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

Andrew Thule thulester at gmail.com
Tue Nov 13 16:19:23 MST 2012

Nic, this request was for assistance, nothing more.

There were 24 versions of the book of Genesis found at DSS.  For
Deuteronomy there were 33 copies and Qumran produced 39 copies of Psalms
most of these copies translated by different scholars.  No one publishes
English versions of the text and obtains each individual scholars
'permission' to use the work they've freely published.  To demand I contact
dozens of scholars individually to ask to make use of their individual
translations of portions of biblical texts, freely published in a 39 volume
work of scholarly work.

To answer a request for someone to QA the module with such an unrealistic
request shows the request to be out of touch with DSS convention, not
required by US law, Canadian law, international law, either to produce a
derivative work, or make fair use of another's scholars text. You may not
care for the details, but the law is on my side.

Besides, my intent IS NOT and WAS NOT to submit this module to Crosswire
for inclusion in its repository, as already indicated.  Crosswire is free
to object and impose whatever restrictions (however unnecessary) it likes
on the modules it receives, but for the modules it doesn't receive, it is
reasonable to expect a polite and respectful decline.


On Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 4:08 PM, Nic Carter <niccarter at mac.com> wrote:

> Andrew,
> I'm not concerned with all the details that everyone has put forward. (I'm
> kinda strange like that.)
> However, if you're not prepared to put your money where your mouth is and
> contact the publishers and go above and beyond in order to make sure you/we
> are above reproach and there is no hint of any wrongdoing, you're right in
> that there's no point in this thread continuing.
> Please contact them, let us know that permission is given or they say it's
> not needed and we'll all be excited about this new module rather than
> getting bogged down in (for me!) boring legalities... (Yes, I know these
> details aren't boring for other ppl, but I'm purely a programmer and
> primary/elementary school teacher and enjoy other things!)
> Thanks, ybic
> Nic... :)
> ps: for those still reading along, today is my 2nd last day of work for my
> current employer & so I get to actually do some programming for CrossWire
> again soon! :) expect a release soon for everyone's favourite iOS app that
> supports the SWORD format ;)
> On 14/11/2012, at 5:40, Andrew Thule <thulester at gmail.com> wrote:
> With the possible exception of calling people trolls, I agree, this is how
> we are to conduct ourselves in public. Even Christian folks, sometimes
> disagree. Reasoning things out, using civility, logic, evidence, tolerance
> for difference of opinion, are all hallmarks of responsible people working
> through difficult things.  This is how differences are settled in a
> principled, civil way. With respect to apologizing, I think its premature
> for offering or expecting one (unless someone's feelings have been injured).
> Recall, this was all initiated by a simple request for assistance QAing a
> module.  An unjustified claimed was made that somehow this breached
> Copyright law; even though Copyright law is restricted in certain cases,
> this being one, and copyright law allows for derivative work, this being
> one.  Even though I made it clear early on, I had no interest in arguing
> this (I do know Copyright Law!), I've nevertheless defend this module on 2
> grounds (and been called a troll for doing so):
> 1. This module falls within the provisions of section 107 of the Copyright
> Act, and therefore constitutes 'fair use'
> 2. Independent, and in addition to this, the use of Copyrighted work in
> the case of derivative works is permitted.
> There was some haggling over this, but eventually those engaged in the
> debate have begrudgingly recognized that "Copyrights" are not monolithic,
> defacto, exclusive rights, but ones with reasonable limits and 'fair use'
> (In fact 1/3 of the act is about placing limits on these exclusive
> rights).  Furthermore, we've managed to sort out that there is a difference
> between protections on cultural works (often produced for commercial
> advantage) and scholarly work, produced to expand knowledge.  Our civil
> discussion has in fact made progress, as some of the harder incorrect
> positions have since softened.  I don't expect an apology from those who
> have 'softened' their position.
> It's been hinted that because I stand alone in my defence, against so
> many, clearly I must be wrong. This, of course, is the fallacy argumentum
> ad populum.  The number of people who believe something to be true, has no
> bearing on the truth of the belief.  In human history, there was a time
> when only a single person believed the world was round rather than flat.
> There was also a time when only a single person believed the messiah
> (though King) would be killed and rise on the third day.  Sometimes it
> takes a single dissenting voice, to correct popular misconceptions however
> bleak the odds.
> Dogmatically the argument has now shifted from saying material CANNOT be
> copied under any circumstance, to saying it CAN be but not in THESE
> circumstances.  That is an entirely different argument, and one that
> quietly recognizes the merit to my defence. Let's look at those claims
> then.  I was presented 3 links.
> The first link is Wikipedia:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_content#Academia
> The Wikipedia link is not a summary of case law.  It is no kind of
