Notice concerning Nationwide Publisher Rectification of Cooperative Punishing, Printing and Distribution Agency
Cooperative publishing is a new method that emerged during publishing reform, its original idea is using social forces to expand capital sources, and resolve the problem that academic works, and books in the areas of natural science and engineering technology are difficult to publish. This sort of method has, since trials in 1984, had a certain vigorous function in mitigating the difficulties of academic works. But also, not a few problems have arisen. Because of this, in June 1986, the State Publishing Bureau decided to provisionally cease cooperative publishing business, conduct investigation and rectification, and in May 1988, the Administration of Press and Publications published the “Some Opinions concerning Present Publishing House Reform”, which confirmed the function of cooperative publishing, printing and distribution agency in resolving the publication difficulties of academic works, and at the same time, in order to overcome abuses, put forward the requirement to strengthen management. In January 1989, the Administration of Press and Publications also published the “Supplementary Provisions concerning Cooperative Publishing, Printing and Distribution Agency”. These two documents clearly provided the objectives of cooperative publishing, the scope of cooperative publishing of books (at present, this shall be limited to academic works, and works in the natural science, engineering and technology areas), cooperation partners (at present limited to State scientific research and education work units, organs and State-run enterprise and undertaking work unit, they cannot be collectives or individuals), as well as the fact that the manuscript of cooperatively-published books must undergo final examination and final proofreading by the publisher; it also made clear provisions concerning some questions in printing and distribution agency.
Even so, not a few publishers did not heed this, do not abide by discipline, and repeatedly violate the above provisions, which created a gravely confused situation in the book publishing area. At present, the absolute majority of books with problematic content have entered the book market through the cooperative method. “Dream of Roses”, of which everyone knows it is obscene, “Time of Joy”, “Spring Dream of a Beautiful Woman” and “Wilderness Romance” that have grave sexual and obscene content, as well as “Forecasting the Human Life”, “Mutually Learn and Analyze” that propagate ignorant superstition and violate science have all been cooperatively published. Publishers don’t even have a means to control book content. One publisher published a novel in cooperation with some work unit, after the book was published, not only were sexual descriptions that the publisher required the author to delete kept, but sexual descriptive content that the publisher had basically not seen in the original manuscript was added. Not a few cooperatively books’ covers or illustrations, or even book names, are all decided without authorization by the side cooperating with the publisher. The cooperating side also does not abide e by the contract, and wilfully expands printing numbers. Of many cooperatively published books, publishers do not know how many were printed in the end. For example, “Forecasting the Human Life”, according to the contract, was to be printed in 100.000 copies, but in reality, 360.000 were printed, and yet another work unit printed 300.000 pirate copies. The cooperating side, in order to race against the clock and occupy the market, allowed bad quality in terms of typesetting, printing and binding, and books are even roughly manufactures. “On Lin Biao”, published in cooperation by a publisher, contained more than 700 mistakes in the entire book.
Not only this, but in cooperative publishing, some publishers seize the opportunity to indiscriminately collect management fees, from the responsible editor and the editorial department head to the head of the publisher or the editor-in-chief, everyone has a share, gravely corrupting publishing and editing teams. Some individual booksellers directly give money into the hands of editors, this is essentially offering and taking bribes.
What merits special attention is that, since some time, the trend of selling book numbers under the name of cooperative publishing has come in vogue. Although publishers gain some economic income, but the absolute majority of money flows into the purse of collective and individual booksellers. For example, the book “Dream of Roses”, gained some tens of thousands of Yuan for the publisher, but the broker for this book gained more than 900.000 Yuan. Some booksellers publish two or three editions may gain more than a million, they also dare to pretend to be under the risk of investigation and prosecution. This sort of trade in book numbers, in reality is selling the publishing rights entrusted by the state to publishers, selling the good name of the publisher, and damaging the reputation of the publisher.
The matters listed above al violate the regulations on cooperative publishing, printing and distribution agency, are a prominent manifestation of “decrees not being implemented, prohibitions are not carried out” and “putting money above all else” in publishing work units, it runs completely counter to the Socialist publishing policy, gravely harms the Socialist printing undertaking. Publishing work units, for the sake of earning money, do not want posterity, do not want a Socialist spiritual civilization, if this sort of degenerate and backward activity is left to develop, it will gravely destroy our publishing reform, and bring incalculable harm upon our country’s publishing undertaking. In order to rapidly reverse this situation, the Administration of Press and Publications has decided to adopt firm and decisive measures, to further rectify cooperative publishing, and printing and distribution agency. Hereby the relevant matters are provided as follows:
(1) The principles and time scope of rectification
This rectification of cooperative publishing, printing and distribution agency is an important measure in publishing departments implementing the spirit of the 4th Plenum of the 13th Party Congress, and is also the continuation of the policy of improvement and rectification of the 3rd Plenum. The spirit of one centre and two basic points must be maintained in terms of guiding ideology, and the mistaken tendencies of bourgeois liberalization and “putting money before all else” must be firmly opposed.
Rectification has the Central Propaganda Department and Administration of Press and Publications “Some Opinions concerning Present Publishing House Reform” of 6 May 1988 and the Administration of Press and Publications “Supplementary Provisions concerning Cooperative Publishing, Printing and Distribution Agency” of 17 January as the main basis.
This rectification of cooperative publishing, printing and distribution agency mainly inspects and rectifies the activities violating discipline dating from after the joint promulgation of the “Some Opinions concerning Present Publishing House Reform” by the Central Propaganda Department in May 1988. Acts violating discipline dating from after the promulgation of the “Supplementary Provisions” in February 1989 must be the focus of inspection, and severely punished.
