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Strict punishment for online copyright infringement needed

Over a year after phimmoi, a website providing pirated films, was prosecuted for copyright infringement, the case has still not been resolved.

Never before has copyright infringement occurred so quickly, dangerously and systematically, causing great losses for content producers and distributors, said Vietnam Association of Film Promotion and Development’s Chairwoman Ngo Phuong Lan at a workshop on intellectual property rights early this week.

“Leading film companies and distributors in Vietnam all suffer heavily from copyright infringement,” Lan said.

Since 2017, phimmoi has committed copyright infringement of 27 Galaxy movies. Prosecution against phimmoi is seen as a big change in perception about copyright infringement in Vietnam. However, the case has not been resolved, which shows a lack of deterrence in handling copyright infringement.

According to a survey by CAP, a copyright protection alliance in Asia, Vietnam is among the countries with a high copyright infringement rate in the region, via streaming, social networks or online messaging apps. 

Around 41 percent of violations are via social network platforms and messaging apps, and 19 percent via streaming. The rate of pirated platforms usage is 61 percent. 

In Vietnam, awareness of copyright protection has improved in recent years. About 38 percent of polled people said online copyright infringement causes a negative impact and 36 percent said copyright infringement behavior will affect socio-economic activities.

The organization reported that nearly 50 percent of Vietnamese users have stopped or accessed pirated websites less as access has been effectively prevented.

Phan Cam Tu from the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE Vietnam) said though there have been no official statistics, awareness of copyright in Vietnam is better now. However, many people still believe that online services and content are free.

Experts have proposed further promoting awareness of copyright and online intellectual property rights in Vietnam and having more regulations on enforcement of intellectual property rights in cyberspace.

Duy Vu

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