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

Michael Paul Johnson sword-devel@crosswire.org
Fri, 19 Nov 1999 08:35:23 -0700

At 08:02 11/19/1999 -0500, you wrote:
>To the point, protecting against piracy to make this effort more
>commercially attractive to retailers seems a strange conversation for
>your mission as I understood it. ...

Your point hasn't escaped notice by everyone. The main point of the Sword 
project is to make available FREE Bible texts in many languages that can be 
viewed with FREE software, all of which may be freely copied. This makes 
the Word of God most available to the most people, so that the most people 
can be saved and become true disciples of Jesus Christ. As such, point of 
sale control and copy protection are not issues.

Unfortunately, some Bible texts in some languages are not available for 
free, due to copyright restrictions and copyright holder policies. These 
include some of the most popular translations in English, but also the ONLY 
translations available in some other languages. This also includes the 
United Bible Societies Greek New Testament, in spite of the fact that there 
are valid arguments against the validity of this copyright. Therefore, 
without breaking copyright law, we either placate copyright holders with 
some kind of point of sale control that they can manage, or we don't offer 
those texts at all.

As for me, my efforts have been concentrated on preparing the text of the 
World English Bible, so that we can have a FREE whole Bible in Modern 
English, and reducing the need for commercial texts like the NIV, NKJV, 
NASB, NRSV, etc. These other reputable and trusted translations are still 
valuable for comparison and study, but with the World English Bible 
available, nobody who speaks English needs to be denied access to the Holy 
Bible in contemporary English for lack of payment to the associated 
copyright holders.

With over 6,000 languages spoken on this planet 
(http://www.sil.org/ethnologue), we have our work cut out for us...


Michael Paul Johnson