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Ministry eyes on-line copyright violations

Update: August, 02/2012 - 09:44

HCM CITY — Enterprises and individuals who provide digital content on the internet but violate copyright regulations will be strictly penalised as of August 6, according to a new joint circular issued by the ministries of Information and Communications and Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Under Circular No. 07/2012/ TTLT, enterprises and individuals who want to post information with digital content will be required to have copyright certificates.

If digital information providers cannot show their copyright certificates, they will have to pay civil damages, including administrative fines or even criminal resettlement, in accordance with current legal regulations on copyright ownership and other relevant laws.

The new circular aims to better protect digital content as well as penalise cases that violate copyright-related legal regulations more drastically.

The circular also requires online-service users to commit to using only legal digital content on the internet and telecommunication networks.

Those that use online social-media networks but show signs of violating copyright ownership regulations will be responsible for civil damages, and will receive administrative fines or criminal settlement.

The circular also says that providers of intermediate services will have to accept inspections conducted by state management agencies, and will be forced to remove information that shows signs of violating copyright laws.

Vo Do Thang, director of the Athena Network Security Centre, said the joint circular was necessary to reduce violations of copyright ownership for digital works and to protect intellectual property rights.

"Enterprises and individuals who own websites and social media, and internet users, should be aware of the importance of copyright of digital content before deciding to post them in order to avoid trouble," Thang told Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper.

Although the new circular includes many strict regulations, online service providers are still worried of its effectiveness because of potential obstacles.

Some enterprises and individuals who own websites or online social media networks said that it was difficult to check the copyright of digital works because many of them were posted voluntarily for sharing purposes.

In addition, authorised agencies would find it difficult to settle digital-work copyright violations when these digital works were posted on websites and social networks whose archives are on servers located abroad, according to Thang. — VNS

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