International cooperation necessary to combat online piracy

Growing video copyright infringement on the internet makes trading copyright between Vietnam and international partners increasingly difficult.
International cooperation necessary to combat online piracy ảnh 1Many films have been shown illegally on the internet while still being screened at cinemas. (Illustrative photo: "Mat biec" (Dreamy eyes) – a film distributed by Galaxy)

Hanoi (VNA) – A few decades ago, producers of CDs or DVDs priced at hundreds of thousands of VND failed to compete with pirated products sold for only 5,000-10,000 VND each. Copyright infringement has become even more serious now, as viewers can watch videos for free online.

This issue was the focus of an international workshop held on July 21 by the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information under the Ministry of Information and Technology and the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) under the US Motion Picture Association (MPA).

Access to over 500 copyright-infringing websites blocked

Le Quang Tu Do, Deputy Director of the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information (ABEI), said there are thousands of informational websites and social networks, including cross-border ones like Facebook or Youtube.

Those websites and networks provide users with a huge volume of press information, digital content, and video clips. Much of such content is stored or posted illegally, without negotiation with copyright holders, causing great losses to the rights and reputation of content owners, he pointed out.

International cooperation necessary to combat online piracy ảnh 2The workshop discusses online copyright infringement and solutions. (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Do said ABEI has received many requests for dealing with copyright violations, mostly related to entertainment content such as football, films, game shows, and music.

The official noted that infringement has become extremely sophisticated, and forms of violations have changed constantly. Moreover, those practices are conducted abroad to provide service to users in Vietnam.

Pham Hoang Hai, Director of the Vietnam Digital Content Copyright Centre, said as of June 2022, his centre had coordinated with relevant agencies to block access by users in Vietnam to more than 500 copyright breaching websites.

According to Media Partners Asia, Vietnam's online video industry is predicted to generate 249 million USD in revenue in 2022, 15% of which will come from subscriptions and 85% from advertising-based videos on demand.

Video copyright infringement online is becoming popular. As a result, the number of users of pirated content has reached 15.5 million this year, leading to losses of 348 million USD or 18% of the entire legal video industry's revenue. If this problem is unchecked, pirated content users may total 19.5 million, and losses will hit 456 million USD by 2027.

Media Partners Asia believes piracy control will help raise the value, thanks to increases in users and earnings from copyrighted online videos. As a result, investment in online videos in the country could also double to reach 150 million USD by 2027, from 75 million USD.

International cooperation necessary to combat online piracy ảnh 3Piracy controls could raise earnings from subscription videos on demand (SVOD) to 376 million USD by 2027. (Source: Media Partners Asia)

Joint efforts needed to fight piracy

Le Quang Tu Do emphasised international cooperation's importance in seeking solutions to online piracy.

Jan van Voorn, MPA Executive Vice President and Chief of Global Content Protection, said Vietnam holds substantial potential for becoming a market for legal content. However, copyright infringing websites and services supplied from foreign territories may turn the country into an international hotspot of online piracy.

The ACE wishes to cooperate with the Vietnamese Government to seek a solution to copyright infringement, noting that the partnership between authorities and stakeholders in Vietnam's content industry is highly crucial.

Celine Boyer, head of the cyber security division at the Canal+ group, recommended shortening the time needed to block piracy websites. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism can establish a tool for connecting copyright owners and distributors to detect violating websites.

She suggested that Vietnamese authorities can refer to the measures taken in France to curb copyright breaches.

Apart from technical measures, experts also underlined the importance of raising public awareness so that people realise the risks posed by piracy.

Jan van Voorn said copyright infringing websites and services expose Vietnamese users to malware, noting the media has a critical role in helping public awareness that free football or film broadcasting on piracy websites could be accompanied by annoying advertising and malware.

Neil Gane, an ACE advisor, opined that there are no common solutions to change users' behaviours at different ages.

Messages could be included in music videos, films shown at cinemas, or TV advertisements, but their length and approach should be aligned to different groups of viewers to secure effective anti-piracy communications, he added./.


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