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6 benefits of registering a work for copyright protection in Vietnam – Why should a work be registered with Copyright Office of Vietnam?

In conformity with Berne Convention, the IP Law of Vietnam also provides, under Article 6.1, that “Copyright shall arise at the moment a work is created and fixed in a certain material form, irrespective of its content, quality, form, mode and language and irrespective of whether or not such work has been published or registered”. The aforesaid legislation means that copyright registration is not a pre-requisite for entitlement of copyright protection and proceeding with legal actions. A work is automatically protected in Vietnam without having to register it with Vietnamese competent authority.

Despite not being legally obligatory, by virtue of the Vietnamese’s limited knowledge of copyright law, registering works with Copyright Office of Vietnam is strongly recommended. Hereunder are 6 benefits of owning a copyright registration certificate in Vietnam.

1. A holder of a copyright registration certificate in Vietnam shall not bear the burden of proving his ownership of the copyright and related rights in a dispute, unless there is otherwise evidence under Article 49.3 of Vietnam IP Law. Thus, a Copyright Registration Certificate in Vietnam constitutes prima facie evidence of the validity of the copyright in a work.

2. Owning a copyright registration certificate in Vietnam enables the holder to license the IPR easily to others, enjoying remuneration and royalty resulting from allowing a third party to use the registered work or make a derivative work from the original work.

3. Vietnamese enforcement authorities hesitate to take enforcement actions if no Copyright Registration Certificate is submitted along with a petition for handling copyright infringement under administrative proceedings or a claim under civil proceedings. A copyright registration certificate makes it easier for enforcement authorities to accept settlement of a copyright infringement case since the copyright registration certificate details all the information of the owner/author.

4. Copyright registration also establishes the date of publication of the work when dealing with infringement matters. In a copyright infringement allegation, one of the key things is to trace back the date on which a work was created and published and from which date the alleged infringement started.

5. The Expertise Center of Copyright, Related Rights (“ECCR”), a Vietnamese state agency with authorisation to issue expert opinions on copyright and related right issues, responsible for assessing copyright infringements, does not accept to provide its expert opinions on demand if no Copyright Registration Certificate is available. A certificate of copyright registration is required to file a petition for assessment from ECCR. Kindly note that a Copyright Registration Certificate granted by a foreign country of Berne Convention is acceptable for ECCR to issue expert opinions on the likelihood of copyright infringement in Vietnam.

6. Early registering a work in Vietnam help minimize the risk of being appropriated by other organizations/individuals to register and become the legitimate owner of the work.