[sword-devel] Lawyer Help: Redistribution

Kevin Montgomery sword-devel@crosswire.org
Mon, 20 May 2002 08:57:49 +0100

Hello Jonathan,

My understanding of this is as follows:

If you have a clause when given permission to distribute that says (or

Permission is given for <Insert Bible Version> to be distributed by
<Insert Distributor> with the product or software <Insert Product

(Note that you do not always specify a product sometimes only an
organisation - which would probably be more beneficial for Crosswire
given the diversity of product.)

then the intent of the clause is to stop you as a licence holder from
sub-licensing or similar.

Basically they do not want you to be able to grant permission for
another product or group to distribute the text they have given you
permission for.

In terms of another user making a copy of the CD to pass on, this
would not break the terms of the licence as the 'package' would
still be Sword (for example) and published by Crosswire
and the text would still be distributed
with it.

The only time this becomes an issue is if they include either a volume
restriction clause or a volume reporting clause.

On a volume restriction clause you are granted a limited number of
redistributions, say ten thousand and you must not go over this until
you negotiate a further licence.

On a volume reporting clause you must by terms of contract be able to
give the supplier of your text accurate reporting on copies

For the volume reporting clause you could still allow individual users
to copy a CD as long as you implemented a 'registration' scheme for
the software that was mandatory on the use of a text with such a
clause in place.

i.e. If they only user KJV then they would not need to register, but
it they used NKJV or NIV or similar and it was under the terms of this
licence they would need to register.

I hope this helps somewhat. I am not a lawyer but do have some
familiarity with contract law and software licensing. (including
EULA's - cough cough spit spit!)



JH> Hey Everyone,

JH>         Well I was thinking that with about 262 people on the sword-devel
JH> mailing list there must be some lawyers out there that could at least
JH> help point me in the right direction. Here is my question:

JH>         Ok, as I contact copyright holders and we get permission to distribute
JH> copyrighted modules the issue comes up about us distributing CDs. Most
JH> organizations and people will let us distribute their module under a
JH> non-commercial license. However they will in the letter of the written
JH> permission allow CrossWire Bible Society to distribute it not others. So
JH> if I am an average user and get a SWORD CD and then copy it and give
JH> that CD to someone else that would be breaking the law, would it not?
JH> Because no longer is it CrossWire Bible Society distributing it, it
JH> would be Jonathan Hughes. What insight do people in the know have on
JH> this issue?

JH>         Thanks for any help people can give me!

JH> In Christ,
JH> Jonathan Hughes
JH> jhughes@crosswire.org