[sword-devel] Possible Solution to copyright problems

Jerry Hastings sword-devel@crosswire.org
Tue, 10 Sep 2002 11:41:06 -0700

At 08:33 AM 9/10/2002 -0700, John Gardner wrote:
>...It takes discernment.  There are no formulae.

I agree.

>...They didn't price things in such a way that it gouged folks but
>not at cost either.  Sometimes they did sell at cost and sometimes gave away
>for free.

In those days they probably had some steep printing costs.

>I do not believe that scripture teaches or expects the laborer to labor for
>nothing. ... the exhortation is that the "Laborer is worthy of his hire".
>"Don't muzzle the ox that threshes out the corn".

On the other hand, you won't find many places in the Bible where prophets, 
ministers or teachers set a price for service, which you either paid or 
went without the service. The "corn" they were to have was what the KJV 
calls honour <5092>. While 5092 sometimes means a set value, it probably 
means gifts in this case and "double honour" means large gift. Scripture 
"expects" the minister to minister and those ministered to, to give gifts. 
But when things are done for a fee, why give gifts? However, as you said, 
"There are no formulae." It may be a persons right to provide service for a 
fee. But, as Jesus said, of similar things, "what thank have ye? for 
sinners also do even the same."

Sometime costs prevent much of some things being done for thanks. Printing 
costs made giving books away a very limit option for a long time. But, with 
computers and e-books. In some cases, you can give 10,000 copies for the 
same cost as 1. You can do it for thanks. And in so doing people will thank 
God. We can't demand others do it for thanks, or condemn them for not doing 
it for thanks. But, Scripture does support doing things so God gets thanks.

>I don't condemn open-source,
>I take it as a love offering, in a sense.  What I do condemn is the idea
>that proprietary is bad, making money is bad, etc.

Proprietary is not necessarily bad. But, perhaps not as thankworhty.

>We need to know our God!