Viet Nam Joins WIPO's Copyright Treaty
Copyright is an important part of intellectual property rights. Copyright protection plays a crucial role in contributing to economic, cultural and social development and is also one of the conditions for international economic integration.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution creates many opportunities and simultaneously poses lots of challenges for each nation, organization and individual, which all have a significant impact on all aspects of the country’s economic and social life.
The creation, dissemination and storage of works in the form of digitization are gradually becoming popular, at the same time copyright infringement on the Internet is also more severe. Therefore, it is necessary to have regulations on the protection and prevention of copyright infringement in the digital environment, not within a country but also at the international level.
The WCT Treaty contributes to solving the challenges posed by current digital technologies, especially protection requirements for works created, stored, disseminated and used on the Internet.
On November 17th, 2021, Vietnam officially joined the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Copyright Treaty (WCT), and on February 22, 2022, the WCT Treaty officially entered into force in Vietnam.
The WCT Treaty consists of 25 articles, and the highlight of the Treaty compared to the Berne Convention is that it recognizes two more objects of copyright protection, namely (i) computer programs, whatever the mode or form of their expression; and (ii) compilations of data or other material (“databases”). The Treaty also contains fundamental provisions for copyright protection in the digital environment.
As a special agreement under the Berne Convention, the WCT Treaty obliges the signatories to comply with Articles 1 to 21 and the Annex to the Berne Convention. Therefore, the rights protected in the WCT are essentially not much different from those of the Berne Convention, including the right to copy, the right of distribution, the right to lease, the right to communicate work to the public, and the moral right. The Treaty especially emphasizes the application of copyright provisions in the digital environment and regulates the application of technological and informational measures to manage rights.
Vietnam’s accession to the WCT Treaty motivates individuals and organizations to create, exploit and use works in the digital environment. In addition, it also creates a legal corridor for the copyright protection in the digital environment and contributes to promoting the development of copyright-based cultural industries. Joining the WCT Treaty contributes to enhancing Vietnam’s image as an active and responsible member in copyright protection, especially in the current digital transformation process. It also shows that Vietnam seriously implements its commitments in new-generation free trade agreements such as the CPTPP, EVFTA, VKFTA, VNEAEUFTA and RCEP./