[sword-devel] Open Content Creation

Jason VanScyoc sword-devel@crosswire.org
Mon, 29 Jan 2001 19:50:08 -0500

In this e-mail, I will use the term 'works' to mean content (like a book),
tools (like the Sword Project), lectures, Bible translations, etc.  It is my
understanding that God's works are created or done for the promotion of
God's Truth.  If this was not the intent behind a given work, I don't want
to spend any of my resources promoting it.  I believe that people are
suppose to put God's will first in their life ... to allow Jesus to be their
King, and only King.

On one hand, let's consider someone who was being lead by God to create a
'work'. Did God tell them to place limits on how it can be distributed?  I
doubt it, but if God did tell them to restrict it's distribution, in any
way, who are we to try and change it?  The only restriction I can think of
that was placed on the Bible was to not change it.  (I am primarily thinking
of Revelation.)  So, was that the first content license?

But on the other hand, when someone is creating a work, they do have to be
careful to not have their primary motivation be anything but doing God's
will.  Satan has quite a bit of success getting people to fall for the money
motivation.  I think second to that would be fame ... a persons ego, or
pride - they want their name associated with this great work.  The third
would be fear ... I encountered this when talking to the leader behind one
of the Bible translations ... he seemed to be afraid that someone would
steal his, and his translator's, work and corrupt it.

I don't want to spend any of my time trying to overcome the restrictions
that someone has placed on their work - if they change them on their own
ok - but, if someone feels lead by God to try and negotiate with them - or
if they want to track the progress of the copyrighted translations, go for
it.  I wouldn't mind knowing when they become free myself.