US suspends embassy account on Vietnam website

Nov 28, 2012 by Matthew Lee

(AP)—The U.S. Embassy in Hanoi has deactivated its account on a popular Vietnamese website that's full of suspected pirated music and Hollywood movies. The U.S. had used the site to promote American values, including respect for intellectual property rights.

The State Department on Wednesday said the social media account with ZingMe was suspended after a review prompted by concerns about on the site.

Spokesman Mark Toner said the suspension is part of a dialogue with ZingMe's parent company about . He says the embassy hopes to be able to reactivate its account after "adequate progress" on the property rights issue.

The Associated Press reported last month that the account raised questions about whether Washington was legitimizing a site accused of piracy.

At the time, the State 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 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 bureaus were in favor of letting the embassy remain on ZingMe because of the site's huge reach, particularly with 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 ZingMe into the ranks of the world's top 550 websites while raising concerns about the content available on the site. , 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 has labeled Zing a "notorious" pirate site, said it was neither endorsing nor criticizing the embassy's decision.

Explore further: Unlocking the geoblock with VPNs

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

In Vietnam, US relies on pirate site to network

Oct 29, 2012

(AP)—It's a wildly popular website laden with unlicensed songs and Hollywood movies, a prime exhibit of the digital piracy that is strangling the music industry in Asia and eroding legitimate online sales ...

Coke, Samsung pull Vietnam site ads

Oct 03, 2012

(AP)—Coca-Cola and Samsung have pulled their advertising from a popular Vietnamese website notorious for providing unlicensed downloads of Western and local songs, in a rare victory against online piracy in a country where ...

Wikipedia to be blacked out over anti-piracy bill (Update)

Jan 16, 2012

Wikipedia will black out the English language version of its website Wednesday to protest anti-piracy legislation under consideration in Congress, the foundation behind the popular community-based online encyclopedia ...

China pledges tougher fight on online piracy

Jan 17, 2011

China will step up its fight to protect intellectual property rights (IPR) by targeting online piracy, state media said Monday, amid calls for Beijing to do more on widespread copyright infringement.

Calif. nuclear site to undergo study

Jul 20, 2007

Officials at the U.S. Department of Energy have ordered an in-depth environmental review of California's Santa Susana Field Lab.

China piracy cost software industry $20bn in 2010

May 12, 2011

Piracy cost the global software industry more than $20 billion in losses in the China market last year despite the increasing use of legitimate programmes, an official survey showed Thursday.

Recommended for you

Unlocking the geoblock with VPNs

2 hours ago

In recent months there have been many reports of Australians covertly signing up for the US streaming service Netflix, using fake postcodes and software workarounds to fool its geo-blocking system.

Twitter-funded lab to seek social media insights

16 hours ago

A new Twitter-funded research project unveiled Wednesday, with access to every tweet ever sent, will look for patterns and insights from the billions of messages sent on social media.

Facebook makes peace with gays over 'real names'

18 hours ago

Facebook on Wednesday vowed to ease its "real names" policy that prompted drag queen performers to quit the social network and sparked wider protests in the gay community and beyond.

User comments : 0