenges for each nation, organization and individual, which all have a significant impact on all aspects of the country’s economic and social life.

The creation, dissemination and storage of works in the form of digitization are gradually becoming popular, at the same time copyright infringement on the Internet is also more severe. Therefore, it is necessary to have regulations on the protection and prevention of copyright infringement in the digital environment, not within a country but also at the international level.

WIPO Copyright Treaty

A treaty adopted in 1996 by member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) under the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (Berne Convention) that provides additional copyright protections to account for information technology advancements. The treaty expands copyright protection to computer programs and the expressive selection and arrangement of database data and material. Subject to certain limitations and exceptions, the treaty also provides authors with certain exclusive rights concerning their literary and artistic works, including general distribution; rental rights for computer programs, sound recordings, and cinematographic works; and the right to communicate the works to the public by wire or wireless means (online transmission).

As to limitations and exceptions, Article 10 of the WCT incorporates the so-called "three-step" test to determine limitations and exceptions, as provided for in Article 9(2) of the Berne Convention, extending its application to all rights. The Agreed Statement accompanying the WCT provides that such limitations and exceptions, as established in national law in compliance with the Berne Convention, may be extended to the digital environment. Contracting States may devise new exceptions and limitations appropriate to the digital environment. The extension of existing or the creation of new limitations and exceptions is allowed if the conditions of the "three-step" test are met.

As to duration, the term of protection must be at least 50 years for any kind of work.

Vietnam’s joining

On November 17th, 2021, Vietnam officially joined the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Copyright Treaty (WCT). By depositing the instrument of accession, Vietnam has now become the 111th party to the WCT. Vietnam’s representative, Ambassador Le Thi Tuyet Mai, presented WIPO Director, General Daren Tang, with the instrument of accession to the WCT, marking a new milestone for IP protection improvement in the fast-growing country.

Vietnam is expected to finish the accession process within 3-years from the effective date of the European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement. By becoming a member to the WCT, Vietnam showed a strong desire to provide a safe legal environment, with a concrete basis for authors of works, in the digital space.

In recent years, Vietnam’s new generation technology industry, involving digital space usage, displayed significant growth. With the inclusion of computer programs and the compilation of data as subjects protectable by copyright, businesses in Vietnam now enjoy a competitive and safe environment for promoting creativity and attracting more investment to the technology industry.

Further, as Vietnam gains a reputation for being an innovation hub in Asia, technology businesses are drawing significant investments, such as Singaporean Temasek’s participation in the VNG Corporation project; Softbank’s and the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation’s (GIC)’s in VNPAY, (a leading fintech company in Vietnam); and the Warburg Pincus investment in MoMo, (the largest e-wallet provider and pioneer of digital payment in Vietnam). With these continuing and positive copyright developments for computer programs and data compilations, businesses now enjoy a highly supportive growth environment.

Conclusion

Vietnam has already proven its determination to make the copyright system more relevant in the digital era with technology-driven changes recently proposed in the Draft IP Law Amendment. Some examples are the introduction of official definitions of “Efficient Technological Protection Measures,” “Rights Management Information,” “communication to the public of a work, a performance, an audio or visual recording,” the addition of regulations on ISPs’ liability for infringements of copyright and related rights and safe harbors, etc.,” These changes are consistent with the obligations under the WCT. The WCT was set to enter into force in Vietnam in February 2022.

Author: Tanya Saraswat - a student of Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS), in case of any queries please contact/write back to us via email chhavi@khuranaandkhurana.com or at Khurana & Khurana, Advocates and IP Attorney.

About the Firm

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Tel 91-120-4296878, 91-120-4909201, 91-120-4516201
Fax 91-120-4516201
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