Great Qing Special Code for Printed Materials

Posted on Updated on

Since the Wuxu year [1898], the number of periodicals has risen vigorously, and newspapers are also often bound in volumes and sold at fixed prices. Therefore, in the 6th month of the 32 Year of Guangxu [1906], the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Inspection and the Ministry of Education, have jointly determined the “Great Qing Special Code for Printed Materials” as follows:

Chapter I: Outline

I, A General Administration for Printing is established in the capital belonging to the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Inspection and the Ministry of Education. Everything involving all printing and news publishing, must be registered with this Administration.

II, This Code applies in all provinces. In all other territories, all local officials in charge are requested to consider how to handle it.

Chapter II: Printers, etc.

I, All unregistered printers, regardless of whether they undertake the printing of any kind of document or picture, will be considered to break the law. Fines imposed on all those violating this Article, may not exceed 150 Silver Yuan, prison sentences may not exceed five months, or both a prison sentence and a fine may be imposed.

II, All persons having printing or selling all sorts of printed products as livelihood, must  petition for registration with the inspection government office of their business location according to this Code. The presentation of their petition for registration must occur in twofold, must be detailed, clearly related and true, and indicate the full name, birthplace and address of the petitioner, and in cases of shareholding, the full name, birthplace and address of the persons sharing in the benefit may be given.

III, When all inspection government offices concerned receive this sort of documents for registration petition, they ascertain the circumstances stated in the petition, the circumstances of all sorts of listed persons, and the duties to be undertaken. If the inspection government office concerned is of the opinion that it is appropriate, it reports this together with the original petition to the capital General Administration for Printing Registration, and all dates of reporting shall be the date of registry of the cases concerned. All petitions for printing registration, that are refuted or disallowed by any inspection government office concerned, regardless of what the grounds are, the inspection government office concerned must report the reasons for not allowing registration to the capital General Administration for Printing Registration in detail. When all inspection government offices report registration petition matters to the capital General Administration for Printing Registration, they are to clearly issue a public notice for the petitioner to know of the grounds for allowing registration and not allowing registration.

IV, If petitioners consider the grounds for refutation or disallowance of inspection government offices to be improper, they may within 12 months after public notification, go to the capital General Administration for Printing Registration, and file a petition for appeal; either they deliver it personally, or they request a representative to deliver it, or they deliver it through the Post Office.

V, When petitioning for registration, a registration fee of 10 Silver Yuan must be paid following the petition. Of the said fee, regardless of whether or not it is allowed, 5 Yuan is destined for the expenses of the inspection government office in conducting the full registration , the other 5 Yuan is destined for the inspection government office for the accompanying report to the capital General Administration for Printing Registry. All those going to the capital General Administration for Printing Registration to file a petition for appeal of registration matters because the inspection government office refuted or disallowed registrations, will not pay a fee. All due fees paid, are to be paid according to the quantities indicated in this Code; outside of this code, not the slightest amount of excessive fees are to be levied.

VI, All printers, regardless of what sort of materials they print, must clearly print the name of the printer on the materials they print, and the  location of the printing shop. All those violating this Article, are subject to a fine which may not exceed 100 Yuan, a prison sentence which may not exceed three months or both a fine and prison sentence.

VII, All printers must keep detailed record books of the materials they print, regardless of whether they are documents, accounts, pictures, etc., in preparation for inspection at any time by inspection government offices or local officials or committee members in places where no inspection is established. All those violating this Article, are subject to a fine which may not exceed 100 Yuan, a prison sentence which may not exceed three months or both a fine and prison sentence. If , at the time where the government official concerned inspects this sort of records, what is recorded is not very clear, it may be subject to a punishment of a prison sentence or both a prison sentence and a fine of half the punishment imposed by this Article.

VIII, All those dealing in or distributing no matter which kind of printed material, if the said materials have not clearly printed the full name of the printer and the location of the printing shop, it will be considered as violating the law. All those violating this Article, will be punished with a fine, a prison sentence, or with both a fine and a prison sentence, according to Article 6 of this Chapter of this Code. Also, all the said materials that has no clear print of the printers’ full name and the location of the print shop are to be confiscated or destroyed, also without considering whether the said printed materials were permitted to be printed or not.

IX, All printers printing all sorts of printed materials, are to submit two copies of every item to the inspection government office of the location of printing, the said inspection government office will preserve one copy in the inspection government office, and submit one copy to the capital General Administration of Printing Registration. All those violating this Article, are subject to a fine which may not exceed 50 Yuan, a prison sentence which may not exceed one month or both a fine and prison sentence.

