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Regulations and Rules for the Printing Industry in Sweden, Stockholm (1752)

Source: Kongl. Maj:ts Nådige Förordning Och REGLEMENTE För Boktryckerne i Riket. Gifwit Stockholm i Råd-Camaren then 12. Aug. 1752. SIDERHOLM, Tryckt uti Kongl. Tryckeriet, Hos Directeuren PET. MOMMA.

Regulations and Rules for the Printing Industry in Sweden, Stockholm (1752), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer, www.copyrighthistory.org

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We, Adolph Fredrik, by the grace of God, King of the Swedes, the Goths, the Wends, and others, etc., etc., etc., heir to the throne of Norway, and Duke of Schleswig Holsten, etc., etc., do make it henceforth known such as We have been informed by those in our service that there have been various abuses of, and much disorder in, the printeries of the Realm, and that this has led to a difficult and deteriorating situation, as well as hindered the creation and progress of Literature and the book trade. We have therefore, in part to promote such, and in part to establish a better order between the printeries themselves and their workers, found it appropriate to gracefully issue and establish the following Articles:


As concerns the establishment of a Book Printers’ Society

§. 1.

All Book Printers in this Realm who now own, or intend in the future to establish their own printery, shall be obliged to establish a Community or Society, which is to hold public meetings, as often as needed, in Stockholm,


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in those locations which are most suitable for these purposes. Members of our and the Realms’ Chancellery-College, which oversees the printeries, shall chair these meetings. All Book Printers from the provinces, who are able to attend, have a right to participate and have their voices heard. Those unable to do so, can have their affairs represented by a delegate from one of the printeries operating in the city.

§. 2.

Since this Society is principally responsible for supervision of the book printers, so that all be carried out in an orderly fashion and that the craft may continue to develop and improve in the Realm, We grant the Society the authority to settle minor disputes that may arise between the Book Printers themselves or their workers, with respect to poor work performance or damages. The Society may also impose fines on the offenders, in minor cases among companies, in accordance with the paragraphs set out herein, and they may receive financial assistance from the relevant authorities in these matters. The monies obtained through these fines shall be to the Society’s account as a source of income to cover the necessary costs for the services of notaries, correspondence, and all other necessary expenses. The Notary


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is responsible to keep diligent records of all such receipts and expenses and present a report annually at the last public meeting. Any surplus in excess of costs shall be used in a manner beneficial to all Book Printers, as decided by the Society at the meeting and as the Society deems suitable.

§. 3.

The Book Printers’ Society is responsible to us and the Royal Chancellery (Cancellie-Collegio) for its activities and to this end it should keep diligent Records that can be presented upon request.

§. 4.

No Printer of Books in Stockholm shall, without good reason, fail to attend the meetings of the Printing Society, as organised in accordance with §. 1. The first failure to attend shall attract a fine of two (2) Daler Silvermynt. Thereafter, the fine shall be doubled for each subsequent absence. Should the Society deem it necessary to call in a Printer of Books from the provinces to attend, that summons shall be taken as mandatory. If he fails to attend, the Society shall decide on an appropriate fine in accordance with the circumstances. Insofar as the first-mentioned finable offence is concerned,


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neither may anyone leave the meeting during the deliberations without the consent of the others present, and following such the absentee shall accept their conclusions and their concurrent decisions. The decisions and agreements reached within the Society may not be disclosed to any other party or person on pain of a fine of six (6) Daler Silvermynt for the first offence – to be doubled for each subsequent offence.

§. 5.

Letters received by the Society may not be opened by anyone other than the person entrusted to do so by the Book Printers at the meeting, and any other person who does so shall be fined four (4) Daler Silvermynt. Should any person conceal any such letters or refrain from reporting any written information to the Society that he should report, he shall be fined twelve (12) Daler Silvermynt, the amount of the fine to be divided between the informant and the Society’s treasury. The same fine shall be imposed on anyone who writes anonymously in the name of the Society, without having been asked to do so, and such person shall also pay compensation for any damage caused to any other person as a result.



