The Swedish Freedom of the Press Ordinance, Stockholm (1766)

Source: Kongl. Maj:ts Nådige Förordning, Angående Skrif- och Tryck-friheten. Gifwen Stockholm i Råd-Cammaren then 2. Decembr. 1766. Tryckt uti Kongl. Tryckeriet.

The Swedish Freedom of the Press Ordinance, Stockholm (1766), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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            Chapter 1 Page 3 of 8 total

§. 2. The unalterable fundamental law of Sweden states that there shall be one king: that he and no one else shall govern his kingdom with – and not without, and certainly not against – the advice of the Council of the Realm: that he shall do so in accordance with the laws approved and ratified by the Estates: that after him this will also apply to his direct male heirs as stipulated by the Estates of the Realm in the Act of Succession 1743: that no laws may be introduced or changed by any other authority than the legally convened Estates of the Realm in accordance with their authority as delegates to the Diet: that the privileges of any Estate may not be affected or changed without the unanimous agreement of all four Estates: that no new taxes or imposts may be laid upon the kingdom without the knowledge, free will and agreement of the Estates of the Realm: that without that same agreement no war may be started nor the coinage of the Realm be increased or reduced in terms of its proper weight and, additionally, that each individual member of the Council of the Realm is always accountable to the Estates for the advice he has given His Majesty, and officials are likewise accountable for their duties.

On pain of a fine of three hundred daler in silver coin no one shall in any way challenge or assail these fundamental laws, along with others irrevocably established or to be established by the Estates of the Realm, whether in writings or in printed publications.

§. 3. Should anyone dare voice defamatory or disparaging opinions about Us and Our Royal House in published writings, or make charges imputing the honour of any of the King and the Realm’s councillors, or defame them in other ways, he shall be judged according to statutory law.

Furthermore, should anyone insult the Estates of the Realm in the aforesaid manner, depending on the greater or lesser seriousness of his crime he shall either forfeit his life or suffer some other severe physical punishment.

Should anyone write a libellous pamphlet or anything else that is insulting or disparaging about any officials of the Realm or any other citizen, he shall be liable to a penalty according to statutory law. Nor is anyone permitted to make abusive statements in public writings about Crowned Heads or their close Blood Relatives or current Ruling Powers; nor to write and publish anything in print that promotes or justifies manifest vice and is thus contrary to a just, natural and Christian morality and its principles. Anyone who commits these offences shall be liable to a fine of three hundred daler in silver coin.

§. 4. The printer shall put the name of the author on the titlepage unless the latter desires to be anonymous; this request should not be refused but, for his own protection in such a case, the printer should obtain written proof that he was the author of the publication. Whether the publication is anonymous or otherwise, however, the name of the printer and of the town where it was published and the year of publication must always be given. If the printer omits to do this, he shall be liable to a fine of two hundred daler in silver coin.


§. 2. Swea Rikes oryggeliga Grundlag är, at en Konung skall wara: Han och ingen annan regera Riket sino med och icke utan, mindre emot Riksens Råds råde, efter the af Ständerne gillade och faststälte Lagar, samt efter Honom Thess Manlige Bröst-Arfwingar, på sätt, som Riksens Ständers Förening, angående Succcessionen af år 1743. förmår: At ingen annan Magt må äga Lag stifta eller förändra, än Riksens Lagligen församlade Ständer, likmätigt theras Riksdagsmanna Fullmagt: At ej något Stånds Privilegier, utan med alla fyra Ståndens enhällige samtycke kunna widröras eller förändras: Ej nya skatter och utlagor, utom Riksens Ständers wettskap, fria wilja och samtycke, Riket påläggas, samt thy förutan, hwarken Krig få begynnas, eller Riksens Mynt til Skrot och Korn, förhögning eller afslag undergå: såsom ock, Riksens Råd hwar för sig äro altid Ständer för sine inför Kongl. Maj:t gifne Rådslag, samt Embetsmän för theras förrättningar, til answar skyldige.

Thesse Grundlagar, med flere, som Riksens Ständer för oryggelige faststäldt, eller fastställandes warda, må ingen sig fördrista genom skrifter eller tryck i någon måtto bestrida eller anfäkta, wid Tryhundrade Daler Silfwermynts böter.

§. 3. Djerfwes någon i utgifna skrifter bruka lastande eller förklenliga omdömmen, om Oss och Wårt Konunga-Hus, eller gjöra någon Konungens och Rikets Råd sådane tilwitelser, som å theras ära gå, eller eljest smädeliga äro, warde dömd efter Allmän Lag.

Förgriper sig ock någon på förberörde sätt emot Riksens Ständer, then skal, efter brottets större eller mindre grofhet, antingen til lifwet straffas, eller med annan swår kropps plikt beläggas.

Skrifwer någor smädeskrift, eller thet eljest skymfeligt och förklenligt är, mot Rikets Ämbetsmän, eller någon annan Medborgare, plikte efter Allmän Lag. Så ware ock ingen tillåtit, at i allmänna skrifter sig betjena af smädeliga utlåtelser om Krönta Hufwuden eller theras närmaste Blodsförwanter och samtida Regerande Magter; icke eller at skrifwa och i trycket utföra något, hwarigenom en uppenbar last främjas eller förswaras, och således med ärbarhet, en rättskaffens naturlig och Christelig Sedolära, samt thess grunder, icke öfwerensstämmer; Hwar som häremot bryter, ware til Trehundrade Daler Silfwermynts böter förfallen. 

§. 4. Boktryckaren utsätter på Titulbladet Författarens namn, så framt thenne ej åstundar wara onämnd, hwilket icke förnekas bör, och tage Boktryckare i sådan händelse til sin säkerhet, hans skrifteliga bewis, at han skriften författat; Dock bör altid, ehwad skriften är utan namn, eller icke, therå sättas Boktryckarens egit och Stadens namn, ther tryckningen skedt, jemte Åratalet: Försummar Boktryckare thet, böte Tuhundrade Daler Silfwermynt. 


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