Our country’s “Criminal Law” and “Public Order Management Regulations” strictly prohibit the production, peddling, sale, rental or transmission of obscene publications, the State Council and relevant department have repeatedly promulgated administrative regulations, banning obscene publications and restricting publications containing a little obscene content. In recent times, some publishing work units have violated regulations, and vied to publish obscene reading materials and reading materials containing a little obscene content, poisoning people’s thoughts, harming the physical and mental health of minors, and inducing crime. In order to strictly enforce law and discipline, protect the physical and mental health of the broad readers and especially youth, safeguard social morals, and persist in constructing a Socialist spiritual civilization, hereby, the following regulations are seriously reiterated as follows:
I, The State Council “Regulations concerning Strictly Prohibiting Obscene Goods” (17 April 1985): books, newspapers and periodicals, manuscripts, video tapes, audio tapes and images “concretely describing sexual acts or undisguisedly propagating sexual and obscene images”, fall under obscene publications, and must be strictly prohibited. “Art works with artistic value having incidental obscene content, fine art works displaying human physical beauty, natural science works relating to human physiology, medical knowledge or other natural science” do not fall under obscene reading materials. For smuggling, producing, selling and organizing broadcasting of obscene goods, where it constitutes a crime, the judiciary organs will punish it according to the law; where it is does not constitute a crime, the controlling entity will impose administrative punishment according to the gravity of the circumstances.”
II, The Ministry of Culture “Notice concerning Implementing the ‘State Council Regulations concerning Strictly Prohibiting Obscene Goods” (20 August 1985) provide: “Publishers must strictly guard the examination gate of publication content. All those falling under concretely describing sexual acts and undisguisedly propagating sexual or lascivious images, may without exception not be published, printed (including reprinted), or distributed, for literature and art works having artistic value, with intermittent sexual content, that may engender harmful influence over minors, only after asking for instructions from the provincial-level or higher controlling department, and approval, is it permitted to arrange publication, and the necessary limitations must be made concerning printing numbers and distribution scope. Fine art works displaying the beauty of the human body, may only be published and distributed under the presupposition of guaranteeing artistic quality. In publications not aimed at fine art specialists but for mass use, naked images should not be printed in concentration, and when publishing knowledge on human physiology or medicine, and other natural science works, no content playing up degeneracy may be included, without exception.
“All printing plants must undertake printing business of books, periodicals, newspapers and other publications according to the above provisions.”
“All State-run, collective or individual bookshops, bookstalls and all other sorts of book, newspaper and periodical sales points are strictly prohibited to sell obscene books, newspapers, periodicals, pictorials, images and other printed goods. All sorts of publications with limited distribution must be strictly distributed according to the provided scope, and this may not be arbitrarily expanded.”
III, Article 170 of the “Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China” provides that: “Those producing or peddling obscene books and obscene images with the aim of profit, are punished with an imprisonment term of three years or less, short detention or surveillance, and a fine may be additionally imposed.” The Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate “Notice Concerning Severely Punishing Illegal Publishing Activities (27 November 1987) provides that: “those where the illegal business or illegal income volume is huge, or circumstances are grave, not only committing the crime of producing or selling pornographic books and pictures, but also committing the crime of speculating and profiteering, shall be punished for the crime of speculating and profiteering”.
IV, The Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Finance and State Administration of Industry and Commerce “Request for Instructions concerning Using Economic Sanction Methods to Strengthen Management over Publications” (approved by the State Council) provides:
“Where publishers violate regulations, and publish books that should be limited without authorization, or exceed the approved printing quantities on their own initiative, the illegal income from the unauthorized publication or quantities added on their own initiative is completely confiscated. Repeat offenders are also fined”.
“Publication of obscene and other banned books and periodicals as well as all sorts of books published by non-publishing work units (including newspaper publishers, magazine publishers and other work units) fall under illegal publications, and may not be sold by any work unit or individual, as soon as these are discovered, the books and periodicals, and the complete illegal income is confiscated. Where circumstances are grave, a fine is also imposed, and the liability of the responsible person is investigated. ”
“Illegal income of printing plants from undertaking the printing of illegal publications is completely confiscated. Where circumstances are grave, a fine is also imposed, and the liability of the responsible person is investigated. ”
In order to implement the above regulations, on the basis of the present circumstances, and with the approval of the State Council, hereby, the following supplementary provisions are made:
I, Obscene publications shall be banned without exception. Public security and judicial organs will severely punish those publishing, printing, peddling, renting or storing obscene publications according to the law, on the basis of laws and regulations, before severe punishment by public security and judicial organs, economic and administrative punishment may be imposed first according to Article 2 of these Supplementary provisions.
II, Those that although they do not fall under obscene publications, but have prominent sexual content and harm the physical and mental health of minors, may without exception not be published, printed, peddled, rented or harboured. If there are violations, the said work unit shall be subject to one or more punishments, including cessation of printing, cessation of sales, confiscation of the complete income, fines, cessation of business for rectification, cancellation of publishing number, periodical number or business licenses. All provincial, autonomous region and municipal press and publication bureaus are empowered to make punishment decisions against publications and unlawful work units and individuals in their regions, and report them to the Administration of Press and Publications for filing; they may put forward punishment opinions concerning publications outside of their provinces, and report them to the Administration of Press and Publications, which will make a punishment decision; punishment decisions concerning Central first-level publishing work units and unlawful work units or individuals are made by their higher-level controlling work units, and are reported to the Administration of Press and Publications for filing. All localities and all departments that are laggards in making decisions or that make inappropriate decisions, may be directly or separately punished by the Administration of Press and Publications.
III, If the publication is arranged of literature and art works that, although they have artistic value, contain intermittent obscene content, that engenders a harmful influence on minors, local publishing work units must report the selected topic, print quantity and distribution scope to the provincial, autonomous region and municipal press and publications bureau for examination and approval in advance, and report to the Administration of Press and Publications for filing. Central first-level publishing work units must report to the Administration of Press and Publications for examination and approval in advance. If there are violations, the publishing work unit shall be subject to one or more administrative punishments, including confiscation of profit, fines and cessation for rectification. Provincial, autonomous region and municipal press and publications make punishment decisions over local publishing work units, and report them to the Administration of Press and Publications for filing; punishment decisions over Central first-level publishing work units are made by the higher-level controlling work units. When necessary, the Administration of Press and Publications may impose punishment directly.
Apart from literary and art works, where other publications have similar problems violating the above provisions, they shall be dealt with according to these Regulations.
Printing, peddling and renting work units and individuals violating the above Regulations, will be punished economically and administratively by provincial, autonomous region and municipal press and publications bureaus.