Point in Time
Act No: CAP. 111
Act Title: BOOKS AND NEWSPAPERS
[ Date of commencement: 19th July, 1960. ]
[ Date of assent: 1st July, 1960. ]
PART I – PRELIMINARY
1.
Short title

This Act may be cited as the Books and Newspapers Act.

2.
Interpretation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“book” includes any volume, encyclopaedia, magazine, review, Gazette, pamphlet, leaflet, sheet of letterpress, sheet of music, map, plan and chart, which is separately published, and any part or division thereof, but does not include a newspaper, visiting or business card, bill-head, letter-heading, price list, annual report, trade circular, trade advertisement or other legal or trade or business document;

“newspaper” includes any printed matter containing news, or intelligence, or reports of occurrences, of interest to the public or any section thereof, or any views, comments or observations thereon, printed for sale or distribution and published periodically or in parts or numbers at intervals not exceeding three months, but does not include a visiting or business card, bill-head, letter-heading, price list, annual report, trade circular, trade advertisement or other legal or trade or business document;

“print” means to produce or reproduce words or pictures in visible form by printing, writing, typewriting, duplicating, cyclostyling, lithography, photography or any other mode of representing the same in visible form, but does not include the representation of words or pictures by means of cinematography or television;

“register” means a register required to be kept by section 4;

“Registrar” means the person appointed to be Registrar of Books and Newspapers under section 3 of this Act, and includes a person appointed under that section to be a Deputy or Assistant Registrar.

3.
Appointment of Registrar, etc.

The Minister shall, by notice in the Gazette, appoint a Registrar of Books and Newspapers to perform the duties and exercise the powers imposed and conferred on the Registrar by this Act and any rules made thereunder, and may appoint a Deputy Registrar and any number of Assistant Registrars, who shall be subject to the directions of the Registrar.

4.
Registers

The Registrar shall keep registers in the prescribed forms in which he shall register the returns in respect of books and newspapers made to him under sections 6 and 8, and the bonds delivered to him under sections 11 and 13, and shall enter therein such other particulars and matters as may be prescribed.

PART II – DEPOSIT AND REGISTRATION OF BOOKS AND NEWSPAPERS
5.
Exclusions from application of Part
(1)

This Part shall not apply to or in respect of any book or newspaper printed or published by or on behalf of the Government.

(2)

The Minister may, by notice in the Gazette, exclude any book or newspaper or any class thereof from the operation of all or any of the provisions of this Part, either absolutely or subject to such conditions as he may think fit.

[L.N. 462/1963, Sch., Act No. 21 of 1966, First Sch.]

6.
Copies of books to be delivered to the Registrar and returns to be made
(1)

The publisher of every book printed and published in the Colony shall—

(a)

before or within fourteen days after publication of the book, at his own expense deliver to the Registrar such number of copies thereof, not exceeding three in number, as may be prescribed, together with a return in respect thereof in the prescribed form, containing the prescribed particulars and signed by him;

(b)

if so required by the Registrar by notice in writing not later than one year after publication of the book, deliver to the Registrar, at his own expense and within one month after receipt of such notice, so many additional copies thereof, not exceeding three in number, as may be specified in the notice;

(c)

in order to facilitate the publication of the national bibliography of Kenya under section 4(k) of the Kenya National Library Service Board Act (Cap. 225A), before or within fourteen days after publication of the book, at his own expense, deliver to the Director, Kenya National Library Service, two copies thereof, together with a return in respect thereof in the prescribed form, containing the prescribed particulars and signed by him.

(2)

In the case of an encyclopaedia, magazine, review, Gazette or other book (not being a newspaper) published periodically or in a series of numbers or parts, a notice under paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of this section may relate to any or all issues, numbers or parts thereof which may be subsequently published in the Colony by the publisher to whom the notice is addressed.

(3)

All copies of a book delivered under subsection (1) of this section shall be copies of the whole book, with all maps, prints or other illustrations belonging thereto finished and coloured in the same manner as in the best copies of the same published in the Colony, and shall be bound, sewed or stitched together, and of the best paper on which the book is printed.

(4)

Nothing in this section shall apply to any second or subsequent edition of a book the required number of copies of the first or any preceding edition of which have been delivered to the Registrar under this section, unless the second or subsequent edition contains any addition or alteration, whether in the letterpress or in the maps, prints or other illustrations belonging thereto.

(5)

(a) Upon receipt of a copy of a book delivered under this section the

Registrar shall issue a written receipt therefor.

