Vietnamese songwriters earned a total of VND32.5 billion from music royalties last year, an increase of 40 percent from 2009, a copyright agency reported Saturday.
News website VnExpress cited the Vietnam Center for Protection of Music Copyright as saying that most of the money came from ringtone sales, karaoke parlors, cabarets and nightclubs.
A few online music services, including Zing and Nhacso, paid VND2.5 billion to the center, which acts as the representative for many local songwriters.
Songwriters are also supposed to receive royalties every time their work is performed.
However, the music copyright agency said that songwriters only received VND1.9 billion from these performances in 2010 and estimated that royalties were paid on just 20 percent of concerts held in the country.
Pho Duc Phuong, director of the Vietnam Center for the Protection of Music Copyright, said that the intellectual property law, which came into effect in 2006, is not strong enough.
Ang Kwee Tiang, regional director for the Asia-Pacific region of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers, said that royalty payments, totaling VND32.5 billion, were still higher than those collected by songwriters in Indonesia and Thailand.