Media scholars Appraise 10 Large Chinese Media Law Events from 2011

Posted on Updated on

In December, the Communication University of China organized a seminar to analyze legislative and regulatory evolutions in the media sphere, in which 10 events of particular significance were selected for further analysis. These events include new policy and legislation, such as the Central Committee Decision on cultural policy, but also address the impact of events like the Wenzhou train crash or the handling of certain legal cases on the development of media law. Professor Zheng Ning of the Research Centre for Media Law and Policy was so kind as to send me the report, and allow me to post a translation of it here. 

On 22 December, the News Conference and Academic Seminar for the 10 Large Chinese Media Law Events was organized in the general building of the Communication University of China, this activity was organized by the Communication University of China Research Centre for Media Law and Policy , with the assistance of the Beijing Municipal Lawyers Association Media, Press and Publication Law Expert Committee, media experts, scholars and senior personalities from the practice world coming from large and famous universities, scientific research organs, administrative controlling departments, judiciary organs, as well as the media composed a review committee, and selected the 10 large Chinese media law events from 2011. During the news conference and academic seminar, through further deliberation, according to the extent of influence in the construction of a media law system, the 10 large events were put in a sequence. They respectively are: the organization of the 6th Plenum of the 17th Party Conference and its passing important documents on deepening cultural structure reform; the revision of the “Publishing Management Regulations”; the “23 July Yong-Wen Line” Wenzhou train crash; the establishment of the State Internet Information Office; the Baidu Literary Database copyright dispute; the “Some Regulations Concerning Strictly Preventing False News Reports” issued by the General Administration of Press and Publications; the final judgement in the Jinshan v. Zhou Hongyi Weibo case on infringement of the right of reputation; the “Opinions Concerning Further Strengthening Comprehensive Satellite Television Channel Programme Management” (also known as “Entertainment-Limiting Decree) issued by SARFT; the final judgement in the Yao Jiaxin Case; and the case of Ms. Yu v. Sina on closure of a Weibo account in violation of contracts.

This selection was divided into three stages: recommendation, preliminary selection and final selection. During the recommendation phase, the sponsors received 636 media law events in total, mainly coming from the media law event database established by the Communication University of China Media Research Centre for Law and Policy, events collected from all walks of society through networks as well as events recommended by the selection committee. The sponsors screened out 50 candidate events on this bases, and referred them to the Selection Committee for selecting 20 selected events through ballots, afterwards, a selection committee meeting was organized, and an on-line vote was held on the Justice Net, according to the result of expert voting and network voting, the 10 large Chinese media law events from 2011 were finally determined.

During the academic seminar, more than 40 famous experts and academics from more than 10 work units including the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the General Administration of Press and Publications, the Beijing Municipal Higher People’s Court, the Chinese Journalist Association, the Beijing Municipal Lawyers’ Association, the Beijing Network Media Association, the Chinese Academy for Social Sciences, Renmin University of China, Qinghua University, Beijing Normal University, Beijing Science and Engineering University, China University of Political Science and Law, Communication University of China, Weiheng Law Firm, etc., conducted brilliant appraisal and ardent discussion revolving around these 10 large events.

1. The organization of the 6th Plenum of the 17th Party Congress and its passing of important documents on deepening cultural structural reform.

Event summary: on 18 October 2011, the Chinese Communist Party organized the 6th Plenum of the 17th Party Congress. The Plenum deliberated and passed the “Chinese Communist Party Decision Concerning Deepening Cultural Structural Reform, and Some Major Questions in Promoting the Grand Flourishing and Grand Development of Socialist Culture”. The Decision clearly elaborated the construction of and moves to how to deepen cultural structural reform and promote the grand development and grand flourishing of Socialist culture.

Reason for selection: This Decision points out the orientation for reform in our country’s cultural sphere under new circumstances. This passing of this Decision has a profound significance for the media, which are an important component part of culture, the improvements to the legal environment to be made in the future, the strengthening of rights protection and the healthy development of the industry.

Appraisal: The director of the Communication University of China Cultural Industry Research Institute, professor Fan Zhou, pointed out that, it can be understood from taking a broad view of the entire document, that the Centre’s legal system construction involving media industries is to be followed with high interest. First, strengthening legal system construction is an urgent need for making cultural undertakings and cultural industries flourish, we should face up to these requirements, and vigorously explore them. Second, following the integration of art with science and technology, the development of many burgeoning industry models is far higher than our legal system’s construction speed, many industry models still lag behind or even are blank spaces in terms of the legal sphere, this also requires us to earnestly consider the topic of how to let legislative work protect and escort the grand development and the grand flourishing of culture. Third, for strengthening legal system construction in the cultural area, we should also vigorously move cultural structural reform and corresponding complementary policy structural reform forward, resolve the questions of supervision and management by many heads and government departments acting on their own.

The director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Legal Studies Department Media and Information Law Research Section, researcher Chen Xinxin is of the opinion that this document has an important influence in legal system construction in the cultural and propaganda sphere. First, legal system construction on the cultural and propaganda sphere should urgently hook up with the core of the grand development and grand flourishing of Socialist culture. Second, legal system construction in the cultural and propaganda sphere, generally speaking, has more development space in comparison with other spheres, and in a number of spheres, legislative lagging and even partial blank spaces still exist in a part of the sphere, which require timely remedy. Third, this document has one very large difference with earlier Party document which is: not only does it stress the development of cultural undertakings and the development of the core value system, it also clearly raises the development of the cultural industries, this requires adjustments to the legal system construction corresponding to standardizing aspects composed of market access, capital, etc. Lastly, this Decision also raised the requirement that supervision and management in the culture and propaganda sphere should be adapted to the times, and especially must be adapted to changes under Internet conditions, this requires us to reform supervision and management methods, and supervision and management systems in the cultural and propaganda sphere. Basically speaking, the grand development and grand flourishing of culture depends on the construction and fostering in this area. We should consider how to effectively guarantee the corresponding lawful rights and interests of persons and work units active in the culture and the propaganda sphere through legal system constructions, indirectly untie creativity, making our nation’s cultural undertaking and cultural industry work units be able to have even stronger creativity and competitiveness.

2. The revision of the “Publishing Management Regulations”

Event summary: On 19 March 2011, State Council Premier Wen Jiabao signed State Council Decree No. 594, and promulgated the newly-revised “Publishing Management Regulations”. The newly revised regulations reflect the new requirements of the times and development. These are concretely reflected in: requiring adaptation to press and publication structural reform and industrial development; requiring the reflection of new technology and new industry model requirement; it has perfected entry systems and supervision and management measures; it has increased relevant supervision and management regulations; it has cancelled some examination and approval items, it has shortened examination and approval time limits; it reforms primary and secondary school textbook publishing and distribution systems; it encourages publications to “march out”, cultural innovation and serving the “three rurals”; it has strengthened administrative law enforcement, and perfected legal responsibility.

Reason for selection: The “Publishing Management Regulations” are an administrative regulation, and have special functions. It has an important influence on defining the position, responsibilities and functions of press and publications, and on our country’s development in the political, economic and cultural area. The newly revised “Publishing Management Regulations” will undoubtedly engender a huge influence on how to even better give rein to the functions of the press and publications area under new circumstances.

Appraisal: Associate Researcher of the General Administration of Press and Publications Policy, Law and Regulation Department Administrative Redress Office Fan Fan pointed out: the revision after ten years of the “Publishing Management Regulations” have characteristics in five aspects: first, it reflects the requirements of press and publications structural reform and industrial development, and the term “press and publications industries” appears in the “Regulations” for the first time, and has put forward different regulations to publishing work unit on the basis of their legal personality of undertaking work unit and enterprise work unit. Second, it has brought policy into law. It has established encouraging clauses for the “three rurals” policy and the “culture marching out” policy. Third, it has reflected the requirements of the network technology revolution, the “Regulations” authorize State Council administrative departments to provide for separate regulations concerning network publishing, adapted to the requirements of this area. Fourth, it adapts to the requirements of administrative publishing management structural reform, a special supervision and management chapter is brought into the “Regulations”, which reflects the new requirements concerning management put forward administrative publishing management structural reform and comprehensive law enforcement. Fifth, it symbolizes the basic completion of the press and publications legal and regulatory system.

