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VietNamNews

Controversy over award-winning book

Update: November, 11/2015 - 09:43

Photographer Tran Manh Thuong. — Photo tienphong.vn

HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam's senior photographer Tran Manh Thuong has admitted his mistake and apologised after a meeting to discuss copyright issues over his book entitled Lich Su Nhiep Anh The Gioi (The History of World's Photography).

Attending the meeting which were held on October 26 were members of the Viet Nam Association of Photographic Artists, lawyers from Bao Ngoc Law Firm and others.

In the letter titled Ve Cuon Sach Giao Khoa Lich Su Nhiep Anh The Gioi (About the Textbook The History of World's Photography) that Thuong sent to the Viet Nam Association of Photographic Artists, he said that he erred in writing his name as the writer instead of the compiler, though references were made in the book.

"I have been working in the publishing trade for over 40 years. I have committed the mistake due to carelessness and lack of responsibility for my compiled manuscript. I would like to send my sincere apology to the readers, and accept the responsibility for my mistake," Thuong wrote in his letter.

Published by Theatre Publishing House in 2009, Lich Su Nhiep Anh The Gioi received the National Book Award for best works of photographic research and criticism by the Viet Nam Association of Photographic Artists in 2011.

However, after the book won the award, accusations were made that Thuong had plagiarised material from a German book on the history of world photography, titled Geschichte Der Photographie, by writer Beaumont Newhall (1908-1993), and published by Chirmer / Mosel Publishing House in 1982.

As the charges were complicated and involved foreign concerns, it could not be resolved by the Viet Nam Association of Photographic Artists themselves, but required the consultation of a law firm, causing the controversy to continue over a long period.

Tran Manh Thuong is among renowned Vietnamese photographic researchers and critics. As the deputy chief of the criticism section of the Viet Nam Association of Photographic Artists, he is the author of many photographic research studies, including Kien Thuc Co Ban Ve Nhiep Anh (Basic Knowledge about Photography) and Nhiep Anh Va Cuoc Song (Photography and Life). — VNS



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