[sword-devel] Copyright Scripture distribution

Pergamum sword-devel@crosswire.org
Tue, 7 Dec 1999 00:43:23 -0600

You know... I think I'm starting to sound like a broken record sometimes
when I post.  But now I think I know WHY GOD's got my mental CD-player
skipping on the same track.  :)
Darwin, you make an excellent point here about the pencils and that.  I had
never really considered that because my primary focus in the debate is the
Word of GOD and I have always considered pencils, stickers, t-shirts, etc.
as mere trinkets and superfluous.  You are however very right about the
issue.  I was, as a matter of fact looking in a local Christian bookstore
yesterday for a bible case.  Most of these monstrosities cost more than the
bibles themselves.  Anywhere from $30-$100.  Turn the page, I go to Wal-mart
and cases of the same quality for $10-$20.  All I have to say to the
bookstore in question on this regard is "It sucks to be you.  I just gave
Wal-mart the money I would have otherwise given YOU."  Wal-Mart also carries
little Christian trinkets, etc for very reasonable prices.  And if these
Non-Christian stores can assume reasonable costs for things like this then
what is the major malfunction with these Christian sellers.  Sometimes
however cost is excessive and justifiably so.
Yes, I have paid excessive sums of money for some of my bibles.  But I in no
way paid, in my opinion, $50-$100 for the bible texts.  I paid it for the
commentaries of the specific editors: Grant Jeffrey, John Hagee, Dake. and
the editors of "Greek-Hebrew Key Study Bible", "Knowing Jesus Study Bible,
etc.  I do not mind paying that.  Nor would I consider using it without
their permission.  But to expect to bilk millions from believers just to
spread the Word of GOD unadorned is outrageous.
Music is another good example.  Especially with my taste.  I enjoy Christian
music of the hardcore metal persuasion.  When I find it in a Christian
bookstore they expect about $2-$3 more than a secular store wants.  In other
words.  It is cheaper for a Metallica or Slayer CD than for Deliverance,
Mortification, Believer or Living Sacrifice.  UNLESS of course I order it
from a secular music store, which will be more than happy usually to do so.
In which most cases it is either the same price or sometimes lower than any
other CD in the store.  Why is that?  I'm more than happy to give my money
to, say Blockbuster music over the local Christian bookstore in order for
them to get my music.  Why?  Simple.  Because if I go in an order enough,
they see a demand for the music and they begin to carry it.  And most
Christian rock or metal bands end up in the regular Rock/Metal sections of
the store.  Thus more unbelievers that might just be looking for a good jam
will hear them and come to Christ because of it.  Good examples are King's
X, Galactic Cowboys, Believer Grammartrain and Bride.  All of whom are on
secular labels. (though some are also cross-distributed by Christian labels)
I'm likely to think that these bands reach more minds and hearts than say
Audio Adrenaline or even Bloodgood or Living Sacrifice because they are on
Christian-only labels and thus are usually (unless annoying punks like me)
go in and show the secularists that there is a demand.
Personally I don't much care if my pencil says "Jesus Loves You" because it
is eventually going to just say "You", then just "u".  But there are people
that do want to buy these items and non-Christian stores are catching wind
of this and, unlike their Christian counterparts, do not feel the need to
price everything in their inventory like a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork.

Why is that?

In Christ Jesus,

----- Original Message -----
From: Darwin Gregory <darwin_gregory@yahoo.com>
To: <sword-devel@crosswire.org>
Sent: Monday, 06 December, 1999 11:57
Subject: Re: [sword-devel] Copyright Scripture distribution

> --- 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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