State Council Legal Office Explanation Concerning Public Opinion Seeking on the “Film Industry Stimulation Law of the People’s Republic of China (Opinion-Seeking Draft)”
In order to further strengthen the openness and transparency of legislation, and raise the quality of legislation, the State Council Legal Office has decided to publish the “Film Industry Stimulation Law of the People’s Republic of China (Opinion-Seeking Draft)” (hereafter simply named “Opinion Seeking Draft”), to solicit the opinions from all walks of society. Hereby, relevant issues are explained as follows:
I, The general line of thought of the “Opinion Seeking Draft”
In order to stimulate the flourishing and development of the film sector, and enrich the popular masses’ spiritual culture life, SARFT has drafted a “Film Industry Stimulation Law of the People’s Republic of China (Opinion-Seeking Draft)” on the basis of summarizing practice and experience, as well as broad investigation and research, and has reported it to the State Council for examination. The State Council Legal Office has, on the basis of fully hearing the opinions of all concerned entities, local people’s governments, experts and scholars, and after repeated research and revision by relevant entities, shaped the “Opinion Seeking Draft”.
In the process of drafting and examination, the following line of thought has been mainly followed: first, lowering market access thresholds, making it convenient for all sorts of market subjects and social capital to enter the film industry. Second, through adopting financial, fiscal, banking, land use and other support measures, encouraging enterprises and individual industry and commerce actors, and individuals to engage in film activities. Third, strengthening supervision and management, standardizing market order, stimulating the healthy development of the film market. Furthermore, strengthening public film services, satisfying the basic cultural requirements of film watching of rural village residents, urban low-income residents, labourers entering the cities, minors, etc.
II, The main content of the “Opinion Seeking Draft”
The “Opinion Seeking Draft” in total has six chapters and 62 articles, corresponding systems have been stipulated according to segments such as film production, shooting, distribution, screening, etc., concrete guarantee measures and legal liabilities have also been stipulated. The main systems and measures stipulated in the “Opinion Seeking Draft” are the following:
(1) lowering market access thresholds, making it convenient for all kinds of market subjects and social capital to enter the film industry. First, lowering market access thresholds for engaging in work such as film production, etc. It is no longer required that enterprises engaging in film shooting work “have a sponsoring work unit and its managing organ that conform to State Council administrative radio, film and television entity accreditation”, so as to not restrict social capital to invest in film shooting work, etc. Second is the reduction of administrative examination and approval. Enterprises having obtained a “Film Shooting Permit” shooting films must only submit the film script or film script outline for filing; enterprises or individual industry and commerce actors engaging in mobile film screening work, must only submit the relevant situation for filing; domestic films that are to obtain the “Public Film Screening Permit” that are submitted for participation in foreign film festivals (exhibitions), must only submit relevant materials for filing. Third, strengthening information openness. In order to make it easy for investors to understand corresponding information and avoid duplicate investment, the radio, film and television controlling authority shall submit the basic situation of corresponding films as well as the basic situation of film distribution enterprises and cinemas approved for establishment for publication. (Article 15, Article 16, Article 26, Article 28, Article 32, Article 33).
(2) Through adopting financial, fiscal, banking, land use and other support measures, encouraging enterprises and individual industry and commerce actors, and individuals, to engage in film activities. First, the State stimulates film industry development through establishing special film funds and capital, etc, guides corresponding special cultural industry funds and capitals to expand investment strength into the film industry. Second, for engaging in domestic film production, shooting, distribution, screening, etc., it is permitted to enjoy fiscal benefits according to relevant State regulations. Third, the State encourages funding organs, insurance organs, guarantee organs, etc., to provide support to film enterprises according to the law. Fourth, the State formulates preferential policies to promote and support the construction and renovation of cinemas, and grants support in aspects such as land use, etc. Fifth, the State encourages social forces to develop the film industry through methods such as investment and sponsoring, etc, and to grant preferences according to the law. (Article 42 to Article 48)
(3) Strengthening supervision and management, standardizing market order, stimulating the healthy development of the film market. First, the controlling radio, film and television authority shall establish and perfect supervision systems, implement its supervision duties, strengthen daily supervision and management over film activities, and safeguard the film market order. Second, cinemas may not evade taxes or underreport box office income; cinemas participating in cinema chain enterprises, shall install computer ticket sales systems conform to State standards. Third, law enforcement entities shall adopt powerful steps, to punish infringement of intellectual property rights related to film according to the law. (Article 5, Article 37, Article 49)
Furthermore, the “Opinion Seeking Draft” also strengthens public film services by providing the following systems and measures: first, county-level and higher People’s Governments shall support rural film undertaking development, wholly plan and guarantee that in every village of every rural region one film is screened every month. Second, the State Council controlling authorities for education, and radio, film and television shall bring film and television education into compulsory education school and teaching planning, guarantee that students watch at least two films per term that benefit the healthy growing up of minors. Third, local People’s Governments may adopt measures such as providing film tickets, organizing special screenings, giving award-type subsidies to relevant film enterprises, etc., to satisfy the basic cultural requirements of minors as well as low-income masses to watch films. (Article 34, Article 35)
III. Method to put forward opinions
Relevant work units and personalities from all walks of society may before 15 January 2012 put forward opinions through the following three sorts of methods:
(1) Registering on the Chinese Government Legal System Information Website (URL: http://www.chinalaw.gov.cn), through the “Laws and Regulation Draft Opinion Gathering System: on the left of the website’s main page, putting forward opinions concerning the “Opinion Seeking Draft”.
(2) Through the letter method sending opinions to: PO Box 2067, Beijing Municipality (post code: 100035), and please indicate the characters “Film Industry Stimulation Law Opinion Seeking” on the envelope.
(3) Through the e-mail method sending opinions to: email@example.com.