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Vietnam’s state TV admits illegal use of YouTube drone videos

Thursday, March 10, 2016, 19:40 GMT+7

Vietnamese state television has officially admitted to using two videos for its programs without permission from the real author, in a response released more than a week after it was sued for copyright infringement.

Bui Minh Tuan, a drone camera enthusiast who showcases numerous aerial videos on his YouTube channel, has lodged a complaint to the copyright agency under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, accusing Vietnam Television (VTV) of illegally using his footage multiple times.

While Tuan has recorded evidence of nearly 20 times that VTV illegally used his videos, he only mentions three occurrences in the complaint to the copyright agency.

VTV had its YouTube channel shut down on February 28 as Tuan also reported the repeated copyright violations on the video-sharing platform.

The national broadcaster filed its official response on Monday, admitting that two of its programs have used Tuan’s footage.

One of the programs is a regular show to introduce new songs aired on October 8, 2015, and the other is a morning news show broadcast on September 2 the same year, according to the document signed by VTV’s head of supervision Vu Thi Thanh Tam.

The state TV broadcaster said in the document that it had immediately contacted Tuan after he complained about the copyright infringement.

“Tuan has agreed that the music show can use his video scenes, and we are still discussing the case of the morning news program,” VTV said.

“Vietnam Television will properly resolve all issues with Tuan.”

In addition to the above cases, Tuan also complained that the November 10, 2015 episode of the 'Bridge of Love,' a VTV-produced charity show that raises funds to build bridges for needy towns across Vietnam, also used his drone footage.

But VTV denied this, saying all of the clips used in the show, including the drone videos, were filmed by its crew.

Tuan said he received the response of VTV on Monday, and disagreed with the answer in regard to the 'Bridge of Love' program.

“The program surely uses my videos,” he told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Tuesday.

The drone lover also asserted that he had still received no request from VTV to use his videos, unlike what it claimed in the reply to the copyright agency.

On Monday, Tuan announced on his Facebook page that he had uncovered a fresh copyright violation by VTV in respect of his drone video clips.

A music show aired on VTV1 on March 5, 2016 used scenes in his “Welcome to Vietnam” video, posted on YouTube on June 21, 2015, without permission, according to the Facebook post.

“Why you keep stealing from me?” he wrote.

VTV has yet to comment any further than its response to the copyright agency, which was submitted after it dodged a plannedface-to-face meeting with Tuan at his home in the central province of Quang Tri on Sunday.

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