[sword-devel] DSS (Biblical Dead Sea Scrolls based upon DJD translations)

Greg Hellings greg.hellings at gmail.com
Wed Nov 7 17:00:47 MST 2012

"Fair Use" does not mean plagiarizing. Bibles are able to be quoted from,
even extensively, to constitute "Fair Use" but you can't copy a Bible out
of print or another electronic form, even if you do it by hand, and claim
to be using it under "Fair Use" because it's a translation of an ancient
work and often used for scholarship. That still constitutes plagiarism.

There's a difference between "cit[ing] other authors work" and reproducing
that work in its entirety. Reproduction and distribution is not "Fair Use".
Providing quotations and commentary would be, but wholesale reproduction
without permission is not.

The Dead Sea Scrolls are not Copyrightable. But any translation of them is
in at least the United States and many other countries as well. You
distributing them without permission is a violation of that Copyright.
Take, as an example, the NIV's notice:
"The NIV text may be quoted in any form (written, visual, electronic or
audio), up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express
written permission of the publisher, providing the verses do not amount to
a complete book of the Bible nor do the verses quoted account for
twenty-five percent (25%) or more of the total text of the work in which
they are quoted."
Other Bibles offer identical or similar admonishments. Any translation of
the Dead Sea Scrolls are under whatever Copyright their author and/or
publishers may have placed them. And as much as you want to cry "Fair Use"
you are beholden to the laws of the land in which you dwell to honor any
such Copyright. In order to share your work with the CrossWire community
the community requests that you provide proof that the works are either (1)
placed in the public domain, (2) Are able to be reproduced and distributed
freely, or (3) you have been granted some form of right by the Copyright
holders to distribute them. Claiming, "But it's Fair Use because I want it
to be or because _I_ plan to use it academically" does not meet this
community's standards of adhering to Copyright. So please, point us to the
disclaimer on the original sources, or to the specific laws/rulings that
allow this into the Public Domain or provide us evidence that you have
secured distribution rights. If you can't do those things, then the
CrossWire community doesn't want to play host or distributor to either
those texts or your announcement of their availability.


On Wed, Nov 7, 2012 at 3:35 PM, Andrew Thule <thulester at gmail.com> wrote:

> Peter, I assume you understand the difference between intellectual
> property and copyright.  I also assume you understand the 'derivative work'
> principles of 'fair use' and 'transformativeness'.
> Within science and academia, authors may cite other authors work without
> permission as long as they provide credit (hence the whole business of
> citations) else science and common bodies of knowledge would not progress
> for the sake of humanity.  This is also why copyrighting 'science' or
> 'academic results' is generally frowned upon.
> The Dead Sea scrolls are not themselves copyrightable.  Their
> translations, being the product of largly publically funded academic work,
> falls under the category of intellectual property.  As long as I cite who
> did the original translation and transform the work significantly from its
> originally published form (which I've done) I'm well within 'fair use'
> however much you protest.  Moreover, when 'fair use' is for academic or
> scientific purposes, rather than commercial purposes, the court err on the
> side of free and open.
> Besides, you're not being any kind of spoil sport since you're entitled to
> your opinion and I'm really nor seeking your permission to do anything.  My
> offer is open to the community.
> With the greatest respect.
> ~A
> On Wednesday, November 7, 2012, Peter von Kaehne wrote:
>> On 07/11/12 15:52, Andrew Thule wrote:
>>> It is a derivative work from academic translations, but for now treat as
>>> copyrighted, until I resolve the license issue.  With the exception of
>>> Elisha Qimron's translations (by the Israeli Supreme Court no less), all
>>> other DSS translations are treated as academic or scientific knowledge,
>>> and so free for use, subject to citation.
>> I hate being a spoilsport (and I think I get form in that...), but I do
>> not think this will cut it. What is "academic" in these circumstances?
>> Unless the country the translations have been made somehow PDs all produce
>> by publicly funded universities (unlikely, TBH) then these texts will be
>> subject to the ordinary rules as usual - no publication unless permissions
>> are obtained.
>> Now, I think it would be great to gain permission, and academic sources
>> are often very kind + generous with these, but please be careful not to
>> assume.
>> Peter
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