Minutes of the Punishing Illegal Publication Criminal Activities According to the Law Work Symposium

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All provincial, autonomous region and municipal Higher People’s Courts and People’s Procuratorates, Liberation Army Courts Martial, Military Procuratorates:

In order to completely implement the “Notice Concerning Severely Attacking Illegal Publication Activities of the State Council, the General Administration of Press and Publication, the Supreme People’s Court, Supreme People’s Procuratorate, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Radio, Film and Television, State Administration of Industry and Commerce held a joint work symposium in Beijing from 25 through 28 December, attended by a part of provincial and municipal Press and Publication Bureaus, Courts, Procuratorates, Public Security Departments (Bureaus) on punishing illegal publication criminal activities according to the law. After the symposium, the General Administration of Press and Publications, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Radio, Film and Television, State Administration of Industry and Commerce issued on 8 March 1988 the “Minutes of the Punishing Illegal Publication Criminal Activities According to the Law Work Symposium” under the number (88)GAPP No. 216. The relevant summary of these “Minutes” is hereby transferred to you, please consult it in your work.

Attachment: Minutes of the Punishing Illegal Publication Criminal Activities According to the Law Work Symposium (Summary) (88)GAPP No. 216.

I, Concerning the meaning of “illegal publication”, State Council document (1987)65 has clearly provided the meaning for illegal publication:

All newspaper, periodicals, books, audiotapes, videotapes, etc., not printed by a State-approved publication work unit and openly distributed to society, are considered illegal publications.

Non-publication work units compiling and printing, and duplicating non-commercial reference books, newspapers and periodicals and audiovisual products for internal use, must be reported to the controlling work unit in charge for approval, and pass approval by county-level or higher (including county-level) administrative press and publications (culture) organs or provincial-level or higher (including provincial-level) audiovisual management organs and be issued a printing permit, and may only then be printed; if not, printed publications shall be considered as illegal publications.

The abovementioned regulation differentiates lawful and illegal boundaries, on the basis of whether or not publication themselves have obtained approval from relevant State entities, according to relevant administrative regulations and rules, work units are lawful publication work units only after undergoing State publication management entity examination, approval and registration and undergoing the local administrative industry and commerce management organ registration and obtaining a business licence. All publications openly published and printed by non-lawful publication work units are all illegal publication. The forms of this sort of illegal publication are mainly:

Printed publications falsely named to not existing publication work units;

Printed publications misappropriating the name of State-approved publication work units;

Publications pirating lawful publications and openly distributed and sold to society;

Publications openly distributed to society, not naming the publishing work unit or naming a non-publication work unit;

Publications printed or produced by the printed without authorization with the aim of gaining illegal profit;

Publications reprinted without organization or published under the name of the original editorial department by members of publication work units ordered to be cancelled;

Other publications printed by illegal publication work units and openly distributed.

Apart from the abovementioned illegal publications, publications with illegal and reactionary content are also illegal publications; even if a State-approved publication work unit publishes publications containing obscene or reactionary content, it should be regarded as illegal publications.


III, Concerning the issue concerning how to define “grave circumstances” for illegal publication criminal cases punished under the crime of profiteering in the “Notice” of the SPC and SPP. The participating comrades believe, the definition of “grave circumstances” shall take a relatively large illegal business volume or illegal gains value as a starting point, and integrate it with considering other grave circumstances. Because illegal publication activities themselves have special characteristics, such as not paying remuneration, a large printing amount, high profits etc., if the provisions of the “(Trial) Reply Concerning Some Issues on the Present Concrete Applicable Law Handling Economic Criminal Cases” of the SPC and SPP are completely applied to illegal publication criminal cases, it will not be appropriate. But, at present, judicial organs handle a small number of these cases, the illegal publication situation is also relatively complex, it is necessary to put forward a relatively suitable penalty value standard, the conditions are not mature enough, and the judicial practice experience must be summed up. At present, all provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities may, with reference to values the SPC and SPP provisions of 1985, according to the real situation of their localities, provide value standards for control in their locality. Simultaneously, they shall integrate other grave circumstances and comprehensively consider them. Other grave circumstances are mainly: high toxicity or harmfulness or illegal publication content; engaging in illegal publication activities for a long time or repeatedly; not repenting after administrative punishment; using official powers to engage in illegal publication activities; illegal publications have already been distributed to society, etc.

IV, Concerning the issue of appraising obscene publications. The participating comrades unanimously agree that for obscene publications, judiciary organs shall entrust the local provincial, autonomous region and municipal publication controlling entities to organize personnel having specialized expertise and a certain political level to engage in appraisal. Obscene publication appraisal must be conducted by more than three persons appointed by the publication controlling entity, and engaged by the judiciary organs; after appraisal, an appraisal letter shall be written; the appraising persons and the work unit appointing the appraising persons shall sign or stamp the appraisal letter; the appraisal letter shall relatively concretely describe the basis for the appraisal conclusion.





















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