X, All those violating any article listed above for a second time, will be subject to double the punishment as listed above. Henceforth, the multiples of punishment are progressively increased on the basis of the punishment as listed in the text above, and according to the number of violations, up to a maximum of four times.

Chapter III: Recorded materials, etc.

I, What is called recorded materials, are either regularly published, or irregularly published, news record collections, etc., and are called recorded materials according to the categories named in this Code.

II, All printing, distribution, sale, peddling or distribution of all sorts of recorded materials, where the said recorded materials have not been registered with the capital General Administration for Printing Registry according to the provisions of this Code, are considered to break the law. All those violating this article, are to be punished according to Chapter II Article II of this Code.

III, All those wishing to publish or distribute recorded materials, may request registration with the inspection government office of the location of publishing or distribution, the petition for the registration request is to be submitted in two copies, and is to indicate the name of the recorded publication, whether they are published regularly or published irregularly, the full name, birthplace and address of the publisher and distributor, the location of publishing or distribution in detail, where there is shareholding, the full names, birthplaces and addresses of the beneficiaries may be divided, and the full name and address of all sorts of agents.

IV, After all the said inspection government office receive this sort of petition for request of registration, they are to ascertain the situation related in the petition, and the background of all sorts of listed persons, and the responsibilities they undertake. If the said inspection government office considers it to be proper, one copy of the original petition is to be reported to the capital General Administration of Printing Registry, and the date of reporting to the General Administration will be the registration date of the cases concerned. In all matters concerning this sort of petitions for registration request, where the inspection government office refutes or not permits it, all said inspection government offices shall handle it according to Chapter II Article III of this Code. When all said inspection government offices reporting this sort of registration request petitions to the capital General Administration of Printing Registry, they must clearly issue a public notice for the petitioner to know of the grounds for allowing registration and not allowing registration.

V, The same as Chapter II Article IC of this Code.

VI, Registration fees for all recorded materials are equal to the registration fees for printers provided in Chapter II Article V of this Code.

VII, Persons managing the publication of recorded materials, must submit two copies of every item of recorded materials they publish or distribute to the inspection government office of the location of distribution, and at the same time submit one copy to the capital General Administration of Printing Registry through the Post Office. All those violating this article, are punished by citing Chapter II Article IX of this Code.

Chapter IV, Libel

I, All matters relating to libel in printed materials  is to be handled according to all following articles.

II, Of what is called libel, there are three sorts: (A) ordinary libel; (B) slander; (C) false accusations.

III, Ordinary libel, is a sort of expression slandering individuals, either written or printed, or using other method, that causes people reading it to hate other people, find other people evil, or even cause other people to lose their official position, lose their specialization or lose all other sorts of livelihood.

IV, Slander, is a sort of expression misleading people, that causes people reading it to bear grudges or humiliation, or cause outrage to the Emperor, the imperial family or the government, or incites the ignorant masses to violate decrees, regulations and the national system, and even causes everyone to have danger and chaos in their own hears because of illegal strong words, and even causes people to seek mutual revenge, and unsettles livelihoods.

V, False accusation is a sort of gossip trapping people, either already published or using publication as a means of threat, or coercing people in the belief that it should not be published and demanding property from them, etc.

VI, All following sorts of people, etc., are related to legal cases of libel: (A) the person publishing libellous lines; (B) the person printing libel; (C); the master of the libelling publishing house; (D) the agent of the libelling publishing house; (E) persons selling or peddling libellous items or delivering them. But all five sorts of persons listed in this Article must know the facts of the case.

VII, Matters concerning common libel, may be punished according to  civil law and the criminal law.

VIII, In all circumstances where civil litigation is raised for libel, the said plaintiff does not need to prove the damage suffered through libel, but must prove that he did not induce the libel, in order for the examining official in charge to be able to resolve right and wrong, and the degree of seriousness, or to determine some compensation for the person suffering libel.

IX, In all civil litigation for libel, where the case has been decided upon, the original case may also be filed under criminal litigation, and where this is decided upon, the original case may not again be brought to civil litigation.

X, Regardless of whether common libel is accused under civil law or criminal law with the trial government office, the accused is permitted to prove that he truly believed it was no libel on the basis of the situation of the accused. Regardless of whether the case involves official matters, or involves private matters, for the words that he wants to explain, he must quietly await whether or not the judicial official believes it to be proper, and whether it should be published or not where the case involves the public interest.

