Vietnam’s copyright watchdog to start charging local hotels from October

Every hotel in Vietnam will have to pay an annual fee of VND25,000 (US$1.11) per television set

Dinh Trung Can, deputy director of the Vietnam Center for Protection of Music Copyright (VCPMC), speaks at the press meeting in Ho Chi Minh City on September 11, 2017. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Following a controversial proposal earlier this year, the Vietnamese copyright watchdog has decided to begin charging hotels license fees for music copyright.

The regulation was announced by the Vietnam Center for Protection of Music Copyright (VCPMC) during press meetings in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City on Monday morning.

Starting from the fourth quarter of this year, all hotels regardless of their type will have to pay an annual fee of VND25,000 (US$1.11) per room with a television set, the center declared.

The suggestion first sparked opposition from hotel owners in the central city of Da Nang in May.

However, the Copyright Office of Vietnam under the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism confirmed on May 25 that the license fee was legal and in accordance with Vietnamese law and the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.

The VCPMC said that the additional charge had been applied at four- and five-star hotels throughout Vietnam for the past decade.

The fee will be charged at one- to three-star hotels once the regulation takes effect in October.

According to Dinh Trung Can, a musician and deputy director of the VCPMC, the center can only accumulate some VND200 million ($8,849) per year from the new regulation.

Those hotels that had been complying with the law have not made any complaints in the past.

The fact that facilities in Da Nang expressed their disapproval arose from their lack of understanding of the law, Can continued.

The VCPMC has organized multiple conferences to raise awareness of copyright law in the central city since 2013, the deputy director said, adding that it cannot wait any longer to enforce the regulation.

During their 15 years of operation, the VCPMC has been authorized by nearly 4,000 local artists with copyright protection, Can said, adding that new artists sign deals with the agency on a daily basis.

The center is also a copyright partner to its counterparts in 200 countries.

Eighty percent of the license fee will be given to the artists, while the rest will be used to support the operation of the agency, Can elaborated.

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