[sword-devel] Distribution of CrossWire software

DM Smith dmsmith555 at yahoo.com
Sun Feb 12 05:33:10 MST 2006

Here is yet another report of Sword distribution.

> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject: 	[sword-support] Illegal selling of the sword project
> Date: 	Sun, 12 Feb 2006 11:52:36 -0000
> From: 	la004g3874 <la004g3874 at blueyonder.co.uk>
> Reply-To: 	SWORD Support Volunteers <sword-support at crosswire.org>, 
> la004g3874 at blueyonder.co.uk
> To: 	<sword-feedback at crosswire.org>
> Hello i would just like to inform you that many people are selling the 
> sword project on ebay  which i believe is illegal , unless these 
> people have express permission from yourselves.i believe also the 
> money they are bidding for the software - i have seen it sell  for up 
> to £6.00, which i feel would be better used donated to yourselves for 
> future bible softwares - all the very best
> A.Timmins

Chris Little wrote:
> I don't really have a problem with the eBay guy. He's not doing much 
> different from what Troy does by offering CDs from the website.

While I will grant that selling on ebay is not necessarily out of line 
with the GPL, it may be out of line.
Also, is there a perception problem that needs to be managed?
And, when we get to 1.5.8, shouldn't these sellers stop selling 1.5.6?

> Think All is a different matter altogether. I had meant to contact 
> them about a week ago and finally did so just now. Their copyright and 
> license violations are numerous and extensive. I don't especially 
> believe that they will agree to bring their distribution practice into 
> conformance with the requirements of the law or with what they are 
> permitted to do under the GPL. Actually doing so would void the 
> profitability of what is essentially a scam. If they refuse to cease 
> license violation, we will probably have to do what we must in order 
> to stop their using our software to rip people off, potentially 
> including, but not necessarily limited to, forcing a takedown under 
> the DMCA for illegal sale of copyrighted works.
> --Chris
> DM Smith wrote:
>> What should/can we do? What is our *policy*?
>> In the last few days we have received several different emails to 
>> sword-support at crosswire.org regarding an inability to use our 
>> software or its distribution not directly from us. As I have just 
>> joined sword-support to field JSword/BibleDesktop questions, so I 
>> don't know if this is typical or not.
>> It was noted in 2 emails that the software was being offered for sale 
>> on ebay.com. In another, it was being sold by thinkall.com. (I just 
>> posted my response to that email to this mailing list) Another said 
>> that the two Sword programs wouldn't start. I have asked for further 
>> info, but I suspect that it was not downloaded directly from 
>> crosswire.org. And another wanted to know why BibleDesktop didn't 
>> work and a the church membership program required an unlock key. 
>> Another was from an ebay user asking where is his purchase.
>> The GPL is really a license about the distribution of software and 
>> it's code. It allows for reasonable recovery of costs associated with 
>> packaging, and postage. But it also has lots of other requirements on 
>> the one doing the distribution.
>> Anyway, I think it is inappropriate for others to distribute the 
>> software over ebay (except perhaps as a "buy me now" for a few 
>> dollars outside of the US). In the case of one seller on ebay, they 
>> were selling it in UK, for a small amount and also stated that the 
>> software is free software from Sword, though it was not in fine 
>> print, it was toward the bottom of a long paragraph, so it probably 
>> would not be seen.
>> In the case of thinkall, they distribute it under their own license 
>> not the GPL. I think that this is a violation. And they package it in 
>> such a way as to hide its origin.
>> In the other three cases, I have requested more information so we can 
>> help them get the program up and running. And I pointed them to the 
>> locations where they can download it for free.
>> _______________________________________________
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