KENFOX IP & Law Office > IP Practice  > Copyright  > Sanctions/Remedies against Copyright Infringement in Vietnam

Sanctions/Remedies against Copyright Infringement in Vietnam

Copyright infringement may be subject to administrative or criminal sanctions, depending on severity of the infringement. Further, the copyright owner may also take a court action to claim a compensation for damages caused by the copyright infringement. Below is a summary of sanctions/remedies under administrative, criminal or civil proceedings pertaining to copyright infringement in Vietnam.

Administrative sanctions:

Previously, levels of monetary fines were subject to value of the pirated goods. However, this principle is removed and replaced by a notion as to calculate the monetary fines based on types of acts of violations as provided under the new Decree 131/2013/ND-CP which came into effect on 15 December 2013, which was then revised by Decree No. 28/2017/ND-CP, entry into force 05 May 2017.

Under Decree 131/2013/ND-CP, the highest fine level to be imposed on a copyright infringing organization is VND 500 million. For an individual copyright infringer the maximum fine is VND 250 million. However, the level of monetary fines imposed on the copyright infringement is quite low, even lower for the same copyright infringement than those provided under the previous legislation. For example, for “acts of infringing upon the right to reproduce works”, under Article 18, Decree 131/2013/ND-CP, the infringer will face a monetary fine of VND 30m – VND 70m (approx. US$ 1,300- 3,100). The infringer may be additionally requested to remove the infringing software out of the computer on which such infringing software is installed.

Criminal sanctions:

Criminal Code 2015, revised in 2017 criminalizes “commercial scale” acts of “copying of works, audio recordings and visual recordings” or “distributing the copies of work, audio or video recording.”

CrimeIndividualsLegal entities
CharacteristicsPenaltiesCharacteristicsPenalties
Infringement of copyrights and relevant rights (Article 225, Criminal Code 2015, revised in 2017)

 

a) Making copies of works, video recordings or audio recordings;

b) Making the copies of works, video recordings, audio recordings publicly available

– Guilty: Intent

– Commercial scale;

– The illegal profit is earned from VND 50m to under VND 300m;

– The loss is caused from VND 100m to under VND 500m for the holders of such copyrights and relevant rights, or

– The violating goods assessed at from VND 100m to under VND 500m

– Main criminal penalties: A fine from VND 50m to VND 300m.

– Up to 03 years community sentence.

– Additional penalties: A fine from VND 20m to VND 200m, prohibited from holding certain positions or doing certain works for 01 – 05 years.

– Commercial scale;

– The illegal profit is earned from VND 200m to under VND 300m, or the loss is caused from VND 300m to under VND 500m for the holders of such copyrights and relevant rights, or the violating goods is assessed at from VND 300m to under VND 500m;

– The illegal profit is earned  from VND 100m to under VND 200m, or the loss is caused from VND 100m to under VND 300m for the holders of such copyrights and relevant rights, or the violating goods is assessed at from VND 100m to under VND 300m while being sanctioned for administrative violation for copyright infringement or having an unspent conviction for the same offence.

– Main criminal penalties: A fine from VND 300m  to VND 1 billion.

– Additional penalties: A fine from VND 100m to VND 300m, prohibited from operating in certain fields or raising capital for 01 – 03 years.

 

 

– The offence is committed by an organized group;

– The offence has been committed more than once;

– The illegal profit reaped is VND 300m or over;

– The loss incurred by the holders of copyrights and relevant rights is VND 500m or over;

– The illegal goods are assessed at VND 500m or over.

– Main criminal penalties: A fine from VND 300m to VND 1 billion.

– 06 months – 03 years’ imprisonment.

– Additional penalties: A fined from VND 20m to VND 200m, prohibited from holding certain positions or doing certain works for 01 – 05 years.

– The offence is committed by an organized group;

– The offence has been committed more than once;

– The illegal profit reaped is VND 300m or over;

– The loss incurred by the holders of copyrights and relevant rights is VND 500m or over;

– The illegal goods are assessed at VND 500m or over.

 

– Main criminal penalties: A fine from VND 1 billion  to VND 3 billion, or has its operation suspended for 06 – 24 months.

– Additional penalties: A fine from VND 100m to VND 300m, prohibited from operating in certain fields or raising capital for 01 – 03 years.

In case the monetary fine is not applied in the main criminal penalties, the infringer may be additionally subjected to a fine of from VND 100m to VND 300m and prohibited from operating in certain fields or raising capital for 01 – 03 years.

Civil remedies:

In case the copyright owner decides to file a civil lawsuit, subject to the copyright owner’s requests, the Vietnamese court shall apply the following civil remedies:

(i)        compelling the termination of infringing acts;

(ii)       compelling the public apology and rectification;

(iii)      compelling the performance of civil obligations;

(iv)      compelling the payment of damages

In the lawsuit petition, the copyright owner may request the Court in Vietnam to demand the infringer to pay a damage compensation. However, claiming damage in a civil lawsuit is quite challenging in Vietnam and, in practice, often not accepted by the court judges. Apart from a request for damage compensation, under Article 205.3 of Vietnam IP Law, the copyright owner has the right to request the court to compel the infringer that have committed acts of infringing upon industrial property rights to pay reasonable costs of hiring attorneys (attorney’s fee) to engage in the lawsuit.

Readmore: Criminal procedure for IPR enforcement in Vietnam