Wednesday, October 23 2019

VietNamNews

Copyright spat headed to court

Update: December, 21/2018 - 09:00
Composer Đinh Trung Cẩn (standing) talks at the press conference reporting the case held in Hà Nội on Wednesday.
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — A copyright protection group has accused a local business of violating copyright laws.

The Việt Nam Centre for Protection of Music Copyright claims Sky Music JSC has been using music it holds the copyright to for the past two years.

In a press conference held in Hà Nội on Wednesday, the centre said that Sky Music company has used a large number of music pieces by the centre’s members to provide on the music service “X-Music Station” through the websites http://xms.vn, http://xmusicstation.com, music apps Xmusic and XmusicStation. The centre also alleges a list of music pieces are available at http://skymusic.com.vn.

According to composer Đinh Trung Cẩn, director of the centre, Sky Music only has rights to some of the pieces, yet Sky Music has claimed they have authors’ copyrights for all the pieces. However, Sky Music have not paid copyright fees to composers, according to the centre.

“Authors’ copyright is the most important right,” Cẩn said. “For example, composer Nguyễn Văn Chung assigned the centre to protect his copyright. We are responsible for protecting his copyright. Sky Music cannot do business with Chung’s pieces, make money and pay nothing.”

The centre said that Sky Music has done business and made profit from 2,000 pieces of 700 domestic and foreign authors that the centre protects copyright for since 2016.

The centre has met with the company’s leaders several times to complain about the issue.

On October 31, 2018, the centre sent a document to warn Sky Music and asked the company to stop infringing copyright.

On November 6, 2018, the centre reported the case to relevant agencies and the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers and Collective Management Organisations.

The Việt Nam Musicians’ Association has also asked the centre to protect composers’ copyrights.

Examples of composers’ names listed on Sky Music’s website. Photos toquoc.vn

After comparing data with the company, the centre found 90 per cent of composers listed in the company’s database were members of the centre.

The centre asked the company to pay VNĐ3.3 billion (US$143,000) compensation but they refused. The company also sent a document to the Competition Department stating that the centre “has competed in an illegal way”.

“We were founded with the Government’s permission and have operated for the past 16 years under the Việt Nam Musicians’ Association,” Cẩn said. “They have just been open for two years. How can they say the centre competes with them?”

Cẩn said the centre had gathered evidence and will sue the company by early next year at the latest.

According to suit letter signed by Phạm Hà Anh Thủy, director of Sky Music, published on the company’s website, the two sides have discussed compensation for composers. Despite efforts to co-operate by the company, the centre has not given any official response.

“We still follow that process,” Thủy told Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) Online in an interview. “But the centre is about to sue us. Our legal department has gathered documents and will sue the centre.”

On their website, Sky Music announced the People’s Court of District 10, HCM City has received the suit submitted by the company. — VNS

 

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