[sword-devel] John Gill

Chris Little sword-devel@crosswire.org
Tue, 4 Jul 2000 22:46:36 -0700

See the US Copyright Office circular entitled "Copyright Registration for
Derivative Works" (http://www.loc.gov/copyright/circs/circ14.pdf) for the
rules on "derivative works".  My favorite passage of the circular is: "To be
copyrightable, a derivative work must be different enough from the original
to be regarded as a “new work” or must contain a substantial amount of new
material. Making minor changes or additions of little substance to a
preexisting work will not qualify the work as a new version for copyright
purposes. The new material must be original and copyright-able in itself.
Titles, short phrases, and format, for example, are not copyrightable."  In
other words, roman to arabic, corrections, & formatting aren't even

Larry P really considers the Gill Expositor his baby.  He talks about it in
just about every interview he gives as being this wonderful and monumental
accomplishment of >his<.

While he and others whose content we reformat to SWORD compatability may not
have a legal leg to stand on, that doesn't prevent them from suing.  (Woo
hoo, don't you love America, land of the free, home of the litigious.)
Anyone feel like starting a preventative PD text legal defense fund (or
better yet know of one already started)?  I believe I recall some stories
about Larry placing digital watermarks in texts he didn't even create or
sponsor (texts from bf.org IIRC) and then threatening to sue for unfair
competition or some other such ludicrous thing.  Correct me if I'm wrong,
those of you who know the story better--or am I completely confused? :)

--Chris Little

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-sword-devel@crosswire.org
[mailto:owner-sword-devel@crosswire.org]On Behalf Of Brandon Staggs
Sent: Tuesday, July 04, 2000 9:02 PM
To: sword-devel@crosswire.org
Subject: Re: [sword-devel] John Gill

For something to be copyrighten it needs to be a creative work. Somehow he
believes that having volunteers type it in, then correcting errors, and
don't forget: changing roman numberals to digits is a creative work.

It would never hold up in a court of law. He has done this simply to
discourage other people for 'benefiting' from volunteer work (as if the
Online Bible is free or something -- last time I looked the price of the CD
was $60 and climbing!).

He has a history of placing copyrights on volunteer work. That's why many of
his volunteers no longer submit there work to him - no names mentioned, but
I know a few.