Though software copyright
violation is pervasive in Vietnam,
local courts have received surprisingly few complaints
For the past 28 years, local courts processed only 20
software copyright cases, Copyright Office of Vietnam Director Vu Manh Chu told
a Protecting Software Copyright seminar Friday.
seminar, organized by the Copyright Office, the Supreme Court and the Business
Software Alliance (BSA), was designed to provide local judges with the
knowledge and skills needed to better arbitrate business software copyright
The BSA, a
trade group established in 1988, represents a number of the world’s largest
software makers such as IBM and Apple Co.
though software copyright violation was a global problem, it was “particularly
serious” in Vietnam.
to the BSA’s latest figures 88 percent of Vietnamese software users violate
copyright laws, while the figure for the whole Asia Pacific region is 55
of the Supreme Court’s Judiciary Staff Trainning Center Nguyen Van Thong said
district and provincial courts had received 320 copyright infringement cases
from 2000 to 2007 but only a handful of them were related to software
the small number of lawsuits did not reflect what was truly happening and
courts were yet to pay due attention to software copyright violations.
to Chu, lax enforcement, ignorance and disrespect for copyright laws were major
reasons violations were so common in Vietnam.
Anti-Piracy Director Tarun Sawney said a large number of local businesses were
not aware of the importance of investing in software technology.
few who were didn’t bother to buy copyrighted software as pirated programs were
so much cheaper, according to Sawney.
He said it
was one thing for students to take advantage of cheap, or free, pirated
businesses who know software providers have to make a return on their products,
it was unacceptable.
the seminar suggested reducing copyrighted software prices was one way to drive
cheap pirated products out of business.
bright side, Chu told the seminar in Da
was planning to allow law enforcement agencies to press criminal charges
against software copyright violators.
fine for software copyright violators had also been increased to VND500 million
($31,250), he said.
said two businesses had recently been sued for violating software copyright,
one of them was an electronics company based in Japan.
Thanh Nien – 20 April 2008