[sword-devel] Legal ?

Jerry Hastings sword-devel@crosswire.org
Wed, 24 Nov 1999 02:55:01 -0700

As an officer and board member of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, I can
tell you that incorporating that way is not something to be done without a
lot of thought. And not to be done if one does not want to have to deal
with all the forms and reports that must be done each year. If you enjoy
filing 1040s each year you will love the 990-PF. You can plan on needing
tax and legal help. 

My own thought to dealing with texts like the NIV is to provide for use of
a format that commercial software publishers would use and let them get the
rights to distribute. It is very unlikely that you would ever be able to
distribute the NIV without collecting money to pay royalties. Collecting
money means work, taxes and headaches. But, if no commercial companies want
to do it. A commercial company can be started for the purpose of providing
Sword compatible texts. It does not have to be crosswire that does it.


At 10:06 PM 11/23/1999 -0500, The Schmidts wrote:
>However, all this discussion got me to thinking about something. . . Is
>a legally incorporated entity?  If we were ever to try to get some sort of
>permission from a copyright holder to re-distribute their texts, they would
>probably want the agreement signed by a corporation of some sort, as
opposed to
>being signed by Troy ;-)  Should crosswire consider some sort of XFree86
>incorporation and membership?  This would help also from a legal
standpoint, as
>it would strenghten any arguments y'all might like to make that for, say,
a given
>text you are only distributing it "internally" for developement purposes.
>it would give a solid count of "official" developers.  E.g. Zondervan
>wouldn't want to spend the money necessary for a lawsuit (though I could
be wrong
>here) if we could prove that it was only "distributed" to (out of the air) 20
>developers, because the legal fees would amount to way more than what they
>And, maybe MPJ or someone else could give more concrete numbers, but I don't
>think any court would give huge punitive damages for such a small
>would they?  Of course at this point I'm stretching the point here, and we
>to avoid being in court at all, but my point is, wouldn't incorporation
give us a
>little more concrete place to work from, legally?
>Jeff Schmidt