In the last article with talked about Vietnam and the recent amendment, among which we mentioned the copyright.

In the present article we talk again about Vietnam and Copyright to take into consideration a significant amendment that involves both.

But first, few words about copyright.

Copyright is part of intellectual property rights that gives its owner the exclusive right to copy, distribute, adapt, display, and perform a creative work, usually for a limited time.

This IP right plays an important role in contributing to economic, cultural and social development.

With the creation of works in the form of digitization gradually becoming popular, the copyright infringement on the Internet became also more frequent and this also leads to the necessity of regulations on the protection and prevention of copyright infringement in the digital environment, not within a country but also at the international level.

For this purpose, in 1996, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) adopted a treaty for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (as reflected in the Berne Convention), that provides additional copyright protections to account for information technology advancements. In particular, the treaty extended the copyright protection to computer programs and the expressive selection and arrangement of database data and material.

The treaty also granted to the copyright authors 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).

This said, there are certain limitations and exceptions. According to the 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.

On November 17th, 2021, Vietnam officially joined the World Intellectual Property Organization's Copyright Treaty (WCT). Finally, Vietnam has now become the 111th party to the WCT. The WCT was set to enter into force in Vietnam in February 2022.

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 demonstrated a strong desire to provide an enforced legal protection in the digital space.

Indeed, joining the WCT is the reflection of the development of the Vietnamese technology industry which the country have been witness and it shall lead to a creation of a competitive and safe environment for promoting creativity and attracting more investment to the technology industry.

The recent Amendments to the IP Law have been adopted with the same purpose, to show the intention of Vietnam to make the copyright system more relevant in the digital era with technology-driven changes.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.