Special Ph.D. Supervisor of the Communication University of China and Consultant to the Communication University of China Research Centre for Media Law and Policy, professor Wei Yongzheng is of the opinion that this revision of the “Publishing Management Regulations” contain one matter that deserves attention, which is that the system of sponsoring work units and controlling authorities has not changed, but is even somewhat strengthened. Therefore, our newspaper and periodical sector, after transformation into enterprises, is different from a company established according to the “Company Law”, publishing organs, apart from being supervised by the State Asset Supervision and Administration Commission vis-à-vis assets, are also still directly managed by sponsoring and controlling work units in content and other aspects, because of this, publishing organs still are not a sort of independent market operation subject.

3. The “23 July Yong-Wen Line” Wenzhou train crash

Event summary: on 23 July 2011 at 20.34 in the evening, an accident occurred on the Hangzhou-Shenzhen Line between Yongjia and Wenzhou South, in which train no. D301 from Beijing South to Fuzhou and train no. D3115 from Hangzhou to Fuzhou South collided and detailed, the preliminary examination concluded that the derailment was because the train set of train no. D3115 lost motive power after a lighting strike and stopped, causing the tailgate collision with train no. D301. After the accident occurred, the first information on this event was issued through Weibo, which was an hour earlier than traditional media. Afterwards, numerous netizens conducted live broadcast of course of this event through Weibo, which  pushed the handling, investigation and responsibility appointment process of this accident forward.

Reason for selection: The “23 July Yong-Wen Line” Wenzhou train crash is not a media law event per se. But after this accident occurred, the dissemination and reporting of information concerning this event by communications media and new media supported by network and mobile technology have engendered a major influence on our country’s news event reporting structure. Thus, the significance that his event presents concerning how to build media control law systems in the future cannot be neglected.

Appraisal: Qinghua University Press and Broadcast Institute Professor and Ph.D. Supervisor, professor Guo Zhenzhi pointed out: analysing from the point of view of media law, the “23 July Yong-Wen Line” Wenzhou train crash mainly reflects in the sphere of government information openness. Although news workers and surmounted prohibitions in all sorts of ways, Chinese netizens also promoted exposure related to this event through vigorous participation, but from the aspect of implementing information openness law and regulation, social questions are still not enough, the industry and academia should conduct self=criticism, and conduct social criticism of the relevant department. Information openness on one hand means investigation and reporting by news media on information, on the other hand, it refers to disclosing by corresponding organs of information over which they have responsibility, and many problems exist concerning information openness concerning this event within the Ministry of Railways. Furthermore, the investigation panel’s announcement concerning the causes of the accident also reflected two main flaws in information announcement aspects, the first is repeated postponement, the second is the intervention of interested parties leading to a lack of credibility in information openness. Because of this, media law research should direct even more efforts in promoting government information openness.

The researcher of the Renmin University of China News and Social Development Research Centre News Theory and Regulation Research Institute Zhang Wenxiang is of the opinion that: first, the Wenzhou train crash can be considered as a specimen analyzing network-age citizen’s rights to know and government information openness. The implementation situation of our country’s “Government Information Openness Regulations” is not ideal, administrative law scholars think that the crux of our country’s government information openness problem is that internal drivers are insufficient, and there is not enough external pressure. The insufficiency of internal drivers mainly is because a rule of law society must turn from a omnipotent government to a limited government, government power operation must be supervised and limited, but this process certainly will be subject to some resistance and negative treatment; the fact that external pressure is not enough mainly is because in the traditional institutional framework, it was difficult for the masses and traditional media to shape a sort of strong supervision system over government information openness, and the masses lack effective channels to participate in institutional operation. Second, in this event, Weibo has already become a path for information dissemination, expression of thoughts, assembling of the popular will and reflection of popular feelings, and has become a huge popular opinion collection and distribution place and information dissemination platform. The “Weibo Onlookers” has become an important force in promoting government information openness. Our country’s social progress has changed from past media-driven into Weibo-driven, the common masses have given rein to a very large function in public policy and governance processes. Naturally, giving rein to Weibo functions also cannot be separated from joining hands with traditional media and off-line interaction. Traditional media should reconsider: are they only information intermediaries following in the footsteps of Weibo, or do they break through their limits, and give rein to the superiority of their expertise, and give rain to an even larger function in government information openness.

4. The establishment of the State Internet Information Office

Event summary: on 4 May 2011, with the approval of the State Council, our country established the State Internet Information Office. Its main functions include, implementing Internet information dissemination principles and policies and promoting Internet information dissemination legal system construction, guiding, coordinating and supervising relevant departments’ strengthening of Internet information content management, being responsible for examination and approval, and daily supervision and management of the network news sector and other corresponding businesses, being responsible for the planning and construction of focus news websites, organizing and coordinating online propaganda work, investigating and prosecuting websites violating laws and regulations according to the law, guiding relevant departments in supervising telecommunications operation enterprises, access service enterprises, domain name registration management and service organs, etc., doing well basic Internet management work of domain name registration, Internet address assignment, website registration filing and access, etc., within the scope of responsibilities, guiding all localities’ departments related to the Internet and launching their work.

Reason for selection: Facing the tendency of rapid network spreading and accelerating development, hoe to even better standardize network dissemination order is a question requiring urgent resolution. This organ is an organ that specially engages in Internet supervision and management, has resolved to a certain extent the structure of many-headed Internet management, and important step in our country’s strengthening Internet information legal system construction.

Appraisal: Mr. Xu Zhangshuai of the Ministry of Industry and Information technology Legal and Judiciary Office is of the opinion that: the State Internet Information Office’s main duty is to implement Internet information dissemination principles and policies, and to strengthen Internet information content management, the orientation of its main duty is Internet information content supervision and management. Many industry insider analyses are of the opinion that the establishment of the State Internet Information Industry will stimulate that the many-headed management structure of Internet departments all acting on their own will be integrated to some extent. As a matter of fact, the many-headed management structures brought about by burgeoning businesses and blended businesses in the internet area has a certain actual basis and reasonability. Whether or not the Internet Information Office’s establishment can change this sort of phenomenon, is a matter that deserves research and attention. Strengthening Internet management actually requires toe cooperation of all departments, for establishing a sort of coordinating mechanism, one major prerequisite is that the duties of each in Internet supervision and management should be clearly distinguished, avoiding overlap and coincidence of duties. Furthermore, social participation is also necessary, for example by sector association and scientific research institutes, as well as broad user participation. Internet management must also deal with the relationship between management and development.

Honorary chairman of the Beijing Network Media Association Min Dahong pointed out: the State Internet Information Office’s establishment has three significant points: first, the State strengthens mechanism guarantees over virtual society management and raises the management level over virtual society. Second, it is a coordination of the present supervision by many departments in the Internet area, its position will certainly be incessantly strengthened from now on, even more benefitting the coordination of all departments. Third, the State Internet Information Office’s establishment will realize an unified, vertical and high-efficiency Internet management system from the Centre to the localities.

5. The Baidu Literary Database copyright dispute

Event summary: on 15 March 2011, nearly 50 Chinese writers, including Jia Ping’ao, Liu Xinwu, Han Han, etc., jointly signed the “15 March Chinese Writer’s Letter Denouncing Baidu”, stating that the Baidu literary database did not obtain any authorization when recording nearly complete works of the above writers and opening them up free of charge to users, and required Baidu to cease the infringement. Hereafter, it evoked broad discussion within the sector, which reached a high point when Han Han sent an open letter to the Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Baidu Company, Li Yanhong, after which Baidu  released information of a reconciliation, and deleted 2.8 million literary works from its literary database, at the same time, a Baidu Literary Database copyright cooperation platform officially went online.

Reason for selection: This matter has engendered great influence on how to coordinate and balance the interests of writers, publishers, copyright companies and network service providers, protecting the rights and interests of writers and stimulating the dissemination of works, and has attracted broad social attention.

