Great Qing Newspaper Code

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Article 1: All those opening up newspaper offices to distribute newspapers, shall write up all listed materials, and twenty days before distribution, present it to the government office of the local official in charge for application with the governor-general of that province, who will seek advice from and file it with the Ministry of Civil Affairs; 1, the name; 2, the style; 3, the full names, antecedents and addresses of the distributor, editor and printer, 4, the name and address of the distribution office and the print shop.

Article 2: All those fulfilling the position of distributor, editor and printer, must have the following conditions: 1, being a native citizen of twenty years or more; 2, having no mental disorders; 3, not been punished by prison sentences or higher.

Article 3: Distribution and editing posts may be concurrently held by one person, but printers may not fulfil distribution or editing posts.

Article 4: Distributors shall respectively submit the following pledge money at the time of submission: for those being distributed four times or more per month, 500 Silver Yuan; for those distributed three times or less per month, 200 Silver Yuan. Among those, newspapers specially carrying academic, cultural, legal, geographical and pricing reports, etc., which truly opens up the knowledge of the people, are to be appraised by officials, where it is believed no advance tax payment is necessary, it shall be agreed with.

Article 5: If any matter in Article 1 is changed after distribution, it will be resubmitted within twenty days. When the distributor changes, and before a submission of change is completed, distribution takes place under the name of an agent.

Article 6: Every newspaper number shall carry the full name and address of the distributor, editor and printer.

Article 7: Newspapers distributed every day, shall before 12 o’clock in the evening of the day before distribution, and other monthly newspapers, ten-daily newspapers or weekly newspapers, etc., shall on 12 o’clock noon of the day before distribution, be submitted to the local government office or patrolling government office in charge, timely examined, and dealt with according to the Code.

Article 8: Where newspapers carry inaccuracies, and the person concerned or a related person requests rectification, or submits a letter of objection, it shall be immediately published without alteration in the next number, if the number of characters of the objection exceeds twice the number of the original text, it is permitted to print it in the normal public notice list of the newspaper concerned, and charge fees according to the number of characters. If the wording of corrections and letters of objections violates laws or the full name and address are not indicated, it does not need to be published.

Article 9: Other newspapers that copy inaccurate facts, when it is seen that the said newspaper rectifies it of its own accord or publishes a letter of objection, shall publish this in the next number, and may not charge fees.

Article 10: Lawsuit matters may not be published in newspapers where the government office trying the case prohibits visitors to the trial.

Article 11: Inquest matters may not be published in newspapers as long as an open judgment has not been pronounced.

Article 12: Matters related to foreign affairs, army and navy may not be published in newspapers if the concerned government office in charge has instructed a prohibition of publication.

Article 13: All imperial instructions and memorials to the emperor may not be published in newspapers without an official bulletin, official journal or communiqué.

Article 14: All following items may not be published in newspapers: language lowering or destroying the Imperial court; language confusing the government system; language harassing public security, and language corrupting customs.

Article 15: Distributors or editors may not receive bribes from other persons or confound right and wrong. Distributors or editors may also not bear grudges, slander or harm other persons’ reputations.

Article 16: In all cases not having been submitted according to Article 1, and suddenly engage in newspaper publishing, the distributor concerned will be published with a fine of 10 Yuan or more but less than 100 Yuan.

Article 17: In all cases violating Articles 2 and 3, Article 5 Paragraph 1 and Article 6 and 7, the distributor concerned will be punished with a fine of 3 Yan or more but less than 30 Yuan.

Article 18: In all cases where the submission is not true, the distributor concerned will be punished with a fine of 5 Yuan or more but less than 50 Yuan.

Article 19: All newspapers listed in the last Paragraph of Article 4, in all cases where they carry matter outside their scope, the editor concerned will be punished with a fine if 5 Yuan or more but less than 50 Yuan.

Article 20: In all cases violating Article 8 Paragraph 1 and Article 9, the editor concerned will be punished with a fine of 3 Yuan or more but less than 30 Yuan if the submission of the injured party is proved true through trial.

Article 21: In all cases violating Article 10 and 11, the editor concerned will be punished with a fine of 10 Yuan or more but less than 100 Yuan.

Article 22: In all cases violating Article 12, 13 and 14, the distributor and editor concerned will be punished with a prison sentence of 20 days or more but less than 6 months, or a fine of 20 Yuan or more but less than 200 Yuan.

Article 23: In all cases violating Article 14 Paragraph 1, 2 and 3, the distributor, editor and printer concerned will be punished with a prison sentences of 6 months or more but less than 2 years and an additional fine of 20 Yuan or more but less than 200 Yuan; where circumstances are relatively grave, they will be punished according to the Criminal Code. But where printers truly did not know anything about it, they are exempt from punishment.