XI, Common libel accused on the basis of criminal litigation, where the defendant proves that the matter accused, was not intended to bear a grudge, or even states that the plaintiff did not suffer harm because of this, the judicial official may accept the response of the defendant as true. However, if case details such as this are tried under civil procedure law, then the statements of the defendant may not be accepted as true by the judicial official; and may only mitigate the compensation demanded by the plaintiff because of this sort of facts.

XII, For all slander accused on the basis of criminal litigation, if the accuser holds an official post, and, according to usual practice, the accuser has the authority to be permitted to try of this sorts of cases; or if the rank of the accuser is relatively higher than that of a judicial official, he has the right to be permitted to direct it, he must always petition the governor-general of his office to handle it. To sum up, the accuser may not act as judicial, and may also not accuse subordinate officials on the basis of his position, if he wishes to accuse, he must file the accusation with the official of one rank higher. In case of being accused, the rest may be deduced by analogy. If there are officials violating this system, the defendant may file an appeal with the capital General Administration of Printing Registry. The said General Administration will on this basis request the Ministry of Commerce to petition the imperial court, to inspect and handle it according to the circumstances.

XIII, In case of slander situations, regardless of whether it concerns soldiers, civilians, etc., they shall all continue implementing their civil duties, report the slander situations to the nearest local government official, or report it to the senior official in that jurisdiction. Regardless of which kind of slander it is, if it is reported to the senior local government official, all said officials may asses the situation, and arrest all people involved, and seal up all said slandering materials, and simultaneously report the handling situation to the governor-general of that province. All said governor-generals, after they receive this sort of report, are to ascertain whether this is accurate in the light of the situation; if he feels it to be proper, he will order the secretary in charge to hold a court session, and arraign all persons involved.

XIV, After all slandering matters have been examined to be true and punished, all slandering materials are, according to the gravity of violation, either be confiscated, or destroyed, or returned, this is to be decided at that time by the judicial official.

XV, For all recorded materials, if found to truly have a slandering situation, apart from handling it according to all provisions in the above text, all printers, financiers or managers, etc., may not again have printing recorded materials as livelihood.

XVI, After all violations of slander are found to be true, they will be handled according to this Code, and guilt should not be determined of violations by other persons.

XVII, All those committing violations of all provisions explained in the above texts that are found to be true, are to be punished as follows:

A, All cases of common libel, are punished with a fine not exceeding 1000 Yuan, a prison sentence not exceeding 2 years, or by both a fine and a prison sentence.

B, All cases of slander, are punished with a fine not exceeding 5000 Yuan, a prison sentence not exceeding 10 years, or by both a fine and a prison sentence.

XVIII, All those repeating the offense, will be subject to a punishment double that of their first offence.

XIX, All managers and printers of all sorts of recorded materials, if they have ever been found to have committed slander once or ordinary libel twice, or have conspired in false accusations, the Great Qing Post Office is permitted to not deliver all the recorded materials in which said persons trade, or they may be handled as the governor-general of the location in which the cases where decided sees fit. Of all managers, financiers, printers, etc. of recorded materials, that are subject to our legal powers and commit slander, after the writer or distributors has been tried and convicted, the Great Qing Post Office will not deliver this sort of recorded materials.

Chapter V, Abetting

For all writings by other people, either published or printed, or entered into recorded materials, that are consequently published to the world, that lead to illegal matters, regardless of whether the matters are a violation of public law or private law, all said writers will be considered to be accessories related to the crime, but not on the spot. If this sort of writing has not yet led to illegal matters, the writer will be considered as an accessory to a failed crime.

Chapter VI: Time limits

I, All those selling or distributing all documents and images, either written, or printed, either in Chinese, or in any other language, in the unified territory of the Dynasty, have the right to be governed in the law.

II, After this Code is memorialized, accepted, and approved by the Vermillion Pencil, it will be issued for enforcement by the capital General Administration of Printing Registry, and after six months, must be realistically implemented.

 

