[sword-devel] Selling Sword Modules

Don A. Elbourne Jr. sword-devel@crosswire.org
Tue, 10 Sep 2002 11:56:18 -0500

Lets suppose the Sword project received an inquiry such as the one below.
What would the response be? Would the Sword Project be able to help?


Dear Sword Project

I am the president of a small publishing company that produces material for
the Christian market. For the past 5 years we have been working with some of
today's leading evangelical scholars to produce a commentary series on the
whole Bible. We are about 6 months from completing this project and are
considering distribution possibilities other than standard print. We have
approached the major Bible software makers, but have come to the conclusion
that the initial financial commitment is cost prohibitive. then we heard
about The Sword Project and your free Bible software package.

We would like to speak to you about making our commentary series, and
perhaps some of our other previously published material, available in the
Sword Project format. We see that all of your material is currently in the
public domain and without cost. We applaud your efforts and wish that we
could distribute our material for free, however in order for us to recoup
the costs incurred with such a large project, and to finance subsequent
projects we have decided to charge a nominal fee for our digital material.
Would our selling of Sword Modules be incongruent with your mission
statement? Would it be possible to bundle our purchasable modules with your
free modules and free software?

We envision two modes of digital delivery.  The first would be via our
forthcoming web site. We would like customers to be able to download locked
modules from our site and purchase an unlock key. Is their currently a
mechanism in place for Sword modules to be unlocked after authorization?

The second delivery method would be a full package CD ROM containing our
material, the Sword software, and as much free public domain material as can
fit on the CD. Our main concern with this is software piracy. Unfortunately,
dealing with Christian material does not preclude the possibility of piracy.
We are familiar enough with the software industry to know that there is no
feasible way to squelch unauthorized copying altogether. All we would want
is some sort of mechanism that would deter easy copying of the material.
Some sort of customer code registration tied into the software would
probably be adequate. CDs would be available through direct mail-order and
in Christian Book stores throughout the United States.

We look forward to your reply.

for the cause of Christ,

Joe B. Publisher


I think I got a little carried away with that role playing. lol Basically,
what would the Sword Project say to someone like this? Is there a way for
him to sell his locked modules? How would he go about locking the modules,
distributing the keys, tracking customers, and preventing piracy? Are these
things possible with Sword? do they go against the mission statement. Would
his plans conflict with the current Sword license?

by grace alone,

Don A. Elbourne Jr.