[sword-devel] Righteousness and copyrights

Rev. Michael Paul Johnson sword-devel@crosswire.org
Sat, 11 Jan 2003 14:56:08 +1000

Some words to the wise on copyrights and Bible study software:

1. Don't intentionally violate the copyright laws & treaties. Matt. 22:21; Gal. 5:22-23; Rom. 13:1-2

2. Do make reasonable efforts to comply with copyright owner restrictions on distribution of Bibles and other works. James 5:12

3. Don't complain, badmouth, or violate the intellectual property rights of competing people or products, no matter what they say about you. (Prov. 26:2) Pray for them, bless them, and do not curse them. Rom. 12:14; Rom. 12:17; 1 Peter 3:8-11

4. Seek to excel in what we do have permission to do, which includes writing high-quality free Bible study software and providing a wide range of Bibles in many languages to go with it. Col. 3:23-24; 3 John 1:5-6.

5. If we are above reproach and faithful to God in making free Bible study software that is better than other Bible study software, free or commercial, then we will be in a better bargaining position with publishers. In other words, if ours is the best software package available for Bible study, profit motive will drive them to want to sell modules for our software. If our software isn't the best, then we need to find out what it takes to make it the best, and then do it. Just being free isn't enough. Proverbs 18:6; Isaiah 55:11

We can produce the best Bible study software on the planet. There will always (hopefully) be other alternatives, but for the average person with a computer who wants to read and study the Bible, we can do the best job in terms of all the things that matter the most.

Rev. Michael Paul Johnson
Servant of Jesus Christ