Entertainment Industry in Vietnam

According to the Ministry of Science and Technology, Vietnam entertainment industry will increase by 8.5% compared to the world’s average growth of 5%.[1] In preparation for this sustainable growth, the Vietnam government has been focusing on building strategic plans designed to boost cultural industry and entertainment 2020-2030.

It is noted entertainment industry would be defined broadly, which covers “movie business,” or “film industry” or “music industry,” or the “video game industry,” that provides entertainment product and services and become interrelated industries.

Entertainment law, like any other field of commercial law, is a combination of legal principles and business practices which covers the following branches: motion pictures, television, music, radio, live theater, literary publishing, and interactive digital media. As the different branches of the industry become more intertwined, increasingly supported by digital revolution and advances in technology, those business practices have begun to evolve and to incorporate practices that have been developed by other branches. As this evolution tends to be inevitable, it continues to be beneficial to view the entertainment industry as an integrated array of branches, while each branch focuses on traditional products and services that are becoming increasingly diverse.

In Vietnam, not many law practitioners have labelled themselves as a music attorney, a film attorney, or a theater attorney. As the various branches that comprise the entertainment industry increasingly overlap in business dealings, subject matter, and products, law practitioners must be specialized and thoroughly understand intercorrelation of these branches and other relevant laws affecting entertainment industry in a greater detail.

For example, a corporate entertainment lawyer must know the business realities of the entertainment industry in order to be able to structure an agreement taking into account the interests of his or her client and the concerns of other parties who are, or may become, involved with or affected by a given project. When engaging in minors, corporate entertainment lawyer must verify legal capacity of the minors under Civil Code and get the minors’ legal representative to sign legal paper which allow them to perform a role-playing in a given movie or game show.

Likewise, a litigator representing a client in the entertainment industry must understand the practices peculiar to the field. An speaker of a television game show whose services are terminated without cause and who is replaced with someone else may have a breach of contract action. An executive producer may wish to seek an injunction preventing further distribution of the program he has produced unless the billing is changed. Such an injunction requires a showing of irreparable injury. The executive producer’s lawyer must, therefore, understand the business practices involving billing and its importance in the entertainment industry in order to support the client’s application for this remedy.

At the digital arena, keep up with law and practice covering emerging technologies that affect entertainment industry is a must. Law practitioner is no exception. Understanding the relevant laws including internet and computer law (or cyber law), advertising, and contract law is the key to success.

Bui Tien Long (Rudy)