[sword-devel] Legal ?

Jerry Hastings sword-devel@crosswire.org
Wed, 24 Nov 1999 01:13:00 -0700

As copyright is suppose to protect "creative" works, it should not protect
reconstruction of old works. If NA27 was to claim to be 100% correct to the
original manuscripts, then that part of the work should be 100% not
copyrightable. As it is, the only things in it that should be
copyrightable are where it is not true to any public domain manuscript and
not claimed to be, particularly the originals, even though the originals no
longer exist. However, the scholars should be able to protect their
creative changes to the texts and their notes and helps. 

Copyright does not protect ideas, or money invested, or time spent, or
facts (scholarly or otherwise). Scholars can, and do, invest great money
and time to come up with facts that are not copyrightable, because facts
are not creative. On the other hand, a high school dropout can jot down a
song on a napkin between drinks at a bar and, because it is creative, get
rich off the copyright. The copyright is societies' reward to the song
writer for being creative.

Because UBS4/NA27 is a scholarly fact finding thing and not a creative
thing. It seems to me that the scholars in this case should look to some
other means of getting their reward, and not muck up the Public domain
status of an old work by trying to get a reward that is meant for those
that do creative things. 


At 10:35 AM 11/23/1999 -0500, A. Brent Hudson wrote:
>Since the UBS4/NA27 is an eclectic text I believe its copyright is
>easily defensible.  There is no Greek manuscript in existence that
>matches the UBS text, it is the result of thousands of hours of
>studying manuscript evidence and debating that evidence in committee.
> Once you read the UBS Textual Commentary you get an idea of just how
>much work went into forming the UBS4/NA27 text.  
>As someone who has paid a tremendous amount of money for my 12 years
>of University education in Biblical Studies, I must defend these
>scholars' right to protect their textual work.  The fact is, there
>are very few people who have the training to do the work of the UBS
>committee.  Since the Greek text is the backbone of all NT
>translations there would not even be an NIV to copyright if not for
>the work of Metzger, Black, Aland and company.  Surely the USB4/NA27
>has a defensible copyright.