Appraisal: Vice-presiding Judge of the Beijing Municipal Higher People’s Court Intellectual Property Rights Chamber, Judge Xiang Xuesong is of the opinion that: in 2011, the Chinese Copyright Law has been implemented for exactly 20 years, this matter both reflects that the path of the Chinese copyright legal system has already stepped into a new development course, and shows that this path is still full of rough patches. First, this matter has also prominently shown that network copyright protection has already become a major area for intellectual property rights protection in the network age, and that in the age of the knowledge economy, it is only possible to gain desirable public praise through respecting knowledge, respecting creation and respecting talent. Second, this matter’s exploration, from a civic point of view, is a lively education on the legal system, and has strengthened citizen’s legal consciousness on copyright protection. Third, this dispute’s emergence causes network copyright research that has been dynamic all along in recent years to arise even more excitedly, evoking legislators, law enforcers as well as experts and scholars to reflect even more deeply on how to balance the interests of rights holders, commercial users and the public, whether or not the so-called safe haven principle can be applied, whether inappropriate commercial models should directly be considered as rights infringement, etc., deep research on these questions inevitably will have a vigorous stimulating function in administrative and judicial intellectual property rights protection, at the same time as promoting theoretical research.

Ms. Yang Yang from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology Telecommunications Research Department Intellectual Property Rights Centre puts forward: first, this event indicates, a completely new intellectual property rights sharing mechanism should be built, the Baidu Literary Database product undoubtedly is a useful attempt devoted to knowledge sharing and dissemination, but at the same time as disseminating and exchanging knowledge, authors’ original intellectual labour must also be protected, and copyright respected. We expect to see that a common understanding will be reached between Baidu and writers on the questions such as, whether or not the public is permitted to freely download these books, if they cannot download them free of charge, who should actually pay for it, etc. Second, how all sides’ interests  should actually be balanced in the network age is an international difficult problem. Although the Baidu copyright cooperation platform provides profit division plans concerning infringing works, which is a small step in moving the course of industrial progress forward, any search engine can integrate these pirating results, providing free reading to authors, because being confronted with the harmful environment of piracy, the way out for digital reading plans for legitimate versions is very difficult at present, and the establishment of a new reading industry chain with digital publications based on legitimate editions should be explored. Third, how to explore rational commercial models. After the Baidu Literary Database case, the entire Internet industry and especially the digital publishing industry will give even more regard to the protection of digital publishing, this dispute’s resolution also reflects the conflict and concert between innovating commercial operation models in a network environment and protecting the interests of copyright holders.

6. The promulgation of the “Some Regulations Concerning Strictly Preventing False News and Reports” by the General Administration of Press and Publications

Event summary: on 19 October 2011, the General Administration of Press and Publications promulgated the “Some Regulations Concerning Strictly Preventing False News and Reports”, these Regulations require press and publications organs to establish and complete internal management system preventing false news, rectification and correction systems, and perfect false and inaccurate reporting responsibility investigation systems. The “Regulations” make clear and concrete provisions concerning the four aspects of “the basic standardization of reporters’ newsgathering”, “the basic duties of news organ management”, “rules on dealing with false reports” and “basic principles for the investigation legal responsibility”.

Reason for selection: Strengthening a sense of responsibility in the media and guaranteeing that “truthfulness” is the base line of media life are values existing in the media. These regulations made by the General Administration of Press and Publications, deeply reveal this issue. At the same time, these regulations’ special influence also lies in evoking people’s thoughts on how it is actually possible to truly and effectively prevent the reporting of false news.

Appraisal: Special Ph.D. Supervisor of the Communication University of China and Consultant to the Communication University of China Research Centre for Media Law and Policy, professor Wei Yongzheng put forward: these regulations don’t fall into the category of law, and also don’t fall into the category of self-discipline, but they belong in the category of discipline implemented by leading departments through intra-organizational coercion. Discipline is a behavioural norm practiced through coercion in hierarchical structures within organizations themselves, and has the characteristics of flexibility, randomness, and a one-way nature. The reason why our media must have a sponsoring work unit and a controlling authority, is that it brings press and publications work units into a uniform structure, which is what we often call “intra-system”. Even though it is against the background of becoming industries, our media also must be under the leadership of one uniform controlling authority, carry forward the main melody, and persist in the correct public opinion orientation, and disseminate the Socialist core value system.

The researcher of the Chinese Journalists’ Association Domestic Rights Defence Service Office, dr. Kan Jingxia is of the opinion that, the legal basis for these Regulations comes from the provisions relating to false reporting in the “Publishing Management Regulations” and the “News Reporter Credentials Management Rules”, it is a normative document of a relatively low legal level, and belongs in the level of law. These Regulations actually contain innovations in two areas, first, they clarified the basic professional standards for news reporting, and have put forward the five basic principles for news reporting completely for the first time, namely truthfulness, accuracy, completeness, objectivity and fairness, and they have for the first time clearly stressed the requirement for precise information sources, clarified that the facts on which news comment is based also must be accurate, and stipulated the scope of content that news organs should verify, organs should not only conduct verification of news threads obtained by their own journalists, but also must conduct verification of information in reprinted contributions, Internet information, and the Regulations stressed that news organs should conduct self-discipline first and foremost. Second, it put forward for the first time that news controlling authorities must strengthen administrative supervision over and strictly investigate and prosecute the sort of acts of “reporting of false facts that damage State interests and the public interest”. These regulations are the reiteration of traditional news reporting norms in the Internet age, and symbolize that traditional mass-dissemination media are recollecting their self-confidence in the “we media” age. They also have two functions, the first is to guide our country’s press and publications sector’s establishment of basic professional norms; second is to provide a basis and reference for dealing with disputes related to false news reporting.

7. The final judgement in the Jinshan v. Zhou Hongyi microblog case on infringement of the right of reputation

Event summary: on 25 August 2011, the Beijing Municipal First Intermediary People’s Court produced the final judgement in the Beijing Jinshan Security Software Company v. Zhou Hongyi case on infringement of the right of reputation, and upheld the first instance judgement of the Beijing Municipality Haidian District People’s Court, which judged that the acts of Zhou Hongyi constitute an infringement of the right of reputation of Jinshan Software Company. On 25 May 2010, the Chairman of the Board of 360 Company, Zhou Hongyi published a series of messages on “Unmasking Jinshan Company” through microblogs  on websites such as Sina, Sohu, Neteasy, Tencent, etc., using many works concerning Jinshan with a criticizing flavour and a negative meaning, hence, Jinshan Company filed a lawsuit with the courts, arguing that Zhou Hongyi infringed its right of reputation and commercial reputation.

Reason for selection: This case has enlightened very well, how to exercise freedom of expression and how to disseminate opinions through the media, how network media should act according to the law to stimulate a desirable dissemination order in the age of new media. The plaintiff in this case not only is a market subject having a market competitor relationship, at the same time, the plaintiff is a famous person having masses of “fans” in the network environment, this has further strengthened the level of attention this case received.

Appraisal: Director the Asia-Pacific Network Law Research Centre, Professor Liu Deliang of the Beijing Normal University Law Faculty put forward: freedom of speech is limited, this sort of limits is a basic prerequisite for not infringing the lawful rights and interests of other persons and not harming the public interest. From the  back of this case, we should more deeply understand how to prevent the occurrence of acts that infringe rights. Although our present “Tort Liability Law” has provided post-facto relief for rights infringement activities on networks, it lacks prevention mechanisms. It is proposed that network service providers agree upon contractual service relations based on civil law, and network service providers have the power to prohibit netizens to publish this sort of evidently infringing activity, thereby creating the effect of prevention. The sort of activities in which infringement is hard to determine, can be resolved by Article 36 Items 2 and 3 of the “Tort Liability Law”. Furthermore, the judgement considers the particularities of network infringements, that whenever they appear, their extent cannot be forecast, and the consequences are difficult to judge, therefore, on whether or not the compensation mechanisms of tort liability law or post-facto relief mechanisms may consider the particularities of the Internet in the responsibilities and methods of relief, and provides that responsibilities and methods are to be stricter in comparison with infringement activities in traditional media.

