One form of speech that was widely restricted in England was seditious libel, and laws were in place that made criticizing the government a crime.
This can range from simple threats to their professional careers (firing, professional blacklisting) to death threats, kidnapping, torture, and assassination.
Truth was not a defense to seditious libel because the goal was to prevent and punish all condemnation of the government.
Locke contributed to the lapse of the Licensing Act in 1695, whereupon the press needed no license.
If the author cannot reach a voluntary agreement with a publisher to produce the author's work, then the author must turn to self-publishing.
Beyond legal definitions, several non-governmental organizations use other criteria to judge the level of press freedom around the world: Every year, Reporters Without Borders establishes a ranking of countries in terms of their freedom of the press.
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Depending on the basics, the nations are then classified as "Free", "Partly Free", or "Not Free".