[sword-devel] French Darby (Public Domain?)

DM Smith dmsmith555 at yahoo.com
Tue Jan 22 10:51:44 MST 2008

I cannot answer for the French Darby Bible translation. I can shed  
some light on the KJV. It may be parallel.

I worked on the latest cleanup of CrossWire's KJV module. In the  
process I discovered many things about the KJV that came as a surprise  
to me.

The KJV has been the subject of numerous revisions, many of them  
silently undertaken by publishers. There is no such thing as the  
definitive KJV in print today. If you were to compare the current crop  
of KJV bibles available today for purchase, word-for-word, you would  
find very few differences. But you would find differences. For  
example, if you compared the "Scofield KJV Bible" with the "Old  
Scofield KJV Bible", which supposedly differ only in the notes, you  
would find several dozen textual differences.

If a publisher changes a work which is out of copyright, they can  
copyright their changes. That work is a derivative work. As a  
practice, they do not identify their changes. And in the case of the  
KJV I have not seen a publisher own up to changing the text. But I see  
copyright statements on a good number of KJV Bibles. One might assume  
that the text is not copyrighted but that the notes, comments,  
introductory material is what is claimed as copyrighted. Having read  
the copyright statements in dozens of KJV Bibles currently in print, I  
did not see such a distinction. Only a flat claim that the book was  

Some have claimed, and I have no information or opinion as to whether  
it is true, that publishers make textual changes so as to identify  
their work.

The only perfect way to validate an e-text as being out-of-copyright  
is to compare it word for word, feature for feature, .... to a hard  
copy actually printed long enough ago.

I'm not sure that sheds any light on your question.

In His Service,

On Jan 22, 2008, at 11:28 AM, Kostandin Dardan wrote:

> Friends,
> I've been a bit confused lately ... How can the French Darby Bible  
> Translation not be in the Public Domain? It was published first in  
> the 1800's--he also translated into German and English, those  
> translations are already online ...
> -Kostandin
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