In November 2017, a partner of Phuoc & Partners – lawyer Nguyen Duc Hieu shared several opinions under the legal perspective in “November 2017 Publication” of Asia IP, as an IP expert.
What Governs Websites?
Museum websites are accessible internationally and they distribute publications worldwide. So which national laws apply to the uses of the people in one jurisdiction when copyrighted works are made available outside his/her jurisdiction?
“Territorial basis is the principle that Vietnam rests its protection of copyright on,” says Nguyen Duc Hieu, a partner at Phuoc & Partners in Hanoi. “This means that ‘use’ of works protected in Vietnam must be subject to Vietnamese law if it takes place in Vietnam or, to put it in another way, enforcing against Vietnam-based-acts of infringing protected/copyrighted works cannot go across the boundary of Vietnam’s jurisdiction.”
Works, if published on a worldwide basis or made available outside the territory, do not avail themselves of any advantage in Vietnam, whilst they otherwise pose a question on what foundation these works can be claimed for protection in Vietnam, Nguyen says. “This is the first and foremost question foreigners should address before they target any alleged infringement. In this respect, the basis of ‘national treatment’ available in international conventions (e.g. the Berne Convention and other bilateral conventions), to which Vietnam has been a state-member (or has acceded) can be helpful.” “In short, like many other jurisdictions, Vietnamese law is solely a national law which is applicable against ones’ use of copyrighted works in Vietnam. This ‘choice-of-law’ matter, however, becomes secondary where there appear ‘foreign elements,’ e.g. when works under question are first published outside Vietnam, given that persons having those works must establish that they have copyright over the works in Vietnam in the first place,” adds Nguyen.
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