In every facet of life, copyright protection prevails. Whether it’s a writer’s literary masterpiece, a musician’s composition, an artist’s painting, or a photographer’s captured moments, these creations fall under the umbrella of copyright.
Such protection is granted by relevant laws, ensuring exclusive rights for the creators. Copyright is a fundamental aspect of creative ownership that extends to various forms of artistic expression. In the context of Vietnam, this article aims to shed light on the process of copyright registration, empowering authors to establish their rights and acknowledge their creative “children” within the purview of the competent authority.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF COPYRIGHT REGISTRATION
In reality, copyright is automatically granted to a work under current Vietnamese law and international regulations, regardless of registration. The law on Intellectual Property 2005 (amended and supplemented in 2009, 2022) stipulates that copyright originates from the moment a work is created and expressed in a tangible form. This includes various aspects such as content, quality, form, means, language, and whether the work is published or unpublished, registered or unregistered.
However, with the increase in copyright disputes, particularly in determining who is the author of the work, copyright registration has gained significance. Registering a copyright provides an organization or an individual, with a copyright registration certificate. This certificate serves as substantial evidence of ownership and eliminates the need to prove authorship in the event of a dispute, unless there is contradicting evidence. Therefore, while copyright registration does not impact the establishment of copyright for the creator, it plays a crucial role in determining authorship when disputes arise.
WHICH TYPES OF WORKS ARE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT?
In accordance with the Law on Intellectual Property 2005 (amended and supplemented in 2009, 2022), types of works which are protected by copyright include:
Literary works, scientific works, textbooks, teaching courses and other works expressed in written language or other characters;
- Lectures, addresses and other speeches;
- Press works;
- Musical works;
- Stage works;
- Cinematographic works and works created by a process analogous to cinematography (hereinafter all referred to as cinematographic works);
- Plastic art works and applied art works;
- Photographic works;
- Architectural works;
- Sketches, plans, maps and drawings related to topography or scientific works;
- Folklore and folk art works;
- Computer programs and data collections.
WHAT DOCUMENTS ARE REQUIRED FOR COPYRIGHT REGISTRATION?
Pursuant to the Law on Intellectual Property 2005 (amended and supplemented in 2009, 2022), application for registration of copyright includes:
(a) A declaration for copyright registration (Form No.01 of Circular
A declaration must be made in Vietnamese and include complete information on the applicant, author, copyright holder; the completion time; the summarized content of the work; the name of the author; the title of the work used to make the derivative work if the work to be registered is a derivative work; the date, place and form of publication; information on the reissuance, replacement (if any); and an undertaking accepting liability for the information set out in the application. This application shall be signed or fingerprinted, except in the case of physical inability to sign or fingerprint.
(b) Two (02) copies of the work that is the subject of the copyright registration
(c) A letter of authorization where the applicant is an authorized person
This letter must specify the contact information of the principal and the representative; title of work, scope of authorization; term of authorization.
In the event that the principal is an individual, the letter of authorization must be certified according to the provisions of law.
(d) Documents proving the right to file the application where the applicant acquires such right by way of inheritance, succession or assignment, specifically:
- Documents proving identity of individuals: 01 copy of citizen ID card or Passport;
- Documents proving the legal status of organization: 01 copy of the Enterprise Registration Certificate or the Establishment License or the Establishment Decision;
- Documents proving that the right holder due to the assignment of creative tasks is the decision on assignment of tasks or confirmation of assignment of tasks to individuals of that unit or organization;
- Documents proving that the owner of the rights due to entering into a creative contract is the contract, rules and regulations on organization of the contest;
- Documents proving the owner of the right to be inherited is a document identifying the inheritance right, which is notarized or authenticated according to the provisions of law;
- Documents proving that the right holder has been transferred the right is a written contract of transfer, donation, purchase and sale, capital contribution, notarized or authenticated according to the provisions of law;
- In case the author is not simultaneously the copyright owner, he/she must make a written commitment to self-creation and creation according to the decision or confirmation of assignment; contract; participate in the contest and take responsibility before the law for the content of the commitment;
- Documents evidencing that the right holder is assigned a creative task or enters into a creative contract must be the original or a notarized or authenticated copy.
(e) Written consent of the co-authors in the case of a work under joint authorship
(f) Written consent of the co-owners if the copyright or related rights are jointly owned.
Documents mentioned in section c, d, e, f must draft in Vietnamese, in case of other languages, these documents have to translate into Vietnamese.
PROCEDURES FOR REGISTRATION OF COPYRIGHT
Step 1: Organizations and individuals who submit application for registration of copyright as per the following methods:
- Submit directly or via postal service to the Copyright Office or the Copyright Office’s representative office in Ho Chi Minh City or the Copyright Office’s representative office in Da Nang city.
- Submit via online public service of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in the sector of copyright and related rights (https://dichvucong.bvhttdl.gov.vn/). After the online public service’s confirmation of successful submission, organizations and individuals must also submit paper dossiers (Original copy) to Copyright Office.
Depending on the author or the owner of the copyright, the methods of submission shall be divided as follows:
- Vietnamese organizations and individuals, foreign individuals permanently residing in Vietnam, and foreign organizations and individuals having production or business establishments in Vietnam shall file applications for registration of establishment of industrial property rights either directly or through their lawful representatives in Vietnam.
- Foreign individuals not permanently residing in Vietnam and foreign organizations and individuals without production or business establishments in Vietnam shall file applications for registration of establishment of industrial property rights through their lawful representatives in Vietnam.
Step 2: Copyright Office shall review, classify and consider the validity of the application
The processing time is generally 01 month as of the receipt date of documents.
Step 3: Within 15 business days from the receipt date of valid documents, the Copyright Office shall issue the certificate of copyright registration for the applicant.
However, please note that, in practice, the above timeline is the statutory timeline, the actual processing time may be extended due to the workload of the authority, objective reasons such as authorized personnel going on business trips or force majeure events.