Acts of Parliament relating to printers
To give anything like an abstract of the immense number of Acts of Parliament which relate to printers would be quite impossible in our limited space. The most important at present in force are the Libel Acts, the Factory acts, the Copyright Acts, and the recent Newspaper, Pamphlets, &c. Acts, which will be found in alphabetical order.
There are various restrictions on the sale and use of Printing Presses, which have been imposed in consequence of the extended and secret influence often exercised by them; and the law of treason and libel is intimately associated with the Press.
The most important of these will be found under the head of “Newspapers.” Printers must keep a copy of every paper they print for hire or reward, and must endorse thereon the name of the person so employing them, under a penalty of £50.
Every printer who shall print a book or paper without having the printer’s name and address on the first or last leaf shereof, shall by the Act 2 & 3 Vic., s. 2, forfeit £5 for every copy printed, but the penalty may be mitigated to £5. It follows from the enactments, that a printer cannot recover his expenses plied with the statutory requirements.
With regard to the printing trade, many customs prevail which do not differ in point of law from the customs affecting other trades, it being the rule that customs of a peculiar trade are binding unless specially excluded.
The latest Act is that of 32 and 33 Victoria, cap. 14, by which persons are liable to a penalty of £1 1s. if they use the Royal Arms, or any other armorial bearings, crests, or ensigns—by whatever name the same shall be called,—on their paper bags, wrappers or bills. [Printers are therefore advised to caution their customers against using any of the above devices.]