The Vietnam National Institute for Culture and Arts Studies (VICAS) and the British Council are pleased to announce a new project Strengthening Intellectual Property Enforcement in Vietnam. The project will be implemented between October 2020 and September 2021 and will engage closely with government departments and offices working in the area of intellectual property in the arts and culture, as well as artists and creative practitioners. This project is made possible with the support of the UNESCO’s International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD), within the framework of the UNESCO 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.
Strengthening Intellectual Property Enforcement in Vietnam proposes a series of actions aiming to improve intellectual property protection and practice in Vietnam, in support of the National Strategy for the Development of Cultural Industries to 2020, vision 2030, and through that contributing to the sustainable development of the cultural and creative industries of the country.
The objectives of the project are three-fold:
- to build a shared understanding and practical intelligence of the Vietnamese intellectual property legislation for the cultural and creative sectors to a complete review
- to strengthen government institutional capacity in intellectual property protection for the cultural and creative sectors through a series of training for relevant government officials
- to improve understanding and practice surrounding intellectual property protection in the cultural and creative sectors through a series of workshops for artists and creators.
The Vietnamese creative sector is a new emergent concept in the country, with it already contributing over 7 billion USD to the economy, accounting for 3.42 per cent of the total GDP in 2018, according to initial data in the draft periodical report on the implementation of the UNESCO 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism for the period between 2016 and 2019. Vietnam’s recent economic progress and young dynamic population offer plenty of opportunities to grow a flourishing market for cultural and creative products and services. However, the emerging cultural and creative sectors in Vietnam are facing rampant infringements, which threaten the intellectual property rights of artists and creators and undermine the development of a healthy creative economy. The project aims to make a contribution to changing the perception, understanding and practices of all those involved in the production, distribution and management of cultural and creative products and services, in order to ensure intellection property rights protection and respect to artists and creators.
In 2016, the National Strategy for the Development of Cultural Industries to 2020, vision 2020 was ratified by Vietnam’s Prime Minister. This important policy document sets out ambitious goals in terms of revenues for the cultural industries in Vietnam. The Copyright Office of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has been assigned as a leading agency in the implementation of this strategy. The Copyright Office is also mandated with intellectual property rights protection, particularly in relations to copyright and royalty in the cultural industries. The project wishes to collaborate closely with the Copyright Office and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in designing and implementing relevant activities, particularly in reviewing the current legislations on the intellectual property of Vietnam and developing and guide toolkit for government officials in the arts and culture sectors.
VICAS and the British Council, as strategic partners in multiple projects and programmes in support of the development of the arts and culture in Vietnam, are committed to working closely with the network of artists and creative practitioners in this project. Previous surveys by VICAS and the British Council revealed a general lack of understanding amongst the public and also creators about why copying is damaging to the creative industries. Some people are aware that piracy and copycats are damaging, yet they believe that there are insufficient mechanisms in place to prosecute offenders. The project will bring useful knowledge and skills for Vietnamese artists and creators to consider how to protect themselves and their creation against intellectual property infringements through a series of practical workshops, as well as dialogues and access to relevant government management levels and support agencies.
Strengthening Intellectual Property Enforcement in Vietnam’s ultimate goal is to support the inclusive and sustainable development of the cultural and creative industries in Vietnam. Dr Bui Hoai Son, Director of VICAS and also head of the project, said: “Through establishing new pathways and building capacity for the sectors to tackle challenges surrounding intellectual property rights, this project will help create more opportunities for the arts and culture to grow and benefit many artists, creators, as well as the general audiences and consumers in the creative and cultural economy in Vietnam”.