[sword-devel] Legal ?

Yeshiah Zalman sword-devel@crosswire.org
Tue, 23 Nov 1999 16:46:15 -0500

We NEED the texts available for the developers to actually WORK on them.
They are not publically available and neither are the decryption codes.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Paul Gear <paulgear@bigfoot.com>
To: <sword-devel@crosswire.org>
Sent: Tuesday, November 23, 1999 4:15 PM
Subject: Re: [sword-devel] Legal ?

> Michael Paul Johnson wrote:
> > At 05:49 11/23/1999 -0700, you wrote:
> > >My understanding of 'legal' is that if you own a printed work for which
> > >you paid royalty to the copyright holder, you own the right to use that
> > >work from any media you desire.  Thus, if I have an NASB Bible sitting
> > >on my shelf, I have every right to scan that work to electronic media
> > >for my personal use.
> >
> > According to the letter of the law, you have no such right. You have the
> > right to make copies of small portions of it, but not whole copies, no
> > matter what form it is in. The copyright holder has the right to control
> > who makes how many copies and in what form. That is why it is called a
> > copyright. To get an idea of what the publisher calls "fair use" of their
> > Bible, look at the copyright and permissions page.
> >
> > >You are NOT legally able to 'distribute' that work to others, but they
> > >may also use an electronic copy if they own a printed copy, or
> > >viceversa.
> >
> > Again, this is even more blatantly contrary to the letter of the law. I
> > dare you to find either a Bible publisher or a lawyer who agrees with you
> > on this point.
> I'm with Mike on these points.  We may not like the restrictions, but they are
> there, and we should honour the law.
> > >The reason they exist on our site is to TEASE people :)
> > >
> > >Actually, that's partially true.  I'm hoping someone will be encouraged
> > >to contact the copyright holders.  I began efforts, but don't have time
> > >nor the language ability to follow up.
> >
> > It takes more than eloquence. It takes money (lots of it, in some cases), a
> > more accurate knowledge of copyright law, and the courtesy to not appear to
> > them to be pirates (i. e. someone who posts their text on an ftp site
> > without their permission) before you even start serious negotiations.
> I think this is a very good point.  If we are going to actively seek the
> permission to use these texts, they should not be on the ftp site.  The people
> who have edited them can keep them on their own systems, and as permission
> becomes available, transfer them to the ftp site.  That way we would be seen
> to be doing the right thing, which is an important thing when dealing with
> profit-driven publishers.
> > As much as I detest the copyrighted status of some Bibles and the policies
> > of some profit-driven publishers, I don't believe we are at the point where
> > we need to defy copyright law to get the Gospel out. Although I would agree
> > that some copyright claims are not very defensible, such as the UBS4/NA27
> > Greek New Testament copyright claimed by the American Bible Society, others
> > are quite defensible, like the NIV and NASB. Note that Zondervan (part of
> > Rupert Murdoch's media enterprises along with "The Simpsons") in particular
> > has both considerable interest in defending its copyrights on the NIV and
> > NIrV, and the resources to do so effectively. Even the ABS has demonstrated
> > the willingness to deny copyright permission for a public reading of one of
> > their new translations in a city park.
> The mind boggles at this!  I thought the whole purpose of the Bible societies
> was to make the Bible _available_ to people!
> > Still, there are several English
> > translations that can be freely distributed, including the World English
> > Bible. Granted, the World English Bible Old Testament isn't finished, but
> > even in its current form, it is better than the ASV. It is also clearly
> > Public Domain.
> I really think that this is the way to go.  We need to find free resources and
> make them the best they can be - hopefully even better than the ones that cost
> money.  On this note, i think those people working on new texts and resources
> need to seriously look at the OPL, an open _content_ license that is very
> similar to GPL, but tuned for content such as texts and artwork.  Check out
> their web site at <http://www.opencontent.org>.
> BTW, has anyone got a copy of the ISV in Sword format yet?  The Learn
> Foundation has generously offered to make this text free in electronic form to
> anyone who wants it.  You can download Word 7, RTF, and PDF versions of it
> from their web site <http://www.isv.org/isvi/isv_downloads.htm>.  They do make
> some rather outrageous claims - that it is the most accurate and readable
> English version of the Bible ever - which even a NIV devotee like myself finds
> a little hard to swallow, and you KJV people would probably find quite
> offensive.  But despite this i have found it quite a usable and readable
> version.  And their commitment to 100% free usage in electronic form is
> commendable.  They are working on Logos, STEP, and Online Bible formats as
> well.  The OT isn't finished yet, either.
> Our mantra for this work (pardon the pagan metaphor) should be 1 Cor 9:18
> (NIV): "What then is my reward?  Just this: that in preaching the gospel i may
> offer it free of charge, and so not make use of my rights in preaching it."
> Let it be so with us, Lord.
> Paul
> ---------
> "He must become greater; i must become less." - John 3:30
> http://www.bigfoot.com/~paulgear