> authoritative source or summary interpretation of precident (save perhaps
> for the army of Wikipedia volunteers who engineer Wikipedia articles).
> However two other cases were presented being 'Princeton University Press v.
> Michigan Doc' and ' Basic Books, Inc. v. Kinko's Graphics Corporation'.
> Very good.  Case law makes us look at the issues I've been raising in
> defence.
> http://www.law.cornell.edu/copyright/cases/99_F3d_1381.htm
> http://fairuse.stanford.edu/primary_materials/cases/c758FSupp1522.html
> Before these two cases were presented,  I made the point that derivative
> use cases of Copyright work (outlined in ) says basically (in section § 107
> . Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use) that in considering 'adapted
> works' as derived works, courts use some litmus tests.  I kind of get the
> feeling no one accusing me of law-breaking has bothered to read this
> section. In both of the cases above, the defendants were engaged in
> 'Commercial Activity' reproducing exact copies of Copyrighted material for
> COMMERCIAL advantage.
> Had anyone bothered to read section § 107 they'd see that both defendants
> were engaged in commercial activity, both were reproducing exact copies of
> copyright work, both were selling the results for commercial advantage,
> clearly failing the first litmus test.  Neither of those cases apply here.
> That said, I really didn't need to point out the litmus test since the
> Copyright act itself says (in section § 101 . Definitions ) "A work
> consisting of editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other
> modifications, which, as a whole, represent an original work of authorship,
> is a “derivative work” which is clearly the case here.  This module
> contains annotations, elaborations, and other modifications and is clearly
> not the same as Oxford University Press' 39 volume published works
> "Discoveries in the Judean Desert" so automatically qualifies as derivative
> work by definition.  However, people would rather argue than read law and
> case law.
> Finally the Georgia State University Opinion was offered as evidence of
> wrong doing.  To be honest, I'm not entirely sure what this was presented
> as it strengthens my case more than weakens it.
> http://laboratorium.net/archive/2012/05/13/inside_the_georgia_state_opinion
> .
> Of the DSS translations in the Discoveries in the Judean Desert (DJD)
> series, biblical DSS translations constitute far less than 10% of the
> entire material found in the 39 volumes.  These translations clearly
> contain annotations, elaborations, and other modifications qualifying by
> definition as derivative work.  The case is considered a win for Georgia
> State and a loss for the publishers and are the same issues we debate
> here.  You don't need to read too far to see that the 'Georgia State
> University' case was DROPPED!
> The publishers were unable to prove to the court’s satisfaction that fair
> use did NOT apply in large portions brought forward in their case, and the
> court was ultimately unsympathetic.  That link you produced itself says
> so.  Citing this case kind of proves my point!
> I don't know what this thread continues on.  I speculate perhaps some of
> you work for the publishing industry.  At the end of the day case-law and
> the law itself provides provisions that restrict exclusive rights in
> Copyright cases, limitations I'm clearly well within legally in this case.
> I'm a bit surprised that anyone (in this list) would want to restrict
> (re)transmission of Dead Sea Scrolls biblical material, our oldest
> fragments of biblical text in most cases.  But then again, perhaps that's
> the whole point.  Perhaps this isn't about preserving someone's exclusive
> right (a right that does not in fact exist) to an academic translation of
> ancient text, but about restricting (re)transmission of biblical texts.
> In His service.
> ~A
> On Monday, November 12, 2012, Peter von Kaehne wrote:
>> This is a good summary of how we conduct ourselves in general and how we
>> want to conduct ourselves.
>> Thanks Nic.
>> Peter
>> On 11/11/12 23:13, niccarter wrote:
>>> Disclaimer: I am not an expert in US law to any degree. I just want to
>>> pick up on one thing Greg mentioned:
>>>  Those works ARE subject to Copyright
>>>> unless their authors or publishers have explicitly released them from
>>>> Copyright.
>>> The way to make sure that everything is above board and that we are
>>> beyond reproach and honouring Christ is to go the extra mile and ask the
>>> authors/publishers for explicit permission to distribute (either
>>> personally, as Andrew appears to desire, or corporately, as I gather
>>> CrossWire would be interested in) their works.
>>> There are two purposes:
>>> 1) If the publishers are intending for anyone and everyone to freely
>>> copy their works with attribution, perhaps along the lines of CC BY-NC-SA
>>> 3.0 (defined at http://creativecommons.org/**licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/<http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/>), then they will appreciate the goodwill and the relationship would be
>>> beneficial in glorifying God. AND they will freely and quickly grant
>>> access. :)
>>> 2) If the publishers are more restrictive, according to what others are
>>> stating copyright law entitles, we can pray that they are happy for their
>>> works to be distributed in a non-profit way with their
>>> blessings/permission.  :)
>>> Looking at both sides of the fence, I believe it won't hurt to ask. Who
>>> is "right" is irrelevant in this outlined proposal.
>>> For His Glory, ybic
>>>         nic...  :)
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