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Musician, VNG settle case out of court

Update: December, 11/2014 - 09:43
I've won: Musician Tran Lap has reached a deal with mp3.zing.vn's owner VNG to settle a copyright dispute and withdrawn his lawsuit against the corporation. — Photo thethaovanhoa.vn
HCM CITY (VNS)  — The HCM City People's Court suspended a trial yesterday after musician Tran Lap made a deal with VNG Corporation and withdrew his copyright violation lawsuit.

The court was due to return a verdict today, but instead, the defendant made a private deal with VNG, and the two sides agreed that VNG will pay Lap a fee to use his songs on their website. Lap had filed a petition in June requesting the company pay him compensation after they used his song Duong Den Vinh Quang (The Road to Glory) without permission.

A lawyer representing the musician told the court yesterday about the deal.

"The two sides reached an agreement, so musician Tran Lap agreed to withdraw all the requirements he made in the petition against Zing MP 3 (the website mp3.zing.vn)," the lawyer said.

Other details on the agreement made outside the court, including the amount paid by VNG, were not released.

Musician Tran Lap's rock band, Buc Tuong (The Wall), will release their fifth album, Dat Viet (Vietnamese Land), tomorrow. The 10-song symphony-rock album will commemorate the band's 20-year journey.

"It took us almost a year to complete the album," Lap said. "Previously, we planned to do 15 to 16 songs, but we decided to go ahead with 10 songs. We thought it would be better to go with quality over quantity. First and foremost, we must be satisfied with the product before introducing it to the public." — VNS

According to the petition, VNG uploaded Lap's song onto its website, allowing users to download and listen to it for free. VNG must pay royalties and compensate musicians, singers and owners of songs for their use, regardless of if the site charges its users, Lap argued in the petition.

Lap tried to negotiate with the company before deciding to file a petition, but the talks failed. He then sued VNG, asking it to pay about VND150 million (US$7,000) in compensation.

During the trial last Thursday, VNG said it didn't break any laws and refused to pay, arguing that the site is meant to be a platform where everyone can listen to and share music. A user uploaded Lap's song, not the company itself, VNG said.

In August, singer Dang Khoi, the director of Viet Giai Tri (Viet Nam Entertainment) Co., also petitioned the HCM City People's Court, suing VNG for infringing on rights to nearly 10,000 South Korean songs. — VNS


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