Sports & Entertainment
Musicians implore PM to tackle copyright issues
  • By Nguyen Hang | | February 19, 2012 09:23 AM
 >>  Live music industry seeks to evade copyright payments

Over 30 well-known musicians jointly signed in a petition on February 16 asking the PM to take drastic steps to deal with the increasing cases of music copyright infringement.


Musician Pho Duc Phuong (centre) angry over copyright infringements

Organisers and promoters are often willing to pay tens of millions in VND to singers, but offer little or nothing to songwriters. Also, there are more and more singers who use material without even seeking permission.

This has been an issue for some years that seems to be coming to a head after two concerts featuring the music of Trinh Cong Son, scheduled open on March 8. This case has caused outrage among songwriters, and was the apparent catalyst for the petition.

At a review meeting of the Vietnam Centre for Protection of Music Copyright (VCPMC) on February 16, more than 30 leading Vietnamese musicians, including Pham Tuyen, Huy Thuc, Trong Bang, Hoang Van, Nguyen Duc Toan, Nguyen Tai Tue, and Truong Ngoc Ninh, spoke about their dissatisfaction over the increasing number of copyright violations in recent years.

“One organiser paid VND80 million (USD3,829) to the singer My Tam for one performance, and VND55 million (USD2,632) for 17-year-old singer Van Mai Huong. But the people who wrote the material received nothing. The situation is becoming egregious," complained musician Truong Ngoc Ninh.

According to Ninh, songwriters should have the right to set the prices they want for the music they write.

He added that, "In the 80's a group of musicians got together to agree on the rates to be paid for the usage of their material. But actual rates have remained unchanged, despite quick development in the Vietnamese music market."

Nguyen Trong Tao, another musician, said, “Under the current regulations, anyone who uses my music for business purposes is required to pay. But in reality many simply ignore the law. Now, most organisers are willing to shell out money for performers and just forget about copyright fees. It's even more difficult to recoup fees from overseas performances."

Tao called on songwriters to be more active in fighting for their rights.

According to VCPMC, the centre collected VND41.1 billion (USD1.96 million) worth of music copyright fees in 2011, up 27% from a year earlier. However, most of this came from mobile device use, such as ring tones, websites and karaoke establishments. Only 10% of concert organisers or singers paid the fees they owed.

The group of artists suggested that the Government only grant licenses to organisers who comply with regulations on copyright fees.

Currently, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s Performing Arts Department, as well as the department's local branches normally grant organisers licenses for shows without first requiring them to pay copyright fees. said Pham Dinh Thang, Deputy Director of the Performing Arts Department.

Copyright issues over two upcoming performances using Trinh Cong Son's music incites anger

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