Provisional Television Drama Examination Regulations

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State Administration of Radio, Film and Television Decree

No. 1

7 April 1999

Provisional Television Drama Examination Regulations

Chapter 1: General Principles.

Article 1: In order to standardize television drama examination work, guarantee television drama quality, make the television sector prosper and develop, according to the “Radio and Television Management Rules” and other relevant regulations, these Regulations are formulated.

Article 2: The State implements a television drama examination system. Television dramas not having undergone examination by the administrative radio and television entities’ television drama examination organ may not be distributed, broadcasted, imported, exported.

Article 3: The State encourages creation of television dramas with profound thinking, exquisite art, superior production, for the wide masses to love to see and hear. Television dramas made in coproduction with abroad and the Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan regions (hereafter simply named “coproduced dramas”, shall uphold “giving first place to our country”, display the fine traditions and human progress of the Chinese ethnicity, as well as glorious, advanced content. Television dramas imported from abroad and the Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan regions (hereafter simply named “imported dramas”) shall have positive themes, relatively high aesthetic appeal and cultural and art learning value.

Article 4: The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (hereafter simply named “SARFT”), establishes a television drama examination committee and a television drama re-examination committee, all provincial, autonomous region and municipal radio, film and television halls (bureaus) establish provincial-level television drama examination organs, to be responsible for television drama examination work.

Chapter 2: Examination organ duties

Article 5: The duties of SARFT’s television drama examination committee are:

(1) examining television dramas shot by television drama production organs subordinate central State organs and work units and the armed forces, as well as television dramas shot jointly with local work units using a central work unit’s “Television drama production permit”;

(2) examining imported dramas, coproduced dramas;

(3) raising opinions on revision and deletion concerning all sorts of submitted television dramas;

(4) making examination conclusions;

(5) at fixed times announcing the television drama examination situation.

Article 6: The duties of SARFT’s television drama re-examination committee are: conducting re-examination following an application for re-examination of a submitting work unit not agreeing with the examination conclusion of the SARFT television drama examination committee or the provincial-level television drama examination organs, and making re-examination conclusions.

Article 7: The duties of the provincial television drama examination organs are:

(1) examining television dramas produced by television drama production organs of that jurisdiction or coproduced with a work unit from outside that jurisdiction, but using the “Television drama Production Permit” from a work unit from that jurisdiction, raising opinions on revision and deletion concerning submitted television dramas, making examination conclusions;

(2) preliminary screening of imported dramas imported by a work unit in that jurisdiction and coproduced dramas coproduced by television drama production work unit and an outside party, and raise a preliminary opinion.

Article 8: The SARFT television drama examination committee office, is set up under the SARFT social management department, and is responsible for daily work. Its concrete duties are:

(1) accepting applications from submitting work units, preliminary examination written materials and programme sample tapes of all sorts of television dramas;

(2) formulating examination schedule plans;

(3) on the basis of the examination opinions and conclusion of the SARFT television drama examination committee, draft relevant reports, notices and replies.

Article 9: Television dramas having passed SARFT examination or re-examination, will be issued a “Television drama Distribution Permit” by the SARFT examination committee in a unified way. All domestically produced television dramas having passed provincial-level film examination organ examination, will be issued a “Television drama Distribution Permit” by the provincial examination committee. The “Television drama Distribution Permit” is printed by SARFT in a unified way.

Chapter 3: Examination standards

Article 10: It is prohibited for television dramas to contain the following content:

(1) content endangering State unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity;

(2) content endangering State security, honour and interests;

(3) content inciting ethnic separatism, and destroying ethnic unity;

(4) content divulging State secrets;

(5) content slandering or insulting others;

(6) content propagating obscenity, feudal superstition or promoting violence;

(7) content propagating ethnic, sexual and geographic discrimination;

(8) other content prohibited by laws and administrative regulations.

Article 11: Where specific television drama plot details, language or image contain one of the following contents, it shall be edited or deleted:

(1) Incidental obscene or sexual content:

1, images direct displaying sexual activities, uncovered male and female genitals and female breasts;

2, harmful kissing, caressing as well as sexual-related images creating strong sensual stimulation.

3, content concretely displaying promiscuity, rape, adultery, prostitution, visiting prostitutes, etc.;

4, vulgar, low-down and low-taste lines;

5, vulgar and philistine music and sound effects in dramas.