(b)

Upon receipt of a copy of a book delivered to him under subsection(1)(c), the Director, Kenya National Library Service, shall acknowledge receipt thereof in writing to the publisher.

(6)

The copies of books delivered to the Registrar under paragraph (a) of subsection (1) shall be kept for the purpose of record in such place or manner, or otherwise dealt with or disposed of in such manner or for such purposes, as may be prescribed; and the copies of books delivered to the Registrar under paragraph (b) of the said subsection (1) shall be sent by the Registrar to such persons or institutions as the Minister may from time to time direct.

7.
Copies of newspapers to be delivered to the Registrar and to the Directors, Kenya National Library Services
(1)

The publisher of every newspaper printed in Kenya shall, upon every day upon which the newspaper is published, at his own expense deliver, or send by registered post, to the Registrar two copies of the newspaper and two copies of every supplement thereto (if any).

(2)

Such copies shall be of the paper on which the largest number of copies of the newspaper are printed and published, and shall be in the like condition as the copies prepared for sale or distribution.

(3)

The copies delivered to the Registrar under this section shall be kept for the purpose of record in such place or manner, or otherwise dealt with or disposed of in such manner or for such purposes, as may be prescribed.

8.
Returns of newspapers to be made to the Registrar
(1)

The publisher for the time being of every newspaper printed in Kenya shall, within fourteen days after the date on which it is first published, and in the month of January in every year thereafter, make, sign and deliver to the Registrar a return in the prescribed form in respect thereof.

(2)

If, after any such return has been so delivered and before the next succeeding return in respect of the same newspaper is so delivered, any change occurs in any of the particulars returned, other than a change in circulation, the publisher for the time being of the newspaper shall, within one month of the change occurring, make, sign and deliver to the Registrar a return thereof in the prescribed form.

PART III – BONDS
10.
Exclusions from application of Part
(1)

This Part shall not apply to, or to or in respect of the printing or publication of any newspaper by or on behalf of the Government.

(2)

The Minister may, by notice in the Gazette, exclude any specified person or class of persons from the operation of all or any of the provisions of this Part, either absolutely or subject to such conditions as he may think fit.

12.
Withdrawal of surety

If a surety desires to withdraw from a bond, and gives to the Registrar and to all other persons bound thereby not less than one month’s notice in writing of such desire, he shall on the expiration of the period of such notice be discharged from his suretyship under the bond:

Provided that the surety shall continue to be liable under the bond in respect of any penalties, damages or costs imposed, adjudged or awarded for and in respect of any offence committed, or any libel printed or published, before his discharge.

13.
New bond in certain cases

Whenever a surety—

(a)

gives notice of his desire to withdraw from a bond under the provisions of section 12; or

(b)

dies; or

(c)

leaves Kenya without leaving property therein sufficient and available to satisfy the full sum for which he is bound as a surety; or

(d)

has a receiving order made against him; or

(e)

pays the whole or any part of the sum for which he is bound as a surety,

or whenever a bond under this Part is enforced against a printer or publisher liable thereunder as a principal, the printer or publisher, as the case may be, shall, within one month thereafter, execute, register and deliver to the Registrar in the manner provided by section 11 a new bond for the same purpose and in the same sum, and upon the completion of such execution, registration and delivery the old bond shall be thereby discharged:

Provided that all persons liable, whether as principals or sureties, under the old bond shall continue to be liable thereunder in respect of any penalties, damages or costs imposed, adjudged or awarded for and in respect of any offence committed, or any libel printed or published, before the discharge of the old bond.

PART IV – GENERAL
15.
Inspection of register, etc., and provision of copies of and extracts from registers
(1)

Any person may, during the usual hours of business and on payment of the prescribed fee, inspect a register, or require to be supplied with a copy of or an extract from any subsisting entry in a register, certified by the Registrar to be a true copy or extract.

(2)

Any person may, during such hours, on payment of such fee, and subject to such conditions, as may be prescribed, inspect any book or newspaper kept by the Registrar under this Act for the purpose of record.

16.
Evidentiary value of copies and extracts, and of certificates
(1)

Every copy of an entry in, and every extract from, a register, certified under the hand of the Registrar to be a true copy or extract, shall in all legal proceedings be conclusive evidence of the contents of the register so far as the same appear in such copy or extract, and prima facie evidence of the facts appearing therein.

(2)

A certificate under the hand of the Registrar stating that he has or has not received any notice or return under this Act or any rules made thereunder, or that he received such a notice or return on, or did not receive such a notice or return by or before, a specified date, shall in all legal proceedings be prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein.

