[sword-devel] Cool idea: Commercial Linux /Windows Bible prog ram based on Sword

Bob Pritchett sword-devel@crosswire.org
Wed, 31 Jan 2001 16:10:33 -0800

For what it's worth, in my experience Bible societies aren't "profit"
oriented. They're non-profit organizations. They do prefer, when they can,
to get money for their copyrighted content rather than to give it away. But
I think the reasoning, when you understand it, is not as "greedy" as you
might think.

Keep in mind that these organizations have, for the most part, a very global
orientation and that most of them work together. (Particularly those
affiliated with the United Bible Societies.) 

Some of the regional organizations (say, the American Bible Society) are
located in relatively rich countries where the majority of the population
can afford to pay a modest price for a Bible. So they charge for paper
Bibles, protect the copyright and require licensing fees in order to protect
the ability to charge, etc.

And yes, they often bring in more money than they need to fund their local
operations. But this isn't profit -- there are no shareholders to pay
dividends to. It's money that gets funnelled into projects for people who
can't pay. It goes to special distribution/education projects in the home
market and it goes to subsidize operations and translation efforts in
countries where there isn't a large local market.

So if you're unhappy about a Bible society wanting a few dollars (and
copyright protection, etc. which protects their ability to collect those
dollars) for their English language Bible, for which they long ago covered
all the translation/production costs, keep in mind that you're actually
subsidizing the (equally, if not more, expensive) translation of the Bible
into hundreds of languages where there isn't a large market and where the
people who need the Word can't afford even a few dollars.

It could be argued that the Bible should be free to everyone everywhere, and
that if there isn't money to translate it into a small language in Asia than
churches and individuals should contribute. I agree, and this is the case to
an extent. But, tithing and good intentions aside, it's often easier for the
Bible translation community as a whole to get $10-20 from you for every copy
of the Bible you personally desire, and send it off to the many projects
around the world that they participate in, than to give the Bibles to you
for free and hope you'll remember to send a gift. :-)

-- Bob

-----Original Message-----
From: Joachim Ansorg [mailto:jansorg@gmx.de]
Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2001 2:30 PM
To: sword-devel@crosswire.org
Subject: Re: [sword-devel] Cool idea: Commercial Linux /Windows Bible
program based on Sword


> > For this solution we need a commercial Bible program, if it's possible
> > for almost all plattforms the same program.
> I do not really understand this. How would the problem be solved by
> the programs and modules? There is software contains the "commercial"
> modules that users can buy, why should sword go the same way?

IMHO bible societies want to make profit. If we sell a program (cheap) we 
could offer them some money for the license.
Another point is that the Bibe societies and copyright holders are sceptical

to PD-Soft and opensource ware.

> > My solution for this would be to put Sword under LGPL, program a good
> > Bible study program and sell the program.
> This will involve a lot of work, and the users of the opensource bible
> programs like bibletime will not profit from it. Especially those who do
> not have the money to buy a program.

Hehe! This is a nice point.
For sue I'd be working on this program and put lot's of existing code in it 
(from BibleTime).
The program would be cheap to give everybody the chance to have the locked 
modules unlocked.
But maybe there are better solutions.

> What about another way to do it? For this aim it would not be necessary to
> create and sell a program; it might be sufficient to change towards
> security architecture that can be published opensource; maybe just use
> libraries like openssl etc. -- might be necessary anyway for not having to
> use the same keys.
> This way the encrypted modules would be safe; and users wanting them could
> buy the modules while using their common sword frontend. Frontend programs
> would not have to be changed.
> > The price should be enough to cover the expenses for module licenses
> > etc., but it shouldn't by high.
> > Only the commercial modules will be sold, the modules without copyright
> > will be free.
> Martin

Joachim Ansorg
BibleTime - www.bibletime.de - info@bibletime.de
BibleTime is an easy to use Bible study tool for KDE / Linux.