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Publisher sues Aussie English schools for pirating books, CDs

Update: February, 23/2012 - 10:23

HA NOI — Tri Viet-First News Company is suing HCM City's Australia International Language School and Viet Nam Australia Society English Centre for their illegal copies of 11 English-language titles and CDs.

This is the first-ever lawsuit related to illegal copying of books in the country.

Vu Trong Quan, manager of the company's Communications Department said these two foreign language centres, as the two largest illegal copiers, had released thousands of the company's TOEFEL and TOEIC coursebooks, materials and CDs.

He said they keep the First News logo, its address and the names of Tre and Compass publishers on their illegal, substandard copies. The company has made official warnings for the violation of intellectual copyrights several times but have been ignored.

The company is asking each of the two foreign language centres for VND380 million (US$18,100) compensation based on the company's trade losses.

Quan said the trade losses could be counted via statistics, but the negative impact on the trademark couldn't.

Le Hoang, former director of Tre publishing, said illegal copiers negatively affect publishers when they publicly sell their illegal products, the copyrights for which publishers had to pay a lot of money.

He said publishers wait for relevant authorities to prevent this illegal activity without taking any active action to deal with this.

Quan said illegal copies of the company's books, materials and CDs have been available for many years in the market, and some sell for more than the original price.

"It is time for the company to fight to stop these violators."

The Viet Nam News yesterday contacted the Australia International Language School but the school's directors were not available for comment.

Quan said since the beginning of the lawsuit, the company has not received any reply from these two centres.

Today, the first reconcilement session will be held by the city's court.

Quan said the company would follow the lawsuits to the end, not for the compensation, but to set a precedent for the country's publishers to fight illegal copiers.

"If the company wins the lawsuit, it will have a great impact on preventing illegal copiers and make legislators reconsider the shortcomings of the current publishing regulations and intellectual property law," Hoang said.

Tri Viet - First News Company annually spends VND2.2-2.8 billion ($105,000-133,000) for the copyrights of 100 titles. — VNS

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