Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
 
HCM City (VNA) - The Vietnam Music Copyright Protection Centre collected 72 billion VND (3.2 million USD) in royalties last year for registered composers and songwriters, an increase of 7 percent over last year.  

The centre’s director, musician Pho Duc Phuong, said this year the amount would increase sharply as royalties would be collected from hotels, karaoke parlours, nightclubs and other entertainment providers.

“Only 400 million VND (19,000 USD) of royalties for writers and composers came from the sales of videos and CDs [because] we are facing rapid growth of online music.”

He said that controlling the use of works by people who “ignore royalties” was a problem facing the centre.  

Last year, the centre collected more than 8 billion VND (355,000 USD) from use of music websites, an increase of 87 percent compared to 2015.  

It collected 52 billion VND (2.3 million USD) in royalties in the south while the number was 20 billion VND (900,000 USD) in the north.      

The highest royalties were paid to late songwriter Trinh Cong Son, veteran composer Thanh Son, and young musicians Khanh Don, Nguyen Hong Thuan and Nguyen Van Chung.  

The country’s first organisation to protect songwriters and composers from copyright infringement has signed more than 1,700 contracts with music producers and entertainment companies.

It has also collected and paid royalties to nearly 3 million foreign citizens and foreign organisations through its foreign counterparts.

After the centre became a member of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers in 2007, Vietnamese composers had copyright protection when their work was performed or recorded abroad.

Foreign musical products used in Vietnam are given the same protection as domestically produced work.

"We need the Government’s help to enforce the rights of composers, songwriters and users as stipulated in the Intellectual Property Law, which took effect in 2006," said Phuong, adding that paying royalties for use of music was no easy task. 

Young singer Thuy Dung of District 1’s Cultural House, said: "One of our biggest problems is that we don’t know where and how to contact artists to make copyright deals."

Nguyen Van Chung, a young composer, said he and his friends often performed in charity shows in rural areas.

“I think we don’t need to pay for the right to use it for charity purposes. Is that right? Cultural authorities should help us understand copyright protection and how it can be used effectively, particularly for those of us working in rural areas," he said.-VNA