Criminal liability for crimes of infringement of relevant rights in Vietnam

What are the regulations on criminal liability for crimes of infringement of relevant rights in Vietnam? - Man Nghi (Lao Cai)

Criminal liability for crimes of infringement of relevant rights in Vietnam

Criminal liability for crimes of infringement of relevant rights in Vietnam (Internet image) 

What are copyright related rights?

According to Clause 3, Article 4 of the Law on Intellectual Property 2005 on related rights:

- Copyright related rights (hereinafter referred to as related rights) means rights of an organization or individual to performances, audio and visual fixation, and broadcasts and satellite signals carrying coded programmes.

In addition, Article 17 of the Law on Intellectual Property 2005 stipulates the subject matter of related rights eligible for protection, including:

Performances shall be protected if they fall into one of the following categories:

+ They are made by Vietnamese citizens in Vietnam or abroad;

+ They are made by foreigners in Vietnam;

+ They are fixed on audio and visual fixation and protected pursuant to the provisions of article 30 of the Law on Intellectual Property 2005;

+ They have not yet been fixed on audio and visual fixation but have already been broadcast and are protected pursuant to the provisions of article 31 of the Law on Intellectual Property 2005;

+ They are protected pursuant to an international treaty of which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a member.

- Audio and visual fixation shall be protected if it falls into one of the following categories:

+ It belongs to audio and visual fixation producers bearing Vietnamese nationality;

+ It belongs to audio and visual fixation producers protected pursuant to an international treaty of which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a member.

- Broadcasts and satellite signals carrying coded programmes shall be protected if they fall into one of the following categories:

+ They belong to broadcasting organizations bearing Vietnamese nationality;

+ They belong to broadcasting organizations protected pursuant to an international treaty of which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a member.

- Performances, audio and visual fixation, broadcasts and satellite signals carrying coded programmes shall only be protected pursuant to the provisions of clauses 1, 2 and 3 of Article 17 of the Law on Intellectual Property 2005 on the condition that they are not prejudicial to copyright.

Criminal liability for crimes of infringement of relevant rights in Vietnam

According to Article 225 of the Penal Code 2015 and Point a, Clause 52, Article 1 of the Law on amendments to Penal Code 2017, the crime of infringement of copyrights and relevant rights is as follows:

- A person who, without the consent of the holders of copyrights and relevant rights, deliberately commits any of the following acts which infringe upon copyrights and relevant rights protected in Vietnam for commercial purpose or to earn an illegal profit of from VND 50,000,000 to under VND 300,000,000 or causes a loss of from VND 100,000,000 to under VND 500,000,000 for the holders of such copyrights and relevant rights, or with the violating goods assessed at from VND 100,000,000 to under VND 500,000,000 shall be liable to a fine of from VND 50,000,000 to VND 300,000,000 or face a penalty of up to 03 years' community sentence:

+ Making copies of works, video recordings or audio recordings;

+ Making the copies of works, video recordings, audio recordings publicly available.

- This offence committed in any of the following circumstances carries a fine of from VND 300,000,000 to VND 1,000,000,000 or a penalty of 06 - 03 years' imprisonment:

+ The offence is committed by an organized group;

+ The offence has been committed more than once;

+ The illegal profit reaped is ≥ VND 300,000,000;

+ The loss incurred by the holders of copyrights and relevant rights is ≥ VND 500,000,000;

+ The illegal goods are assessed at ≥ VND 500,000,000.

- The offender might also be liable to a fine of from VND 20,000,000 to VND 200,000,000, prohibited from holding certain positions or doing certain works for 01 - 05 years.

- Punishments incurred by a corporate legal entity that commits any of the offences specified in Article 225 of the Penal Code 2015:

+ Any corporate legal entity that commits an offence specified in Clause 1 of Article 225 of the Penal Code 2015 for commercial purpose or to earn an illegal profit of from VND 200,000,000 to under VND 300,000,000 or causes a loss of from VND 300,000,000 to under VND 500,000,000 for the holders of such copyrights and relevant rights, or with the violating goods assessed at from VND 300,000,000 to under VND 500,000,000; earns an illegal profit of from VND 100,000,000 to under VND 200,000,000 or causes a loss of from VND 100,000,000 to under VND 300,000,000 for the holders of such copyrights and relevant rights, or with the violating goods assessed at from VND 100,000,000 to under VND 300,000,000 while having incurred an administrative penalty for any of the offences specified in this Article or having an unspent conviction for the same offence shall be liable to a fine of from VND 300,000,000 to VND 1,000,000,000;

+ A corporate legal entity that commits this offence in any of the circumstances specified in Clause 2 of Article 225 of the Penal Code 2015 shall be liable to a fine of from VND 1,000,000,000 to VND 3,000,000,000 or has its operation suspended for 06 - 24 months;

+ The violating corporate legal entity might also be liable to a fine of from VND 100,000,000 to VND 300,000,000 , be banned from operating in certain fields or raising capital for 01 - 03 years.

Thus, anyone who commits a crime of infringing related rights will be liable to imprisonment for up to 3 years and a fine of up to 1,000,000,000 VND.

Particularly for commercial legal entities that commit crimes against related rights such as phonograms or video recordings, they can be fined up to 3,000,000,000 VND or have their operations suspended for up to 2 years.

In addition, criminal legal entities may also be banned from doing business, from operating in certain fields or from raising capital for up to 3 years.

Nguyen Pham Nhut Tan

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