(3)

A certificate under subsection (1) or subsection (2), purporting to be signed by the Registrar, shall be presumed, until the contrary is proved, to have been signed by him.

(4)

No process for compelling the production of any book, newspaper, register or document kept by, or in the possession or custody of, the Registrar shall issue from any court except with the leave of that court, and any such process issued with such leave shall bear a statement that it is so issued.

17.
Printed documents to bear the name of printer and publisher
(1)

Every book and every newspaper printed within the Colony shall have printed legibly in the English language on its first or last printed page the name and address of its printer and of its publisher and the name of the place in which it is printed and of the place in which it is published.

(2)

Any person who prints, publishes, sells, distributes or assists in selling or distributing any book or newspaper which does not comply with the requirements of subsection(1) shall be guilty of an offence and be liable to a fine not exceeding five thousand shillings or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both such fine and imprisonment, and in addition the court may order all copies of the book or newspaper in the custody of the court or in the possession of the offender to be forfeited or destroyed.

19.
Power to seize certain books, etc., and to search premises
(1)

Any police officer may seize any book or newspaper, wherever found, which has been printed or published, or which he reasonably suspects to have been printed or published, in contravention of this Act.

(2)

Any magistrate may by warrant authorize any police officer not below the rank of Assistant Inspector, with or without assistance, to enter and search any place where it is reasonably suspected that any books or newspapers printed or published in contravention of this Act are being kept or that any other offence under this Act or any rules thereunder has been, is being or is about to be committed, and to seize any books and newspapers found therein which he reasonably suspects to have been so printed or published, together with any other evidence of the commission of an offence under this Act or any rules thereunder which may be there found.

(3)

If any police officer not below the rank of Assistant Inspector has reasonable cause to believe that the delay which would occur in obtaining a search warrant under subsection (2) would, or would tend to, defeat the purposes of this Act, he may, without warrant, exercise the powers described in that subsection as if he had obtained a search warrant thereunder.

(4)

Any book, newspaper or other thing seized under this section shall be brought as soon as practicable before a magistrate, who may, if he is satisfied that the book or newspaper was printed or published in contravention of this Act or any rules thereunder, or that such other thing has been used in the commission of an offence under this Act or any rules thereunder, order that it be forfeited or destroyed.

20.
Offences by corporations, societies, etc.

Where any offence under this Act or under any rules made thereunder is committed by a company or other body corporate, or by a society, association or body of persons, every person charged with, or concerned or acting in, the control or management of the affairs or activities of such company, body corporate, society, association or body of persons shall be guilty of that offence and liable to be punished accordingly, unless it is proved by such person that, through no act or omission on his part, he was not aware that the offence was being or was intended or about to be committed, or that he took all reasonable steps to prevent its commission.

21.
Service of notices

Service of any notice under this Act or any rules made thereunder may be effected either personally on the person to whom it is addressed or by registered post; and, where the person to be served is a company or other body corporate, or a society, association or other body of persons, service of the notice thereon may be effected by serving the same personally on any secretary, director or other officer thereof or on any person concerned or acting in the management thereof, or by leaving it or sending it by registered post addressed to the company, body corporate, society, association or body of persons at its registered office, or, where there is no registered office, at any place where it carries on business.

22.
Rules

The Minister may make rules generally for the better carrying out of the purposes of this Act, and in particular may make rules for any of the following purposes—

(a)

prescribing the forms of registers, returns, applications, notices and bonds, and other forms, to be used under this Act;

(b)

prescribing the particulars and matters to be entered in the registers;

(c)

prescribing the place and manner of keeping copies of books and newspapers delivered to the Registrar under this Act, or the manner in which and purposes for which any such copies shall, consistently with the purposes and provisions of this Act, be dealt with or disposed of;

(d)

prescribing the information to be furnished to the Registrar by way of periodical return or otherwise;

(e)

prescribing the particulars and matters to be published by the Registrar and the manner of publication;

(f)

prescribing the fees which may be levied under this Act;

(g)

prescribing penalties for contravention of any such rules, not exceeding in any case a fine extending to five thousand shillings or imprisonment for a term extending to six months or both such fine and imprisonment.

23.
Repeal and saving

The Book and Newspaper Registration Act (Cap. 310) is hereby repealed:

Provided that any return made, and any register kept, and any copies of books or newspapers delivered, under any provision of that Act before the commencement of this Act, shall be deemed for the purposes of this Act to be a return made, a register kept or copies delivered under the provision of this Act most closely corresponding to such provision.