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Author signs over rights to all titles (April 15, 2003)

HCM CITY — Writer Son Nam has become the first Vietnamese author living in Viet Nam to sign over the copyright to all his works, both published and unpublished.

He signed the deal with the deputy director of HCM City-based Tre (Youth) Publishing House, Quach Thu Nguyet, last month.

Son Nam, 76, is among a few prominent Vietnamese writers specialising in the traditions, history, geography and characteristics of the people of southern Viet Nam.

Many of his essays and books were published in southern Viet Nam before the end of the American War in 1975.

Some were republished as part of celebrations of HCM City’s 300th anniversary in 1998 where they received a warm reception.

"This prompted us to collect all his essays and books and republish them under the name of Tre Publishing House," Nguyet said.

The publisher has collected 39 titles so far.

To mark the deal, Tre Publishing House has reprinted Huong Rung Ca Mau (Forest Fragrance in Ca Mau), one of Son Nam’s best known works.

"The book will be put into circulation soon," Nguyet said.

Huong Rung Ca Mau was first published in Sai Gon in 1962.

The publishing house will continue to collect Son Nam’s essays and stories which have been printed in newspapers. The writer has no desire to keep his books and essays.

"The copyright deal is the first of its kind in Viet Nam. I think that signing the copyright agreement to earn money when I am still alive is much better than making money after I die," he said.

"Tre Publishing House is a big and prestigious company. I had peace of mind after I granted the legal publication rights to Tre. I don’t have to worry if someone publishes my work without my agreement," the writer said.

At the writer’s request, Tre has not made public the value of the deal.

The Tre Publishing House said the contract will set a precedent for republishing other works in Viet Nam.

The publisher is one of the first local companies to strike copyright deals with foreign counterparts. He started the business five years ago with the publication of popular English language teaching books Streamline and Headway and the cartoon series Lucky Luke. — VNS

Reprinted with permission from Vietnam News Agency


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