Musicians say they can now make a living from their art thanks to better copyright protection and royalties.
Composer Nguyen Van Chung said he earned royalties of more than VND1.2 billion ($50,000) in 2021, compared to only VND9 million when he first joined the Vietnam Center for Protection of Music Copyright (VCPMC) in 2006.
Musician Hoai An said the quantity of royalties he collected today is hundreds of times greater than it was during the initial phase. Signing a contract with VCPMC allows him to protect his royalty interests while also feeling confident in his creative pursuits.
“I used to have to visit businesses that played my music in order to request royalties. However, many are unwilling to pay me, making me feel irritated and wanting to quit being a musician,” Hoai An explained.
Painter Van Thao, son of the late composer Van Cao (1923-1995), stated his family had signed with VCMPC since it was first established.
Though his father is dead, his family still regularly receives royalties, as part of his father’s goal of supporting his family through his music.
The Vietnam Center for Protection of Music Copyright (VCPMC) said it has collected over VND1 trillion (over $42.2 million) in copyright since its inception in 2002.
VCPMC’s revenues had increased from VND78 million in 2002 to VND160 billion last year, it said at a press conference Tuesday. It expects to earn more than VND230 billion this year.
Dinh Trung Can, general director of VCPMC, said revolutionary music earned the m
ost royalties since it is often used in radio, television, and cultural programs.
Following that is pop music, which is usually beloved by mass audiences for a brief period of time before dissipating. Classical music came in last place since it is only sought after by a small number of listeners.
Can said the number of musicians who joined VCPMC has grown from 240 in 2002 to 5,300 this year.
Musicians said VCPMC also assists them in obtaining copyright protection. Chung said several Chinese and Thai artists used his song “Vang Trang Khoc” (rough translation: The Crying Moon) in 2008, prompting many to assume he had plagiarized the track.
He then asked VCPMC to submit a request to the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers to have the song checked and recognized as his. His honor was restored as a result.
Giang Son said she received legal assistance from VCPMC in her copyright infringement with BH Media over the song “Giac Mo Trua” (rough translation: My Afternoon Dream).
“The center helps me with legal documents and protecting my works,” she explained.
The center has signed bilateral arrangements with approximately 200 countries and territories, with authorization from over five million musicians.
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