Copyrights owners are organizations and individuals who hold part or all of the economic rights.
In fact, there are multiple types of ownership with different interests – depending on the number of parties contributing to the process of creating the work.
Copyrights holders being authors
Authors are individuals who invest their own time, finance and material-technical foundations into creating works.
They possess full moral rights and economic rights over their work.
For example: J.K. Rowling is both the author and owner of the Harry Potter series.
Articles 13, 37 of the 2005 Law on Intellectual Property, amended and supplemented in 2009
Copyrights holders being co-authors
Co-authors are those who use their time, finance and material-technical foundations to jointly create works.
These co-authors share the same moral rights and economic rights.
If the transference of economic rights affects other co-authors, consent from all co-authors must be obtained.
If a co-author created a separate, detachable portion for independent use without any prejudice to the parts of the other co-authors, he/she is entitled to moral rights and to transfer and lease economic rights to the separate portion.
For example: 3 engineers jointly spent time and material-technical facilities to program a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software with 3 main modules operating independently:
- Tuan programmed the Automatic Email Sender module
- Hoang programmed the Online Chat module
- Long programmed the Sales module
Tuan later separated from the group and sold the Automatic Email Sender module to another party.
Article 38 of the 2005 Law on Intellectual Property, amended and supplemented in 2009
Copyrights holders being organizations and individuals who assign tasks to or enter into contracts with authors
The owner of a work is entitled to economic rights and the right to publicize such work (as a part of moral rights) when assigning duties to its author.
For example: An enterprise gives tasks to web programmers; An enterprise uses an advertising video production service.
While the author maintains access to other moral rights, he/she is not the owner.
Article 39 of the 2005 Law on Intellectual Property, amended and supplemented in 2009
Copyrights holders being transferees
Organizations and individuals may repurchase part of or all economic rights from another owner.
For example: First News purchased the right to publish the TOEFL iBT series of Barron’s Education to publish in the Vietnam market.
Article 41 of the 2005 Law on Intellectual Property, amended and supplemented in 2009
In the event of the owner’s passing, the heir will inherit the economic rights.
Article 40 of the 2005 Law on Intellectual Property, amended and supplemented in 2009
Copyrights holders being the State
The State is the copyright holder to the following works:
- Works with valid protection terms where the copyright holder passes away without establishing his/her inheritance;
- Works where the copyright holder transfers ownership to the State; and
- Anonymous works.
Managers of anonymous works are entitled to owners’ rights until the identity of the author is determined.
Anonymous works enjoy a protection term of 50 years as from the date of first publication.
Once the author’s identity is established, the term of protection will be calculated as that of normal works.
Articles 27, 42 of the 2005 Law on Intellectual Property, amended and supplemented in 2009
Copyrights holders being the public
Protection terms of works expire 50 years after the death of the last author, including cinematographic works and works of applied arts.
Organizations and individuals have the right to use works with expired protection terms, provided that the author’s moral rights are respected.
Article 43 of the 2005 Law on Intellectual Property, amended and supplemented in 2009
Holders of related rights
Holders of related rights are organizations and individuals who invest their finances and material-technical facilities in transmitting works to the public.
Related rights are protected for related-right holders, performers, producers of phonograms and video recordings, and broadcasting organizations.
Owners of performances, phonograms, and video recordings are those investing their finances and material-technical facilities into them.
Broadcasting organizations are the owners of their broadcasts.
Performers who do not invest their finance, material-technical facilities, or time into the works are entitled to their moral rights while the investor is eligible for the economic rights.
Producers of phonograms and video recordings have the rights to conduct or permit reproduction and distribution of such phonograms and video recordings.
Clause 1 of Article 29, Articles 16, 30 and 44 of the 2005 Intellectual Property Law, amended and supplemented in 2009