As concerns the establishment of new Book Printeries

§. 1.

We have been informed by those in our service of the establishment of a greater number of book printeries in the Realm


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than is necessary to provide sufficient work for its employees. It is, therefore, our gracious will that no further Book Printery shall be established without an application for permission to do so, and a convincing case being presented for the operation and maintenance of such an enterprise without detriment to the existing printeries. As such, any such application pertaining to the book printing industry, or anything that in any way affects this industry, must be presented to the Society so that its members may have the opportunity to present their opinions and recommendations prior to any decision being made.

§. 2.

Whosoever wishes to become a Printer of Books by the subsequent establishment of a Printery, shall give notice thereof and present good reasons for doing so in accordance with the preceding paragraph, and no person shall thereafter charge them with any fees for privileges or benefits, by whatever name called, under penalty of a fine of fifty (50) Daler Silvermynt. Instead, they shall pay the sum of twenty (20) Daler Silvermynt only for their membership in the Society. If he is the Printer’s Son or an Apprentice who has come to own a Printery through inheritance or marriage, he shall pay


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only ten (10) Daler Silvermynt. Widows of Book Printers may also operate the Printeries of their deceased spouses without paying a fee to the Society, provided they remain unwed and fit to operate the enterprise in an appropriate manner.



As concerns the settlement of transactions for and between Printery Owners

§. 1.

All Book Printers shall from the outset submit to the Society a record of their published books already printed, where it is also clearly stated which of these have received our gracious Privilege. Thereafter, they shall, every six months, submit such a record regarding everything they have printed either in their own or in any other printery, during the preceding six months, or which is in the course of being printed. The Society shall be responsible every six months for the compilation and publication of a reliable Catalogue of everything that is printed in this Realm based on these records.

§. 2.

Those Book Printers and Publishers who wish to be granted our gracious Privilege for any Book or Text must show proof that its Manuscript is complete or if it


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is a work that is to be published in instalments, then at least the first such instalment must be complete. As soon as the Privilege is granted, its recipient must immediately register it with the Society and announce it in the public newspapers. Should they neglect to do so, they themselves shall be liable for any damages or loss arising therefrom.


§. 3.

No one may attempt to reprint the Books and Tracts which have received our gracious Privilege, according to the conditions set forth therein. Likewise, no one may presume to publish minor works of ten or twelve sheets, even if they are published without Privilege, if a Manuscript has already been published. Violation will result in a fine of ten to twenty Daler Silvermynt, depending on the circumstances, and all distributed Copies will be confiscated. If a Privilege has expired, or if such a minor text which has been published without Privilege, becomes rare due to of its circulation, another person may publish it, provided that the previous publisher or the rightful owner, who should have been allowed to publish first, does not do so. Those that wish to publish a translation of a text, with or without Privilege, shall rapport this to our and the Realms’ Chancellery-College and provide proof of their work. After permission to publish


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has been granted, this person must announce this in the public newspapers so that no other person works in vain on the same work. If the original work (Originalet) is authored and published here in the Realm, the consent of the author (Auctors) or the legal rights holder should also be obtained and demonstrated for the translation, and the printing of the work should subsequently be offered in the same manner as specified above for new editions, to the publisher or the legal rights holder of the Original.

Furthermore, it is our wish that all Book Printers and Scriptures should be granted leave to sell their books and texts which they have published in this way. They are also permitted to employ Agents in the larger towns for their printed works, bound or otherwise.

§. 4.

It is hereby forbidden for any Printer of Books to print anything that has not undergone proper Censorship in accordance with the penalties described in the Regulations thereto. Neither, on pain of a two-hundred (200) Daler Silvermynt fine, may any person presume to print any book or Tract without explicitly stating the location, year and correct name of the Printery. It is also that person’s duty to keep the censored Manuscript with him at all times, so that it is always available to the censors.


