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Vietnam publishers voice concern over criminalization of errors in publishing procedure

Friday, July 22, 2016, 15:43 GMT+7

An article in the revised Penal Code of Vietnam that criminalizes errors in standard publishing procedure was met with criticism from publishing houses and book companies in Ho Chi Minh in an industry seminar on Thursday.

The seminar was held by the southern representative body of the Vietnam Publishing Association to gauge reactions to the country’s revised Penal Code.

The code, originally scheduled to come into effect at the beginning of July, was postponed in late June following an unusual legislative procedure after it was found to contain many errors.

Most delegates at Thursday’s seminar criticized article 344 in the revised code, which stipulates punishment for those violating publishing regulations.

In particular, those who alter previously approved manuscript content can face up to five years in prison, while failure to submit copies of publications to repositories is punishable with two-year imprisonment.

Delegates at the seminar demanded that the article be removed entirely from the Penal Code, as it introduces unnecessary penalties for professional errors in the publishing field.

Le Hoang, vice-chairman of the Vietnam Publishing Association, said the feedback would be synthesized and drafted into a formal proposal before being submitted to relevant authorities.

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