A few days ago, SAPPRFT issued a Notice reiterating provisions concerning the management of online foreign television dramas, which demanded that for foreign television dramas used for dissemination on the Internet and other such information networks, a “Public Film Screening Permit” and a “Television Drama Distribution Permit” must be obtained according to the law. Foreign television dramas for which no “Public Film Screening Permit” or “Television Drama Distribution Permit” has been obtained, may not be disseminated online without exception.
The “Notice” points out that, in order to make online culture develop and flourish, at the same time as inheriting and carrying forward China’s excellent cultural traditions, [we must] vigorously absorb the world’s advanced cultural achievements, and encourage Internet audiovisual programme service websites meeting conditions to import and distribute appropriate amounts of foreign television dramas with healthy content, good production levels, which carry forward the true, the good and the beautiful, and satisfy the popular masses’ daily increasing spiritual cultural needs.
The “Notice” clarifies that SAPPRFT has formulated general plans for the import of foreign television dramas to be used for dissemination on the information network. After websites have obtained “Information Network Audiovisual Distribution Permit” issued by SAPPRFT according to the law, and where the permit contains the item “Second category, Internet audiovisual programme services; fifth clause: film, television and cartoon-type programme collection and broadcast services, they are permitted to import foreign television dramas for special use in online dissemination, after having obtained a “Television Drama Distribution Permit” (Special Use for Online Dissemination) through examination and verification by a provincial-level or higher administrative press, publications, radio, film and television department, may broadcast [the dramas] on the website. The content and style of the foreign television dramas imported by all websites shall be healthy and upward, conform to the relevant requirements of the “Foreign Television Programme Import and Broadcast Management Regulations” (SARFT Decree No.42), and information network dissemination rights must be obtained from the copyright holder.
The “Notice” stresses that Internet audiovisual programme service websites shall register information concerning the foreign television dramas being disseminated on their websites to the administrative press, publications, radio, film and television body before 31 March 2015. From 1 April 2015, foreign television dramas that have not been registered may not be distributed online.