18 U.S. Code § 442. Printing contracts

Neither the Director of the Government Publishing Office, superintendent of printing, superintendent of binding, nor any of their assistants shall, during their continuance in office, have any interest, direct or indirect, in the publication of any newspaper or periodical, or in any printing, binding, engraving, or lithographing of any kind, or in any contract for furnishing paper or other material connected with the public printing, binding, lithographing, or engraving.

Whoever violates this section shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on section 53 of title 44, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Public Printing and Documents (Jan. 12, 1895, ch. 23, § 34, 28 Stat. 605).

Words “on conviction before any court of competent jurisdiction” were omitted as unnecessary, since punishment cannot be imposed until there has been a conviction before a competent tribunal.

Words “in the penitentiary” were omitted as surplusage as section 4082 of this title commits all prisoners to the custody of the Attorney General. (See reviser’s note under section 1 of this title.)

The minimum punishment provision “for a term of not less than one nor” was omitted in keeping with policy of codifiers of 1909 Criminal Code.

Mandatory punishment provision was rephrased in the alternative.

The offense described in this section involves no moral turpitude, and therefore the punishment provisions were reduced from 5 years to 1 year, so that the stigma of a felony would not attach to an offender. The fine was increased from $500 to $1,000 as more proportionate to the 1-year term of imprisonment. (See classification of felony and misdemeanor in section 1 of this title and note thereunder.)


1994—Pub. L. 103–322 substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $1,000” in second par.

Change of Name

“Director of the Government Publishing Office” substituted for “Public Printer” in text on authority of section 1301(d) of Pub. L. 113–235, set out as a note under section 301 of Title 44, Public Printing and Documents.