Article 24: In all cases violating Article 15 Paragraph 1, the distributor and editor concerned will be punished with a fine of ten times the amount of bribery if the submission of the injured party is proved true through trial, if it is found that other persons were party to the bribe, they will receive the same punishment.

Article 25: In all cases violating Article 15 Paragraph 2, the distributor and editor concerned will be punished with a fine of 20 Yuan or more but less than 200 Yuan if the submission of the injured party is proved true through trial.

Article 26: In all cases violating Article 15, apart from punishment according to the above two Articles, the injured party may receive compensation for damages from the editor and distributor with a view to the gravity of the circumstances.

Article 27: In all cases violating Article 12, Article 13 and Article 14 Paragraph 4, temporary prohibition of distribution may be imposed.

Article 28: For cases of temporary prohibition of distribution, the extent will be 7 days for daily newspapers; for all other papers, for those distributed 4 times or more per month, the extent will be 4 numbers; for those distributed three times or less, the extent will be three numbers.

Article 29: In all cases violating Article 14 Paragraph 1, 2 and 3, distribution will be prohibited eternally.

Article 30: All cases violating Article 12 that lead to fomenting disturbances, may be dealt with according to the above Article.

Article 31: Those not distributing for a prolonged time after submission, or suspending distribution in excess of two months, if they di not state the full details, will be considered to have closed down voluntarily.

Article 32: Those not paying any fines and legal fees due to violations of this Code in excess of ten days, may have their pledge money partly or fully confiscated, if this is insufficient, payment will be demanded again, and they will be ordered to replenish their pledge money.

Article 33: To those prohibited to distribute or voluntarily closing down, it is permitted to return the pledge money, and cancel their registration.

Article 34: All those composing or publishing essays and chronicles in newspapers and signing them with their names, regardless of which person it is, will have the same responsibility as the editor.

Article 35: When newspapers are distributed under the name of an agent, the agent is to immediately bear his responsibility.

Article 36: Apart from all persons referred to in Article 1 Paragraph 3 and the two Articles, all newspaper office financiers, hirers, etc., shall not be concerned.

Article 37: For all newspapers submitted according to this Code, and of which government offices concerned are notified,  all postal fees and cable fees are permitted to be reduced in accordance with regulations, and are to be delivered by the Post Office. Those not having been submitted or notified according to this Code, my not be delivered by the Post Office, and ships and trains may also not transport them.

Article 38: All cases where essays and chronicles are definitely created by the newspaper concerned, they may indicate the phrase that it is not permitted to reprint it, and other newspapers may not plagiarize it.

Article 39: All periodical works attached to newspapers, that are sufficient to become a book at a later time, may enjoy the protection of copyright.

Article 40: Any newspaper distributed abroad that violates any Article of this Code that imposes prohibition, are prohibited to be disseminated in  China, and their entering the borders is to be prohibited by Customs. If there are some transported in for sale on private initiative, they must be confiscated and destroyed.

Article 41: All those violating this Code, the precedent of mitigating punishment when giving oneself up, aggravating punishment for repeated violations and combining gravity for numerous offences may not be used.

Article 42: All those violating this Code, the period in which they can submit grievances or complaints is limited to 6 months.

Supplementary provisions

Article 43: This Code must be in use without exception in all provinces within two months from the day of the arrival of the approved imperial decree.

Article 44: Newspapers distributed before implementation of this Code, shall all submit additional reports within three months, and pay proportionate pledge money.

Article 45: After implementation of this Code, all newspaper office regulations issued before will be abolished.

