Please wait while the page is loading...


Clampdown on digital piracy: Vietnam to form specialized unit for the task

15 December 2023

Clampdown on digital piracy: Vietnam to form specialized unit for the task

Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) is set to form a specialized unit to clamp down on pirate sites in the country. In partnership with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Ministry of Public Security, this initiative was announced by Nguyen Thanh Lam, deputy minister of information and communications, at a seminar organized by the MIC on October 13, 2023.

The seminar tackled the management of radio and television services, including pirate sites. Piracy is a serious problem in Vietnam, where popular pirate sites streaming movies and live soccer matches collectively record at least two billion visits monthly. Moreover, incidents of copyright infringement in the country are sometimes tied to organized crime, online fraud and gambling, and high-interest lending related to football betting.

Despite establishing the Vietnam Digital Copyright Center in 2021 and implementing various technical measures to block access to pirated content, challenges still persist in Vietnam’s digital copyright landscape. One of the major hurdles involves infringing targets swiftly migrating to new domains, circumventing existing measures.

Yen Vu, Principal and Country Manager, Rouse Legal Vietnam, Member of the Rouse Network, Ho Chi Minh

The collaborative effort with the police aims to impose stricter sanctions, moving beyond merely addressing copyright infringements.

“The MIC’s initiative is indeed encouraging as Vietnam is now emerging as a key exporter of digital pirated content, and many stakeholders in the industries like K+ and the MPA have been voicing for cross-ministerial collaboration to address copyright infringement in Vietnam promptly,” said Yen Vu, principal and country manager of Rouse Legal Vietnam, member of the Rouse Network, in Ho Chi Minh.

She commended the initiative, emphasizing the need for coordinated efforts among the ministries, stakeholders, and internet service providers (ISPs) to combat digital piracy effectively. She also highlighted the importance of streamlining coordination through memorandums of understanding (MOU) or joint circulars between key stakeholders. Establishing a robust legal framework, accompanied by unwavering commitment from all parties involved in combating piracy, remains crucial.

“In the meantime, copyright holders may consider pursuing ‘Knock and Talk’ operation with an attempt to close down the piracy sites quickly. Notably, the operators often remain anonymous in the online environment, posing challenges for identification. Therefore, the successful execution of this operation necessitates the active participation and coordination of three components: investigators, lawyers, and rights owners,” she added.

- Espie Angelica A. de Leon

Law firms