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General Information  I  Filing Requirements


Authors and copyright owners

  • Copyright protection shall be given to authors and copyright owners of a work.
  • Author is defined as a person directly creating the whole or part of a work, where copyright owner may be one of the following:

(i) The author or co-authors of the work;
(ii) An authority or organization which delegates a duty to an author;
(iii) An individual or organization which enters into a contract for the creation of the work with the author;
(iv) A testamentary heir or an heir at law of the author; or
(v) The assignee who is assigned work from the owner of the work.

  • Authors and copyright owners stipulated above shall comprise Vietnamese organizations and individuals; foreign organizations and individuals with works published for the first time in Vietnam and not yet published in any other country, or simultaneously published in Vietnam within 30 days from its first publication in another country; and foreign organizations and individuals with works eligible for protection in Vietnam in accordance with international treaties on copyright of which Vietnam is a member.

Works protectable as copyrights

  • Literary, artistic and scientific works which are protected by copyright comprise:

i)  Literary and scientific works, textbooks, teaching materials, and other works expressed in forms of letters or other writing characters;
ii)  Lectures, presentations and other speeches;
iii)  Journalistic works;
iv)  Musical works;
v) Dramatic works;
vi)  Cinematographic works and works created by similar methods (hereinafter referred to as cinematographic works);
vii)  Fine art works and applied art works;
viii)  Photographic works;
ix)  Architectural works;
x)  Graphics, sketches, maps, drawings relevant to topography and scientific works;
xi)  Folk artistic and literary works.
xii) Computer programs and compilations of data

  • Protected works as stipulated above must be created personally by authors through their intellectual labour and without copying the works of others.
  • Beside "literary, artistic and scientific works" in the above mentioned categories, the protection under the copyright law also given to performers, organizations producing audio tapes and disks, video tapes and disks and radio and television broadcasting organizations. Such rights are also known as "Related Rights" or "Neighbouring Rights"

Exclusions from copyright protection

  • The current rules deny protection to the following works:

i) Information just for the purposes of communication;
ii) Legal normative documents, administrative documents, other documents in the judicial sector and the official translation thereof.
iii) Processes, systems, method of operation, definitions, principles and statistics.

Property and personal rights of copyright owners and/or authors

  • An author and/or copyright owner shall be entitled to certain "property" rights and "personal" rights, as the case may be.
  • Personal rights include:

i) To name his or her work;
ii) To put his or her real name or pseudonym in the work; to have his or her real name or pseudonym mentioned when his or her work is published or used;
iii) To publish his or her work or authorize another person to do so;
iv) To protect the integrity of his or her work, to object to any alteration, mutilation, distortion or other modification in any form which prejudice against his or her honor and prestige.

  • Property rights include:

i)  To create the derivative work;
ii)  To perform the work to the public;
iii)  To reproduce the work;
iv)  To circulate to the public the original or copies of the work;
v) To communicate the work to the public by wire or wireless means, through electronic information network or by any other technical means;
vi)  To lease the original or copies of a cinematographic work or a computer program.

Fair use

  • An individual or organization may use a published copyright work for "non-commercial purposes" without the permission of the author and without paying royalties provided such use does not adversely affect the normal exploitation of the work and does not prejudice the rights of the authors or copyright owners. The author's name and the origin of the work must, however, be mentioned.
  • "Non-commercial purposes" are defined to include the following acts:

i) Self - reproducing one single copy for the purposes of science research and individual teaching;
ii) Reasonable quoting works without alteration of their contents for commentary or for illustration in one’s own works;
iii) Quoting from a work without alteration of their contents for use in articles, periodic journals, radio and television programs and documentary films;
iv) Quoting from a work for teaching in schools without alteration of the contents not for commercial purposes;
v) Copying a work for archives in libraries for the purposes of research;
vi) Performing dramatic works and other forms of performing arts in cultural gatherings or in promotional campaigns without any form of charges;
vii) Directly recording and reporting performances for public information and educational purposes;
viii) Taking pictures of or televising works of fine art, photographic, and applied art that have already been publicly displayed for introduction purposes;
ix) Translating a work into Braille or the like;
x) Importing copies of others’ works for personal use only.