Director of the Beijing Municipal Lawyers’ Association Media, Press and Publications Law Expert Committee Ren Liying is of the opinion that: this judicial decision has a positive function in three aspects, first, the judgement determines the nature of microblogs in the judicial sense for the first time, and fully recognized the positive function of microblogs. Second, this judgement has explored the boundaries of freedom of speech in the conflict between freedom of speech and the right of reputation; third, this case shows that the particular characteristics of the status of public figures as well as competitors require that their duty of care in speech must be stronger than that of ordinary citizens, and that toleration of criticism also should be higher than that of ordinary citizens. Naturally, this case also reflects the problems that in the present network infringement sphere, infringement costs being low and rights defence costs are high

8. The “Opinions Concerning Further Strengthening Comprehensive Satellite Television Channel Programme Management” promulgated by SARFT (also known as the “entertainment-limiting decree)

Event summary: in October 2011, SARFT issued the “Opinions Concerning Further Strengthening Comprehensive Satellite Television Channel Programme Management”, this opinion takes effect on 1 January 2012. These “Opinions” have also been called the “entertainment-limiting decree”, its main content is that the 34 comprehensive satellite television channels nationwide must raise their broadcast quantity of news-type programmes, and at the same time implement regulation and control over broadcast of a number of programme categories, in order to prevent excessive entertainmentization and vulgar tendencies, and satisfy the broad audiences’ diversified, multi-level and high-grade viewing requirements. The “Opinions” put forward that, broadcast quantity control is implemented over excessive and overflowing dating and friending, talent competition, emotional story, game competition, comprehensive arts and entertainment programmes, interview and talk-shows, reality shows, etc. with duplicating formats.

Reason for selection: How to implement the social responsibility of television having special dissemination effects and let them serve the public interest is a question that every modern country must earnestly deal with in conducting management over radio and television. The rolling out of “entertainment-limiting decree” is a concrete reflection of this globally widespread method. The special value of the appearance and implementation of these “Opinions” also lies in how to effectively reduce excessive and overflowing vulgar programmes, and has put forward the necessity to earnestly research the question of how to deal well with the relationship between stimulating the broadcast industry’s development for public interest service, and protecting the rights and interests of media. The controversy that has arisen around these questions has had an important significance for stimulating the construction of rule of law in communication media.

Appraisal: Director of the Communication University of China Media Law, Regulation and Policy Centre, professor Li Danlin put forward that: the rolling out of these “Opinions” is aimed at the situation in today’s television, and especially satellite television, of broadcasting excessive and overflowing entertainment programmes, its influence extends into many aspects of the entire Chinese television sector as well as the entire  media industry dissemination order. Regarding these Opinions from the viewpoint of global radio and television control systems and standards, its positive meaning is reflected in, first, that the “Opinion” especially stresses that local satellite channels must propagate local achievements and display regional characteristics, this reflected that governmental controlling authorities have produced a number of new flavours in their requirements on television dissemination structures, the requirements on content broadcast by televisions, and has the establishment of value orientations, this also has similarities with “localist principles” in other countries’ radio and television management systems. Second, the “Opinion” requires local satellite stations to expand their broadcast proportions of many kinds of economic, cultural, scientific education, children’s documentary and other programmes, to perfect programme category structure, strive to raise programme quality, this sort of structural requirement on local satellite television broadcast programmes also reflected the principles in ordinary radio and television management systems concerning radio and television requirements, and conforms to the objective of stimulating radio and television to even better give rein to their cultural and social functions, and to have a guiding function. Third, the “Opinions” stress the necessity to give high regard to social audiences’ opinions on and supervision over programme channels, establishing scientific, objective and fair comprehensive programme appraisal systems, prohibit the production of television viewing rate rankings, and prohibit a last-place elimination system purely based on viewing rates. They stressed social supervision and control over radio and television programming, and show that government management departments’ respect for people’s confidence and rationality when acting as the performers of government authority. Naturally the “Opinions” involves major industrial interests, the healthy development of undertakings, and public policies on the people’s rights and interests in receiving information, education and entertainment, how should the rights, interests and value conflicts be balanced and coordinated between them? How to conduct formulation on the basis of scientific legal system procedures, how to scientifically build radio and television programme standard mechanism according to the law, how to guarantee the own rights and interests of the broad radio and television organizations and the corresponding rights and interests of the broad members of society, these questions must be considered and explored even more by us.

Director of the Chinese Academy for Social Sciences Legal Studies Department Media and Information Law Research Institute Chen Xinxin is of the opinion that: this event puts forward some points for our consideration: first, whether we can consider a division between public channels and commercial channel. Second, the “Opinions” adopt broadcast quantity methods to implement management and regulation over news-type programmes, and adopts broadcast interval and duration, and quantitative controls over programmes with a relatively high level of entertainmentization, reflecting that different management methods are adopted over different programme categories, but when adopting quantitative control methods, it must be considered whether or not this may influence the programme selection and production autonomy of broadcast organs, and it is necessary to balance the media’s social responsibilities with media freedom, and balance commercial interest with public interest. Third, how to perfect our content supervision mechanisms, and establish a programme category supervision and management mechanisms with Chinese characteristics. Fourth, it must be explored how to conduct division of work and coordination between the three types of methods in own programme standardization of legal and regulatory systems, sector self-regulation and broadcasting structure, or non-supervision organs run the whole show.

9.  The final judgement in the Yao Jiaxin case

Event summary: on 20 May 2011, the Shaanxi Province Higher People’s Court decided to uphold the judgement of the Xi’an Intermediate People’s Court which sentenced Yao Jiaxin to death. Yao Jiaxin ran a car into the victim Zhang Miao on 20 October 2010, killing the victim. After the events occurred, communications media and networks paid extremely close attention to this case, and netizens reacted strongly. On 22 April 2011, the Xi’an Intermediate People’s Court produced a judgement in first instance, sentencing the defendant Yao Jiaxin to death. The defendant did not agree, and put forward an appeal to the Shaanxi Higher People’s Court.

Reason for selection: In this case, the media opinion and netizen’s discussion engendered an influence over the judicial process and the result of the final judgement that should not be overlooked. Because of this, it further evoked inquiries into the relationship between the media and the judiciary, the judiciary is up against having to listen to popular opinion but being independent from public opinion, this case is a model of this double task for the judiciary, which has become especially prominent in the network age.

Appraisal: Executive Director of the China University of Politics and Law Communications Law Research Centre and Legal Consultant of China National Radio, ms. Xu Xun is of the opinion that: this case is to be evaluated more from the angle of the relationship between the media and the judiciary. Under the Chinese national conditions, the relationship between the media and the judiciary is far from being an easily generalizable issue of “conflict and balance between the freedom of expression and fair trials”, but seems particularly complex in China in the network age. In the network age, what is called the relationship between the media and the judiciary has already shifted viewpoints, and has become the relationship between public opinion and the courts or even between the parties and the courts, or it is the relationship between the parties, that is to say that there is one battlefield in the courtroom, and a battlefield in public opinion. When we rethink the effect of Internet public opinions on trials, we cannot pay no attention to the fact that a consensus on the influence of media trials on judicial fairness never was actually formed in the traditional media, the sort of understanding that “media must supervise the judiciary” is deeply rooted within traditional media, but standards for supervision, however, have never been formed, the concept of presumption of innocence has never been digested into the value system of traditional media. On administering the abuse of freedom of speech on the Internet according to the law, the work is outside of the net, we must establish a basic framework for legal standards on freedom of expression, and progressively turn it into a common understanding of the whole society, traditional media bear a historical responsibility in this process of shaping consensus.

Researcher of the Communication University of China Media Law, Regulation and Policy Research Centre dr. Liu Wenjie put forward: the Yao Jiaxin case again raised the question of the relationship of public opinion under new media conditions and especially network public opinion with the judiciary, and the discussion centring on the scale and standards on how to report facts corresponding to the case has emerged again. The opinions supporting large-scale reporting opine that only through public opinion supervision, it is possible to realize rule of law, and it is possible to supervise the judiciary in realizing rule of law, while the opposite point of view opines that public opinion supervision without any limit is not supervision, but is expanding the probability of mistakes, damaging judicial independence, and thereby creating new types of judicial unfairness. The sources of this phenomenon lie in: because our country’s public security, procuratorial and judicial systems’ credibility remains to be further strengthened, individual courts and judges, when dealing with individual cases, must bear a responsibility for establishing propriety in the entire judicial system. At the point in time where this cases was at the trial stage, social audiences, on the basis of strong first impressions, suspected judicial unfairness, and the court had to prove to society that no judicial unfairness existed here, in order to prove this point, the best method was to be found in the result of the judgement, and in it being the same as the opinion of the public, the judge’s channels for understanding public opinion, mainly are understanding media, and especially are today’s new media. Because of this, the relationship between media and the courts or the whole question, cannot not simply be solved through improving or strengthening media law construction, it also requires the Party and the State to continue to move rule of law construction forward, continue to move judicial reform forward in a phased, planned and powerful manner, only then is it possible to remove the weight that no single court and no single judge can bear. Furthermore, there are specific subjects and the traditional media’s duty of attention, for instance: how to implement traditional media’s verification duty, balanced reporting duty, and the duty to call conclusions into question, under new environments.

