[sword-devel] Permissions for the New American Bible

Mike Hart just_mike_y at yahoo.com
Sat Jun 11 15:22:06 MST 2011

If my memory serves me correctly, The NRSV was formerly available from the University of Michigan in a single downloadable package (circa 1997ish).  It was removed on request, I believe due to abuse (someone tried to add value (comments or section headings?) and offer the derivative work for sale.)  I vaguely remember a blurb on the Umich library website after it disappeared, but I'm not even sure I have the school name right. 

The National Council of Churches now only deals with non-commercial licensing of the NRSV.  They have wholly licensed commercial use to Harper-Collins outside the UK. Non-commercial licensing of the NRSV now specifically prohibits ANY whole chapters or whole bibles. Licensing of whole Bibles and chapters are considered commercial use and licensed by Harper-Collins. My guess is that this is more to control/prevent fair-use modification and derivative works of non-commercial works in the text of the license, than a strictly money-making scheme. It might be worthwhile to ask Harper about no-cost commercial release on Sword, and at the same time to research who holds the license to the copyright inside the UK, as this may be a way to obtain rights, and would have to be ironed out to release a global sword module anyway. 


The USCCB website has similar text about no release of whole chapters or NAB Bibles as non-commercial use, but they don't wholly license the commercial use to a single entity.  Their policy seems to say they will make a decision after you create a work (submissions of manuscripts...) 
I suspect this would be likely to be approved if the text matched closely the formatting of the paper version.  

Also note that the NAB is now old-news.  The USCCB this year released the NABRE. Both works should be pursued independently (NABRE likely would be allowed commercial only for a while) 

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