Protecting Copyright in the Digital Environment: Suggested Amendments to the 2005 Civil Code of Vietnam to Clarify the Boundary between Protection and Access
32 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2014 Last revised: 28 May 2017
Date Written: October 19, 2013
Perfection of intellectual property laws in the face of new technologies and new communication media is a constant challenge for all countries since the printing press was first created. The upcoming modifications to the 2005 Civil Code of The Socialist Republic of Vietnam provide an invaluable opportunity to engage in a wide-ranging, critical discussion of the civil law methods and techniques that can be adapted to meet the challenges of the digital environment of the 21st Century. By including emerging international civil law techniques to combat digital piracy in the upcoming modifications, Vietnam can continue its efforts to perfect its copyright laws to reflect the benefits and necessities of the global digital environment. With its 2005 Civil Code and other legal instruments relating to copyright protection, including the 2005 Law on Intellectual Property and its membership in such critical international intellectual property organizations as the World Intellectual Property Organization (“WIPO”) and the World Trade Organization (“WTO”), Vietnam has already created a strong legal protection regime for authors and copyright owners. The relatively few provisions governing copyright relations contained in the 2005 Civil Code provide the fundamental tools for creating a copyright protection regime for the “hard goods” world. But they do not expressly address the right of authors to control the distribution of their works in the digital universe or the methods which should be used to effect such control. Subsequent legal instruments demonstrate a growing recognition that the Internet and other digital environments require special protection measures, including granting copyright owners the right to apply technological protection measures and to secure administrative electronic removal of infringing work. Amending the 2005 Civil Code to include a greater focus on digital protection issues would enhance these efforts. The process of amending the 2005 Civil Code would also provide an excellent opportunity to perfect existing laws, allowing the removal of obvious inconsistencies between the Code and the 2005 IP Law (and others) while providing a platform on which to build future protection norms for the growing challenges posed to copyright use and protection in the digital environment.
Keywords: Vietnam, access to information, international harmonization, internet, comparative intellectual property law
JEL Classification: K33, O14, O20, O33, O34, O53
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation