China Finds Something Else To Regulate, Brings In Its First Law For The Film Industry

from the excellent-Chinese-culture-and-socialist-core-values dept

Techdirt has been covering China's relentless clampdown on every aspect of the online world for some time, culminating in the new "cybersecurity" law that's just been passed. But if you think the Chinese authorities are now done, you'd be wrong. They are branching out into an entirely new field -- cinema -- with a law that the official Xinhua News Agency calls "the first of its kind in China":

The top legislature on Monday adopted a film industry law, promising harsh punishment for firms that fabricate box office earnings, data or information.
That makes it sound like it is mostly about regulating the commercial activities of China's cinema industry. And it's true that there are some measures designed to prevent fraud, apparently something of a problem in the country:
Film distributors and theaters will have all their illegal earnings confiscated and be fined up to 500,000 yuan (about 73,800 U.S. dollars) if they falsify ticket sales data, according to the law adopted at the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee bimonthly session after a third reading.

If their illegal earnings exceed 500,000 yuan, the fine will be up to five times their illegitimate earnings.

They may also be hit with an operating suspension or have their business certificates revoked in serious cases, according to the new law.
But the meat of the legislation is probably to be found in the following aspects:
The law specified that actors, directors and other staff should be "excellent in both moral integrity and film art," maintain self-disciplined and build a positive public image.

...

The [government] media watchdog is also establishing a "professional ethics committee," aiming to guide organizations and people in the radio, film and media circles to practice "core socialist values."
And it's not just the actors who must be on their best behavior under the new law:
China will support the making of films championing excellent Chinese culture and socialist core values.

Chinese groups can cooperate with overseas counterparts in film shooting, excluding overseas organizations and individuals that engage in "activities damaging China's national dignity, honor and interests, or harming social stability or hurting national feelings," the law said.
Since China is now the world's second-largest film market according to Xinhua, there will probably be plenty of Western companies that will be interested in co-productions. But the new rules mean that the Chinese government's interest in a film's storyline is now quite explicit, and that anything that "hurts national feelings" is a definite no-no. That probably means more discreet compromises of the kind recently seen in the film Doctor Strange, where a Tibetan Ancient One mysteriously turned into a Celtic Ancient One.

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Filed Under: china, film industry, regulations


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Nov 2016 @ 6:26am

    Re: Re: This is the problem with socialism and communism...

    Anyone can bake up any version of a madman from any ideology, you are the one that should just stop.

    America is currently a Socialist State. Socialism is not diametrically opposed to capitalism as it only deals with the regulation of business, not specifically who owns it. This is currently America and Switzerland at this time.

    Socialism is gateway Communism. Every negative of Capitalism is amplified under Socialism because it causes regulatory capture, foments monolithic business and stifles innovation through things like IP laws. Socialism is essentially a system designed to fail by attempting to prevent a failure. Ownership of a business is in a flux state and can largely become pseudo. Corruption loves Socialism because it breeds best here, corruption is well tolerated throughout the environment here because a lot of people benefit in some form from the corruption. This is America right now!

    Communism likes Socialism because Socialism is ignorant of itself and will commit suicide with the right poking and prodding. Communism carries the full boot of the law on the back of your neck when dealing with customers. Customers will only have recourse when and if allowed by the state. Communism is not a big friend of corruption because the Tyranny at the top generally hates dissension or greed in the ranks. It only agrees with tyranny, people all along it ranks dehumanizing citizens and treating them like chattel. The entire environment espouses devotion to the state and tyrannical devotion is typically rewarded.

    Capitalism is best because business is bereft of the force of law when dealing with customers. Of course there are concerns of monopoly in this model leaving the law an unnecessary force when a business becomes the only available resource to the customers. Corruption is highly desirable at the top, but is not well tolerated throughout the environment as a whole. In unregulated capitalism most businesses run like Cartels, the people at the top have their managers and the workers are watched over by them. Capitalism often foments Socialism because it 'appears' to provide for a cure. Instead, Free Market principles should prevail. Unions should be free to assemble without threat of law. And strong anti-monopoly/trust laws are best to have in force, which often work like Socialism regulatory capture enabling businesses to buy political favor, thereby crippling it.

    If you are a customer would you rather have the government on your side or against you? In capitalism Government is more likely to be on your side from a citizens perspective or just unhelpful, in Socialism/Regulatory, or a Communistic state government will typically be either against you or you are outright dictating your recourse if any.

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