The new Vietnamese Decree No. 21/2015/ND-CP which provides for the payment of royalty and remuneration for the creation, exploitation and use of cinematographic, artistic, photographic, theatrical works and other forms of artistic performance pursuant to the Law on Intellectual Property came into effect on 15 April 2015. Together with Decree No. 18/2014/ND-CP (effective since 14 March 2014) which provides guidance on the royalty and remuneration in the field of Journalism and Publishing works, they have both replaced the old Decree No. 61/2002/ND-CP entirely.

The new Decrees apply to both organizations and individuals who create, exploit and use works through State funds or to both organizations and individuals who create, exploit and use works which are owned by the State. Compared to the old Decree 61, the new Decrees offer better guidance with regard to the royalty and remuneration of the said copyrighted works. They have amended and supplemented some provisions on the governing scope, application entities, beneficiaries and the amount of royalty and remuneration so that the regulation is aligned with the present Civil Code, Intellectual Property Law and real life situations. In particular, the royalty for the various subjects of cinematographic works is no longer based on the grade of the subjects but rather dependent on the quality of the works itself. Further, for royalty and remuneration under turnover of the performance such as theatrical works, more subjects have been identified for compensation.  The rate for these types of works is now calculated based on the percentage (%) of audience turnover of the performance and have in general, been revised downwards.

It is note-worthy that the new regulation recognizes the economic value of the work and the creative efforts of the artist and allows the parties concerned to negotiate an agreement relating to the royalty and remuneration based on the quality of the work.

The terms of the Old Decree 61 have been made irrelevant due to the recent economic and social progress of the country. The implementation of the new Decrees 18 and 21 serve as a timely introduction to a developing and affluent society. More importantly, they reflect the recognition society accords to the economic value of the copyrighted works through proportionate compensation for the authors.