10. the case of Ms. Yu v. Sina on closure of a Weibo account in violation of contracts.

Event summary: on 2 December 2011, the Beijing Municipality Haidian District People’s Court came to a first instance judgement in the case of Ms. Yu v. Sina on closure of a Weibo account. The court held that, the plaintiff did not have inappropriate expressions on her own microblog, the defendant, Sina Corporation, closed her Weibo account without authorization, and under the circumstances of not having notified ms. Yu in advance, exceeding the reasonable scope of necessary measures, the actions were not proper, upon which it was held that the actions of the defendant constituted a breach of contract, and the corresponding economic damage to the plaintiff was to be compensated.

Reason for selection: This case is a new problem in the new media environment, emerging in civil law relationships. This sort of dispute reflected network service providers’ multiple legal positions and performance of duties that are different in nature, and at the same time can influence the ordinary civil rights and rights of speech of netizens. The Court’s acceptance and decision of this case, has engendered desirable effects in standardizing burgeoning network media order, and resolving conflicts of rights.

Appraisal: Vice-Director of the Communication University of China Politics and Law Faculty and Vice-Director of the Communication University of China Media Law, Regulation and Policy Research Centre, prof. Wang Sixin put forward: first, this case  touches on the important question upon how to define the nature of the sort of service platform that Weibo is, and  we must consider how to balance the relationships between the more than 100 million network users and Internet service providers. Microblogs benefit the public’s exercising the rights of free expression, to accept and transmit information, and is a platform for individuals to build their own identities, it has also become a platform for individuals to bridge all their social resources. Because of this, microblogs services have a public natures, and they should be seen as a sort of platform having a media nature. Second, network service providers are in an extremely awkward plight, we must discuss whether or not network service providers have the qualifications and capacity to decide on the legality of microblog accounts, or which kind of responsibility they must bear if they pass erroneous judgements. The basic attitude of the first instance court and the judgement deserve to be affirmed. under the circumstances where the service provider cannot provide full evidence, ruling that the service providers restores the user’s account information, is in fact fully considering the private properties that this sort of microblog service platform has, and at the same times, it has public nature characteristics as well, and at the same time, it also considers the balance between the interests of service provider and the users, and balanced the interests of individuals and the interests of society.

Partner of the Beijing Weiheng Law Firm, lawyer Rao Hongbin is of the opinion that: analyzing the result of the first instance judgement, the main reason for Sina Corporation’s losing the case lies in it not having conducted full proof that Ms Yu abused or attacked other persons, the difficulties faced by Sina Corporation’s proof lies in the problem that it involved electronic evidence. From the point of view of practical lawyer’s affairs, this case actually is an extremely good juncture, it lets us reflect more on whether or not a more operational operating standard and a rule on evidence should be considered for electronic evidence provision and acceptance in civil cases, under circumstances of the fast development of the modern network economy. This case also raised a topic for discussion, which is how academic circles and theoretical circles reflect on and weigh safeguarding the freedom of speech of citizens and standardizing network order, and seek a balance between them, or how to roll out a number of realistic and feasible operational standards and norms.

(Arranged by Li Danlin, Zheng Ning and Li Wenzhen, translated into English by Rogier Creemers)

传媒法学家点评2011年度中国十大传媒法事例

12月22日,2011年度中国十大传媒法事例发布会暨学术研讨会在中国传媒大学综合楼举行,此次活动由中国传媒大学媒体法规政策研究中心主办,北京市律师协会传媒与新闻出版法律专业委员会协办,来自各大著名高校、科研机构、行政主管部门、司法机关以及媒体的传媒法专家学者及资深实务界人士组成的评审委员会评选出了2011年中国十大传媒法事例。在发布会与学术研讨会上,经进一步研讨,根据对传媒法治建设的影响程度,对十大事例做出了排序。它们分别是:十七届六中全会举行并通过深化文化体制改革的重要文件;《出版管理条例》修订;“7•23甬温线”温州动车事故;国家互联网信息办公室成立;百度文库版权纠纷;新闻出版总署发布《关于严防虚假新闻报道的若干规定》;金山诉周鸿祎微博侵犯名誉权案终审判决;广电总局下发《关于进一步加强电视上星综合频道节目管理的意见》(又称“限娱令”);药家鑫案终审判决;余女士诉新浪关闭微博号违约案。

此次评选共分为推荐、初选、决选三个阶段。在推荐阶段,主办方共收集到传媒法事例636个,主要来自中国传媒大学媒体法规政策研究中心建立的传媒法事例库、通过网络向社会各界征集的事例以及评审委员会推荐的事例。主办方在此基础上筛选出50个候选事例,交由评审委员会投票选出20个入围事例,随后召开评审委员会会议,并在正义网上进行网络投票,根据专家投票和网络投票的结果,最终确定了2011年度中国十大传媒法事例。

在学术研讨会上,来自工业与信息化部、新闻出版总署、北京市高级人民法院、中国记协、北京市律师协会、北京网络媒体协会、中国社会科学院、中国人民大学、清华大学、北京师范大学、北京理工大学、中国政法大学、中国传媒大学、炜衡律师事务所等十余家单位的40余名专家学者围绕这十大事例进行了精彩点评和热烈讨论。

1. 十七届六中全会举行并通过深化文化体制改革的重要文件

 

事例回放:2011年10月18日,中国共产党举行了十七届六中全会。会议审议通过了《中共中央关于深化文化体制改革、推动社会主义文化大发展大繁荣若干重大问题的决定》。决定对于如何深化文化体制改革、推动社会主义文化大发展大繁荣的新的制度建设和举措都作了明确阐述。

 

入选理由:这一决定对于新的形势下我国文化领域的改革指明了方向。这一决定的做出,对于作为文化重要组成部分的传媒,未来所处的法治环境的改善、权利的保护强化、产业的健康发展都具有深远意义。

 

点评:

中国传媒大学文化产业研究院院长范周教授指出,统观整个文件可以解读出,中央对于文化中的传媒产业所涉及到的法制建设是高度关注的。首先,繁荣文化事业和文化产业迫切需要加强法制建设,我们应当正视这一需求,并加以积极探索。其次,随着艺术和科技的结合,许多新兴业态的发展速度远远快于我们法制建设的速度,许多业态在法制上仍然是滞后甚至是空白的,这也要求我们认真思考如何让立法工作为文化大发展、大繁荣保驾护航这一课题。第三,加强文化领域的法制建设,还应当积极推进文化体制改革及其相配套的政治体制改革,解决多头监管、政出多门的问题。

中国社科院法学所传媒与信息法研究室主任陈欣新研究员认为,这一文件对于文化宣传领域的法制建设具有重要影响。首先,文化宣传领域法制建设应当紧扣住社会主义文化大发展、大繁荣的核心来进行。其次,文化宣传领域的法制建设总体上来说和其他领域比起来,还有更多的发展空间,部分领域中还存在着立法滞后甚至有局部的空白,需要加以及时弥补。第三,这一文件与以往党的文件的一个很大不同在于:不仅强调文化事业的发展和核心价值的建设,还明确提到了文化产业的发展,这就需要法制建设从市场的准入、资本构成的规范等等方面作相应的调整。最后,这一决定也提到了对于文化宣传领域的监管应适应新时代的要求,特别是要适应互联网条件下的变化,这就要求我们对于改革文化宣传领域的监管方式和监管体制。文化的大发展、大繁荣从根本上来说有赖于这个领域创造力的建设和培育。我们应当思考今后如何通过法制建设有效地去保障文化宣传领域从业人员和从业单位的相关的合法权益,间接为创造力松绑,使我们民族的文化事业和文化产业单位能够有更强的创造力和竞争力。

2. 《出版管理条例》的修订

 

