[sword-devel] Exclusive Rights Granting Crosswire License to Distribute

Greg Hellings greg.hellings at gmail.com
Mon Jan 7 11:09:31 MST 2013

On Mon, Jan 7, 2013 at 11:58 AM, Andrew Thule <thulester at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sun, Jan 6, 2013 at 11:12 AM, DM Smith <dmsmith at crosswire.org> wrote:
>> No, we cannot publish the terms of licensing agreements. Think about it.
>> These are confidential, privileged contracts between organizations.
> Umm, with software Licenses, Acceptable Use Policies, Copyright Restrictions
> and Copyright limitations are not typically priviledge ..
> The contractual agreement itself may be, but License for use, especially in
> public forums is not, otherwise how can you come down so hard on someone
> like me for trying to abide by licensing agreement when those agreements are
> not know?
> You're saying on the one had I have to abide by Crosswire's agreement with
> the Copyright Owner and on the other hand I cannot know what those
> provisions are.

False. We're saying you have to abide by Copyright laws. According to
Copyright laws you have no claim on these modules unless there is
either (1) no Copyright holder, as is the case for any modules in the
public domain or (2) you have been granted permission by the Copyright
holder. This could be in the case of content where the holder has
publicly permitted anyone rights, otherwise you need to negotiate your
own license with the Copyright holder if you want to distribute. You
have no need to make your license public to anyone if you negotiate
the rights to a module and neither does CrossWire. The only people who
need to know the specific terms are CrossWire's point of contact
(usually Troy or Chris but it could be whoever negotiated the
contract) and the Copyright holder. Additionally a copy could be
submitted to law enforcement or courts if legislation arose or the

> For example, I am particularly disappointed that I was accused of breaking
> Crosswire's licensing restrictions, yet no one has bothered to either
> publically name one module that was available at my repo that should have
> been, or provide access to Crosswire's license as evidence this was wrong.

You don't need to see the specifics of CrossWire's license agreements.
You just need to understand basic Copyright function. Is the text
under Copyright? Do you have the permission of the Copyright holder to
distribute the text? If the answer to the first question is "yes" and
the answer to the second is "no" then you don't have the right to
distribute the work. Regardless of who DOES have the right, you do
not. And regardless of under which conditions they have the right, you
do not.

You don't need to know under what permissions CrossWire has the right
to distribute a module publicly in electronic format anymore than you
need to know what agreement Zondervan has to publish a paper copy. You
also don't need to know what agreement Amazon has or Netflix has to
electronically make available copies of movies to know that you do not
have a right to mirror their content without permission from at least
the Copyright holder.


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