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As concerns the promotion of the work in Printeries through the Abolition of Exclusivity Rights and Supplements

Since many are deterred from letting useful books be published due to so-called Exclusivity Right and Supplements, which are commonly used in most printeries, whereby every Apprentice in the printery has an exclusive right to not only certain Copies of each printed book on layout paper, but also other copies of the same book, to print on their own paper, whereby the person doing the lay out, who has incurred expenses, is hindered in sales and suffered damages due to this. On account of this, it is our gracious will and command that such so-called Exclusivity and Supplement arrangements shall henceforth be entirely abolished in all printeries, so that no one may presume to place any further claim on them, nor demand payment in money for it, subject to a fine of twenty (20) Daler Silvermynt for anyone


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convicted of doing so.



As concerns the protection of Printery Workers

In order that good and sufficient workers may not be lacking in the Printeries, We hereby declare that their people and workers shall be exempt from military service and war duty entirely, in the manner set forth in The Manufacturing Privileges and recent Regulation concerning Manufacturing workers. However, it is incumbent on the Society to ensure that no more people are protected by the Printeries than is necessary for the operation of the establishment.



As concerns Book Printery Apprentices


Inasmuch as Book Printery apprentices practice a free art and daily socialise with books and Scriptures, they also need to ensure that they lead by good example in their custom and an honourable way of conducting themselves. By means of their skills and abilities, they shall strive to improve their art in all matters that might be entrusted them. Since there is no other claim upon those who are skilled in the art of book printing than to exercise their utmost skill, under the best


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conditions, in the tasks associated with their work, then all Apprentices and Trainees ought to work with other Apprentices and Trainees without question and opposition, and not according to foreign custom, methods, and rules which have been introduced in certain printeries, known as “Wonts”, “Cornutskaper  (Creator of future printer's journeyman)” and “Postulants”. All apprentices shall work well and socialise well with one another. Anyone opposing this, or questioning the curriculum shall be fined twenty (20) Daler Silvermynt if it be a printer or ten (10) Daler Silvermynt if it be an apprentice.


Every Apprentice may change his Condition (his work agreement) twice a year, according to custom, that is fourteen days before Easter, and fourteen days before Michaelmas (29 September). Unless he has agreed otherwise with his Patron, should he fail to fulfil the time he has committed to work at the Printery, he shall be fined five (5) Daler Silvermynt, in order to compensate for any potential loss/damage. Similarly, the Patron must give the Apprentice fair renumeration and in general fulfil the agreement that they have entered into, unless legal reasons cause changes before the contract period has expired.


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§. 3.

No Printer of Books may hire any apprentice or worker from another printery without at first obtaining a valid termination of employment and a written proof thereof and that the previous Patron has been informed. Failure to do so shall incur a fine of ten (10) Daler Silvermynt, together with compensation for any other loss evidenced by the former Patron as a result. In such a situation the former proprietor also has the right to recall the apprentice or the worker, even by invoking the legislation if so needed. Whoever is proven as having bribed or lured any other employer’s worker while the worker was under Condition [see above], shall be liable to pay a fine of twelve (12) Daler Silvermynt each time this occurs.

§. 4.

Apprentices are responsible for all of the work they are assigned by their Patrons or Foremen. Should anyone recklessly or wrongfully conceal errors which might arise through proofreading, misprints, or the like shall pay a fine to the Printing Society according to the circumstances. No worker may refuse to undertake the Printery assignments that their Patron deems appropriate, lest they be fined three (3) Daler Silvermynt each time they do so. The setters of the texts must keep the pages of their proofs in order, write their names and dates on them and submit


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them before their accounts can be settled. The Printers must also be responsible for all paper and its use, which they have assigned for printing, so that nothing is lost, nor that any defects arise due to their fault.

§. 5.

If any person damages the printing works by wilfully destroying, mixing up, making defective or disturbing the order of typefaces or other working tools and damaging presses and other tools with intent, they shall be liable to pay a fine of forty (40) Daler Silvermynt and compensate for the damage they have caused. If the person does not have the means to pay the compensation he shall be sentenced to public labour, and it is up to the Society to judge whether the perpetrator is fit to work in the printing industry.


