Sports & Entertainment » Entertainment
TV station accused of violating music copyright
  • | | August 24, 2012 10:55 PM

The Vietnam Center for Protection of Music Copyright has recently accused Vietnam television (VTV) of using foreign songs without purchasing copyright.

 Phuong Linh (L) and Dinh Tien Dung performing "Can't Take My Eyes off You" at the celebrity singing contest "Just The Two of Us" last year
According to the center, on many shows aired by the station including‘The Voice’, ‘Dancing With The Stars’, ‘Just The Two of Us’ and ‘Vietnam’s Got Talent’, contestants have performed numerous songs in foreign languages, but VTV has not paid for any of them.

Since 2011, music copyright protection centers in many countries which have signed bilateral agreements with the Vietnamese center have reported that Vietnamese channels have used music products from their countries.

“We often receive reports showing detailed information of the channels using their music products. The UK, US, and South Korea are the countries whose songs have been used the most in Vietnam. According to our agreement, we are responsible in protecting their copyright and vice versa,” Pham Thanh Thuy, a lawyer at the center, said.

This is not the first time the center has asked for payment for the copyright of foreign songs. “We have been through many negotiations, but have not come out with a deal. We also sent VTV the reports of our foreign partners but the station has kept silent about the payment,” she added.

“So when we receive reports from foreign partners, we have always had to answer that we do not have the money and promise to give it to them later. Of course, they don’t feel happy about this at all.”

According to the center, only one channel, Ho Chi Minh City Television, has agreed to pay copyright fees for foreign songs.

For his part, Nguyen Ha Nam, VTV’s chief secretary, said the reason for their lack of payment is that it is hard to contact foreign producers.

“VTV has been a pioneer in paying for music copyrights, but the payment for foreign products has been not carried out yet. There are many reasons for that. The most important one is that we have contacted and paid music creators ourselves up to this year, but from now on we will pay them via the Vietnam Center for Protection of Music Copyright,” he explained.

“Since it’s hard to contact foreign music producers, we have not paid them yet,” he added.

Nam also confirmed that the station needs to consider the matter carefully and has not made any decision regarding payments yet.

However, this explanation seems to be unpersuasive. A local musician said that the station has only given a weak excuse. “It’s not that hard to contact any artist around the world. It’s just because Vietnam is a small market, so foreign artists do not pay much attention to the violation,” he stated.

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