Copyright © Media Law International 2019. All Rights Reserved.
Specialist Guide to the
Global Leaders in Media Law Practice
I. The Management of Foreigner’s Participation in the Production of Net-Casting
Audiovisual Programmes and the Domestic Broadcasting of Foreign Audiovisual
Programmes was strengthened
The management of net-casting audiovisual programme production participated in by any foreigner, where the foreigner is serving as key creative staff in domestic net-casting audiovisual programmes, including series and programmes of variety show or interview programmes, the production of aforesaid shall be filed to the competent radio and television authority.
The number of foreigners serving as key creative staff shall not exceed one-fifth of the total number of staff of the same category. However, people from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwaof China are not limited by the aforesaid restriction.
A licensing system shall be applied in importing foreign audiovisual programmes. The SARFT of China shall make related adjustments and plans regarding the total amount, theme,production place, and other aspects of the imported foreign audiovisual programmes.
Meanwhile, the total number of foreign audiovisual programmes available for any broadcasting of net-casting audiovisual programme service unit shall not exceed 30 per cent of the total number of programmes available for broadcasting of the same category. However, the management of imported movies and TV series produced in Taiwan shall not be refer or apply to the aforesaid restriction, for the avoidance of doubt.
Process of filing and licensing, related penalties, and so forth, are specifically regulated in related documents (Regulations for the Participation of Foreigner in the Production of Radio and Television Programmes (draft for comments),
Regulations on Introducing and Transmitting of Foreign Audio-visual Programmes (draft for comments). Currently, the aforesaid documents are still in the stage of soliciting comments, and the release of the final version is still pending.
II. The Standards of Content Censorship for Net-casting Audiovisual Programmes
In terms of the content standards of net-casting audiovisual programmes: a clarified system of “pre-censor and post-broadcast” is applied to programmes of short video platforms, and bullets screen and comments are put into the “pre-censor and post-broadcast” category as well.
Meanwhile, short video platforms shall not: cut-and-edit or revise audiovisual programmes without authorisation, forward any clip of audiovisual programme uploaded by personal account, or forward any clip of audiovisual programme uploaded by institution account when copyright certificate is not provided by such institution account.
III. Filing Requirement with National Radio and Television Administration
Regarding Net-casting Audiovisual Programmes Is Strengthened
From February 15, 2019, for important net-casting Films or TV dramas (including internet series (internet animation) with a total investment of more than 5 million RMB and internet movie with a total investment of more than 1 million RMB, and so forth), the production institution shall file the information of such program (including its name, theme, synopsis, budget, and so forth) to the “Important Net-casting Films or TV dramas Information Filing System”, and shall acquire the planning number of filing.
After shooting and producing are finished, the production institution shall make registration regarding related information (including the proposed broadcast platform, the actual investment, the remuneration of cast members, and so forth)through the filing system, and shall submit the finished program to the SARFT or its branch for reviewing and apply for the filing number of releasing.
IV. Emphasising the Positive Influence of Net-casting Audiovisual Programmes on
the Community and Clarify the Types of Programmes That Are Restricted For
Content of domestic net-casting audiovisual programmes shall vigorously promote the positive aspects, and shall focus on creating a clear cultural environment and a healthy spiritual space.
Net-casting audiovisual programme service institution shall strictly control “idol development type” programmes and entertainment-based variety shows and reality shows participated by children of celebrities, reduce the broadcasting of entertainment shows, reality shows, singing competitions participated by celebrities, and increase the broadcasting of public welfare programmes.
Regarding enumerations of talents, in internet variety show, internet series, internet movies produced by important net-casting audiovisual programmes service institution, the overall enumerations of all cast members shall not exceed 40 per cent of the total costs, and enumerations of main cast members shall not exceed 70 per cent of the total enumerations.
Any overspending shall be filed and explained to the registered association and Actor Committee of China Alliance of Radio, Film and Television; failing to act accordingly will lead to serious penalty from suspension to permanent cancellation of broadcasting and production qualifications. Meanwhile, cracking down on fraudulent behaviour regarding audience rating or click rating has been proposed.
In addition, illegal capturing, cutting-and-editing, and revising of net-casting audiovisual programmes are explicitly prohibited. Any of the following act by any programme website is prohibited: producing or transmitting programmes that misrepresent, spoof, or disparage classic literary and art works; re-editing, re-dubbing, or re-subtitling classic literary and art works, radio and television programmes, or original net-casting audiovisual programmes without permission; cutting several programme segments, assembling into a new programme, and broadcasting; and transmitting a segment of programmes that tampers the original intention or introduces ambiguity.
The following programs shall not be broadcasted: films or television dramas without permit; original net-casting audiovisual programmes without record of filing; video clip/trailer of radio and television programmes or net-casting audiovisual programmes that has been notified or sanctioned by the radio and television administrative department.
For net-casting audiovisual programmes accepting naming or sponsorship, the qualification of the party providing naming or sponsorship shall be verified in advance.
V. Management of Internet Publishing and Cinema lines Institutions Is Reinforced
Regarding business permit, establishing on-demand internet theatre or on-demand internet cinema lines requires applying to film authority and obtaining respective Film Distribution License and Film Projecting License.
Regarding operation of on-demand internet theatre or on-demand cinema lines, projecting movie through on-demand theatre or distributing movie through on-demand cinema lines requires obtaining the film release license in accordance with the law; the time for projection of films made in the territory of China shall not be less than two-thirds of the total annual time of film projection.
In addition, regarding on-demand theatre and on-demand cinema lines, the National Radio and Television Administration has made detailed regulations over hardware scale, operation regulations, supervision and management, legal responsibilities, and so forth.
Within the releasing and implementing process of the aforesaid policies, the censoring standard for net-casting audiovisual programmes which was vague in the past gradually becomes clear. Meanwhile, the regulatory authorities gradually incorporated emerging models and emerging problems into the net-casting audiovisual management system.
The net-casting audiovisual programme industry has gradually tended to be in compliance with the law, which sets higher demands for net-casting audiovisual programmes. In the current environment, more high-quality, high-level works will come out, and this circumstance will further promote the prosperous development of the internet culture industry of China.
New Development of China’s Regulatory Policies for the Production of Net-Casting Audiovisual Programmes
The production and broadcast of internet-based audiovisual programmes in China must comply with the relevant requirements in the Administrative Provisions on Internet-based Audiovisual Programmes Services. However, numerous regulatory documents were issued in the last year by the National Radio and Television Administration, other competent authorities, and relevant industry associations. Strict regulatory measures were imposed on many areas such as content censorship, transmission management, and programme production requirements. We highlight several important aspects of such new developments during 2018.
Peng Yao graduated from Creighton University School of Law with his J.D. degree in 2015. After graduation, Peng began his career with Hylands Law Firm at the Intellectual Property Department of the firm. His practice is concentrated in the areas of Intellectual Property Law, Technology, Media, and Telecom, and Mergers and Acquisitions. Peng prepares and negotiates contracts, agreements, riders, addendums, and provides intense personal attention to each clients throughout the entire transaction process.
Wenjie Jiang graduated from China University of Political Science and Law with her Master of Laws Degree in 2015. After graduation, Wenjie began her career with Hylands Law Firm at the Intellectual Property Department of the firm. Her practice is concentrated in the areas of Intellectual Property Law, Technology, Media, and Telecom, and Dispute Resolution and Litigation. Wenjie regularly represents the firm’s individual, corporate and institutional clients, and she is also experienced in and zealously represents the clients in litigations as well as in other alternative dispute resolution proceedings.