Copyright Registration: Not mandatory but essential

Copyright is an important factor in economic, cultural, and social development. In fact, copyright protection serves as the most effective tool to promote, enhance and disseminate national cultural heritage. A special feature of copyright is one of the intellectual property rights that is protected automatically from the date on which the work is fixed in a certain material form. Accordingly, the author and copyright holder do not need to implement the procedures for copyright registration but still have full copyright in accordance with the law. However, copyright registration is necessary, and a Copyright Certificate gives the authors and copyright holders some significant benefits.  

Reducing the burden of the authors and copyright holders’ proving obligation in disputes over the copyright  

Authors and copyright holders having granted Copyright Registration Certificates are not obliged to prove their copyrights in disputes unless the evidence is against them.1 Copyright Registration Certificate is an effective legal proof proving the status and rights of the authors and the copyright holders to their registered work. Conversely, in the event of a dispute related to copyright that the author or copyright holder has not yet registered, the authors and the copyright holders must provide documents, evidence proving that they are the authors or copyright holders of the work in dispute. However, proving, in fact, is not easy. It takes a lot of time, cost and is even impossible to prove for some works created a long time ago or torn, erased, etc. 

Bases of request for the handling of violations of copyright infringements 

In addition, registering copyright and being granted a Copyright Certificate are also an important basis for creating favorable conditions for authors and holders to directly handle or request authorities to penalize copyright infringement, acts of using works without the authors’ permission, not paying royalties or remuneration to authors and copyright holders in accordance with law. 

Being meaningful spiritually to the work authors and economically to the copyright holders 

A created work results from the valuable and creative intellectual effort, requiring the author and copyright holders to invest a lot of time, effort, and finance. Copyright registration is a step that contributes to the recognition of the author’s creativity, the investment of the copyright holders, thereby encouraging and promoting the creative spirit of the authors in work. In case the work brings a lot of value to life, those who use the work will also remember the work authors. This is a very meaningful spiritual gift for the author’s creativity.  

Besides, copyright is an intellectual property right, an asset of the enterprise. As such, the Copyright Certificate will be a type of documents proving the assets of the enterprise, facilitating the enterprise in assigning the copyright and the right to use the copyright to others. Enterprises can use it to contribute capital to other enterprises or assess it as an intellectual property asset when conducting mergers, acquisitions, and equitization. 

Although copyright registration is not mandatory, it is still essential and benefits the authors and copyright holders in a dispute. In addition, copyright registration is not too complicated with the very low registration fee. Therefore, enterprises should consider registering for copyright protection to reinforce the protection of their intellectual property assets. 

Disclaimer: This article is for general information only and is not a substitute for legal advice. Apolat Legal is a Vietnamese law firm with experience and capacity to advise on matters related to Intellectual Property Rights. Please click here to learn more about our services and contact our lawyers in Vietnam for advice via email

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