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

Andrew Thule thulester at gmail.com
Fri Nov 9 21:32:33 MST 2012

Chris, thank you for taking time to lay out your position.  (Comments

On Thu, Nov 8, 2012 at 2:16 PM, Chris Little <chrislit at crosswire.org> wrote:

> The problem here is that you are employing CrossWire's mailing list to
> publicize the dissemination of a copyright-violating work. You are breaking
> the law and you are implicating CrossWire in your crime.
> If you refuse to accept what you have repeatedly been told here, I would
> ask that you at least cease from using CrossWire to publicize your illegal
> activities. If you refuse, I will pursue your removal.
Chris, simply asserting that copyright has been violated does not make it
so.  I've presented a defence which you and others have ignored. I did this
so folks who read this list can judge for themselves and I've posted links
to the law itself and quoted the relevant sections.

I understand you disagree, but don't simply accuse me of something without
dealing with the defence.  HOW HAVE I BROKEN THE LAW?

DSS Translations produced as the result of research/academics are either
exempt from copyright or not.

I've posted links to both US and Canadian the law which exempts academic
work as 'fair use' (once scholarly work is published consent is
automatically implied).

For me to have broken the law it needs to be shown how the academic
provision stated clearly in the law doesn't apply to translations published
in scholarly journals. Academic work is except from copyright once it is

But let's suppose that weren't true.  Even Copyright work can be reproduced
as a derivative work so long as the the original work is sufficiently
transformed and serves some purpose.  I've not only cited how book authors
using the DSS have used translations not their own for commercial purposes,
but disclaimed I have any such designs and I openly acknowledge the
original translators.

Even if we assumed falsely that published academic work could be protected
copyright, for my actions to have illegal the module would have to be NOT a
derivative work!

> The crux is that you are the one who does not understand copyright law. No
> one other than you has said anything incorrect or false with regards to
> copyright and fair use. (Greg did misidentify copyright violation (a legal
> matter) as plagiarism (an academic honesty matter) but aside from incorrect
> terminology nothing he said was wrong.)

I've posted both Canadian and American copyright law in previous posts.
Both Canadian and American copyright law provide for derivative work and
copyright exemptions because the source is published scholarship.  Use of
'translations' produced as a result of academic/scholastic research is NOT
the same as simply PLAGIARISING someone else's (commercial) bible IF
academic/scholastic research IS exempt from copyright - which it is.

> A derivative work may not legally be produced without valid license to do
> so. The author of a work upon which a derivative work is based still owns
> copyright on the derivative work.

Correct.  What constitutes 'valid license' according to US law?

Two things:
1. Transformativeness:  Notice "The use must be productive and must employ
the quoted matter in a different manner or for a different purpose from the
original. ...[If] the secondary use adds value to the original--if the
quoted matter is used as raw material, transformed in the creation of new
information, new aesthetics, new insights and understandings--this is the
very type of activity that the fair use doctrine intends to protect for the
enrichment of society."

2. Copyright protection: By crediting the original translators, their
original copyright is being honoured but the changes must serve some
purpose (preferably not a commercial one).

Both hold true here.

I agree with your point, but you seem be denying one or both of the above
principles are true in this case.

> There are absolutely no special rules pertaining to academic work. If a
> work is copyrighted, it is copyrighted. It is equally protected if it is
> produced in an academic setting or for an academic audience or if it is a
> new Harry Potter novel. The law sees no difference.

Except that materials PUBLISHED in academic, scientific, or research
publications implicitly contain permission to re-use.  'Discoveries in the
Judean Desert' is an academic publication used to convey the results of DSS
research.  Therefore once a text is published, implicit consent is
established by law to allow further use of the text, and thus permission
does not need to be obtained to use the text further, nor is there need to
engage copyright.  The purpose of the law it to protect the creation of
culture, not to establish the ownership of facts.  Translating ancient text
as an act of scholarship is NOT the creation of culture!

The US Law that imposes these natural limitations on copyright (called fair
use) also outline the four criteria here:

1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a
commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

Is the production of this module going to detract from the competitive
advantage of the translators to do research or the publishers of DJD to
sell DJD volumes?

 (2) the nature of the copyrighted work;


  (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the
copyrighted work as a whole; and

Since only the a tiny portion of the DJD translations have been used
(namely only the biblical ones) the amount or portion that have been used
in minor.

  (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the
copyrighted work.
IS Negligible.

Your example of using a Harry Potter novel which is a commercial endeavour
and not published scholarship shows you don't understand the legal
principles of fair use!  Harry Potter is culture creation, the invention of
some ones creativity for commercial gain.  The translation of ancient texts
and publication in academics sources is NOT.

For my position to be wrong there would need to be the expectation that DJD
was not produced for the purposes of research.

> Furthermore, you are in no way entitled to pretend that you are producing
> work for educational purposes. You are not producing work for an academic
> institution. You are not producing work for classroom instruction. No court
> in any country anywhere would deem your actions to fall under academic fair
> use. Those uses are themselves extremely limited. I could not, for example,
> photocopy a textbook (or extensive portions of a textbook) to disseminate
> to a whole class of students. Under fair use, I generally DO scan and post
> the first week or two of readings for my students since they're still
> awaiting the arrival of their textbooks. And under fair use, I sometimes
> distribute copies of short texts or songs that are part of a larger work to
> my students. But those are excerpts (they make up a small portion of my
> course and what I copy is a small portion of the whole book/album that I
> copy from) and that is in an academic setting (your posting is not).
> I'm not.  You misunderstand.

Copyright law is about protecting the source!  The sources have been
produced as a result of scholarship, and published in a scholarly journal.

The only thing I've said about my goals was that it was not commercial
which speaks to the motivation of producing a derivative work.  I'm not
selling this module - so clearly it's not commercial, but whether or not
that's true, the source, the thing we're arguing about IS the result of

> If I photocopy the entirety of The Hobbit or copy a DVD of Citizen Kane or
> bring a video camera into a theater to record the latest James Bond movie,
> I'm committing copyright infringement. I would be breaking the law in all
> of those cases because I do not have the RIGHT to COPY. Whether I do the
> copying for my own personal use is irrelevant. It's illegal.

Well .. again The Hobbit is not scholarly work, published to advanced
knowledge.  Rather it's the cultural contribution of an author seeking
commercial benefit.  Because the intent here is to advanced culture and not
knowledge, the rights of the author are protected.  However, scholars are
not denied the right to use the work of other scholars for the sake of
advancing knowledge.  Copyright is not designed to restrict the advancement
of knowledge.

God's peace.

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