[sword-devel] ISV status?

Greg Hellings greg.hellings at gmail.com
Mon Jan 7 13:05:07 MST 2013

On Mon, Jan 7, 2013 at 1:37 PM, Andrew Thule <thulester at gmail.com> wrote:
> Greg, respectfully you're still missing the point.
> Because a work is Copyright, doesn't grant Crosswire the right to inform me
> of anything, since CrossWire is not the CopyRight owner.

Correct. Nor does it mean CrossWire is required to inform you of
anything - such as its own license agreement.

> It is only if the Copyright Owner grants Crosswire rights (and restrictions)
> though the use of a license to use the Copyright work that CrossWire has any
> legal obligations at all.

Yes, and CrossWire has a private agreement with the ISV publishers to
publish the ISV text in its module.

> The ISV's copyright found here:
> http://www.isv.org/legal.php

CrossWire's private agreement with the publisher applies beyond these
general rights to CrossWire's use of the text.

The above rights apply to your use of the text. And to mine. And to
DM's. And to Chris Little's. And to Peter's. Unless one of us has
acquired a separate agreement, none of us may distribute or use the
ISV text in any way other than what is detailed at
http://www.isv.org/legal.php. CrossWire is not limited to the text of
that URL because it has been granted exception to that general clause.
You have not, and thus may not offer the text anymore than I may do so
because I have not gained permission. Even if I am working on a module
for CrossWire, under CrossWire's auspices, I am not permitted to
publish a copy of that myself. This is exactly what you have done.

Last year I had in my possession about 1000 modules under Copyright by
different people and organizations. The intention was that these
modules would be transformed into SWORD modules for the organization
that had rights to do this. Despite being a part of that organization
as a volunteer, I was not able to send copies of the modules to Troy
or Karl or Chris or anyone else when I ran into problems because none
of them are members of that organization. Once the conversion was
completed, I was not permitted to send a copy of those modules to the
QA and test people because I am not that organization. Since I'm not
actively working on those modules any longer I have removed them from
my local machines so that even my personal friends that I grant SSH
access to my home computer would not inadvertently acquire copies of
them. All because I had no right to distribute those modules any more
than you had a right to distribute the ISV.

I never had to see that organization's specific agreement with each
publisher for each of those 1000 works to know that I, as a private
individual, am not governed by the private agreement that organization
has with each publisher. But for some reason you think you need to
know the text of a private agreement to know that your use is governed
by Copyright law.

Let me provide you a good rule-of-thumb, so you can avoid making a
fool of yourself again in the future: If you have not received a
notice - specific like CrossWire's or generic like the one on the
ISV's website - from the Copyright holder granting you permission to
distribute a work then you do not have permission to distribute that
work to anyone for any purpose. Yes, there are some exceptions to
this, but you've already proven you don't know what those exceptions
are or when they apply to you.

> Doesn't say anything about Crosswire's right to control how I distribute ISV
> text.   If I am bound by the ISV's agreement only than if I abide by the
> terms of that agreement I can do anything the agreement allows me to do, and
> Crosswire has no say in the matter.

CrossWire has no right to control your distribution of the ISV text.
We're not asserting we have that right. We're trying to tell you that
you also don't have that right nor do you have a right to distribute
it (unless you're hiding from us the fact that you have negotiated
distribution rights, in which case I apologize for being wrong and I'm
sure everyone else here would as well). We can't control your
distribution - only the Copyright holder can do so through the proper
legal channels.

> However, because Crosswire is playing a role in the development of modules,
> I assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that Crosswire has 'license' to use the ISV
> as Copyright work, which means I am not bound by what is at the ISV site,
> but by the agreement Crosswire has with ISV.

It does have that right. Are you CrossWire? No. So why would you
assume that CrossWire's right extended to you?

> If CrossWire has no such agreements, I woudln't be touching any Copyrighted
> work for fear of the legal liabilities involved.

It does have that right. Do you? Because that's what actually the issue here.

> Either Crosswire has Lisenses covering each Copyright work it deals with, or
> it does.  If it doesn't there are larger problems than me sharing a module.
> If its does, those terms must be passed on with the work (under copyright
> law).

Multiple people have assured you that CrossWire is very careful to
have such licenses. If you are acting as an agent of a Copyright
holder and present the proper requirements then CrossWire will produce
proof of that license. But none of that has an affect on whether or
not you have a right to deal with the ISV in the way you did.


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