New law bans cinemas' pre-movie ads

Updated: 2011-12-15 06:41


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BEIJING - Cinemas in China may be prohibited from screening pre-movie adverts after the start time of each film printed on tickets, according to a draft law on movie promotion.

For such offenses, the new legislation may stipulate punishments including fines up to 200,000 yuan ($31,520) for cinemas, with the option of revoking their licenses, according to an official statement sent to Xinhua on Wednesday.

The draft is scheduled to be made public Thursday on to solicit opinions, said the statement.

The Chinese public has long complained about excessive advertising before films and dramas on TV.

In response, the country's top broadcasting watchdog released a series of regulations ordering broadcasters from Jan 1 not to insert any commercials that could disrupt TV programming.

However, pre-movie ads in cinemas were not covered by existing laws and regulations before this new draft.

The statement also revealed a set of other notable proposals included in the draft. Investing in and establishing privately owned film-making firms has been made easier under the draft, while the government had been assigned more duties to ensure the people's equal access to culture product, films in particular.

It proposes screening at least one free film every month in every rural village, and including at least two proper films for students in each semester during their compulsory education period.

It also says that local governments could subsidize cinema tickets for underage or low-income groups to meet their basic culture needs.

In addition, the draft says that theaters may face punishments for concealing box-office incomes.

It particularly notes that any production that fails to get a distribution permit shall not be distributed, screened in cinemas or over the Internet, or sent to movie festivals, unless the law says otherwise.

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