NEW CINEMATOGRAPHY LAW 2022
NEW CINEMATOGRAPHY LAW 2022
On 15 June 2022, Cinematography Law No. 05/2022/QH15 was passed by the National Assembly (“Cinematography Law 2022”). The Cinematography Law 2022 shall take effect from 1 January 2023. This new Cinematography Law 2022 aims to create a breakthrough legal framework with a long-term vision to develop Vietnam’s cinema as a cultural and artistic industry and an economic sector in Vietnam.
The two crucial changes which are a significant step forward of the Cinematography Law 2022 are regulations on the management of film dissemination in cyberspace and decentralization for localities to organize licensing councils for film assessment and classification.
- Provide summary scripts in Vietnam for foreign organizations and individuals
The Cinematography Law No. 62/2006/QH11, as amended in 2009 (“Cinematography Law 2009”), stipulated for cooperations and joint ventures to produce, and provide film production services to foreign organizations and individuals. The application file shall be licensed with “Literary script in Vietnamese and foreign languages”.
In comparison with the Cinematography Law 2009, the regulations on film production activities in Vietnam for foreign organizations and individuals of the Cinematography Law 2022 are more flexible. According to Article 13 of the Cinematography Law 2022, instead of having to approve the whole movie script, . This is consistent with the fact that many foreign films only shoot some scenes in Vietnam. Therefore, the provision of a whole literary movie script is not necessary. The proposal to provide a summary script keep management agencies abreast of sensitive factors, and at the same time create favorable conditions, encourage, and attract attention foreign organizations and individuals using film production services in Vietnam.
- Managing movies in cyberspace: combining “pre-check” with “post-check”
The Cinematography Law 2009 did not regulate the issue of film dissemination in cyberspace. The Cinematography Law 2022 offers appropriate management solutions to regulate online film management in the direction of combining “pre-check” with “post-check” measures. According to Article 21 of the Cinematography Law 2022, “pre-check” measures include more specific and stricter regulations on who is allowed to disseminate films in cyberspace; regulations on movie classification criteria, control of the self-classification of films, requiring cinema establishments that disseminate films in cyberspace to notify competent state management agencies of the list of films, and film classification level before dissemination. Measures of “post-check” include regulations on the responsibilities of state agencies, relevant organizations, and individuals, the application of technology, artificial intelligence, and technical solutions to timely detect, prevent and remove infringement of movies, and strictly handle violating organizations and individuals.
- Netflix and the Application of the New Cinematography Law in Vietnam
The Cinematography Law 2022 has introduced regulations on film management in cyberspace. Article 21 requires that subjects permitted to distribute films in cyberspace must be enterprises, non-business units and organizations. According to Article 4, clause 10 of the Enterprise Law 2020 an enterprise is an organization with its own name, property, transaction office, established or registered for establishment in accordance with the law for the purpose of doing business.”. Netflix, Inc. is considered an enterprise under Vietnamese law and it is a television service provider with recurring subscription fees in Vietnam. Therefore, Netflix becomes an entity that is governed by this law when operating in Vietnam. For Netflix to be allowed to distribute movies on the internet, Netflix can only distribute movies with a Film Classification License or a Broadcast Decision, except for the case of self-categorizing movies and ensuring conditions for film dissemination for each form of film dissemination. In addition, Netflix must comply with the regulations under Article 21, Clause 2 of the Cinematography Law
- Films that violate the provisions of Article 9 of the Cinematography Law 2022 and other relevant laws must not be disseminated;
- Before disseminating films in cyberspace, Netflix must ensure that the conditions for classifying films according to the Government’s regulations are met and take responsibility under the law for the content and results of film classification.
- Notify the list of films to be disseminated and the results of film classification to the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism before disseminating films in cyberspace;
- Take necessary technical measures and guide the children’s parents or guardians to self-control, manage, and ensure that children watch movies popularized on the internet that are suitable for the viewing age; for service users to report on movies that violate the provisions of the Cinematography Law 2022;
- Provide details and contact information to receive and handle requests of State management agencies; feedback, complaints, and denunciations of service users;
- Remove movies that violate the provisions of the Cinematography Law 2022 and other relevant provisions of law upon the written request of competent State agencies.
 Article 23, the Cinematography Law 2009
 Clause 2 Article 21, the Cinematography Law 2022