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Film copyright infringement rampant in VN

Film copyright infringement rampant in VN

Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 09:15 GMT+7

Though three Vietnamese websites were recently reprimanded and requested to remove all the copies of the films which were accused by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) of violating their copyright, the film copyright war in the country is far from over.

A Google search for “watching HD films” yields 245 million results and countless links to the websites in which many films, including blockbusters which just hit local screens, are offered for free or with low fees.

Most of these websites have email addresses and telephone numbers for advertisement clients to contact.

A Tuoi Tre reporter, who pretended to be a potential advertisement client, contacted http://phim47.com and http://vlvn.com, two of the three websites reprimanded for violating the US film copyright.

She was immediately instructed by the phim47.com administrator to see the pirated films on the website phim.li instead.

On phim.li, viewers can easily watch “The lone ranger”, which debuted in the world on July 3 and hit local screens on July 12, “Hummingbird”, “White House Down” along with a host of current foreign blockbusters in Vietnam such as Thailand’s “Pee Mak”, “Fast and Furious 6”, “Croods” and “World War Z”.

Meanwhile, a representative of vlvn.vn said they have no longer offered pirated American films for some weeks now.

Dozens of other websites such as phim8.vn, vtube.vn, vuaphim.net, 2phim.vn and hayhaytv.vn also readily offer pirated films.

Minh T., a client of OneTV, an interactive TV service supplied by FPT, a major local IT company, said with the service, she watched “Pee Mak” and “Hummingbird” as well as other new films on TV some days ago. OneTV’s slogan is “Watch whatever you want!”.

Late last week, the draft version of “Bui doi Cho Lon” (The gangsters in the melting pot of Cho Lon), which had been banned from screening by the National Cinema Department for its violent content and gory scenes, was leaked and went viral on the Internet. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism recently ordered the seizure of all the pirated discs of the version.

However, these film websites, such as vtube.vn, which said it receives some 50,000-70,000 visits a day, seemingly defy laws by continuing to post the version.

Other hot Vietnamese flicks including “De mai tinh” (That can wait), “Hot boy noi loan” (The gay love), “Loi nguyen huyet ngai” (The curse), and “Bi, đừng sợ” (Bi, don’t be afraid), along with Vietnamese classics such as “Canh bac” (The gamble), “Ben khong chong” (The wharf with no husband) and “Co gai tren song” (The girl on the river) are also readily available on these websites.

In April this year, MPAA, which represents major US film groups, launched a film screening session in Vietnam to show support for the World Intellectual Property Day (April 26).

“We’re working closely with “Pee Mak” producer in Thailand to remove the pirated links, but it’s really difficult to make sure such links won’t crop up again. This rampant copyright infringement certainly does considerable damage to our business, but I think most viewers prefer to fully enjoy the films at cinemas to watching them online. The enforcement of copyright protection on the Internet remains quite challenging, but I’m positive that it will be possible in the future as long as concerned agencies work closely together,” said Anjan Kumar Das, CEO of Platinum M.V.P, distributor of “Pee Mak” in Vietnam.  

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