In order to promote the grand development and grand flourishing of Socialist culture, fully muster folk capital to participate in cultural construction and stimulate the scientific development of the publishing sector, on the basis of the “State Council Secretariat Some Opinions concerning Encouraging and Guiding the Healthy Development Folk Investment” (GF No. (2010)13), integrating the characteristics of the printing sector, hereby, the following implementation rules are put forward in support of folk capital participating in publishing business activities:
This document has not been openly published by SARFT. The following is a translation of a press article outlining and analyzing the main changes of the new IPTV license regime.
SARFT No. 43
Description of the IPTV business operation permit.
According to the requirements of corresponding radio and television management regulations, general and branch IPTV integrated broadcast control platforms, nationwide IPTV content service platforms and provincial-level content service platforms, and IPTV service enterprises, shall all respectively obtain an “Information Network Audiovisual Programme Broadcast Permit” through the corresponding permit programmes promulgated by SARFT. Only after all the above-mentioned parties obtain the corresponding permit, may they be linked up and launch services.
IPTV integrated broadcast general platform licenses are held by CCTV, IPTV integrated broadcast branch platform licenses are applied for by provincial-level television stations. Nationwide IPTV content service platform licences are applied for by central-level radio and television broadcast organs and provincial-level radio and television broadcast organs having nationwide programme resources, provincial-level IPTV content service platform licenses are applied for by radio and television broadcast organs having programme resources for their provinces. IPTV broadcast licences are applied for with SARFT by the China Telecom Group Co, China Unicom Network Telecom Group Co.
Furthermore, IPTV broadcast enterprises may provide programmes and EPG entries to integrated IPTV broadcast control platforms, after integrated IPTV broadcast control platform inspection, these are uniformly brought into the integrated broadcast control platform programme resources and EPG.
1, IPTV business has already been legalized, but the prospects of legalizations are to be controlled and managed by SARFT.
2, The original integrated IPTV licenses have ended their mission following the merger of the CCTV and Baishitong broadcast control platforms. These are replaced by the categories of licenses described in the new administration.
3, Integrated general broadcast control platform licenses undoubtedly belong to CCTV, Baishitong shall become a back-up main platform, but this point will not be reflected in the document. And integrated IPTV branch platforms will be one per province in the future.
4, Branch broadcast control platform subjects are provincial-level television stations, the city and county levels have no right of speech, thus the disputes over right of speech between provincial and city television stations may intensify. Provincial-level television stations are the largest beneficiaries.
5, The duties of general broadcast control platforms are even more located in management, planning and unifying design, such as EPG, BOSS, copyright management and other aspects, and branch broadcast control platforms stress concrete operations, business expansion, services as well as linking with operators. The latter grasp the right of speech.
6, Those obtaining national IPTV content service platforms are the three central stations and all satellite television stations. The significance of this sort of license is located in that IPTV content must mainly be provided by the radio and television system.
7, IPTV broadcast service licenses are newly established, and sensu stricto, SARFT should not have competence to distribute dissemination service licences, it is estimated that the objective of establishing this licence is a chip to gain bidirectional access and resource exchange with telecommunications operators.
8, Telecom operators still have a certain space for their own in matters of content, the size of that space depends on their relationship with the local television station.
9, The regionalized television operation characteristics of IPTV become clearer every day. If there is no improvement, under homogenization with traditional television content, the only difference lies in IP transmission.
10, As far as telecom operators are concerned, their gain is drawing support from IPTV, and successfully invading the traditional television media sector. Not only for their own broadband development have they bound up a void-filling sector, at the same time, value-added business may also become an income growth point in the future following scale expansion.
On 15 and 16 June, the Programme for Comparative Media Law and Policy at the University of Oxford organized a conference on Chinese Media Law and Regulation. This was aimed to take stock of the state of Chinese media law, discuss evolutions and trend, and create a dialogue between researchers inside and outside of China. A number of papers and presentations from this conference have been kindly made available by the speakers. Also, most of the presentations were recorded and are available for download.
Prof. Li Danlin (Communication University of China): The Development of the Media Industry and the Reform On Content Regulation: The Case of China
Mr. Gianluigi Negro (China Media Observatory, USI Lugano): An Historical Overview of Chinese Departments and Ministries Engaged in Chinese Internet Management
Mr. Ge Xing (University of Tokyo): For Whom Do You Speak? Looking at Chinese Media Regulation in a Luhmanian Way
Mr. Shen Weiwei (University of Pennsylvania): A Case Study of the Human Flesh Search Engine
Ms. Zhu Li (Nanyang Technological University): Exploring the Particularities and Challenges of Media Tort in China: An Empirical Study on 800 Legal Cases
Prof. Han Xiaoning (Renmin University of China): Logic and Dynamics of Gradual Reform on China’s Press Regulation: A Reflection on Enterprise Transformation and Delisting Mechanism
Dr. Thomas Hart (Information Society Strategy and Policy): The Chinese Interpretation of Industrial Policy in Telecommunications and Media Markets
Prof. Rohan Kariyawasam and Ms. Chen Zhang (University of Cardiff): The Dragon Awakes: China’s Telecoms, Internet, New Media, and Next Generation Networks
Dr. Li Mingwei (Shenzhen University): Blindness and Myopia Caused by Self-Interest: Government Failure in Chinese Advertising Regulation
Dr Chwen Chwen Chen (USI Lugano): The Interplay Between Regulation and the Market in China’s Animation Industry
Last month, the Ministry of Industry and Information technology presented their plan for the development of the Chinese Internet during the 12th Five-Year Plan. This is the first dedicated government-level plan for the Internet, and the blueprint for the direction that Chinese Internet policy and management will take for the next five years. A full translation is available.
