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28 Aug 2006
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Chinese censors target net jokers

Tuesday 15 August 2006, 11:23 Makka Time, 8:23 GMT  
China already has several regulations controlling the net
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Chinese censors are targeting online spoofs of films, celebrities and Communist icons, in the government's latest campaign to regulate internet content.
The Beijing News reported, the State Administration for Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) is drafting rules to block internet broadcasts of short films that mock officially approved culture.
Lei Feng, the soldier who became a model of Maoist loyalty before dying in a road accident, as well as the hyped blockbuster The Promise, directed by Oscar-nominated Chen Kaige, have both been subjects for the satirists.
The report said China's broadcast authority will allow web companies such as Sina and Tom to expand into broadband webcasts, but will "launch a severe attack on rule violations across the entire sector".
Lui Jianhui, a censorship official at SARFT told the paper: "SARFT has established a quite advanced internet audio-visual monitoring centre and plans to set up monitoring centres in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong.
"Connected with each province, a timely, effective monitoring system will be formed."
Censor's approval
The new law would bolster a regulation issued in 2004 requiring approval from the censors for the distribution of all audio-visual material on the internet, mobile phones, television and other media, the report said.
Despite existing regulations, unapproved spoofs parodying popular culture and targeting iconic Chinese figures have emerged online in recent months, often created by hobbyists and some becoming hugely popular.
In February, Murder Over a Steamed Bun, a 20-minute film sending up The Promise, a costume drama, and mocking the stoney-faced newsreaders on state TV, gave its creator, Hu Ge, fame and a threat of legal action from Chen.
In July, the short film China Wins the World Cup!, parodied Jackie Chan, China's underperforming national football side and TV announcer Huang Jianxiang's overzealous rant during Italy's victory over Australia in a World Cup knock-out match.

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