大清印刷物专律

第一章 大 纲
一、京师特设一印刷总局,隶商部、巡警部、学部。所有关涉一切印刷及新闻记载,均须在本局注册。
二、本律通行各直省。其余各项领土,即仰各地方该管官酌量办理。
第二章 印刷人等
一、凡未经注册之印刷人,不论承印何种文书图画,均以犯法论。凡违法本条者,所科罚援,不得过银一百五十元,监禁期不得过五个月,或罚援监禁两科之。
二、凡以印刷或发卖各种印刷物件为业之人,依本律即须就所在营业地方巡警衙门,呈请注册。其呈请注册之呈,须备两份,并各详细叙明实在,及具呈人之姓名籍贯住址,又有股份可以分利人之姓名籍贯住址。
三、各该巡警衙门收到此种呈请注册之里文纸后,即行查明呈内所叙情形,及各种列名人之行状,及所担负之责任。如该巡警衙门以为适当,即并同原呈一份报于京师印刷注册总局,并各以申报之日为该件注册之日。凡呈请印刷注册事,为各该巡警衙门所批斥不准者,无论如何情由,各该巡警衙门必须将所以不准注册之情由,详报京师印刷注册总局。凡各该巡警衙门申报呈请注册事于京师印刷注册总局时,即将准注册与不准注册之情由,明白牌示具呈人知之。
四、具呈人如以巡警衙门批斥不准之情由为不适当,可于牌示后十二个月以内,径上京师印刷注册总局,递禀上控;或亲身投递,或请代表人投递,或由邮政局投递。
五、呈请注册时,须随呈带交注册费银十元。该费无论准否,即以五元充巡警衙]门办理一切注册之公费,其余五元由巡警衙门随同申报于京师印刷注册总局。凡因巡警衙门批斥不准注册事,而向京师印刷注册总局递禀上控注册事件者,无费。凡当缴之费,即依本律所载之数缴之;律外并不征收丝毫浮费。
六、凡印刷人不论印刷何种物件,务须于所印刷物体上明白印明印刷人姓名,及印刷所所在。凡违犯本条者,所科罚银不得过银一百元,监禁不得过三个月,或罚援监禁两科之。
七、凡印刷人须将所印刷之物件,不论文书记载图画等,均须详细纪册,以备巡警衙门或未设巡警之地方官或委员随时检查。凡违犯本条者,所科罚银不得过一百元,监禁期不得过三个月,或罚级监禁两科之。如该衙门官员临时检查此等纪册时,如以所载不甚明白,则按本条所科之罚接监禁或罚缓监禁两科之法减一半科之。
八、凡发贩或分送不论何种印刷物件,如该物件并未印明印刷人之姓名及印刷所所在者,即以犯法论。凡违犯本条者,即依本律本章第六条之罚银,或监禁,或罚级监禁两科之法科之。并将所有无印刷人姓名及印刷所所在之各该印刷物件充公或销毁,亦不问该印刷物件之可否印刷。
九、凡印刷人印刷各种印刷物件,即按件备两份呈送印刷所在之巡警衙门,该巡警衙门即以一份存巡警衙门,一份申送京师印刷注册总局。凡违犯本条者,所科罚银不得过银五十元,监禁期不得过一个月,或罚级监禁两科之。
十、凡违犯以上所载各条至第二次,即依以上所载各科条加倍科之。自此即依上文所载各科条,按所犯次数,递加所科倍数,甚或加至四倍以外。
第三章 记载物件等
一、所谓记载物件者,或定期出版,或不定期出版,即新闻丛录等,依本律名目,谓之记载物件。
二、凡印刷或发卖或贩卖或分送各种记载物件,而该记载物件并未遵照本律所条向京师印刷注册总局注册者,即以犯法论。凡违犯本条者,即依本律第二章第二条科之。
三、凡欲以记载物件出版发行者,可向出版发行所在之巡警衙门里请注册,其里请注册之呈予各两份,并各详细叙明记载物件之名称,或定期出版,或不定期出版,出版发行人之姓名籍贯及住址,出版发行所所在,有股可分分利人之姓名籍贯及住址,及各种经理人之姓名住址。
四、各该巡警衙门收到此种呈请注册呈之后,即查明呈内所叙情形,各种列名人之行状,及所担负之责任。如该巡警衙门以为适当,即并同原呈一份申报于京师印刷注册总局,并以申报总局之日为该件注册之日。凡此种呈请注册事件,为巡警衙门所批斥不准者,各该巡警衙门仍当依本律第二章第三条办理。凡各该巡警衙门申报此种呈请注册事件于京师印刷注册总局时,即将准注册与不准注册之情由,明白牌示具呈人知之。
五、与本律第二章第四条同。
六、凡记载物件之注册费,与本律第二章第五条所载之印刷人等注册费一律。
七、经理记载物件出版之人,须将所出版发行之记载物件,每件备两份,呈送于发行所在之巡警衙门,并同时由邮局禀呈一份于京师印刷注册总局。凡违犯本条者,即援照本律第二章第九条科之。