In terms of content, this document follows the line established earlier related to economic restructuring. There are explicit support policies for Internet-related SMEs, a strong emphasis on technological research, and it stresses the need to attract highly trained Internet talents from abroad. Specifically, advances are planned in areas such as intelligent terminals, cloud computing and the Internet of Things. Furthermore, the plan promises to expand Internet capacity. Sluggish Internet speed has been a topic of discussion recently, and the plan sets forth targets on speed and access which are also part of China’s human rights development plans. Conversely, the plan stresses the necessity to strengthen China’s influence on international Internet structures. It diagnoses the Internet as being the next space for confrontation between nations, after land, sea, air and space.
The most important aspect of this document, however, seems to be security. Obviously, data leaks, phishing, privacy protection and viruses are real threats against the further development of Internet industries. At the same time, the Chinese government itself is often accused as being behind cyberattacks and online intelligence, something of which the US military, amongst others, seems very suspicious. Increased transparency and clarity about China’s objectives would be very useful in this regard. Also, security seems to refer to censorship. The plan calls for enhancing “emergency response systems” to deal with “sudden incidents” and strengthening institutional and legal frameworks to further strengthen Internet supervision and management. This continues the trend of recent years, where new national and provincial-level Internet offices were established. Furthermore, the trend of co-opting Internet enterprises into self-discipline seems to be strengthened.
Obviously, plans like these are general guidelines, and the interesting question remains how these objectives will be transposed into concrete policy and regulatory measures, especially in an environment changing as quickly as the Internet. Watch this space.
In response to the draft Copyright Law that was published earlier, the intellectual property and international law sections of the American Bar Association composed joint comments, analyzing different aspects and provisions of the draft. I was kindly invited to contribute to these comments, which have now been made available on the ABA web site.
To further discuss these issues, a luncheon meeting will be organized on 25 July at Fordham in New York. More information about this on the China IPR blog.
On 13 June, SARFT issued the “Notice concerning Launching a Special Campaign ‘Attacking News Blackmail and Dealing with Paid-For News’” (GF NO. 46 to all provincial, autonomous region and municipal radio, film and television bureaus, the Xinjiang Production-Construction Corps Radio and Television Station, the three central stations, film channels, and China Educational Television, the Notice says that, according to the uniform deployment of the Central Propaganda Department, in order to further standardize newsgathering order, safeguard the credibility and authority of news workers, create a good atmosphere for the victorious convention of the 18th Party Congress, the General Administration of Press and Publications and other relevant departments will launch a special campaign to “attack news blackmail and deal with paid-for news” for three months, starting now. The basic tasks of the special campaign are: strictly attacking false news organs and newsgathering personnel launching “news blackmail” activities and using “newsgathering” activities for extortion and racketeering. Dealing with newsgathering personnel using newsgathering activities to seek personal gain, or other bad phenomena such as receiving “red envelopes” from newsgathering counterparts, work units, interested parties and related companies, etc. Dealing with news organs and their work personnel publishing advertising under the form of news reporting, engaging in paid-for news and paid-for non-news activities, standardizing newsgathering activity order, eliminating bad tendencies existing in news work. Continue reading
Yesterday, the State Council published new draft regulations on the management of Internet information services. These are explicitly aimed at microblog platforms and related social media, following a week after the much-publicized Weibo User Pact took effect. On Tea Leaf Nation, David Wertime eloquently analyses the different aspects of the new document.
Despite the look of it, this not a sea change. The current law already assigns criminal liability to any service providers, broadly defined, who disseminate speech fitting any one of nine categories of harm. Moreover, Chinese authorities already exercise Internet control as they see fit, shutting down blogs and forums, occasionally arresting “bad actors,” and requiring Weibo, or China’s Twitter, to implement real-name registration.
Instead, it’s the message behind the law that matters, and the message to China’s social media is clear: We can shut you down. Providers of social media platforms will surely sweat when reminded by the State Council that their businesses merely exist at the pleasure of those in power. The law’s preamble now lists “protecting national safety and public interest” (维护国家安全和公共利益) as one of its objectives, and adds that which “incites illegal gatherings” (煽动非法聚集) to the category of illegal speech. This signals that Beijing is acutely aware of the potentially destabilizing power of China’s blogosphere.
I would add one more remark. By adding to the administrative burden of setting up and running Internet enterprises, the regime might endeavour to keep the number of players low. It is much easier controlling a small number of large visible enterprises than having to deal with large numbers of smaller companies. Hence, by making market access procedures more difficult, the administration puts up the pressure on social media enterprises to keep their side of the deal: permission to operate in return for toeing the political line.
I translated the draft document, as well as the accompanying explanations, and you can find them here.
Chapter I: General provisions
Article 1: In order to stimulate the healthy and orderly development of Internet information services, safeguard national security and the public interest, protect the lawful rights and interests of citizens and Internet information service providers, and standardize Internet information services activities, these Rules are formulated. Continue reading
The existing “Internet Information Service Management Rules” (hereafter named the existing Rules) are the basic regulations for our country’s Internet management, and have had a vigorous function in the healthy and orderly development of our country’s Internet information service since promulgation in 2000. Following the rapid development of our country’s Internet, many new situations have emerged, a number of new problems are faced, in order to further stimulate the healthy and orderly development of the Internet, safeguard national security and the public interest, protect the lawful rights and interests of the public and Internet information service providers, standardize Internet information service activities, according to the Constitution and corresponding laws and regulations, the State Internet Information Office, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and other relevant departments have conducted revision of the existing Rules, and have formed the “Internet Information Service Management Rules (Opinion-Seeking Version of Revision Draft”. Hereby, the relevant matters are explained as follows: Continue reading