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What is Copyright in Vietnam?

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Individuals and organizations that create literary, artistic, or scientific works are protected by law on intellectual property rights. This protection has the effect of creating motivation for the birth of valuable works and research works, and serving the interests of the community. The law on intellectual property in Vietnam regulates copyright as an effective tool to protect the right of authors and owners of works. So what is Copyright in Vietnam? Let’s find out in this article with LSX Law firm.

Law on Intellectual Property 2005 amended and supplemented in 2009 and 2013

Decision 59/2016/QD-TTG

Normally, whenever literary, artistic, scientific works are published, the name of the author (group of authors) is publicized as a way of honoring the creativity and the values ​​​​that the work brings. In creating such works, the author has specific intellectual property rights. More specifically, in Clause 2, Article 4 of the current Intellectual Property Law, the concept of copyright is as follows:

According to legal science, copyright is a collection of legal regulations on copyright in order to confirm and protect the rights of authors and copyright holders, to determine the obligations of subjects in the creation and use of literary, artistic, and scientific works. To prescribe the procedures for exercising those rights and to protect those rights when there is an infringement.

  • The work must be original ( by the author and not copied from people’s works)
  • Only the expression of the work is protected (no protection is granted for  the ideas of the work itself)
  • A protected work must fall under the concept of a literary, artistic, scientific work.

The basis for the arising of copyright is when the author creates the work in a particular material form. However, the law also encourages authors; after creating work, to register for the protection of intellectual property rights at a competent state agency. So this is a useful measure to establish a legal basis to prevent future disputes over copyright infringement.

So In copyright protection, two subjects protected by law are the author and the copyright owner. These two subjects have certain rights and interests with respect to the created literary, artistic, and scientific works.


Authors are people who, with their intellect and strength, directly perform creative activities. When publishing work, an author must include his or her name or pseudonym as an establishment of copyright in the work. It is very important to have a name or a pseudonym, which plays a role in personalizing the work they create. But there are also cases where the author does not want to put his name or pseudonym, now these works will be anonymous works and the law doesn’t protect them.

In the process of creating a work, sometimes there will be people who support activities such as providing funds, materials, means, materials, and contributing ideas for the author to complete the work. However, these people are not authors and will not receive copyright protection for the work.

For works by only one author, that author is the sole author of the work. At that time, this person will enjoy all of the author’s rights to the work. In cases where many individuals collaborate by creative labor to create works. Then, each of those groups of authors are co-authors of the work and those people together enjoy the author’s rights to the work.

  • Vietnamese individuals whose works are protected by copyright;
  • Foreign individuals whose works are created and expressed in certain material forms in Vietnam;
  • And, Foreign individuals whose works are published for the first time in Vietnam;
  • Also, Foreign individuals whose works are protected in Vietnam under an international treaty on copyright to which Vietnam is a contracting party.

Apartment according to Article 36 of the current Intellectual Property Law provides for copyright holders as follows: “Copyright owner in Vietnam is an organization or individual that holds one, several or all property rights”. Accordingly, the subjects identified as copyright holders are specified in Articles 37 to 42 of the current Intellectual Property Law, which are: Intellectual Property

a) Copyright holders are authors (Article 37 of the Law on intellectual property)

The author of a work is also the owner of that work in case that author uses his or her time and intellect. At the same time, using their own financial resources and facilities to create works. In this case, the author who is also the copyright owner has all moral and property rights to the work

b) The copyright holders are co-authors (Article 38 of the Intellectual Property Law)

In case if the work is the work of many people in terms of time, financial and material facilities to jointly created works, then these people will be co-authors and co-owners of the copyright to the work. The co-owners share the moral and property rights to the work.

c) Individuals or organizations assigning tasks to authors to create works

This is the case where authors create works according to tasks assigned by agencies, organizations, or individuals for whom he/she is serving or public work. At this time, the author will only enjoy the moral rights to the work he created. Property rights will belong to agencies, organizations, and individuals that assign tasks to the author.

d) Individuals or organizations that enter into contracts with creators for the creation of works are the

In case the author enters into a contract with individuals and organizations to create works and at the same time receives a monetary remuneration or equivalent material benefit; the author only has moral rights to the work. Individuals or organizations that enter into contracts and pay wages to authors who create works will have property rights to the works

Copyright is an object in the relationship of inheritance. Therefore, when the author who is also the owner of the work dies, the people who inherit the author’s inheritance will be the owner of the work. From there, these people will establish the property rights to the work. In the case of multiple heirs, they are co-owners of the work. 

f) Transferees of copyrights in Vietnam

g) The State

For anonymous works still in the term of protection but the copyright owner dies without an heir. If the heir refuses to receive the estate or the If the author transfers copyright to the State, the State is the copyright owner for those works.

Pursuant to Article 14 of the current Intellectual Property Law, the types of works covered by such copyright include:

a) Literary and scientific works, textbooks, textbooks, and other works expressed in writing or other characters;

b) Lectures, speeches, and other speeches;

c) Pressworks;

d) Musical works;

d) Theatrical works;

e) Cinematographic works and works created by similar methods (hereinafter referred to as cinematographic works);

g) Visual and applied artworks;

h) Photographic works;

i) Architectural works;

k) Maps, diagrams, maps, drawings related to topography, architecture, scientific works;

l) Literary and folk artworks;

m) Computer programs, data collection

Besides the above-mentioned types of works, derivative works of such works are also protected by copyright law if the creation and use of such works are protected by law, without prejudice to the copyright in that work. 

  • Pure news.
  • Legal documents, administrative documents and other documents in the judicial domain and their official translations.
  • Process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, data.

Hope this article is useful for you. If you need any further information, please contact LSX Law Firm0833102102

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