Vietnamese composer wins copyright to regional hit

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A Vietnamese composer has successfully claimed the legal right to a song that has several versions in different languages in other Southeast Asian countries.


Musician Nguyen Van Chung was recently granted a copyright certificate for the sone Vang trang khoc (the crying moon) by the Composers and Authors Society of Singapore (COMPASS).


Chung was accused of copyright infringement four years ago because the song has several versions in other languages including Thai, Khmer, Laotian and Chinese.


Melvin Tan, director of COMPASS's Department of License and Dispute, said: "We have investigated and confirmed that Chung composed the song and is the song's copyright holder.


"The song in Vietnamese is the first official version, then it was translated into Thai, Khmer, Laotian, and Chinese in 2009 with title Bien anh trang (ocean of moon light)."


According to President Edmund Lam of COMPASS, a high-ranking officer of the International Confederation of Authors and Composers Societies (CISAC) based in Paris, instead his song is being used illegally outside Vietnam.


According to the Lam, however, it is difficult for Chung to request compensation for the copyright violations because the process will take much time and money.


Chung, 28, said that since his name has been cleared, he will stop suing the violators.


Vang trang khoc became a national hit in 2007 with the performance of two local singers Nhat Tinh Anh and Khanh Ngoc. The song has since been performed by many local singers.


Besides, Chung's other hits helped to promote many Vietnamese singers on the national stage.


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