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

Jesse Jacobsen sword-devel@crosswire.org
Wed, 31 Jan 2001 13:26:12 -0600

... coming out of lurk mode.

I've been following this thread, and just thought I'd insert my nickel

On 01/31/01, Jerry Hastings wrote:
> However, if you had a private key under an alias and had covered your 
> tracks in getting such locked modules, what would stop you from giving 
> those modules and key away? It seems to me that all these "locks" are like 
> locks on doors to buildings, which only keep out people that are unwilling 
> to break a window.

That's right, and I think as it should be.  Is it realistic to expect
Fort Knox?  How many people would want to live as the President's
family does, in the White House, with armed guards at every corner and
Secret Service at every turn?  If it were possible to make the
encryption and key-exchange process totally secure, then it would be
impractical and no fun at all to use locked databases!  I don't think
total security is possible without a major hassle for users.  

When I buy a book, I expect to be able to read (use) it totally at my
convenience.  It's only right to expect the same thing from a locked
database, IMO.  It may be illegal to photocopy over N pages from a
paper book, selling them for profit, but there's nothing in the book's
format or distribution scheme that prevents me from doing so with the
same kind of security that's being demanded of Sword.  On the
contrary, there's just a copyright notice, and maybe a warning about
the law, and the rest is in the hands of the buyer.  If the buyer does
not comply with copyright law, the onus for breaking the law is on
him, not on the publisher or the distributor of the book.

So it seems to me that a public/private key encryption scenario (which
provides excellent security, technically), is sufficiently secure from
all practical points of view.  If the owner of a copyright is not
satisfied with it, then perhaps that owner should not allow any
electronic distribution, realizing that even paper distribution
carries significant risks when there is a thief in the picture.

How much should a project like Sword be expected to dabble in the
field of law enforcement?  There's a limit in there somewhere, and it
would make things easier for everyone if it could be well-defined.

Just some thoughts,


... returning to lurk mode.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
This is what the ancients were commended for.

1024D/2E3EBF13 Jesse Jacobsen (Grace, Madison WI) <jmjaco@home.com>