事例回放:2011年3月19日,国务院总理温家宝签署第594号国务院令,公布新修订的《出版管理条例》。新修订的条例体现时代发展的新要求。具体体现在:适应新闻出版体制改革和产业发展的要求;反映新技术、新业态的管理要求;完善了准入制度及监管措施;增加了有关监督管理的规定;取消部分审批项目,缩短审批时限;改革中小学教材出版发行体制;鼓励出版物“走出去”和文化创新、服务三农;加强了行政执法,完善了法律责任。

 

理由:《出版管理条例》作为一项行政法规,具有特殊的功能。它对于新闻出版的地位、责任、功能的界定,对我国政治、经济、文化领域的发展都具有重要影响。新修订的《出版管理条例》对于新形势下新闻出版领域如何更好地发挥其功能无疑将产生巨大的影响。

 

点评:

新闻出版总署政策法规司行政复议处副调研员范帆指出:《出版管理条例》时隔十年的修订有五个方面的特点:第一,体现了新闻出版体制改革和产业发展的需要,首次在《条例》中出现了“新闻出版产业”表述,并对出版单位,按照事业单位法人和企业法人作出了不同的规定。第二,把政策上升为法律。对于“三农”政策和“文化走出去”政策设置了鼓励性条款。第三,反映了网络技术变革的需要,《条例》授权国务院行政部门对网络出版作另行规定,适应了这一领域的需求。第四,适应出版行政管理体制改革的需要,在《条例》中设监督管理专章,体现了出版行政管理体制改革和文化领域的综合执法对管理提出的新要求。第五,标志着新闻出版法规体系的基本建成。

中国传媒大学特聘博士生导师、中国传媒大学媒体法规政策研究中心顾问魏永征教授认为:本次《出版管理条例》修订中有一个地方值得关注,就是主办单位和主管机关的制度没有改,而且有所加强。所以,我们的报刊业改企后与依据《公司法》设立的公司不同,出版机构除了资产上受到国资监管部门的监管之外,在内容和其他方面还是由主办主管单位进行直接管理,因此,出版机构并非一种独立的市场运行主体。

3. 7·23甬温线”温州动车事故

 

事例回放:2011年7月23日晚上20点34分,杭深线永嘉至温州南间,北京南至福州D301次列车与杭州至福州南D3115次列车发生追尾脱轨事故,初步查明脱轨原因是D3115次列车动车遭到雷击后失去动力停车,造成D301次列车追尾。事故发生后,有关此次事件的第一条消息通过微博发出,比传统媒体提前了一个小时。此后,众多网民通过微博对事件进程进行直播,推动了该事故的处理、调查和问责进程。

理由:“7·23甬温线”温州动车事故本身并非一个传媒法律事件。但是在这一事故发生之后,传媒媒体与以网络和移动技术为支撑的新媒体对于这一事件的信息的传播和报道,对于我国新闻事件的报道格局产生了重大影响。由此,未来如何构建传媒管制法律制度,此事件所呈现的意义是不可忽视的。

点评:

清华大学新闻与传播学院教授、博士生导师郭镇之教授指出:从传媒法角度分析,“7.23甬温线”温州动车事故主要体现在政府信息公开领域。虽然新闻工作者以各种方式突破了禁令,中国网民也以积极参与推动了事件真相的揭露,但是在信息公开法规的落实方面,社会追问还不够,业界和学界应当进行检讨,并对有关部门开展社会批评。信息公开一方面意味着新闻传媒对信息的调查和报道,另一方面是指相关机构对所负责信息的披露,而铁道部在这一事件中的信息公开存在很多问题。此外,调查组对事故成因的揭示也反映了信息披露方面存在的两个主要缺陷,一是一再延宕,第二就是相关利益方介入导致信息公开的公信力缺乏。因此,传媒法的研究应当在推动政府信息公开方面作更多努力。

中国人民大学新闻与社会发展研究中心新闻伦理与法规研究所研究员张文祥认为:第一,温州动车事故可以看作是分析网络时代公民知情权和政府信息公开的一个样本。我国《政府信息公开条例》的实施情况并不理想,行政法学家认为我国政府信息公开的症结在于内在动力不足,外在压力不够。内在动力不足主要是因为法治社会要由全能政府变成有限政府,公权力运行要受到监督和制约,但是这个过程肯定是要受到一些抵抗和消极对待的;外在压力不够主要是在传统的制度框架下公众和传统媒体对政府信息公开难以形成一种强有力的监督制约,公众缺乏有效参与制度运行的途径。第二,本事件中,微博已经成为一种传播信息、表达思想、汇聚民意、反映民情的通道,成为一个巨大的民间意见的集散地和信息传播的平台。“微博围观”成为了推动政府信息公开的重要力量。我国的社会进步从过去的媒体驱动演变成现在的微博驱动,普通公众在公共决策和治理过程中发挥了很大作用。当然,微博发挥作用也离不开和传统媒体的联手和线上和线下的互动。传统媒体应当反思:是仅仅跟在微博后面做信息二传手还是突破体制的限制,发挥专业优势,在政府信息公开上发挥更大作用。

4. 国家互联网信息办公室成立 

 

事例回放:2011年5月4日,经国务院同意,我国设立国家互联网信息办公室。其主要职责包括,落实互联网信息传播方针政策和推动互联网信息传播法制建设,指导、协调、督促有关部门加强互联网信息内容管理,负责网络新闻业务及其他相关业务的审批和日常监管,负责重点新闻网站的规划建设,组织、协调网上宣传工作,依法查处违法违规网站,指导有关部门督促电信运营企业、接入服务企业、域名注册管理和服务机构等做好域名注册、互联网地址分配、网站登记备案、接入等互联网基础管理工作,在职责范围内指导各地互联网有关部门开展工作。

 

理由:面对网络迅速普及和快速发展的形势,如何更好地规范网络传播秩序,是一个需要迫切解决的问题。这一机构作为专门从事互联网监管的机构,在一定程度上解决了互联网多头管理的格局,是我国加强互联网信息法制建设的重要举措。

点评:

工业和信息化部政策法规司法规处许长帅先生认为:国家互联网信息办公室主要职责就是落实互联网信息传播方针政策和加强互联网信息内容管理,它的主要职责定位是互联网信息内容的监管。许多业内人士分析认为国家互联网信息办公室的成立将促进我国的互联网政出多门的多头管理体制将得到一定程度的整合。实际上,互联网领域的新兴业务与融合业务导致政出多门的多头管理体制是有一定的现实依据和合理性的。互联网信息办公室的成立能否改变这种现象,这是一个值得研究和关注的事情。加强互联网的管理其实需要各部门的配合,建立一种协调机制,一个重要前提是互联网监管应该划清各自职责,避免职责的交叉和重合。此外,也需要社会的参与,比如行业协会和科研院所、广大的用户的参与。互联网管理还要处理好管理与发展的关系。

北京网络媒体协会名誉会长闵大洪指出:国家互联网信息办公室的成立有三点意义:第一,是国家加强对虚拟社会管理的机制保障,提高对虚拟社会的管理水平,健全网上舆论引导机制。第二,是对目前互联网领域多部门监管的一个协调,它今后的地位肯定会不断地得到加强,更有利于协调各相关部门。第三,国信办的设立将实现从中央到地方统一、垂直、高效的互联网管理体系。

 

5.百度文库版权纠纷

事例回放:2011年3月15日,包括贾平凹、刘心武、韩寒等在内的近50位中国作家联名签署《“3·15”中国作家讨百度书》,称百度文库未获任何授权即收录上述作家的几乎全部作品并对用户免费开放,要求百度停止侵权。此后引发业内广泛争议,其中以韩寒致百度公司董事长兼CEO李彦宏的公开信达到高潮,其后,百度释放出和解信息,删除其文库中280万份文学作品,同时百度文库版权合作平台正式上线。

 

入选理由:这一事件对于在互联网环境下如何协调平衡作者、出版商、版权公司、网络服务提供商的利益,保护作者权益与促进作品传播产生了重要影响,并引起社会广泛关注。

 

点评:

