Monday, April 23, 2012

Vietnamese Copyright's Got Talent !

A finalist in the Vietnam’s Got Talent TV show, Kieu Van Thanh who uses a water pipe as a musical instrument, is now being accused of violating copyright. Another artist, Mai Dinh Toi whose performances on self-made instruments have been recognized by the Vietnamese Book of Records Center, claims ownership in this work. Thanh said that he has been creating musical instruments with everyday objects such as water pipes and tea boxes for a while.

The Head of the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam (NOIP) when interviewed in the press indicated that this copyright infringement case may be complex as the plaintiff has not made any copyright registration for his creation.

IP Komodo muses that game show formats are one thing (and arguably not a copyrightable anyway), but an individual performance might be capable of protection, or at least the expression of it. But that was not reproduced here. Or is it a claim for copyright in the design of the musical instrument?  IP Komodo suspects the claim is weak.  

In any event copyright registration is not a requirement for protection as every IP expert knows and the NOIP spokesman was focused in on entirely the wrong issue.  Which leads IP Komodo to worry that the NOIP doesn't have much talent when it comes to assessing copyright protection.

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