Vienam websites to charge users for downloading music
Updated : 08/17/2012 12:30 GMT + 7
From November 1 local netizens will have to pay for downloading songs on several online music websites, instead of getting them for free as before, according to an agreement signed on August 15.
At a meeting titled “Vietnam Digital Music – Current Situation and Solution,” held by the Recording Industry Association of Vietnam (RIAV) and MV Joint Stock Corporation, the managers of six major Vietnamese music sharing websites, including Zing, Nhaccuatui, Nhac.vui.vn, Socbay.com, Nghenhac.info and Go.vn, have agreed to charge VND1,000 per song to download music from their sites.
According to RIAV, in recent years the recording industry in Vietnam has suffered serious losses due to the free downloading of music from the Internet.
“The association’s record output has decreased sharply over the last five years. Local music producers have been afraid to invest in new music projects since the loss is too obvious,” Tran Chien Thang, chairman of RIAV shared.
At the meeting, RIAV also announced MV Joint Stock Corporation as its official representative in charge of managing the association’s products on the Internet and mobile phones.
MV Corporation said that they had carried out a survey on how Internet users will react to the fee. “35% of people participating in the survey agreed to pay the fee if it’s reasonable and convenient,” the company said.
“We will launch the fee until the end of this year and will enact changes to make it appropriate to the local music industry,” Phung Tien Cong, deputy director of MV Corp., added.
The fee is part of an effort to curb copyright violation in music on the Internet, which has been a hot issue in recent years, as well as to bring high-quality licensed music services to listeners.
The deputy director of MV Corp. also added that, as the biggest unit providing music copyrights in the current local music industry, the corporation wants to cooperate with the six sites to bring better online music services to their customers and invest in the local music industry via the charge as well.
45% of the fee, which will be deducted from users’ accounts on the Internet or mobile phones, will go to the websites, while the remaining is for the music’s creators, including singers, producers and musicians.
For foreign music products, the profit rate is 30% for the websites and 70% for producers.
“It is not a big number, but greatly encourages musicians like me. The charge will reflect clearly which songs are favored since people will only pay for the songs they love,” local musician Quynh Hop said.
Though the fee has opened a new era for Vietnamese local industry, it has raised the question of whether netizens will turn their back and use other sites without having to pay, since there are around 150 websites offering free music in Vietnam.
Moreover, it’s obvious that it would be difficult to call on every music website in the country to charge their users since there has been no official document regulating that all songs downloaded from the Internet must be paid for.
Vu Manh Chu, head of the Copyright Office of Viet Nam, added that websites would be fined from VND 500million (US$24,000) to VND 2 billion (US$ 96,000) for using music products without purchasing a copyright, but they still have the right not to charge their users.
For their part, many Internet users say they do not care very much about the fee, as even when the agreement takes effect they will still be able to download digital music records without having to pay a single penny.
Representatives of RIAV , MV Corp. and sx Vietnamese major online music websites at the meeting on August 15. Photo: Tuoi Tre