All disorderliness on Mondays off, late arrivals, wilful time-wasting, as well as unnecessarily going to and from other printeries on workdays, which hinders and distracts the diligent from their duties, shall be strictly prohibited. Anyone violation of this rule shall be fined three (3) Daler Silvermynt for the first offence, and double that amount if repeatedly caught breaking it. In addition, compensation shall be paid to the Patron for any damage caused by negligence. The same fine shall apply to anyone who attempts


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to incite others to misbehave, brings strong drink into the printery, initiates disputes, makes noise or engages in unnecessary and obstructive conversation. The same penalty shall apply to offensive words and physical altercations. If an apprentice leads and entices another trainee or printery employee into the taverns and questionable gatherings, he shall be fined three (3) Daler Silvermynt for the first offence, and double that amount for subsequent offenses. If it is found that the offender continues in his disorderly behaviour and cannot be corrected through monetary penalties, he shall be dealt with as prescribed in Article III, §5 of the Hall Regulations for Manufacturing workers of this kind. To ensure stricter oversight in this regard, the Printing Society is entitled either to have its own representatives inquire into the conduct of the printery workers on behalf of their employers when necessary and/or they may request the assistance of local prosecutors pr other authorised representatives.

If an Apprentice or Trainee disobeys the Patron himself, the Patron shall be entitled to exercise his proprietorial affairs, both within and outside the establishment. All public gatherings by Apprentices are strictly prohibited, carrying with it a penalty of ten (19) Daler Silvermynt each for anyone participating in such gatherings. In all these cases, the reasons for the violations should be briefly recorded and resolved


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by the Society in accordance with the usual procedures in the Halls of Justice.


If an Apprentice having room and board at his Patron’s establishment, should return home at the appropriate time, which during the six summer months, between April 1st until the end of September is 10 o’clock, and during the other six months, 9 o’clock. The first and second failure to do so shall result in a fine of two (2) Daler Silvermynt, the fine being doubled for subsequent offences. Should he cause disturbance at the door and in the establishment, alarming the Patron and other workers, his fine shall be four (4) Daler Silvermynt for each occasion.


Just as it is the responsibility of every Book Printer to provide his apprentices with necessary tools and Materials, the Apprentices must also diligently perform their work with the responsibility as prescribed in the earlier §.4: They must also promote the interests of their Patron in every reasonable way and avoid actions that cause them harm. Similarly, when they notice such actions, they should make the Patron aware of such. The Apprentice has a similar obligation to


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subordinate Trainees, whom they may not force to work at inappropriate hours or to be sent on errands outside designated work hours. The penalty for violation of this obligation shall be a fine of two (2) Daler Silvermynt. No Apprentice may presume to exchange or loan out any typeface, ink, or Printery property, under the penalty of twenty (20) Daler Silvermynt and compensation for the damage.


When a Book Printery owner places a Trainee worker under the supervision and guidance of an Apprentice, the latter should teach and instruct the Trainee honestly and diligently. The first offence for failing to do so will result in a fine of two (2) Daler Silvermynt, and subsequent offence will incur double the fine. However, the Apprentice shall receive special compensation for his teaching activities – these shall be termed “instruction fees”, totalling six (6) Daler Silvermynt. He may collect half of this amount when the Trainee attains a certain age and the remaining half when the Trainee proves his skulls following testing. When an Apprentice works alongside a Trainee, he is responsible for the work carried out by that Trainee as if it were his own, as specified in §.4.


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As concerns Trainees and their training


Every Printer of Books shall have the freedom to take in as many Trainees as they need and find necessary for their business. These Trainees should, in addition to Christianity, be able to read Swedish and Latin, both written and in print. Such a Trainee should also, at the very least, be tested for a month, during which his natural aptitude can be reasonably assessed. After this time and if the Trainee is found to be a suitable candidate, the printer shall inform the Society of this, and upon acceptance and enrolment, the Trainee shall receive proof of this at no charge.


