Publication certificate

A certificate of no legal impediment to publication (publication certificate) means that your website or database is covered by constitutional protection. If your business is considered a mass medium, you may, under certain conditions, benefit from automatic constitutional protection for your databases or websites, which private individuals and other operators do not. However, as another operator, you can apply for a voluntary publication certificate from us.

What a publication certificate means

With acertificate, your website or database is protected by the Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression. This means that:

  • There are specific rules on liability for freedom of expression offences
  • The publisher is responsible for what is published
  • Communicators have the right to remain anonymous – which means that authorities are not allowed to investigate their names and journalists are not allowed to reveal the identity of the communicator
  • Authorities may not prescreen or obstruct publication (censorship ban)

You also have the option of publishing data that would not be allowed otherwise under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The regulation allows for exceptions from the rules on personal data processing for websites with publications certificates so as to uphold the right to freedom of expression.

Automatic constitutional protection for the mass media

Mass media companies are subject to automatic constitutional protection and must register their publishers and the names of their databases with us.

Mass media companies are defined under the Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression as:

  • Editorial office of a printed periodical Editorial office for radio and television
  • Printing house
  • Book and music publishing
  • News agencies

Voluntary publication certificate for databases

If you are another operator or a private individual, you can apply for a voluntary certificate of no legal impediment to publication (publication certificate) from us. This gives you the same constitutional protection that the mass media gets through its automatic protection. For example, a voluntary certificate gives you the same protection as newspapers, radio or TV publisher if you run a blog, news site, digital cinema or web service.

As well as giving you a number of rights, a publication certificate also entails  some obligations. A certificate is valid for 10 years and can be renewed after that. Such an application is made in the same way as an initial application through our e-service.

Criteria for obtaining a publication certificate

To obtain a certificate, the website or database must meet the following criteria:

  • It is accessible to the public.
  • It is provided on specific request, i.e. the visitor actively looks for it.
  • It is well defined and appears to be a coherent product on account of consistent design, for example.
  • It cannot be changed by anyone other than the editorial staff.
  • It has a name that normally includes a domain name.

The website or database must also comply with the following:

  • It must have a connection to Sweden, e.g. by having its editorial team here.
  • It must have a responsible editor.
  • It must have a name that cannot be confused with any other database registered with us.