[sword-devel] CDEarth GPL violation

DM Smith dmsmith555 at yahoo.com
Thu Mar 27 12:22:54 MST 2008

Would you burn copies before sending them back? Or at least make a 
recursive listing. I am curious whether the JSword/BD disk is also an 
old version, whether it actually includes the complete source, whether 
it is implemented in such a way that it will come back to bite us with 
support questions, .....

I really like that you used a limited debit card. Such a cool idea.

Also wondering whether they include modules on the CD? That might be a 
violation of the licensing agreements that CrossWire has with some 
copyright owners.

In Him,

Chris Little wrote:
> I went ahead and ordered the two Sword-related CDs from CDEarth to check 
> whether they are in compliance with the GPL. They actually are not, at 
> least when it comes to the CD with The SWORD Project for Windows and 
> MacSword. (The Bible Desktop/JSword CD might be okay, since they include 
> source for both.)
> The CD includes The Sword Project for Windows (1.5.8), MacSword (1.2.1), 
> a small handful of mostly outdated modules (with separate copies for 
> each of the above), the Windows Help file, some auto-run type stuff, and 
> source code for Sword 1.5.8 and 1.5.9.
> So:
> 1) It's all annoyingly outdated.
> 2) There's a bit of fraudulence in stating that it comes with a network 
> module installer since, for the Mac at least, it does not.
> 3) There's no mention anywhere of what the software is or the license 
> until you run the installer.
> 4) The little slip of paper that comes with it, like the website, makes 
> mention that "[t]hrough our special licensing arrangement and because we 
> publish our software directly to you, each trial CD is only USD$14.99 
> (which as you know is up to 80% off the store price for similar 
> products)." I suspect this is itself in violation of the GPL. I don't 
> believe there is any recourse for revocation of a license from end-users 
> like the term "trial" implies. I also don't know that the whole 
> try-for-25-days-then-we-bill-you concept is quite kosher with the GPL. 
> It might require some pretty close reading of the license.
> But most importantly:
> 5) There's no source code, nor an offer for source code, for The SWORD 
> Project for Windows or MacSword. So, we're actually and legitimately in 
> a position where we can demand removal, DMCA takedown by the ISP, all 
> that good stuff.
> I'm going to mail back my two "trial" CDs tomorrow and we'll see whether 
> they try to ding the credit card for $29.98 anyway. (It's a gift card 
> with $0.70 remaining, so I'm not concerned about losing any money, but I 
> wouldn't mind alerting the FTC if they try to do another charge.)
> --Chris
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