The duration of the training shall depend upon and vary according to the age and circumstances of the Trainee, and shall be for 8, 7 or 6 years. Those of a more mature age may be accepted for a period of 5 to 4 years, but no less. However, it is always a condition that no one shall be released from their training until they can demonstrate proof of their skill as mentioned in §.5. below.


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Trainees learning the printing trade shall conduct themselves in a devout, calm, and obedient manner. They should never leave the premises without the permission and knowledge of their Patrons, being mindful to avoid questionable places and questionable company. They are not obliged to serve apprentices in any matter unrelated to the printing trade other than as mentioned in Article VI, §8. Any Apprentice who strikes or treats a Trainee with malice or ill intent shall be subject to a fine of five (5) Daler Silvermynt, which shall double upon repeated offences. On the other hand, the Printery Patron shall, in person, maintain discipline over Trainees, or through an appointed representative, to ensure that order is maintained, and that they shall duly fulfil their responsibilities.


No Trainee may forsake their Patron under any pretext before their training period is completed. If they run away, the Patron has the power to reclaim them by reasonable means. If the Printery Patron with whom the Trainee is registered passes away before the training period has been completed, the Trainee should complete his training under the supervision of the Patron’s Widow. Should she relinquish the Printery,


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then the Society should oversee the Trainee’s continuation of training at another printery. If a Trainee is found guilty of theft, licentiousness, or any other negligence and refuses to be corrected by the Printery owner, and thus cannot be retained for learning any longer, then, after reporting, the Society should determine any suitable harsher punishment that such a Trainee should be subject to. Where necessary, he should be handed over to the public workhouses, where, upon recommendation from the Society, he should be received and employed for as long as the circumstances warrant.


No Apprentice shall presume to discourage or dissuade any Trainee from continuing his training, under penalty of a fine of ten (10) Daler Silvermynt, regardless of whether the Trainee is still in his probationary period or has been registered. When a Trainee has completed his allotted years of training, he shall demonstrate the requisite proficiency in the skills he need possess, along with evidence of his personal conduct during the training period, the Printery Patron shall provide a testimonial to be submitted to the Society, along with evidence from the clergy of his progress


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in Christianity. Following this, upon payment of a six (6) Daler Silvermynt fee to the Society, the worker is released from their obligations and is entitled to an apprentice’s wage, as agreed upon from there with the Printery Patron. However, for the future, only competent and trustworthy Apprentices who honour the craft in both work and conduct shall be provided with testimonials. This first year of being released as such shall be considered his apprenticeship probation year, and after he has conducted this with diligence and to good effect, he will be attested as such by the Printery Patron, shall be declared an apprentice by the Society and receive his certificate, without which no printing practitioner can be recognised as a true apprentice.

In addition to the aforementioned six (6) Daler Silvermynt payment due the Society, the new apprentice shall give his Comrades a further eight (8) Daler Silvermynt, and following that no further expense may be incurred, nor shall any other payments be made, under the penalty of twenty (29) Daler Silvermynt to anyone who demands or offers [such ceremonies]. Henceforth, all so called initiation ceremonies [“cornut-skaper, postulants, depositions”], welcome ceremonies and other such self-imposed and baseless customs, serving only to promote violence and debt, regardless of their names, are hereby strictly prohibited and abolished.


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It is the responsibility of the incoming newcomers to be warned accordingly. Anyone who henceforth engages in such frivolous practices or supports them shall be fined fifty (50) Daler Silvermynt.



As concerns Correctors, Foremen and other Persons employed at the Printeries


Book Printery Owners in general, who do not themselves wish to or are unable to correct the works entrusted to them, shall be obliged to employ good and reliable Correctors. These Correctors, in turn, shall be responsible for Proofing and Correction and always return the works to the Printeries in a timely manner as agreed. And should it so happen that one or more sheets are incorrectly printed and damaged due to the corrector’s negligence, they shall bear the cost of their being reprinted.


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