The Vietnam Center for Protection of Music Copyrights (VCPMC) has accused seven local mobile network providers for using unauthorized Korean music as ringtones, Tien Phong newspaper reported.
Accordingly, VCPMC, authorized by the Korea Music Copyright Association (KOMCA) to hold the copyright of the Korean tracks, has filed complaints to Viettel, VinaPhone, MobiFone, S-Fone, Beeline, Vietnam Mobile and EVN for illegally using songs.
These mobile providers, however, blamed their business partners, claiming that they had just bought the songs from the local content service providers, who later claimed that they in turn had all bought the rights from one company based in Ho Chi Minh City.
According to these content providers, MTV Neowiz Internet Vietnam, located on Ton Duc Thang Street, District 1, stated in their contract with them that it owned the rights to distribute Korean music in Vietnam.
However, KOMCA informed VCPMC that they did not grant copyright to any other entities in Vietnam but VCPMC, and that the agency had grounds to sue Neowiz Vietnam.
"We bought the music from Neowiz Vietnam trusting that what they said in our business contracts was true. We have no idea if the issue is our mistake due to our lack of information or if we have been cheated by them," said a spokesman of one of the 11 providers.
None of the providers seem to know how to deal with the situation, concerned that their business will be affected by the issue and that VCPMC will charge them for the pirated songs they sold them. They're also trying to figure out how to get their money back from Neowiz.
So far only five providers have contacted the center, requesting advice on possible solutions to the problem.
Neowiz Vietnam has already admitted its culpability and promised to transfer the money it received from selling the music to VCPMC.
According to VCPMC, as Korean music has become more and more popular in Vietnam, the center has received several complaints from KOMCA as well as Korean musicians about their music being sold illegally Vietnam.
In 2007, the center represented KOMCA to sue Hanoi-based media company VTC Online when it used a number of Korean tracks for Game Audition, one of its game products, without acquiring the appropriate copyrights.
In 2010, a local singer named Duong565 released an album that included a cover of the hit song "Haru Haru" by top Korean boy band Big Bang without paying a copyright fee.