(2) Incidental murder and violent content:

1, content objectively embellishing, appreciating and sympathizing with criminal tendencies and effects;

2, content concretely describing criminal methods and details, easily inducing people to imitate criminal activities;

3, irritating strong bloody, violent, horrors and weird images and sounds;

4, images of drug use and gambling clearly engendering harmful visual effects;

(3) scenes and plot details playing up physiognomy, fortunetelling, geomancy, divination and other superstitions and activities;

(4) plot details preaching religious supremacy or images excessively exaggerating religious atmosphere;

(5) plot details possibly engendering harmful influences on minors;

(6) plot details possibly evoking international, ethnic and religious disputes;

(7) images destroying nature and ecology, fishing without restraint, random killing of valuable and rare wildlife.

(8) other content that should be deleted or revised.

Chapter 4: Examination procedure

Article 12: When submitting a domestically produced television drama, the following objects and materials shall be submitted:

1, a tape with distinct images, clear soundtrack and complete content;

2, the detailed preliminary opinion of the submitting work unit’s higher-level controlling entity;

3, a copy of the “Television drama Production Permit” and shooting filing letter written materials;

4, a letter of authorization for revision from the screenwriter or the original copyright holder;

5, an agreement with cooperating work units;

6, a relatively detailed plot outline.

Article 13: When submitting a coproduced drama, the following objects and materials shall be submitted:

1, a tape with distinct images, clear soundtrack and complete content;

2, the detailed preliminary opinion of the provincial-level television drama examination organ of that locality;

3,  a copy of the “Television drama Production Permit”;

4, a SARFT reply agreeing to coproduction topics;

5, an agreement with cooperating work units;

6, a relatively detailed plot outline.

Article 14: When submitting an imported drama, the following objects and materials shall be submitted:

1, a tape with distinct images, clear soundtrack and complete content;

2, the detailed preliminary opinion of the provincial-level television drama examination organ of that locality;

3, a copy of the copyright certification letter and authorization letter;

4, a copyright trade contract or agreement;

5, a relatively detailed plot outline.

Article 15: The controlling entity of the submitting work unit shall strictly conduct final checks of the finished television drama, finish preliminary screening work, and raise a detailed and clear preliminary screening opinion. Concerning problems needing to be deleted, revised or surely not allowed, it shall one by one list them and raise handling opinions.

Article 16: The television drama examination organs shall, after receiving complete submission materials, in general formulate a revision or deletion opinion or an examination conclusion within thirty days, and notify the submitting work unit in written form. Those passing examination shall be issued a “Television drama distribution permit” by the television drama examination organ; of those still requiring revision after examination, the revised parts will be resubmitted by the submitting work unit after revision; of those not having passed examination, the examination organ shall notify the reasons for not passing to the submitting work unit in writing.

Article 17: Where the submitting work unit disagrees with the examination conclusion, it may within 15 days after receiving the examination conclusion raise a re-examination application with the SARFT television drama re-examination committee.

Article 18: After the SARFT television drama re-examination committee receives the written application and a complete sample tape, in general it shall within 20 days make a re-examination conclusion. Those passing re-examination, will be issued a “Television drama Distribution Permit” by the SARFT television drama re-examination committee enjoining the SARFT television drama examination committee.

Article 19: Television dramas already having obtained the “Television drama Distribution Permit”, may not change of their own accord when being actually broadcasted. Where change occurs in the drama name, the main dramatic characters, major story lines, etc., it shall be submitted again according to these Regulations.

Article 20: For Television dramas already having obtained the “Television drama Distribution Permit”, under exceptional circumstances, SARFT may decide to order revision, deletion, cessation of distribution and cessation of broadcast.

Article 21: Television dramas with major revolutionary history themes will be submitted according to relevant regulations of the major revolutionary history theme film creation leading small group, those having passed examination, will be issued a “Television drama Distribution Permit” by the SARFT television drama examination committee.

Article 5: Punitive provisions

Article 22: Activities violating these Regulations, shall be punished according to the “Radio and Film Management Regulations” and other relevant laws and regulations.

Article 23: Where grave consequences result out of the examination organ not examining strictly, SARFT shall conduct a criticizing briefing to the examination organ, the examination organs’ controlling entity shall impose administrative punishment on the relevant persons in charge such as warning, dismissal, etc.

Chapter 6: Supplementary provisions:

Article 24: These Regulations take effect on the day of promulgation.

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