[sword-devel] e-Sword collaboration & other copyrightmatters (including Jonathan's original post about the copyrightwebsite)

Jerry Hastings sword-devel@crosswire.org
Mon, 29 Jan 2001 13:42:40 -0700

Paul Gear wrote:
 >The main issues from my perspective are:

 >- that anyone should be able to use, copy, redistribute, and modify the
 >work in any form without the requirement for specific permission from
 >the author or payment of any licensing fee

That is good. Some licenses require permission for a change to the semantic 
content but other changes do not need it. Some require or suggest that a 
copy of the new version be sent in, even if permission is not required.

 >- that the portions of the work attributable to each contributor be
 >clearly identifiable


 >- that all derivative works be protected under the same conditions as
 >the original work

Also good. Some allow for the changes to be placed in the Public Domain. 
But, that can create confusion as to which parts are protected and which 
are PD.

 >If i think the institution involved is not Christian and
 >their offence was serious enough, i would certainly consider asking my
 >legal counsel to write them a letter.  It would not likely go as far as
 >court, simply because i would not likely feel it would be worth it, but
 >yes, i would contact them and tell them they are being bad.

And then those that know what is going on, see that the license has no 
bite. But, because the idea of the license is to give things away, that may 
not be much of a problem. Not like MP3s where the copyright holders are 
trying keep from giving things away.

 >Because licenses are a concise way of stating the conditions under which
 >an author desires his or her work to be used, and because there are
 >several good ones available already, it is little effort to apply them
 >to new works.

That is true. The effort is not so much in the placing of the license on 
the work, it is in enforcing it. But again, because this license is for 
giving things away, that may not be a big deal.

 >That's a good point.  Do you think that using that sort of approach
 >means that the 'license' is more likely to be honoured?  I personally do
 >not - i think people are less likely to violate a license than a
 >'statement of intent', simply because the modern Western world
 >understands the importance of legal terminology and for the most part is
 >rather litigation-averse.  ;-)

The statement of intent is more likely to be violated. If a difference in 
degree is the most important thing, then go with the license. The license 
may also encourage others by establishing that their free efforts can be 
added to a body of free works that will not be diverted for someone's gain. 
Their gain is not a big deal to me. The really ugly thing is the guy that 
creates a derivative work and releases it copyrighted without the license 
and prevents others from freely using his work. That would be a violation 
of the license. But, if he can't do it with your work he may not do it at 
all. Are we better off for that? It would be unfair, but there would be 
another new work.