[sword-devel] Questions re: NIV, NASB, and others...

Chris Little chrislit at crosswire.org
Thu May 6 23:54:39 MST 2004

On Thu, 6 May 2004, Mark Morley wrote:

> First of all, has anyone had any luck getting the publishers
> of these popular modern versions to allow us to make them
> available online?

Most people don't seem to have much difficulty getting rights for the 
NASB.  The NIV used to have an exclusive deal with gospelcom, I believe, 
but I think I recall someone else getting rights recently  (however, 
gospelcom remains the only site with an NIV of which I am aware).
> I'm sure many here have dug deeper into all this than I, so
> could someone clarify a few things for me please...
> First of all, is it legal to make and use a Sword Module of
> the NIV/NASB/AMP/etc. if it's strictly for personal private
> use?  I'm guessing it's ok with the NASB and AMP, since they
> allow you to download the raw ASCII text for personal use
> right from the Lockman site.  I'm not so sure about the NIV.

Technically, it all depends on the license you have for the text you're 
using as a source, so I really can't comment specifically.  Practically 
speaking, no one is going to come arrest you (or care, for that matter).  
If the market mattered to them, they would provide their product for sale.  
(Disclaimer: the Sword market does apparently matter to Lockman, since 
we'll have a NASB95 available shortly.)

> What if you aren't actually distributing the module, but you
> share the use of it amongst a group of people?  That is,
> multiple people on a network can read/search the NIV, but
> don't have access to the actual module files themselves?

So... publication in other words?  You need a special license for that.  
Or, you could theoretically buy a set number of licenses if you had a set 
number of users.  In any case, this is definitely not private use and 
wouldn't be permitted by most standard licenses on commercial texts.

> Same thing but what if they are users of a web site, excluding
> the general anonymous public?

Basically no difference.  It's between you and the publisher.  This and 
the previous scenario are both client/server situations, you're just 
changing the interface.

> Here's another scenario: most of these versions follow a
> similar "quoting policy".  That is, no more than N verses
> at a time, as long as they represent no more than X% of
> any single book, and nor more than Z% of the total work, etc.

Those quoting policies refer to YOU selecting the excerpt you're quoting.  
They don't refer to a user on a client machine being permitted to "quote" 
X verses to himself, then the next X verses, and the next, etc.


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