[sword-devel] Copyrighted Texts Summary

Troy A. Griffitts sword-devel@crosswire.org
Wed, 01 Dec 1999 13:01:41 -0700

Over the past few weeks the onslaught of messages on sword-devel
concerning copyrighted texts has prompted much prayer and thought.  I
really appreciate everyone sharing their heart on the matter and I've
been wanting to write what I feel is the summary of the situation.

  o	By all means we wished to be above reproach concerning the laws of
our land.  Period.  No exceptions.

  o	Where we may be in a gray area concerning the law is in regard to
distribution of these copyrighted texts among ourselves working on the

  o	I don't believe this is against the spirit of the law or against the
interest of preservation of income for the copyright holder.

  o	The only complaint we have ever received by a copyright holder was
from the UBS regarding the NA27U4 module when we were PUBLICLY
distributing per the terms of the CCAT agreement but hadn't 'officially'
asked to do such.  And with which request we immediately complied and
moved the module to our developers'-only forum which satisfied the USB.

Where we have fallen short is in regard to pursuing these copyright
holders for permission.  I believe we should aggressively try to resolve
the issues with these texts-- either by getting permission and removing
the encipher mechanism, or being denied permission and removing the
module all together.

This is the path I personally will work toward over the next few weeks.

Since releasing the new download page, making the enciphered modules
visible to the public we have had about 5 requests per day asking where
one might send money to obtain the decipher keys.  I have mailed many of
these individuals explaining our situation and have had many people step
up and say they are willing to spearhead efforts for particular texts.

I also believe if larger companies like Zondervan know about the
frequency of requests we have received, they will be more likely to take
on an online effort to sell these themselves for our tool and do their
own publicity.

I will set up an online database containing entries for each module and
the steps that have been taken to contact the publisher.  The database
will be online updatable by each of the individuals that have taken the
lead for a respective module, via a semi-userfriendly private webpage.

I know this may not meet some of your expectations, but these are the
best steps that I can see.  Again, thank you for all of your heartfelt
comments, and a renewed willingness to participate in this area.

	In God's grace,