大清报律

第一条 凡开设报馆发行报纸者,应开具左列各数,于发行二十日以前,呈由该管地方官衙门申报本省督抚,咨民政部存案;一、名称;二、体例:三、发行人、编辑人及印刷人之姓名、履历及住址;四、发行所及印刷所之名称及地址。
第二条 凡充发行人、编辑人在印刷人者,须具备左列条件:一、年满二十岁以上之本国人;二、无精神病者;三、未经处监禁以上之刑者。
第三条 发行编辑得以一人兼任,但印刷人不得充发行人或编辑。
第四条 发行人应于呈报时分别附缴保押费如下:每月发行四回以上者,银五百元;每月发行三回以下者,银二百五十元。其专载学术、艺事、章程、图表及物价报告等报,确系开通民智,由官鉴定,认为无庸预缴者,亦同。
第五条 第一条所列各款,发行后如有更易,更于二十日以内重行呈报。发行人有更易时,在未经呈报更易以前,以代理人之名义发行。
第六条 每号报纸,均应载明发行人、编辑人及印刷人之姓名、住址。
第七条 每日发行之报纸,应于发行前一日晚十二点钟以前,其月报旬报星期报等类,均应于发行前一日午十二点钟以前,送由该管巡警官署或地方官署,随时查核,按律办理。
第八条 报纸记载失实,经本人或关系人声请更正,或送登辨误书函,应即于次号照登,如辨误字数超过原文二倍以上者,准照该报普通告白例,计字收费。更正及辨误书函,如措词有背法律或未书姓名住址者,毋庸照登。
第九条 记载失实事项,由他报转抄而来者,如见该报自行更正或登有辨误书函时,应于本报次号照登,不得收费。
第十条 诉讼事件,经审判衙门禁止旁听者,报纸不得揭载。
第十一条 预审事件,于未经公判以前,报纸不得揭载。
第十二条 外交海陆军事件,凡经该管衙门传谕禁止登载着,报纸不得揭载。
第十三条 凡谕旨章奏,未经阁钞、官报、公报者,报纸不得揭载。
第十四条 左列各款,报纸不得揭载:低毁宫廷之语;淆乱政体之语;扰害公安之语;败坏风俗之语。
第十五条 发行人或编辑人,不得受人贿属,颠倒是非。发行人或编辑人,亦不得挟嫌诬蔑,损人名誉。
第十六条 凡未照第一条呈报,遽行登报者,该发行人处十元以上一百元以下之罚金。
第十七条 凡违第二、三条及第五条之第一项与第六、七条者,该发行人处三元以上三十元以下之罚金。
第十八条 呈报不实者,该发行人处五元以上五十元以下之罚金。
第十九条 第四条末项所指各报,其记载有出于范围以外者,该编辑人处五元以上五十元以下之罚金。
第二十条 违第八条第一项及第九条者,该编辑人经被害人呈诉讯实,处三元以上三十元以下之罚金。
第二十一条 违第十第十一条者,该编辑人处十元以上一百元以下之罚金。
第二十二条 违第十二第十三条及第十四条者,该发行人编辑人处二十日以上六月以下之监禁,或二十元以上二百元以下之罚金。
第二十三条 违第十四条第一、二、三款者,该发行人编辑人印刷人处六月以上二年以下之监禁,附加二十元以上二百元以下之罚金;其情节较重者,仍照刑律治罚。但印刷人实不知情者,免其处罚。
第二十四条 违第十五条第一项者,该发行人编辑人经被害人呈诉讯实,照所贿之数,加十倍处以罚金;仍究其致贿人,与受同罪。
第二十五条 违第十五条第二项者,该发行人编辑人经被害人呈诉讯实,处二十元以上二百元以下之罚金。
第二十六条 违第十五条者,除按照前两条处罚外,其被害人得视情节之轻重,由发行人编辑人赔偿损害。
第二十七条 违第十二、第十三条及第十四条第四款者,得暂禁发行。
第二十八条 暂禁发行者,日报以七日为度;其余各报,每月发行四回以上首,以四期为度;三回以上者,以三期为度。
第二十九条 违第十四条第一、二、三款者,永远禁止发行。
第三十条 违第十二条致酿生事端者,得照上条办理。
第三十一条 呈报后,延不发行,或发行后中止逾两月者,如不声明原委,即作为自行停办。
第三十二条 违犯本律所有应科罚金及讼费,逾十日不缴者,得将保押费扣充,不足再行追缴,仍令补足保押费原数。
第三十三条 禁止发行及g行停办者,准将保押费领还,注销存案。
第三十四条 凡于报纸内撰发论说纪事填注名号者,不问何人,其责任与编辑人同。
第三十五条 报纸以代理人之名义发行时,即由代理人担其责任。
第三十六条 除第一条第三款及前两条所指各人外,所有报馆出资人及雇用人等,应均无涉。
第三十七条 凡照本律呈报之报纸,由该管衙门知照者,所有邮费电费,准其照章减收,即予邮送递发。其未经按律呈报接有知照者,邮政局概不递送,轮船火车亦不为运寄。
第三十八条 凡论说纪事,确系该报创有者,得注明不许转登字样,他报即不得互相抄袭。
第三十九条 凡报中附刊之作,他日足以成书者,得享有版权之保护。
第四十条 凡在外国发行报纸,犯本律应禁发行各条者,禁止其在中国传布,并由海关查禁入境。如有私行运销者,即入官销毁。
第四十一条 凡违犯本律者,不得用自首减轻、再犯加重、数罪俱发从重之例。
第四十二条 凡违犯本律者,其呈诉告发期间,以六个月为断。
附 则
第四十三条 本律自奏准奉旨文到之日起,限两个月,各直省一律通行。
第四十四条 本律施行前,发行之报,均应于三个月内遵照补报,并按数补缴保押费。
第四十五条 本律施行以后,所有前订报馆条例,即行作废。

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