KENFOX IP & Law Office > IP Practice  > Related Matters in Vietnam  > What Should Be Aware About The Liabilities of Internet Service Providers To Deal With IP Infringement in Vietnam?

What Should Be Aware About The Liabilities of Internet Service Providers To Deal With IP Infringement in Vietnam?

The specific rules of the internet stipulate that if the IP-protected material is uploaded without the consent of the right holder, the ISP can request, in writing, the removal of the infringing work from the ISP or removal from the network and disableness of access to the copyrighted material from the respective website. This form of written alert is called a “take-down notice”. The general rule is that if the ISP removes the infringing content following a “take-down notice”, it will not be held liable for any further compensation. For a successful take down action, you will need to provide the ISP with the registration documents of your trade mark, patents or copyright in the country where the ISPs are located.

In Vietnam, on 3 February 2020, the Government issued Decree No. 15/2020/ND-CP on administrative penalties for breach of postal services, telecommunications, radio frequencies, information technology and electronic transactions (“Decree 15”). This Decree, replacing Decree No 174/2013/ND-CP, entered into force on 15 April 2020. Under Decree 15, online service providers operating websites, social networking platforms or web-based streaming services and their users are now unable to ignore their IP-specific liabilities.

In particular, Decree 15 places strict responsibility on websites, social networking service providers and social media users for IP breaches of journalistic, literary, artistic and other online publications and works without the permission of the right-holders. Such breaches are punishable by a fine of up VND 10 million to VND 70 million (approx.. US$500-3,500).

Other sanctions include confiscation of infringement measures, compulsory removal of infringing material, or temporary revocation of a license to operate the site. Whether the above-mentioned sanctions will be imposed on foreign businesses offering cross-border services accessible to Vietnamese users are unclear. Moreover, it should be noted that IP rights holders still can not enforce their rights on their own by sending a request to the ISP. Online service providers who operate websites, social networking platforms or online streaming services are not obliged, on request of IP rights holders, to remove infringing content. To take action, IP rights holders must submit a petition to a competent enforcement authority in Vietnam.
Some acts subject to sanctions for IP infringement provided in Decree 15 are summarized as follows:

(i) Violations against regulations on websites: [A fine ranging from VND 20,000,000 to VND 30,000,000 shall be imposed for the commission of one of the following violations: Posting/delivering journalistic, literature and arts works and other publications without the consent from holders of intellectual property rights over such works, or which are not allowed to be distributed or subject to a distribution prohibition or confiscation decision].

 – Additional sanctions: The exhibits and instrumentalities used for committing any of the violations shall be confiscated.

– Remedial measures: (a) Enforced removal of paths/links to false, misleading or violating information in case of commission of the violations and (b) Enforced revocation or return of domain names.

(ii) Violations against regulations on responsibility of organizations/enterprises establishing social networking sites: [Deliberately posting/delivering journalistic, literature and arts works and other publications without the consent from holders of intellectual property rights over such works, or which are not allowed to be distributed or subject to a distribution prohibition or confiscation decision].

– Additional penalties: (a) The exhibits and instrumentalities used for committing the violations shall be confiscated and (b) The license to establish social networking site shall be suspended for a fixed period of 8 – 12 months.

– Remedial measures: (a) Enforced removal of false, misleading or violating information and (b) Enforced revocation of domain names.

(iii) Violations against regulations on responsibility of social networking service users: [Providing/sharing journalistic, literature and arts works and other publications without the consent from holders of intellectual property rights over such works, or which are not allowed to be distributed or subject to a distribution prohibition or confiscation decision]

– Remedial measures: Enforced removal of false, misleading or violating information.

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