北京市高级人民法院知识产权庭副庭长张雪松法官认为:2011年中国著作权法实行整整二十年,这一事例既体现出中国著作权法治之路已经步入一个新的里程,也表现出这条道路仍充满坎坷。第一,这一事例也凸现出网络著作权保护已经成为网络时代知识产权保护的重点领域,在知识经济时代,只有尊重知识、尊重创造、尊重人才的经营者才能赢得良好口碑。第二,这一事件的探讨对于公民而言也是一次生动的法制教育,增强了公民的著作权维护的法律意识。第三,这一纠纷的出现使近年来一直活跃的网络著作权研究更加兴奋起来,引发了立法者、执法者以及专家学者更加深入的思考,如何平衡权利人、商业使用者和公众的利益,所谓的避风港原则是否能够适用、不当的商业模式是否直接被认定为侵权等等,对这些问题深入的研究必将在推动理论研究的同时,对知识产权行政保护与司法保护起到积极的促进作用。

工业和信息化部电信研究院知识产权中心杨扬女士指出:首先,该事件表明,应当构建全新的知识产权分享机制,百度文库的产品无疑是致力于知识的分享和传播的一个有益的尝试,但在知识的传播和交流的同时,也必须要保护作者独创性的智力劳动,尊重著作权。我们期待看到百度和作家之间就公众是否可以免费下载这些图书,如果不能免费下载,究竟应该由谁来付费等问题达成共识。第二,网络时代各方利益究竟应该如何平衡是一个国际性的难题。虽然百度版权合作平台中对于侵权作品给出的分成方案是在推进产业进步过程中的一小步,但是任何一个搜索引擎都可以把这些盗版的结果整合起来,给作者提供免费阅读,因此面对盗版的不良风气,正版的数字阅读方案现在很难有出路,应当探索建立一个新的基于正版的数字出版的阅读产业链。第三,如何探索合理商业模式。百度文库事件之后,整个互联网产业尤其是数字出版产业将会更加重视数字出版的保护,这一纠纷的处理也反映了在网络环境下创新商业运作模式与保护版权人利益之间的冲突和协调。

6. 新闻出版总署发布《关于严防虚假新闻报道的若干规定》

 

事例回放:2011年10月19日,国家新闻出版总署印发了《关于严防虚假新闻报道的若干规定》,该规定要求新闻机构建立健全内部防范虚假新闻的管理制度、纠错和更正制度,完善虚假失实报道的责任追究制度。《规定》分别从“新闻记者采访的基本规范”、“新闻机构管理的基本职责”、“虚假报道的处理规则”和“法律责任追究的基本原则”等四个方面对防止虚假报道做出明确具体的规定。

理由:强化媒体的责任意识,确保媒体的生命底线“真实”是媒体存在的价值。新闻出版总署做出的这一规定,深刻揭示这一了问题。同时,这一规定的特别影响还在于引发人们思考究竟如何才能够真正有效地防范虚假新闻报道。

点评:

中国传媒大学特聘博士生导师、中国传媒大学媒体法规政策研究中心顾问魏永征教授指出:这个规定既不属于法律范畴,也不属于自律范畴,而是领导部门通过组织内部的强制力实施的纪律范畴。纪律是通过组织自身等级结构强制推行的行为规范,具有灵活随机性、单向性等特点。我们媒体之所以要有主办单位和主管机关,就是把新闻出版单位纳入到一个统一的体制之内,就是我们常说的“体制内”。即使在成为产业的背景下,我们媒体还是要在一个统一的主管机关的领导下,弘扬主旋律,坚持正确的舆论导向,传播社会主义核心价值体系。

中国记协国内部维权服务处正处级调研员阚敬侠博士认为,这个规定的法律依据来自《出版管理条例》和《新闻记者证管理办法》中有关虚假报道的相关规定,是一个法律层级比较低的规范性文件,属于法律层面。这个规定实际有两方面创新,第一,明确了新闻报道的基本专业规范,第一次全面提到了新闻报道五项基本原则:真实、准确、全面、客观、公正,第一次明确强调要有确切的消息来源,明确了新闻评论依据的事实也应当准确,规定新闻机构应予核实的内容范围,不仅对自己记者获得的新闻线索进行核实,对转载的稿件、互联网信息等等信息都要进行核实,强调了新闻机构首先应该自律。第二,首次提出了新闻主管部门对“损害国家利益和公共利益的虚假事实报道行为”这类行为要加强行政监督,严肃查处。这个规定是互联网时代对传统新闻报道规则的重申,标志着传统大众传播媒体面对自媒体时代正在重拾自信。它还具有两个作用,一是指导我国新闻行业建立基本专业规范;二是为处理有关虚假报道纠纷提供了依据和参考。

7. 金山诉周鸿祎微博侵犯名誉权案终审判决

 

事例回放:2011年8月25日,北京市第一中级人民法院对北京金山安全软件公司诉周鸿祎名誉侵权案作出终审判决,维持北京市海淀区人民法院的一审判决,判决周鸿祎的行为构成对金山软件公司名誉权的侵犯。2010年5月25日,360公司董事长周鸿祎继在新浪、搜狐、网易、腾讯等网站通过微博发表了“揭开金山公司画皮”的系列文章,对金山使用了诸多具有贬损色彩和否定意义的词汇,于是金山公司向法院提起诉讼,认为周鸿祎侵犯了其名誉权和商业信誉。

理由:在新媒体时代,如何行使表达自由、如何通过媒体传播意见,网络媒体应该如何依法行为以促进良好的传播秩序,本案给出了很好的启示。本案原被告不仅是具有市场竞争关系的市场主体,同时被告又是网络环境下具有众多“粉丝”的名人,由此进一步增强了本案的被关注度。

点评:

亚太网络法律研究中心主任、北京师范大学法学院刘德良教授指出:言论自由是有限度的,这种界限就是以不侵犯他人的合法权利和不危害公共利益作为基本前提的。从这个案件背后我们应当更深层次认识到如何防止侵权行为的发生。我国目前的《侵权责任法》虽然为网络侵权行为提供了事后的救济,但缺乏预防机制。建议由网络服务提供者与网友基于民事服务合同关系约定,网络服务提供商有权禁止网友发布那些显而易见的侵权行为,从而起到预防的效果。而对于那些难以判断的侵权行为,则通过《侵权责任法》第36条的第2、3款来解决。此外,考虑到网络侵权的特殊性,一旦发生,范围不可预测,后果难以考量,所以侵权责任法的补偿机制或者事后救济机制在救济的责任方式上是不是可以考虑到互联网的特点,规定较之传统的侵权行为更严格的责任方式。

北京市律师协会传媒与新闻出版法律专业委员会主任任丽颖律师认为:该司法判决具有三个方面的积极意义,首先,该判决首次从司法意义上对微博予以定性,也充分肯定微博的积极作用。其次,该判决探索了在言论自由与名誉权的冲突中言论自由的边界;第三,该案表明,公众人物以及竞争对手的身份特殊性要求对言论的注意义务要严于普通民众,其对批评的容忍也应该高于普通民众。当然,本案中也反映出了目前网络侵权领域,侵权成本低,维权成本高的问题。

8. 广电总局下发《关于进一步加强电视上星综合频道节目管理的意见》(又称“限娱令”)

 

事例回放:2011年10月,广电总局下发《关于进一步加强电视上星综合频道节目管理的意见》,该意见从2012年1月1日起生效。该《意见》也被称为“限娱令”,主要内容是:全国34个电视上星综合频道要提高新闻类节目播出量,同时对部分类型节目播出实施调控,以防止过度娱乐化和低俗倾向,满足广大观众多样化多层次高品位的收视需求。意见提出,对节目形态雷同、过多过滥的婚恋交友类、才艺竞秀类、情感故事类、游戏竞技类、综艺娱乐类、访谈脱口秀、真人秀等类型节目实行播出总量控制。

理由:具有特殊传播效果的电视如何履行自身的社会责任、服务公共利益是每一个现代国家对广播电视进行管理的时候都要认真对待的问题。“限娱令”的出台正是这一世界普遍做法的一个具体体现。该意见的出台及实施所具有的独特价值还在于对如何有效地减少过多过滥的低俗节目,如何处理好为公共利益服务与促进传媒产业的发展、保护媒体权益之间的关系提出了要认真研究的问题。围绕这些问题引起的争议,对于促进传媒法治化建设具有重要意义。

 

点评:

