U.S. suspends embassy account on Vietnamese website full of suspected pirated music, movies

By
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


            WASHINGTON
— The U.S. Embassy in Ha Noi has deactivated its account on a popular
Vietnamese website that’s full of suspected pirated music and Hollywood movies,
the State Department said Wednesday.

            The
embassy had used its social media account with ZingMe to promote American
values, including respect for intellectual property rights. But its presence
had raised questions about digital piracy on the site and led to a review.

            State
Department spokesman Mark Toner said the suspension is part of a dialogue with
ZingMe’s parent company, VNG, about intellectual property rights and digital
piracy. He said the embassy hopes to be able to reactivate its account after
“adequate progress” is made on the property rights issue.

            The
review was ordered after The Associated Press reported last month that the
embassy’s ZingMe account had raised questions about whether Washington was
legitimizing a site accused of piracy.

            At
the time, the department said the account was created to reach out to
Vietnamese youth in a restricted environment. It said the review was being
conducted because “some of the contents of this website are suspect and run
counter to our Internet freedom policy.”

            Officials
familiar with the review said there had been spirited internal debate about
whether the embassy should continue to use the site. Those officials said the
department’s human rights and public diplomacy bureaus were in favor of letting
the embassy remaining on ZingMe because of the site’s huge reach, particularly
to Vietnamese youth. The officials said that position was countered by the
department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, which takes the lead on
intellectual property rights issues.

            The
officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to
discuss the review publicly.

            The
free-to-download bonanza has pushed Zing into the ranks of the world’s top 550
websites, while also raising concerns about the content available on the site.
Record labels, singers and industry groups say the site repeatedly has ignored
requests to take down material.

            Coca-Cola
and Samsung pulled their advertising from the site this month because of piracy
concerns following questions from the AP.

            The
Recording Industry Association of America, which praised the decision by
Samsung and Coke to withdrawn from Zing and has labeled Zing a “notorious”
pirate site, said it was neither endorsing nor criticizing the embassy’s
decision.

 


Báo Người Việt hoan nghênh quý vị độc giả đóng góp và trao đổi ý kiến. Chúng tôi xin quý vị theo một số quy tắc sau đây:

Tôn trọng sự thật.
Tôn trọng các quan điểm bất đồng.
Dùng ngôn ngữ lễ độ, tương kính.
Không cổ võ độc tài phản dân chủ.
Không cổ động bạo lực và óc kỳ thị.
Không vi phạm đời tư, không mạ lỵ cá nhân cũng như tập thể.

Tòa soạn sẽ từ chối đăng tải các ý kiến không theo những quy tắc trên.

Xin quý vị dùng chữ Việt có đánh dấu đầy đủ. Những thư viết không dấu có thể bị từ chối vì dễ gây hiểu lầm cho người đọc. Tòa soạn có thể hiệu đính lời văn nhưng không thay đổi ý kiến của độc giả, và sẽ không đăng các bức thư chỉ lập lại ý kiến đã nhiều người viết. Việc đăng tải các bức thư không có nghĩa báo Người Việt đồng ý với tác giả.

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