(2) The content of rectification, the principles and competences of handling
On the basis of the spirit of the State Council-approved, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Finance and State Administration of Industry and Commerce “Concerning the Request for Instructions on Using Economic Sanction Methods to Strengthen Publishing Management, this rectification of cooperative publishing, printing and distribution agency, apart from continuing coercive administrative measures, is also necessary to conduct economic sanctioning.
I, For all books violating cooperative publishing, printing and distribution agency regulations (including infringement concerning the permitted scope of cooperative publishing, the cooperative publishing partner, not having undergone final examination and final proofreading, as well as using book numbers to publish periodicals), the profit of both cooperating sides is confiscated without exception, and handed over to the local finance department.
II, For all books both violating regulations on cooperative publishing, printing and distribution agency, and having problems on the side of content, the publisher, apart from being punished and the profits confiscated according to relevant laws and administrative regulations, will also be fined. Where this sort of books is published after February 1989, it must be punished severely, and the fine must be five times or more the profits gained. Problems on the side of content mainly refers to the following sorts of situation:
(1) cooperative publications with special subjects that must be specially examined and approved, and have not been specially examined and approved;
(2) having political viewpoints that violate the Four Cardinal Principles or propagate bourgeois liberalization;
(3) having obscene, sexual, violent or murderous content;
(4) although not constituting obscene or sexual content, being harmful to the physical and mental health of minors;
(5) propagating ignorant superstition, propagating physiognomy, fortune-telling or feng shui
(6) having other grave problems of content.
III, Where partners cooperate with publishers changing content or adding print numbers in violation of contract, apart from confiscating profit, a fine of five times or more the profit is also imposed.
IV, Where it is verified that activities of selling book numbers or covertly selling book numbers have taken place, apart from confiscation of income from selling book numbers and a grave fine, the punishment of cessation of business for rectification or registration cancellation must also be imposed on publishers. Where matters are concealed and not reported, this must be punished severely as soon as they are discovered. Publishers violating cooperative publishing, printing and distribution agency regulations, committing repeated violations and having grave problems, must be punished with cessation of business for rectification and cancellation of registration; at the same time, the responsibility of the leading individuals of the publishers must also be investigated, to the point where they are dismissed from office; where laws are violated, legal responsibility shall be punished. The responsible individuals must also be punished.
V, Punishment powers concerning violations of cooperative publishing, printing and distribution agency regulations.
For punishment of local publishers (including district and city publishers, university publishers within the jurisdiction and the publishers of other systems), the provincial, autonomous region or municipal press and publications bureau makes decisions, and reports these to the Administration for Press and Publications for filing.
For punishment of central-level publishers (including all departments’ publishers and university publishers), the Administration for Press and Publications makes decisions together with the Beijing Municipal Press and Publications Bureaus, Publishing Controlling Departments conduct investigation and prosecution, punishment decisions are made by the Administration for Press and Publications.
If any locality or any departments inappropriately punishes issues of violating cooperative publishing, printing and distribution agency or they punish tardily or not at all, the Administration of Press and Publications may impose punishment directly or separately.
VI, All publishers shall, after receiving this Notice, earnestly mobilize the masses, strictly investigate matters and conduct rectification. Those earnestly investigating problems, may be treated leniently at the time of punishment, those concealing matters and not reporting them, must be punished severely. Where those knowing of matters report them, this shall be earnestly verified and strictly punished, the informant shall be given a reward.
(3) The leadership over rectification work
All provincial, autonomous region and municipal press and publications bureaus and all Central publishers’ higher-level controlling departments must strengthen leadership over this rectification work, make deployments, put forward requirements, and investigate guidance. All provincial, autonomous region and municipal press and publications bureaus must firmly punish problems, and may not be soft-hearted.
All provincial, autonomous region and municipal press and publications bureaus must grasp the rectification of all publishers in their jurisdiction, including directly subordinate publishers, district and city publishers, as well as university publishers within their jurisdiction and publishers from other systems.
For central-level publishers’ rectification work must be led by all controlling ministries and commissions, publishers where there are many problems, apart from rectification under the lead of the controlling department, the Administration of Press and Publications and the Beijing Municipal Press and Publications Bureau must also conduct investigation and punishment in coordination with the controlling department.
For rectification work for university publishers directly subordinate to the Centre, the State Education Commission’s relevant department is requested to supervise and guide matters. Rectification work for publishers in the military system, the General Political Department’s relevant department is requested to supervise and guide matters.
(4) Summary of rectification work
After conclusion of rectification work, publishers must write up a special report, which is examined and verified by the provincial, autonomous region and municipal press and publications bureau or the controlling ministries and commissions of Central publishers. The report includes: the main problems found out during the investigation in the rectification work, the handling situation, and measures for improvement work. All provincial, autonomous region and municipal press and publications bureaus must make a comprehensive analysis of the rectification situation of publishers in their jurisdiction (including book publishing categories, cooperative publishing, printing and distribution agency categories, as well as categories violating regulations). The summary report of all publishers must be reported to the provincial, autonomous region and municipal press and publications bureau for comprehensive analysis, and these are to be reported to the Administration of Press and Publications within one month after conclusion of rectification work.
This rectification work generally must be concluded before 10 September. Where rectification work has not been concluded at that time, publishers may not launch new cooperative publishing, printing or distribution agency programmes.
(5) From the date of issuance of this notice, in all cases of violation of regulations on cooperative publishing, printing or distribution agency, apart from a severe fine and prosecution of responsibility of leaders, the punishment of registration cancellation must also be imposed.