  • However, such acts as architectural, fine art works or computer programs are not considered to be used for non-commercial purposes.

Term of protection

  • In general, copyright is protected for the life-time of the author plus fifty (50) years after his/her death. Some personal rights (such as the rights to name the work, to have the author's name attached to the work, and to protect the integrity of the work) last indefinitely.
  • With respect to cinematographic works, photographic works, dramatic works, applied art works, anonymous works, the copyright shall last for 50 years from the date of first publication.

Copyright registration

  • It is not required to registration of works for acquisition of copyright protection in Vietnam. Copyright of a work shall arise as from the moment when the work assumes a tangible form. However, copyright registration may serve as prima facie evidence in a court of law with reference to disputes relating to copyright.

Procedure of copyright registration of works

  • Application for registration of work shall be lodged with the Copyright Office of Vietnam (COV) with a prescribed registration fees.
  • COV shall examine all the documents attached with the application for copyright registration and grant Certificate of Copyright within 15 days.
  • COV shall refuse to grant Certificate if the documents attached with the application do not meet the requirements for determining the right author or owner of the work.
  • The applicant can file an appeal against the COV's refusal with the Minister of Culture and Information.
  • The parties having relevant rights and/or interests can file a petition to request the COV to revoke the granted Certificate if the certificate granted to the wrong author or owner.

Contract for use of copyrighted works

  • Any person or organization willing to use a work must enter a contract with the author or the copyright owner of that work, unless the use is for "non-commercial purposes" as mentioned above. A contract for use of a copyrighted work must include provisions which specify the following matters:

- Full name and address of assignor and assignee;
- Grounds of assignment;
- Scope of the assignment of the right;  
- Price and mode of payment;
- Rights and obligations of each party;
- Obligations for breach of contract.

  • Such contract is not subject to registration to be legally effective.

Assignment contract of copyrighted works

  • A contract for copyrights rights assignment must be made in writing and includes the following main contents:

- Full name and address of assignor and assignee;
- Grounds of assignment;
- Price and mode of payment;
- Rights and obligations of each party;
- Obligations if breach of contract.

Infringement and enforcement

  • An author or owner of a copyrighted work has the right to claim for protection if any of the following acts is conducted in respect of that work without his/her consent:

1. Seizing copyrights of a literary, artistic, scientific work;
2. Assuming the author’s name of a work;
3. Publishing, disseminating a work without its author’s permission;
4. Publishing, disseminating a co-author works without permission of other co-author(s);
5. Modifying, mutilating or distorting a work in any forms, which is prejudicial to the author’s honor and prestige;
6. Copying a work without permission of the author or the copyrights owner, except for the following cases: i) self - reproducing one single copy for the purposes of science research and individual teaching; ii) Copying a work for archives in libraries for the purposes of research;
7. Make derivative works without permission of the author or the copyrights owner of the work used to make such derivative work, except translating a work into Braille or the like;
8. Exploiting a work of without permission of copyrights owner, without paying royalties and remuneration and other material benefits under the law; except forms of fair use of works mentioned above;
9. Renting a work without any payment of royalties, remuneration and other material benefits to its author and copyrights owner;
10. Photocopying, producing, disseminating, publishing, displaying or communicating a work to the public by broadcasting network or digital devices without permission of the copyrights owner;
11. Publishing a work without permission of the copyrights owner;
12. Intentionally canceling or invalidating technical methods applied by the copyrights owner to protect copyrights of his or her work;
13. Intentionally erasing or amending electronic information on copyrights management of a work;
14. Producing, assembling, altering, distributing, importing, exporting, selling or leasing an item of equipment when knowing or having basis to know that such equipment is used for invalidating the technical measures taken by the copyright owner to protect the copyright to his/her works.
15. Making and selling a work of which the author’s signature is being forged;
16. Exporting, importing, disseminating copies of a work without permission of the copyrights owner.

  • Where his/her copyrights are infringed, the author or owner of the work shall be entitled to demand the provincial or city specialized culture and information inspector, or the inspector of the Ministry of Culture and Information to compel the infringer to cease the infringement, apologize publicly, issue a public rectification, and/or compensate for damage suffered.

For more information concerning copyright protection in Vietnam, please click to the desired section in the above menu or contact us.


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