Non-fiction book plagiarism gets more problematic in Vietnam

VietNamNet Bridge – While literary authors now feel more secure because their copyright has been protected by the laws, the authors of on-fiction books cannot be so optimistic.

Vietnam, plagiarism, textbooks, national program, renovation

Cases of plagiarism

Dr. Prof Nguyen Mau Banh said he is so surprised about the high number of non-fiction publications. He has found 3,120 reference books for general school students, including 448 books for 12th graders alone, 442 for 11th graders and nearly 400 for 10th graders.

Meanwhile, the children at the age of six, or the ones who begin going to school, also have up to 59 reference books for choice.

Meanwhile, also according to Banh, university students, who follow hundreds of different of training majors, don’t have books for their learning and research. This explains why books have been plagiarized, copied in a large scale.

Especially, many books have been found as having the same contents, though they have different covers and show different authors’ names. A lot of non-fiction books used in general schools have been posted on Internet, which can be found and used by Internet user.

Banh said that the books on international finance are the ones which have been most plagiarized for illegal use.

Authors of the books claim their innocent in the plagiarism cases, because they cannot control the number of published books. On the covers of books, one could read the information that 500, or 1,000 copies are printed. However, the actual number of printed copies could be much higher.

Prof Phan Trong Luan, the chief editor of many textbooks, said he once came to see the director of a publishing house to clarify how many copies of books were printed. He found out that 10,000 copies, not 1,000, were printed. However, Luan could not claim for more royalties, because the officer who provided information to Luan, said she would be sacked if the director finds where the information came from.

Luan said in general, authors only receive royalties for the first publication, while they will receive nothing for the next reprints.

Luan, who wrote the lesson plans for a university, received VND3 million for 300 pages, when the university printed the book. However, it did not pay Luan any more dong when it reprinted the book in the next 10 years.

He also complained that there is a book distribution house named Phan Trong Luan that he doesn’t know whose it is. A book of his has been published by an Australian publishing house without Luan’s license.

It seems that Vietnamese authors can only receive modest money for their intellectual works, while their rights have not been protected by the laws.

Better late than never

Doan Thi Lam Luyen, Director of the Vietnam Literary Copyright Center, when admitting the rampant abuse of non-fiction works, said that intellectuals have not made an appropriate attention to claiming for their rights. Besides, Luyen also said that it’s because there still has not an organization that protects the rights of non-fiction work authors.

Luyen said her center only protects fiction publications, adding that the problem would only be settled by Viettro, the organization which has just been set up. However, it would still take much time to improve the situation, even with the existence of Viettro.


Vietnam, plagiarism, textbooks, national program, renovation