[sword-devel] Project “Free Scriptures” started

DM Smith dmsmith at crosswire.org
Thu Feb 27 11:40:28 MST 2014

On Feb 25, 2014, at 6:10 PM, Stephan Kreutzer <skreutzer at freiebibel.de> wrote:

>> The original, printed KJV is difficult to pin down. It certainly is not the 1611. That's easy to show. When I started working on it, the claim was that it was the 1769 edition. I've not been able to find such an edition. For proofing the text I use Old Scofield, which is from the turn of the previous century. It is a printed text. I've compared our e-text with all those I could find and used the Old Scofield to determine what it should be. I'd consider a different text if it were better. I've studied various histories of the KJV to help place the edition we have online as closely as possible to the 1769. Of the printed versions available today, most are modern variations.
> I've investigated this topic a little some time ago. If you're working on a public domain or freely licensed KJV text, that could be indeed worth to collaborate on creating and distributing it. Here's what I've found:
>    http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/1611-Bible/originalscans.php?book=Genesis&chapter=1&verse=
>    http://sceti.library.upenn.edu/sceti/printedbooksNew/index.cfm?textID=kjbible&PagePosition=1
>    http://www.originalbibles.com/1769-king-james-bible-benjamin-blayney/

Thanks for the links. I was aware of the 1611 scans and I use them from time to time.

The last link was new to me. I'll use that as an additional resource in proofing our module.

> As far as I remember, those sites claim copyright protection for the scans, or don't allow downloading and redistributing them for other legitimate or illegitimate reasons. If your Old Scofield is an actual contemporary one and you have scans of it made freely available, it would play an essential role in proofing that the reproduced text is in public domain (except UK).

While the text is public domain, there are other parts I have no confidence in them being free from copyright. Such as the titles and cross-references. There is a copyright claim on the work as a whole. So, I'm reluctant to scan and distribute. Redacting such content would be to tedious. I've been shopping garage sales, old book stores and such to find a KJV from the 1800s. Saw a 1769 for $50,000, but I have no interest in that.

> Strongs keying and format conversion are most likely not copyrightable, but there might other rights apply in some jurisdictions.
Tagging is an intellectual effort. One has to have a decent working knowledge of Greek to map the TR to the KJV. It was not merely sweat of the brow. 

> If all contributors had entitled CrossWire Bible Society to license the text as it is, and the text is truly based on an actual public domain Old Scofield, I think it is safe to say that according to US and international copyright law the text can be considered as freely licensed (however, it isn't freedom-protective, since the CrossWire licensing allows proprietary modification of it etc.).
>> I'ver personally spent lots of effort proofing and correcting the tagging. Read the conf to see what we think of that.
> Copyright doesn't protect the amount of effort, it protects the human expression. Effort can be protected by other rights.
Again, I know Greek and English and my corrections were not merely sweat of the brow. Some were "no brainers".

>> In this last release, I added the original Greek from the TR to complement the Strong's numbers. It's not mentioned in the conf, but I've contributed it in the same fashion as any other part of the work.
> Where is it from? Could this be copyright protected?

The TR was an older version of the one that is currently in the CrossWire repository. The TR has proper source attribution. You can see the claims and the rights you have regarding the TR from the owner. It is fairly open.

The biggest difficulty of providing the TR Greek was that the TR presents multiple variants in different locations. Let's call them A and B. Some places it notes that A but not B (that is B does not have the text from A). Others B but not A. And the other places of variant has both A and B. For every verse that had variants, the KJV used one or the other, but not both. I had to dig to figure out which was the correct variant for the KJV.

>> There are mistakes in the KJV module. As far as I know these are markup or tagging problems, not text problems. With the help of others, we've identified more than 80. I've corrected them and will be releasing an update (2.7) soon.
> That's great! Have you ever considered to provide it as PDF, EPUB or in print (maybe even by print-on-demand as bound hardcover or something the like)? That's what "Free Scriptures" has mainly focused on up to now.

No, I make the source freely available. Others are free to do with it as they please. I hope that they check back often to update when I do. I have a few people I contact when I do an update as they have asked me to let them know.

But if you wish to setup a pull from CrossWire to a service that creates PDF, EPUB, or other print, that'd be better. Then you'd get the latest. I'd have a bit of work to set it up.

Again this is the only module that we maintain the source. I've been sloppy and rather informal with how I share it. I'd be happy to do better.

My motivation for working on it is that it is the most common download from CrossWire and I want for it to have the best quality and value that we can provide. For the sake of Christ's Kingdom.

In His Service,

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