中国传媒大学媒体法规政策研究中心主任李丹林教授指出:这一《意见》的出台是针对现在电视特别是卫视播放娱乐节目过多过滥的情形而制定的,它对于整个中国电视行业以及整个传媒产业传播秩序的影响都是多方面的。从世界广播电视管制和规范的视野看待这一意见,其积极意义体现在:第一,《意见》特别强调地方卫视要宣传地方成就,展现区域特色,这反映了政府主管部门对电视传播的格局的要求、电视传播的内容要求及价值取向的确立都有了一些新的色彩,这也与其他国家的广播电视管制中的“地方主义原则”有相同之处。第二,《意见》要求地方卫事扩大经济、文化、科教、少儿纪录片等多种节目类型的播放比例,改善节目类型结构,着力提高节目质量,这种对于地方卫视播放节目的构成要求也体现了一般广播电视管制中对于广播电视要求的原则,符合促进广播电视更好地发挥它的文化社会功能的目标,具有导向性的作用。第三,《意见》强调要重视社会公众对节目频道的评判和监督,建立科学、客观、公正的节目综合评价体系,不得搞节目收视率排名,不得单纯以收视率搞末位淘汰制。强调了社会对于广播电视节目的监控和约束,显示出政府管理部门作为公权力的行使者对于人们的信任和理性尊重。当然,《意见》作为关涉产业重大利益,事业健康发展,人民接受、信息教育、娱乐权益的公共政策,应该如何平衡和协调其间的利益和价值冲突?应该如何依照科学法制的程序进行制订,如何依法科学构建广播电视节目内容的规范机制,如何保障广大广播电视组织的自身权益和广大社会成员的相关权益,这些问题我们还需要有更多的思考和探索。

中国社科院法学所传媒与信息法研究室主任陈欣新认为:这一事例给我们提出了几点思考:第一,能否考虑区分公共频道和商业频道。第二,《意见》对于新闻类节目采取播出量的方式来进行规管的,对于一部分娱乐化程度比较高的节目是采取播出时段时长和数量的控制,反映出对于不同类型的节目采取了不同的规管方式,但采取总量控制的方式需要考虑是否会影响播出机构的节目选择制作的自主性,需要平衡媒体的社会责任和媒体的自由,平衡商业利益与公共利益。第三,如何完善我们的内容监管体制,建立有中国特色的节目分类监管机制。第四,探索法律规制、行业自律和播出结构自身的节目规范这三种方式如何进行分工和协作,而非监管机构包打天下。

9. 药家鑫案终审判决

 

事例回放:2011年5月20日,陕西省高级人民法院裁定,维持西安市中级人民法院的的判决,判处药家鑫死刑。药家鑫于2010年10月20日驾车撞到被害人张妙,并将其杀害。事件发生之后,传统媒体、网络对于此案给予极大的关注,网民反映强烈。2011年4月22日,西安市中级人民法院作出一审判决,判决被告人药家鑫死刑。被告人不服,向陕西省高级人民法院提出了上诉。

理由:此案中媒体的意见和网民的言论,对于司法进程和最终审判结果产生了不可忽视的影响。由此,进一步引发对于媒体和司法关系的探讨,司法面临倾听民意但独立于民意,这一司法的双重责任,在网络时代尤显突出,本案是一个典型。

点评:

中国政法大学传播法研究中心执行主任、中央人民广播电台法律顾问徐迅女士认为:本案更多地从媒体和司法关系角度来作出评价。媒体和司法的关系在中国国情下,远不是一个“言论自由和公平审判二者的冲突与平衡”可以简单概括的一个问题,而在网络时代的中国显得异常复杂。在网络时代,所谓的媒体和司法的关系已经变换了角色,成为舆论和司法的关系甚至是当事人与司法的关系,或者是当事人与当事人之间的关系,也就是说法庭上有一个战场,舆论上还有一个战场。当我们反思互联网上的舆论审判效果的时候,不能不注意到其实传统媒体从来就没有就媒体审判对司法公正的影响形成过共识,“媒体必须监督司法”这种认识在传统媒体那儿根深蒂固,而监督的规范却从来没有形成,无罪推定的理念远远没有消化为传统媒体的价值观。互联网滥用言论自由的依法治理,功夫在网外,我们需要对表达自由的法律标准建立起一个基本的框架,并且逐步成为全社会的共识,在共识形成的过程当中传统媒体负有历史性的责任。

中国传媒大学媒体法规政策研究中心研究员刘文杰博士指出:药家鑫案再次提出了新媒体条件下民意尤其是网络民意与司法的关系问题,再次出现了围绕着案件事实相关报道的尺度和规范的争论。支持大尺度报道的意见认为只有通过舆论监督才能实现法治,才能监督法院实现法治,而反对的观点认为没有任何限制的舆论监督不是监督了它,而是加大了出错的概率,损害了独立审判,从而造成新型的司法不公。这一现象的根源在于:由于我国公检法系统的公信力有待进一步加强,单个法院和法官在个案处理的时候,就得负起确立整个司法系统正当性的责任。在这个案件处在审判阶段的时候,社会公众先入为主就怀疑司法不公,法院就要向全社会证明这里不存在司法不公,为了证明这一点,最好的方法就是在审判结果上,和公众的意见达到一致,他了解公众意见的途径最主要的就是了解媒体,尤其是今天的新媒体。因此,在媒体与司法的关系上或者整个问题上,不是单单通过改善或者加强传媒法的建设就能解决得了的,需要党和国家继续推进法治建设,继续有步骤、有计划、有力地推进司法改革,才能解除单家法院、单个法官不能承受之重。此外,特定主体和传统媒体的注意义务比如:传统媒体的核实义务、平衡报道的义务、可以质疑结论的义务如何在新的环境下落实和贯彻。

10. 余女士诉新浪关闭微博号违约案

 

事例回放:2011年12月2日,北京市海淀区人民法院就余女士诉新浪关闭微博案作出一审判决。法院认为,原告在自己的微博中并没有明显不当言辞,被告新浪公司在未提前通知余女士的情况下,擅自关闭其微博账号,超出了采取必要措施的合理限度,行为有失妥当,遂判决被告行为构成违约,赔偿原告相应的经济损失。

理由:本案是新媒体环境下,民事法律关系中出现的新问题。这样的纠纷反映了网络服务提供商多重的法律地位和不同性质义务的履行,会同时影响网民的普通民事权利和言论权利。法院对本案的受理与判决,对于新兴的网络媒体秩序的规范,权利冲突的解决产生了良好的效应。

点评:

中国传媒大学政治与法律学院副院长、中国传媒大学媒体法规政策研究中心副主任王四新教授指出:首先,这一案件涉及微博这种服务平台的性质如何界定这一重要问题,需要考虑上亿的网络用户和互联网服务提供商之间的关系如何平衡。微博有利于公众行使接受、传递信息的表达自由的权利,是个体进行自我身份建构的一个平台,也成为个体桥接自己各种社会资源的平台。因此,微博服务具有公共性,应该把它看成具有媒体性质的一种平台。其次,网络服务提供商处于非常尴尬的境地,我们需要讨论网络服务提供商是否具有评判微博内容合法性的资格与能力,如果评判错误,需要承担何种责任?一审法院的基本态度和判决值得肯定。在服务提供商不能提供充分证据的情况下,裁定服务提供商恢复用户账户的信息,这实际上是充分考虑了微博服务平台这种既具有私人属性,同时又具有公共性的特点,同时也考虑了服务提供商和用户之间的利益的平衡,平衡了个人利益和社会利益。

北京炜衡律师事务所合伙人饶宏斌律师认为从一审判决结果分析,新浪公司败诉的主要原因在于它没有就余女士谩骂或者是攻击他人进行充分举证,新浪公司举证上面临的困难在于涉及到电子证据的问题。从律师的实务角度来说,这个案子其实是一个非常好的契机,使我们更多思考在现在网络经济迅速发展的情况下,在民事纠纷之中对于电子证据的提供和采信是否应该思考出一个更有操作性的操作规范和一个证明规则。这个案子也提出了一个议题,就是学术界和理论界如何思考、权衡维护公民的言论自由和规范网络的秩序中间找一个平衡,如何出台一些切实可行的操作规范和标准。              (整理:郑宁、李文振)

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s