“Recently, on September 26th, a seminar on ‘Solving the Copyright Protection Challenge for the Music, Film, and Digital Television Industry’ was held by Thudo Multimedia Company, attracting significant attention from journalists. Among them, the newspaper Tiền Phong (Vanguard) covered the event:

Copyright violations in the music, film, and digital television industries on digital platforms have been rampant, increasingly complex, and sophisticated. This calls for the establishment of an automated mechanism to block access to pirate websites, as well as tightening legal mechanisms for copyright protection.

Rampant Copyright Infringement

At the seminar ‘Solving the Copyright Protection Challenge for the Music, Film, and Digital Television Industry,’ organized by the Vietnam Digital Content Creation Alliance (DCCA) in collaboration with others on September 26th, numerous experts, lawyers, and representatives from digital content providers shared insights into the copyright infringement situation, especially in the music, film, and television industries. They proposed preventive measures and solutions to combat copyright infringements.

Mr. Vu Kiem Van, Vice Chairman and Secretary-General of the Vietnam Digital Communication Association (VDCA), emphasized that protecting content copyrights, especially in the digital context, faces significant challenges. Elaborating further on this, Mr. Pham Hoang Hai, Director of the Digital Content Copyright Center at the Radio and Television and Electronic Information Department under the Ministry of Information and Communications, pointed out that copyright violations in Vietnam are very complex, with numerous pirated websites frequently posting and illegally streaming football matches and movies.

According to data from SimilarWeb, there were approximately 70 pirated football websites with over 1.5 billion views in 2022 and 2023. Additionally, more than 200 pirated movie websites attracted about 120 million views per month, with the top 10 websites receiving over 66 million monthly views. In the past year, starting from August 2022, the Radio and Television and Electronic Information Department collaborated with the Cybersecurity Authority and copyright owners to block nearly 1,000 pirated football websites such as coichua.net, tammao.tv, xoilac.live, among others.

“Many pirated websites share a common characteristic of using international domain names and constantly changing domains when blocked. The typical form of violation by these pirated websites is the streaming of content through livestreams or cutting and posting content on social media. These contents are taken from legitimate platforms such as OTT, terrestrial digital television, satellite digital television,” stated Mr. Pham Hoang Hai. Moreover, in addition to reposting content illicitly, pirate websites often inject harmful advertisements, gambling, and betting content.

Nhiều thông tin về thực trạng vi phạm bản quyền nội dung số và khó khăn trong việc ngăn chặn vi phạm bản quyền đã được ông Phạm Hoàng Hải - Giám đốc Trung tâm bản quyền Nội dung số, Cục PTTH&TTĐT, Bộ Thông tin và Truyền thông chia sẻ tại tọa đàm.

Lawyer Pham Thanh Thuy, responsible for combating copyright violations for a channel that purchased broadcasting rights for the English Premier League, mentioned that Vietnam has 15.5 million people who regularly access pirate websites, ranking it among the top three regions for copyright infringements. She added, ‘Matches from the English Premier League with copyright are widely available on the Internet. If 10% of the 15.5 million illicit views convert to legitimate subscriptions, the revenue would be significant. With this income, we can reinvest in more valuable products, purchase better sports programs and films, thereby contributing to the development of the digital content creative industry in Vietnam.’

Automated Blocking Mechanism

Regarding the extent of the damages caused by copyright infringements, Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Han, CEO of Thudo Multimedia, revealed that up to 80% of copyright violations occur on digital platforms, resulting in a loss of $348 million in 2022, equivalent to 7 trillion Vietnamese dong. Globally, copyright infringements in 2022 led to a $65 billion loss for the music, film, and television industries.

In addition to technical solutions such as access blocking and active access blocking systems, experts and delegates emphasized the role of legal measures, particularly in supporting copyright owners. Pham Thanh Thuy highlighted some challenges. Administrative, civil, and criminal enforcement measures are difficult and time-consuming. She mentioned that ‘the lawsuit against phimmoi.net has lasted four years without a result.’

Pham Hoang Hai suggested that after an extended period of implementing access-blocking measures against pirate websites, positive results have been achieved. Specifically, the number of copyright-violating links has decreased by 7%, and the access to blocked websites has dropped by 98%. Moreover, the practice of blocking pirate websites has gradually changed the internet usage habits of Vietnamese citizens. As a result, 23% of internet users in Vietnam indicated that they would not access or access pirate websites less due to the impact of access-blocking measures.

Phimmoi.net, one of the largest pirated movie viewing websites in Vietnam, has been blocked.
Phimmoi.net, one of the largest pirated movie viewing websites in Vietnam, has been blocked.

However, access-blocking measures still have some shortcomings. ‘We need to establish coordination between copyright owners, state management agencies, and internet service providers (ISPs). We need to establish flexible access-blocking mechanisms and block newly emerging domains after the initial block. Then, we should apply various suitable technical measures to block access,’ Pham Hoang Hai emphasized.

In line with Pham Hoang Hai’s views, Pham Thanh Thuy proposed that Vietnam should adopt a proactive blocking model similar to that of the United Kingdom. In this model, when pirate websites change domain names or IP addresses after the initial block, ISPs will actively block new domain names and IP addresses when receiving notifications from copyright owners or relevant state authorities without the need for further administrative procedures.

Acknowledging the necessity of an automated blocking system, Nguyen Ngoc Han suggested that Vietnam should leverage AI technology to enhance monitoring of all aspects of content distribution and online broadcasting. ‘The use of advanced artificial intelligence (AI) helps detect and review all data exchange activities during content distribution on the internet more quickly and accurately,’ Nguyen Ngoc Han explained.

For more details, visit the link: Music, film, and television copyrights: Violations are widespread, thousands of billions of dong in revenue lost