According to an Associated Press story published on NBCnews.com, the U.S. embassy in Vietnam is utilizing a social media account on Zing, a website notorious for online piracy, in an effort to reach out to the country’s young people. This, despite the fact that Coke and Samsung recently pulled advertising from the site due to concerns about rampant piracy. Embassy officials defend their presence on Zing saying that options for outreach are limited in a country where the government controls most media.
The embassy said it recognized the concerns for U.S. copyright interests posed by Zing but that it believed that “contact with users of this website” could reduce traffic or infringing activity on it. The mission sometimes uses its Zingme page to post about copyright infringement.
Its statement noted that the site had removed, at its request, the link to infringing material that appears on other Zingme pages as a matter of course. It also noted to its lack of options in a country where the Communist government controls the media, saying “there were few spaces for public discourse and intermittent access to Facebook”, referring to a block the government sometimes puts on the American social networking site.
Artists in Asia, like those in the U.S. who are feeling the negative impacts of rampant online piracy, are critical of the U.S. embassy’s stance on Zing.
“Zing is destroying the industry and they know it,” said record producer Quoc Trung, who is leading a campaign against online piracy. “We need people to pay for music, not just click on it. It is now or never.”
To read the full AP story, go here.