[sword-devel] Sorry, I can't export sapphire.zip, but...

Chris Little sword-devel@crosswire.org
Thu, 18 Nov 1999 16:52:53 -0800


I basically agree.  Etexts work basically the same as cryptography software
when it comes to distribution.  The best you can possibly do is tell the
person who you give it to not to give it out to anyone else (or anyone
outside the US in the latter case) and hope that they follow your
instructions.  What they actually do is out of your control.

With SWORD, the keys can be given away by the original purchaser to his
1,000,000 closest friends.  With Logos, the key file can be given away in
just the same manner.  One involves copying and pasting text, the other
copying and pasting a file.  The only way to improve the security model
would be individualized dynamic encryption through a web-based POS
interface.  You plug in your credit card number, it spits out a dynamically
encrypted module file and a unique key tailored for that file.  The customer
could still hand over the file and the key to a friend, but at least it
would be a larger task than before and would provide a means for tracking
pirates if the keys were kept on record.

Being open source doesn't put us at any disadvantage compared to the Bible
software retailers.  Yes, with our API, you can write a program to take an
encrypted module and churn out an unencrypted module.  But every semi-decent
Bible package for Windows that I know of (OLB, BW4, LLS, ...) has some form
of export function that is easily exploited to achieve the same result.
Actually, OLB is the only package I know that allows for user-made modules,
but it is still easy to export data from all of the packages and form some
kind of ASCII, PDF, OLB, or SWORD formatted etext.

--Chris Little