第四章 毁 谤
一、凡印刷物件上关系毁谤者,即照下开各条办理。
二、所谓毁谤者有三:(甲)普通毁谤;(乙)讪谤;(丙)诬作。
三、普通毁谤者,是一种谤个人的表揭,或书写,或版印,或另用其他各法,令人阅而增其人,恶其人,甚或其人因此而失官爵,失专业,或失其他各种生业。
四、讪谤者,是一种惑世诬民的表揭,令人阅之有怨恨或侮慢,或加暴行于皇帝皇族或政府,或煽动愚民违背典章国制,甚或以非法强词,又或使人人有自危自乱之心,甚或使人彼此相仇,不安生业。
五、诬诈者,是一种陷人的口语,或已出版,或借出版相恫吓,或挟以为可以不出版向人要求财物等是也。
六、左开诸色人等,均于毁谤中有关法案者:(甲)炸毁诗之人;(乙)印刷毁谤之人;(丙)谤件出版所之主人;(丁)谤件出版所之经理人;(戊)谤件之发卖人贩卖人或分送人。但本条所列之五种人,均须知情者。
七、关于普通谤者,可以民法刑法处分之。
八、凡依民事诉讼被谤情形,该诉人不必证明因谤而受损害,但须证明是诱非谤,俾承审官可依是非轻重决案,或判予被谤人若干偿金。
九、凡依民事诉讼被谤,而案经决定者,可以原案另依刑事诉讼,而业经决定者,不得再以原案依民事诉讼诉之。
十、无论以民法或刑法控诉普通谤于问案衙门,可准被控诉者将被控诉之情形证明实在以为非谤。无论事涉官事,事涉私事,要之所陈之词,须静候问官以为适当与否,事关公益及应刊布与否。
十一、依刑事诉讼控告被普通谤,而被告证明所控事件,并非有意挟嫌,甚或以原告并未因此损害为词,则问官可以被告所答之词为直。然此等案情,如依民事诉讼法,则被告所对之词,问官不得遽以为直;惟可因此等实在情形而减轻原告所要求之偿金。
十二、凡以刑事诉讼控告普通谤讪,如控告之人系职官,且照定例,控告人有权可以审判此等案件者;又控告人之官阶较崇于问官,且有权可以命令之者,均须禀请本管之督抚办理。要而言之,控告人不得为问官,亦不得依官而向属官控告,如欲控告,必须向官阶较崇一级之官控告。即上控事件,亦依此类推。倘有官员擅违此制,被告可向京师印刷注册总局申诉。该总局即当据请商部会奏朝廷,察酌办理。
十三、遇有讪谤情形,不论军民人等,均应尽国民义务,将讪谤情形向最近之地方官报告,或报告于本辖官长。无论何种讪诗,如报告于地方官长,各该官长即可权衡其事,将一干人逮捕,并将所有各该讪谤物件查封,一面即将办理情形申报于本省督抚。各该督抚,接到此等申报后,即行按照情形,查明实在;如果以为适当,即派干事员开堂,将一干人提讯。
十四、凡讪谤事件审实惩办后,即将所有讪谤物件,按所犯轻重,或充公,或销毁,或发还,由问官临时定夺。
十五、凡记载物件,如审实有讪谤情形,除按上文所载各条办理外,所有印刷人、资本人,或经理人等,即不得再以印刷及记载物件等为业。
十六、凡犯讪谤事件审实后,即依本律办理,并不依他人所犯论罪。
十七、凡违犯上文所解说各条而审实者,依左开科判:
甲、凡科普通谤案,罚接不得过银一千元,监禁期不得过二年,或罚媛监禁两科之。
乙、凡科讪谤案,罚银不得过五千元,监禁期不得过十年,或罚接监禁两科之。
十八、凡再犯案件,即以初犯所科加倍科之。
十九、凡各种记载物件之经理印刷人,如曾经审实犯有讪谤案一次,普通谤案二次,或合伙诬诈案者,则各该人等所营业之记载物件,大清邮政局可不为邮递,或另由定案地方之督抚审酌办理。凡记载物件之经理人、资本人、印刷人等,凡隶我法权而犯讪谤者,则获著作人或分送人审讯讯办后,大清邮政局将此等记载物件不为邮递。
第五章 教 唆
凡他人之著作,或出版印刷,或录入记载物件内,因而公布于世,致酿成非法之事者,不论所酿成之事为犯公法为犯私法,各该著作人俱依临犯不在场之从犯论。如此等著作尚未酿成犯法之事,即将著作人依所犯未遂之从犯论。
第六章 时 限
一、凡一切文书图画,或系书写,或系印刷,或用汉文,或用其他各文字,而发行或销售于皇朝一统版图者,在律即有治理之权。
二、本律奏奉朱批后,由京师印刷注册总局颁行,满六个月之后,即切实施行。

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