[sword-devel] Spending $1,000,000 in development and giving away the fruits

Tim Hawes sword-devel@crosswire.org
20 Dec 2001 03:19:35 -0500


Just a few cents worth of opinion:

First off, a statement was made about a week ago that the only reason
capitalism worked better than socialism is because of man's sinfulness.
I beg to differ and believe almost the opposite to be true. 

First off, if we are going to discuss capitalism as an ideology, let's
start with Adam Smith or Ludwig von Mises, instead of Fortune magazine
or the Wall Street Journal. Capitalism is not based on competition, but
rather on cooperation. It does not work in an amoral society. Socialism,
on the other hand, as undesirable as it is, is more suited toward an
immoral society. It keeps wickedness in check better than capitalism,
unless you are the one doing the checking (Oh government, protect us ...
wait! who is protecting us from the government?!).

Secondly, I believe that there is a huge misconception as to what
computer software IS, these days. Companies view software as a
commodity. As such, it is licensed as a commodity in such a way that
prevents you from making money from it. I agree with RMS that software
is not a commodity, but more closely resembles free speech. I disagree
with RMS that software should not be sold. If free speech can sell,
software should too. Software is a "service", and I do not license
services, but I certainly would sell services, and it is fully up to me
if I wish to give my services away for free. I think books follow a
similar vein. Nobody would sue me for quoting from a book in my own
book, but now try quoting from someone elses software!

That is why, although I support the GNU license, still find it less than

As to what the goals of the Sword project, I am under the impression
that the Sword Project ministry is service oriented. We want to give
people free computer bibles, not only in spreading the gospel, but also
to support those who are already spreading it as well. On this, a free
software licens empowers the recipients of this software to make changes
as needed. But I would also would want to create the option for the
recipient to take any modified versions of the software and sell it or
give it away for donations, to help fund his ministry. The stricter GNU
license would forbid this.

And finally, I expect other Christians (being Christ-like) to act
similar to Christ. I do not think this is an unreasonable expectation,
keeping in mind that I fall so short of this everyday.If Paul set the
example for me, he says in Romans 9:3 that he wished himself to be
damned for all eternity if it would cause all his Jewish brethren to
come to Christ. Keeping this in mind, several billion dollars would be a
fairly small price to pay for free scripture software. 

On Thu, 2001-12-20 at 06:25, Michael Rempel wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Chris" <chris@bitmead.com>
> To: <sword-devel@crosswire.org>
> Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2001 1:15 AM
> Subject: Re: [sword-devel] Spending $1,000,000 in development and giving
> away the fruits
> > >
> > >
> > >What about making money off of truth is wrong?
> > >
> > I think the point is not that there is a problem _making_ money from
> > things spiritual. The problem is related to _charging_ money for things
> > spiritual. Because when you charge, that implies some people will be
> > excluded based on income. That's why they don't charge to get into
> > church, but they do put around the plate.
> No it means they need to find other resources, or it needs to matter enough
> that they make the sacrifice to buy them, borrow them, or ask for donations.
> There are free texts, just not recent good ones, there are good inexpensive
> texts as well. Bible societies sell NASB for around ten dollars. How many
> free commentaries is Sword up to now? Free versions? Nearly every language
> on earth is covered at least once for free. History has never seen such
> abundance of free material already available for the taking.
> On the other hand you cant have the Torah scroll at my Messianic Synagogue
> for any price and you would have a hard time getting your hands on one at
> any price if you wanted one. Jewish scroll dealers dont sell to non-Jews,
> they dont sell to Messianic Jews either, but we have our sources.
> Also I have a wealthy acquaintance who owns authentic photo engraved
> reproductions of the Dead sea scrolls. They cost a fortune. Is it a problem
> if I visit his place and study a while? Should he sell them in your
> estemation? To whom? Should people not buy such things when they are offered
> for sale?
> What about music, shouldnt that be all free too? And the computer to play
> the MP3s of it on! Why does that cost money? Just because it can be used for
> other things doesnt mean it isnt spiritual.
> Enough of a rant I think to make the point. More could follow, but I need
> bed now. Its late. Way late. Oh my, it is late. Good nite.
> Michael

  Tim Hawes



 Toleration is an inner personal disposition, is a
fundamental requirement of being human and of living
together in society . . .When toleration becomes
indifference, it is ruined.                -Van Ruler