Monday, October 26, 2015

Translation of article on Vietnamese newspaper

There was a publication on Tuoi Tre, which I was told is one of the biggest daily newspaper for youth in Vietnam this morning. Here is a quick translation by Doanh Nguyen from Vietnam IPR Infringement to update my readers:

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Foreign author requests Muc Tim magazine to compensate 2,300 USD.
http://tuoitre.vn/tin/van-hoa-giai-tri/tac-gia-nuoc-ngoai-de-nghi-bao-muc-tim-phai-boi-thuong-2300-usd/991168.html
Surrounding a series of incidents where comics on Muc Tim magazine was found to be originated from a foreign author's work made online community tumultuous. On Oct 25, talking with Tuoi Tre, Mr. Nguyen Khac Cuong – Muc Tim’s Chief Editor, said that after he was informed of this incident, Muc Tim magazine found that these comics have been sent from a reader collaborator for a comics corner of an entertainment sector in Muc Tim.

Muc Tim magazine discussed with the author Evangeline Neo, and then cut off royalties to that reader and transferred them to Evangeline Neo. This is the 50 USD amount that Evangeline received on Sep 21. Artist Evangeline Neo (Singapore) has been drawing and publishing comics through web since 2007, building the comics trademark “Evacomics” since 2013.

The story started in Sep 2015, when a Evacomics’s fan in Vietnam found that Muc Tim magazine published Evangeline Neo’s comics without licensing agreement, in detail, from issue No. 31 to No. 36 (issued from Aug 5 to Sep 9 – described by reporter)

Some of Evangeline Neo’s comics were revised slightly. Others were collaged, painted and re-ordered... but a casual reader looking at the original comics and revised comics on Muc Tim can see immediately that it had copied the original lines, character models and layout of the comic strips.

While only finding two issues infringed, Evangeline Neo said that she was shocked and requested Chief Editor contact her. Both parties have discussed and agreed transferring royalty to bank account of Evangeline Neo, and publish an apology on Muc Tim magazine issue No. 37 
(issued Sep 16–described by reporter)

On issue No. 37, at a corner called “EPHRASE FOR CLARIFYING”, the magazine published the following: "On MT 31 and MT34, at the COMICS section, MT did not write the author name Evacomics due to technical mistake. We sincerely apologise to the author Evacomics and readers.”

After reading this apology, Evangeline Neo gave feedback: First of all, it is not a technical mistake; Secondly. My name is Evangeline Neo, Evacomics is my brand and both should be published; Thirdly, not just issues No.31 and No.34 but No.31 to No.36”. Muc Tim has not yet given a reasonable apology and compensation.

Perhaps, Muc Tim magazine along with their goodwill, has to do more moves to resolve the unintended incident that come from their reader. And this story is probably also notable to all newspapers when using unclear copyright works.
Unintended mistake

Author N.T (student in HCMC) who sent this series of comics to Muc Tim had admitted to the Editor Board that she had taken comics from Evacomics page and added more Vietnamese words, colored and then sent it to the magazine. This is the unintended mistake of the Editor. After being informed the incident, Muc Tim has immediately contacted and respectfully apologized to author Evangeline Neo on this incident.

However, after posting the “Ephrase for clarifying” on the latest issue Muc Tim No. 37 and recovering royalty from N.T to transfer to Singapore, Muc Tim received a letter from the author Evangeline Neo with requirements: Muc Tim must publish an apology on the Tuoi Tre newspaper during 7 days and compensate $2,300 for damage.

We can’t proceed the first request because the mistake is on Muc Tim, we only apologize on Muc Tim. However we are considering to do the second request from Evangeline Neo.

Once again, we confirmed this is our mistake: we have not checked the origin of comics and articles sent from the collaborator. We sincerely apologize author Evangeline Neo and are resolving the case with our efforts. We hope readers understand the incident correctly and sympathise for the "occupational accident" of Mực Tím. 
NGUYEN KHAC CUONG (Muc Tim magazine chief editor)
Reported by LAM DIEN
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Eva adds:

Thank you everyone for your support these days!

It is confirmed that we have reached a good agreement with Muc Tim Magazine​ and is resolving this issue. I will be setting aside some of the money to do meaningful things in Vietnam by returning back to society and thanking my fans (more details after I return from my Japan trip).

I would also like to thank Doanh Nguyen from Vietnam IPR Infringement​, who had been working hard all these time to help me translate, provide documents and advise me on what to do. The most amazing thing is he is willing to do all these for pro bono basis to help artists whose intellectual property are infringed in Vietnam. Through this case I feel the warmth and friendliness from everybody in Vietnam and fans all over the world. #faithinIPprotectionRestored

This case is temporary closed and I will update again on the first week of November with Muc Tim's official apology on their magazine.

Thank you everybody! :D

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