Inspectors “forget” domestic software copyright

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VietnamNet English - 71 month(s) ago 13 readings

Inspectors “forget” domestic software copyright

VietNamNet Bridge – The slow development of the software industry in Vietnam in recent years has been partially attributed to the high percentage of copyright infringement (83 percent). Meanwhile, inspectors only focus on foreign software, while neglecting domestic products.

Vietnamese competent agencies have been making great efforts to combat the software piracy, improve the legal framework to protect software copyrights. The efforts have helped Vietnam escape from the list of the 10 countries with the highest percentages of copyright piracy. The country’s piracy percentage dropped from 85 percent in 2007-2009 to 83 percent in 2010-2012.

In 2011, the inspectors discovered 10 computer sales agents of HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus and Acer as installing pirated software products. It was estimated that the value of the seized software products was one billion dong.

However, the problem is that relevant agencies have focused only on the use of foreign software, while they have not paid an appropriate attention to domestic products. This is, according to the Ministry of Information and Communication, one of the biggest reasons that hinder the development of the Vietnamese software industry.

Vietnamese software products have been used by many businesses, institutions and individuals without paying fees. In many cases, software products were “unlocked” right after they hit the market and then sold to buyers at surprisingly low prices.

Tran Van Hue, Director of Nhat Nghe IT firm, also said that the copyright infringement has reduced the opportunities and revenue of businesses, thus making them discouraged. Meanwhile, users have to face high risks when using illegal software.

They might think that using the software allows them to save the initial investment. However, they should be warned that in the long term, the use would cause big losses to them, including the loss of the privacy, the high finance risks when they become the aiming points of technological crimes.

A useless legal document?

In an effort to keep a tighter control over the intellectual property use, the Ministry of Information and Communication on December 26, 2011, send the Dispatch No. 3932 to the Software and IT Services association, IT Association and IT firms, requesting the associations and firms to report the list of software products and the number of intellectual property right registrations prior to January 31, 2012.

The list of the software products would serve relevant ministries to take inspections and find infringement cases.

Secretary General of Association of Software and IT Services (VINASA), Pham Tan Cong, said that the move shows the strong determination of the ministries to stop the copyright piracy to protect the intellectual property. However, Cong commented that the document seemed to be “abundant.”

The Vietnam Copyright Agency put under the management of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is now taking responsibility for the issue. All the software products that got the copyright certificates from the agency must be kept at the agency’s database. Therefore, competent agencies just need to work together to obtain the list of the licensed software products.

Do Truong Giang from the Information Technology Department of the Ministry of Information and Communication explained that the ministry needs updated information to know what products are still in use and what products have not been used.

However, the explanation has not satisfied IT firms. The representative of an IT firm said that there are thousands of products, and if all of them need to be reported, the list would have the length equal to a novel.

A survey conducted by IDC showed that in 2010, three out of every five software products used were illegal ones.

Source: Kinh te & Do thi

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