[sword-devel] Copyright Scripture distribution

Brandon Staggs sword-devel@crosswire.org
Mon, 6 Dec 1999 11:16:30 -1000

> Perhaps it is time to challenge the laws that protect a translation as
> a significant creative work.

As I understand the law, it does *not* support a translation as being a
creative work at all. It may take time and labor, but such things are
outside the realm of copyright (and in the case of Bible translations, these
are always paid for by donations anyway). Perhaps it is time for someone
with more legal abilities to challenge them? I doubt if that will happen, as
no one really wants to go to the courts over these things.

> 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.

Excellent point, and one worth considering, on many levels.

A Christian's primary goal when working with these types of things shold not
be profit, though I do not believe that it is wrong to seek or desire
profit. In the case of God's word, though, people should always be willing
to miss some profits to help others.

With my own shareware Bible software, SwordSearcher, I do ask people to pay
for it (and I then send them a CD-ROM), but I also allow ANYONE who requests
a free registration to use it without pay. It's the least I can do, and
since God is blessing me with enough paid users to support my family, I
think I have the right attitude. And I doubt anyone here would argue that
programming is not a creative work. :-)