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Newspapers

newspaper, act, return, proprietors, paper, proprietor, registration, time, public and names

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NEWSPAPERS and PERIODIOALS.—A newspaper is a publication containing a narrative of recent events and occurrences, published regularly at short intervals from time to time. In the Newspaper Libel and Registration Act, 1881, the word newspaper is defined as meaning "any paper containing public news, intelligence, or occurrences, or any remarks or observations therein printed for sale, and published in England or Ireland periodically, or in parts or numbers at intervals not exceeding twenty-six days between the publication of any two such papers, parts, or numbers. Also any paper printed in order to be dispersed, and made public weekly or oftener, or at intervals not exceeding twenty-six days, containing only or principally advertisements." The place of publication, according to decisions in the United States Courts, is where the paper is first issued—that is, given to the public for circulation, and not the place where the paper may be sent for distribution. Thus, where the paper is set up in one place and the press work is done in another, the former would be the place of publication ; and a paper, even though composed partly of a "patent insider" set up in another place, would still be published in the place where issued.

Printer's the year 1869 when, as a consequence of the actions brought against Mr. Bradlaugh, the Newspapers, Printers and Reading Rooms Repeal Act was passed, there was a large number of statutes on the roll which aimed at the prevention of sedition, blasphemy and libel by means of repressive and restrictive measures against newspapers. That Act, however, by repealing those statutes, freed the newspapers from the oppressive stamp duties and also from the many unreasonable old restrictions. But some of those restrictions were expressly preserved so far as they related to disclosure of the names of the printers of newspapers. A summary of that part of the old legislation Units preserved will be found in the article on PRINTERS.

Registration. —By the Act of 1881 (which does not extend to Scotland) certain statutory provision was made for the registration of newspaper proprietors, the word "proprietor " being explained as meaning and including " as well the sole proprietor of any newspaper, as also in the case of a divided proprietorship the persons who, as partners or otherwise, represent and are responsible for any share or interest in the newspaper as between themselves and the persons in like manner representing or responsible for the other shares or interests therein, and no other person." A register of such proprietors was established under the superintendence of a registrar and the control of the Board of Trade, and the printer and publisher of every newspaper is now required to make a certain return to the Registry Office at Somerset I Iouse in each month of July. This return should be made in the prescribed form, and in every case must state : (a) the title of the newspaper ; and (b) the names of all its proprietors, together with their respective occupations, places of business (if any), and places of residence. It should be noted, however, that the Act expressly enacts that

these provisions as to registration of newspaper proprietors are not to apply to a newspaper belonging to a company registered under the Companies Acts. And, moreover, the Act allows the Board of Trade to authorise the registration of a newspaper in the name or names of only one or a few " responsible " representatives of the proprietors in cases where the paper is owned by several ; but the Board will not authorise such a registration unless inconvenience may arise or be caused from the registry of the names of all the proprietors of the newspaper, either owing to minority, coverture, absence Iron: the United Kingdom, minute sub division of shares, or other special circumstances. If the annual return of a newspaper is not duly made within one month after the specified time the printer and publisher become liable to a penalty of ..V.1.% recoverable on summary conviction. And a penalty of ..E,100 is incurred by any one who knowingly and wilfully makes a false return, that is to say, in the words of the Act, who "shall knowingly and wilfully make or cause to be made any return by this Act required or permitted to be made in which shall be inserted or set forth the name of any person as a proprietor of a newspaper who shall not be a proprietor thereof, or in which there shall be any misrepresentation, or from which there shall lie any omission in respect of any of the particulars by this Act required to be contained therein, whereby such return shall be misleading." And a like penalty is inflicted upon a proprietor of a newspaper who shall "knowingly and wilfully permit any such return to be made which shall be misleading as to any of the particulars with reference to his own name, occupation, place of business (if any) or place of residence." That no one should err through ignorance, the Act particularly defines the word " occupation" as a person's trade or following, and if none, then his rank or usual title, as esquire, gentleman ; and the phrase "place of residence" as including the street, square, or place where the person to whom it refers resides, and the number (if any) or other designation of the house in which he so resides. In the case of a transfer or transinission of or dealing with a share of or interest in a newspaper whereby some person ceases to be a pro prietor, or a new proprietor is introduced, it is open to any party to the trans action to make at any time a return as to the change. All the prescribed returns are entered in a book called The Register of Newspaper Proprietors, and which is open to the inspection of any member of the public during the hours of business of the registry office. Any one has a right to an officially certified copy of an entry in or extract from the book. Such a copy is received in a court of law as conclusive evidence of the contents of the register, so far as they appear in the copy, and as jprimee, facie evidence of the truth of the statements therein, unless and until the contrary is shown.

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