[sword-devel] Copyright Scripture distribution

Darwin Gregory sword-devel@crosswire.org
Mon, 6 Dec 1999 09:57:50 -0800 (PST)

--- Patrick Narkinsky <patrick@freeware.org> wrote:
> Y'know...
> I have to agree with Pergamum here.  While, sadly, we have no choice
> but to respect the copyright held by the Bible Society's (and
> enforced by their "publisher's of choice" -- e.g. NIV = Zondervan +
> IBS; NASB = Tyndale + Lockwood -- I think) I have to say that I think
> that what they are doing is very wrong.
> In fact, it sounds suspiciously like Simony on the part of the
> copyright holders to me.  And I don't mind saying it.  It's time
> to call a pig a pig and label the Christian publishing business
> for what it is: a callous attempt to grab money from believers.

Unfortunately, I have to agree.  Just go to your local Christian book
store and it is easy to see that the prices are excessive on
everything.  I can buy 8 pencils with a baseball team's logo in many
stores for well under 2 bucks.  To get 8 pencils with a Christian
message takes much more (about $2.80 if I remember right).  The
baseball pencils must pay licensing fees, so how come a "Jesus Loves
You" pencil with no royalties is more expensive?  I suspect that it is
because the peopel that want them place more value on the message, and
can therefore be charged more. That is a small side issue just to
present what I think the real problem is.

Why does Bible software cost more than a CD encyclopedia?  There is
just as big a profit motive for Grolliers and others, but the pressing
need by the readers is less.

How come National Geographic can publish all of their works for under
$100, but the translation of a document that has not changed in almost
2000 years with other supporting works that haven't changed
significantly in decades be sold for over $500????

We unfortunately are victims of wanting the most valuable information
in the world, and there are people willing to take advantage of us.  If
we were in a hurricane stricken area, and paying $20 for a small bottle
of drinking water, the government would step in put a stop to it. 
However, trying to distribute the word of the one who gives us living
water is not protected nearly as well.

Perhaps it is time to challenge the laws that protect a translation as
a significant creative work.  Or to realize that if someone considers
their translation a significant creative work, then it is NOT the word
of God, but their creative work.  I personally find this troubling, as
the NIV is my primary translation for daily reading, but I must
consider this issue.

If love were the motive instead of profit, Bible related books,
software, tapes and other materials would be so cheap that the lost
would buy "Jesus Loves You" pencils just to take advantage of the great
price, and therefore unwitingly spreading the gospel.

... Darwin

... Darwin Gregory

I am a creationist.
You can be too, just check out the facts!
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