Sports & Entertainment
Music property violation causes major losses for music industry
  • By Phan Anh | | August 17, 2012 06:41 AM

Music property violation which occurred for years in Vietnam leading to big losses for the local music industry, said an official.


The majority of music online in Vietnam is free to be downloaded  

Tran Chien Thang, Chairman of the Recording Industry Association of Vietnam, pointed out this situation at a recent forum in HCM City.

“In reality, artists and music producers have to make great efforts to create music. However, just a short time after being launched, the product is available online and audiences can download it free of charge,” he said.

The official added that, “Most websites allow users to download music, while they are not permitted to do this, which has resulted in considerable losses for the domestic music industry. The Recording Industry Association of Vietnam’s CD and record production has dropped by up to 80% over the past five years. Producers are not capable of investing in new music products to avoid losses.”

According to a recent survey, around 20 million Vietnamese people, or a quarter of the total national population, often listen and download music online. Nevertheless, only 5% pay, 85% do not and 10% aren’t concerned about the issue. Vietnam has more than 150 online music websites, most of which are not entitled to offer users free music to download.

Do Manh Tuan, General Director of MVCorp which owns the copyright of more than 40,000 songs registered at the Vietnam Centre for Protection of Music Copyright said the problem is not only attributed to online music businesses, but internet user habits.

Meanwhile, a representative from an online music website said, "Many people think that we can earn big profits from advertising, but the reality is different. Only four to five websites make profits, but as not much as people assume. Therefore, we also gain revenue from music downloading. However, many websites violate intellectual property rights by permitting free download. If we charge users, they will surely turn their back on us and free sites. As a result, we would see a fall in advertising revenues.”

Scepticism over music download charges

To improve the situation, representatives from five of 150 online music websites have reached an agreement. They will collect fees for music downloaded from their websites at VND1,000 per download, starting from November 1.

Deputy General Director of MVCorp Phung Tien Cong said Circular 7 which took effect on August 6 would help tighten control over music copyright to generate investment for music production so that artists could produce better work. He expected that from now until 2014 up to 10% of music listeners would pay music copyright fees.

Tran Chien Thang, Chairman of the Recording Industry Association of Vietnam, said “Currently, specific sanctions about music copyright violations have been issued. Individuals will face fines of up to VND1 billion (USD47,619) for their violations and  VND2 billion for businesses. In the coming time, we will tighten control over the violations.”

However, despite the agreement being signed by the five online music website representatives, a number of artists still don’t believe that they will receive any better protection. Several artists who own their own music copyright are willing to share songs with internet users free of charge as a form of PR anyway.

An anonymous singer said, “In reality, singers earn hardly anything from disc sales. Singers like us or even those who are much more famous all consider the publishing of CDs as a form of PR. Even little known singers have to distribute their music on websites themselves, therefore, how are we supposed to collect fees from listeners?”

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