[sword-devel] Wiki

peter refdoc at gmx.net
Thu Aug 23 01:31:03 MST 2007

jonathon wrote:
> On 08/22/2007 06:06 PM, * peter wrote:
>> Reverse engineering in order to connect up to or allow format shifting -
>> there is nothing immoral about that,
> This gets into theology.  (Matthew 5:40, Luke 12:15, and their analogues
> in The Epistles, The Torah, The Writings, and the Prophets.)

It is doubtful whether this applies to the proper relationship of a
_citizen_ to an  unjust government or to corporations running riot.
>> EULAs which try to enforce it have no legal or other
>> validity in many jurisdictions. AFAIK, IANAL etc etc.
> I'll grant that the validity of a EULA might not be enforceable outside
> of a specific legal jurisdiction. You might not have noticed that US
> laws are being enforced in other countries --- regardless of the
> legality of the action in the other country. (IOW, people have been
> extradited from other countries, doing things that are legal in those
> countries, to be tried, and convicted of violating US Law.)

I think there is no need to become patronising. And no one has been
extradited for DMCA violations AFAIK.

That aside, Reverse enineering is a honorable part of engineering and
_not_ immoral.

I am very grateful to the kids who reverse engineered my last laptop's
wireless to make it work under Linux- and so are many other.

> The relationship here is that EULAs (in the US) typically drag the DMCA
> and related laws into the mix. (DMCA: Digital Millennium Copyright Act.)

That is the USofA

> This is US-Centric, but most of the (English Language) Bible Study
> Software is produced in the US, and is covered by EULAs that are legally
> binding in the US.

Binding in the USofA.

>> That aside, yes, I think there is a point in explaining how to get from
>> one _import_format to another. Because if you produced material for
> For the time being, I'll stick with markup languages, because one can
> produce original material in any markup language.
> As far as format shifting goes, just because one knows how to do a
> conversion, does not mean that one should describe how to do that
> conversion.  (Additionally, US Copyright Law gets very fuzzy on some
> aspects of describing those processes.)

The point I made - and it seems I need to make it again - some of these
programmes have import formats separate from their internal formats.
There migtht be little reason to describe internal formats and internal
format->sword format shifting, but import format X to osis or THML is
valuable - as only those who hold the copyrights will be in possession
of material in those import format X.

>> Crosswire :-), then you would want to take your very own material with
>> you - and that must be ok under any and all legislations
> If you are the copyright holder, you can convert the material to the
> format of your choice.

Exactly. And describing how to get from any particular import format to
 say OSIS is therefore a useful thing. I had been in exactly this
position with some texts I was working on - they were there, they were
marked up in something or other and I had no clue how to move forward.
Permissions were no problem, never were. Knowledge and ability was
lacking for 2 years.

> If you are the creator of the work, in jurisdictions that recognize
> "Moral Rights", one may convert the material to the format of one's
> choice, even if one is not the copyright holder. If your jurisdiction
> does not recognize "Moral Rights", then one might be out of luck, in
> making such a conversion.
> The issue is when the individual who wants to convert the material is
> neither the original creator, nor the copyright holder.

There is again no need to become patronising. The sole matter of concern
to Crosswire must be that none of the modules distributed from the
central server are dodgy in their copyright status.

When individuals want to shift their legally acquired Software X module
to Sword then they are in the same position as someone who wants to
shift their CD to MP3s or OGGs to listen to them on their portable
player. Law comes into it only once said OGGS or MP3s appear on illegal
 download sites. Or e.g. format shifted NIVs are distributed via

> Eeli wrote:
>> Changing the FAQ entry was right, it should have been done earlier. I
> don't see how your and Chris' comment relate.
> It is the difference between a generic "No", and a specific "No, and
> here is why not".
>> The purpose would be to help people understand why we cannot or can use
> some texts, but not to give any legal details about any copyright
> legislation.

As this is different from legislation to legislation we should not get
involved into this matter beyond saying - "XYZ is acceptable for the
Crosswire server stationed and run from California USA. Please find out
what applies in your own jurisdiction if you wish to do work involving
other people's products."

> I think some legal details are needed, to clarify some of the edge cases.
> EG1:  When it is not a copyright violation to create a resource in an
> "original language".  (Both the USB and NA are under copyright.  TR is
> not.)
> EG2: When translations are to be considered derivative works, and when
> they are not considered to be derivative works.
> EG3: Orphan works, and how they are defined.

I find it the assumption that USA (copyright) law should somehow be
applicable or even interesting to the rest of the world grossly
offensive. It is useful to understand, when we act within the USA
(crucial even for the poeple with access to the Crosswire server) but
beyond that the fineprint of DMCA etc are irrelevant to people who try
to get something going in their own language well outside of the USA.

Quite apart from that there is a danger of becoming too much of a hobby
lawyer - you are bound to get it wrong somewhere crucial. And that
applies most certainly to the stuff discussed here. For the server
things are easy - nothing should be on it which is covered by current
USA copyrights, unless the copyright holder has granted permission as
long as the server is stationed in the USA.

> If pointers to FAQs that cover such situations can be found, then by all
> means use them.
> The issue with "Orphan Works" is going to affect people who create
> resources that include graphical images. My current thinking in regard
> to graphical images is that if contains no metadata, then assume that it
> is under copyright, with all rights reserved.  Ditto for sound files.

As above.

>> It would be good to have links to external FAQs or e.g.
> +1
> xan
> jonathon



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