[sword-devel] modules upload etc - suggestion

peter refdoc at gmx.net
Wed Jan 16 13:12:08 MST 2008

Eeli Kaikkonen wrote:
> On Wed, 16 Jan 2008, jonathon wrote:
>> Eeli wrote:
>>>> create resources --- piracy.   I'm not sure how to prevent it.   [One
>>> That is a real issue but even some commercial Bible applications have
>>> resource sharing if I have understood correctly.
>> I've seen most, if not all of the currently available commercial bible
>> Study Programs available as torrents.
>> What I really was referring to, was hard copy publishers that do
>> nothing when told of resources that they did not authorize
>> distribution of.  (Now wondering if there will be a discussion on that
>> topic at BibleTech2008.)
> I understood that, I meant that the illegal copyrighted text sharing has
> not stopped other projects offering that possibility. My opinion is that
> if a company wants to gain success by offering a feature which will be
> used for piracy, they are morally in a very strange position if they at
> the same time don't take any responsibility of the resource sharing AND
> require that people honor their itellectual property.

I find this part of the discussion quite weird.

There is no such thing as intellectual property. There are copyrights
and a few more - quite separate - concepts like patents and trademarks.
Copyrights are the only matter of relevance for us. So let us talk about
copyright instead of nebulous terms of uncertain meaning.

Wrt copyrights - these are different from country to cpountry. What is
perfectly legal in Germany might be forbidden in the UK or in the USA
and vice versa. Format shifting is the most common matter here (NIV or
whatever), In some places it is perfectly legal to shift bought material
from e.g. BibleWorks to Crosswire for private use. Private use/Fair use
again has a wide range -from non existent in the UK to including friends
and family in Germany.

As long as we do not offer copyrighted modules or offer the unchecked
ability to upload copyrighted stuff onto the actual site, there is
little we should worry about this matter.

It is emphatically not immoral to offer tools which can be used for evil
(not that I would consider private use/fair use format shifting 'evil')
if their primary reason of existence is something unequivocally legal
and good (production of new free modules). The (ab)user has full
responsibility here.

The only reason to restrict the abilities of the software could arguably
be the desire to obtain heavily copyrighted texts, but as far as I can
tell so far projects which care little often have no difficulties in
getting hold also of legal copyrighted material - which we somehow do
not seem to get. Maybe copyright holders do think along Bill Gates'
lines and see piracy as another way of promoting their goods...


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