[sword-devel] Copyrights and cash

Daniel Blake sword-devel@crosswire.org
Tue, 18 Jun 2002 22:41:30 -0400

Good Preaching brother  Elbourne.

    I agree whole heartedly with needing "SwordWriter".  It would be easy to
implement a category system that denoted home brewed modules and published
works excepted by the general Christian population.

Daniel Blake

> I have given a lot of thought to this issue as well. I agree, a bible
> software can only be as good as its modules. In the past, I have advocated
> more open content creation environment. If content creation tools were in
> the hands of content creators and not just programmers, I believe we would
> see a much wider user base and a much richer module selection. But as Rev.
> Drake has pointed out there also needs to be a mechanism in place to
> securely distribute copyrighted modules. I believe the best way to do this
> is through a third party company.
> Suppose that The Crosswire Bible Society made a program available to
> providers that would enable them to create Sword modules. For the sake of
> discussion, lets call this program SwordWriter.
> Pastor Jones has preached for 25 years. Each week he hand writes a
> manuscript that he carries into the pulpit. For the past 3 years his wife
> has been entering the 25 years worth of sermons into the computer. With
> SwordWritter she can now convert these files into Sword modules and make
> them available on the churches web site. Anyone in the world can now
> download his 25 years of work and have it all in an easy to use,
> free program from the Sword Project.
> Professor Craft has published 14 scholarly journal articles and has a
> more in the works. He would like to share his research with others and so
> has converted his articles to HTML and created a web site. He has also
> SwordWritter to convert his articles into Sword modules ready to integrate
> into anyone's digital library.
> John  has been reading the works of Jonathan Edwards and George Whitfield
> and feels lead to help distribute these works as Sword modules. With the
> help of a few other volunteers and SwordWritter he makes the collected
> of both authors available on his web site.
> Multiply these three examples times 1000 and I believe we will start to
> scratch the surface of what is possible through Sword.
> But there is more. We have not mentioned the copyrighted works yet. The
> likelihood that Zondervan, IVP, Broadman & Holman, Moody, and other
> publishers are going to download SwordWritter and use it to convert their
> Bible translations, and commentaries into Sword modules for free
> distribution is null.
> Since we are dreaming, lets suppose there was a third party company. We
> call it eScabbard for the sake of discussion. This company, eScabbard, is
> able to approach the big publishing companies with an offer to make their
> material available to a blossoming audience of users. eScabbard insures
> publishers that they are able to securely distribute the modules without
> fear of widespread pirating. They are able to undercut the prices of the
> commercial software makers because the software engine itself is created
> a team of dedicated volunteers.
> ----
> Joe Christian is looking for a good bible software program. Perhaps he is
> looking for a low cost alternative to Logos/BibleWorks/QuickVerse or
> he wants to run an OS other than Windoze. Whatever the case, he stumbles
> upon The Sword Project, downloads the application along with several free
> modules.  He is impressed. He finds a web site with links to other web
> offering free modules. He finds Pastor Jones' site and since he is
> studying the Book of Acts he downloads the sermons on those texts along
> the ones from the pastoral epistles, just for good measure. He notices
> several New Testament scholar's have also made their work available and he
> downloads them into his library as well. He orders a copy of The Great
> Awakening CD from a guy named John and finds several other modules of
> interest. He then visits the eScabbard web site and buys a Sword
> NLT and NASB along with a New American Commentary on Acts. He is able to
> download, purchase and unlock the titles straight from the web, or
> a CD. His digital library continues to grow as he finds a wealth of free
> purchasable material that can be easily integrated into his Sword program.
> Now that there is a wealth of freely distributable material in Sword
> Pastor Jones decides to take all of his material, bundle it with the KJV,
> the WEB, and a few other classic works. He enlists a programmer from his
> congregation to customize a Sword distribution with their churches logo on
> the splash and hand selected titles from Pastor Jones. They make 2,000
> copies and give them away in there community as part of an evangelistic
> campaign. The idea catches on and several other churches do the same.
> -----
> In order for this dream to become a reality a few things are going to need
> to happen. First we are going to have to give up our visions of building a
> Cathedral with tightly controlled content handed down by a small
> cyber-presbytery. I will try to refrain from a Baptist educed rant on the
> legitimacy of soul competency and the priesthood of the believer, but I do
> believe that we should trust Tom, Dick, and Brother Harold to decide what
> content they want to create and obtain from others. (BTW if you are an
> opensouce programmer or are on this list and have not read "The Cathedral
> and the Bazaar" shame on you.)
> Second, we need something akin to the SwordWriter program mentioned above.
> know this is a little premature for several reasons. I am not trying to
> pressure on anyone, I am just setting forth a vision.
> Third, a secure unlocking mechanism needs to be in place for a third party
> company like eScabbard to utilize. I know there is a locking mechanism
> but I'm not sure how it works or if it is conducive to third party
> distribution.
> I have been lurking on this list for quite some time now, I've thrown my
> comments in now and then, I helped with the new Sword web site, but I wish
> was able to do more. I really believe in this project and want to see it
> succeed. I am not sure how my vision lines up with the vision of the inner
> circle, and since I am not a programmer, perhaps no one has even read down
> this far. These are just my thoughts on the issue. I hope I am not
> out of turn. :)
> by grace alone,
> Don A. Elbourne Jr.
> http://elbourne.org
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Barry Drake" <b.drake@ntlworld.com>
> To: <sword-devel@crosswire.org>
> Sent: Tuesday, June 18, 2002 1:59 PM
> Subject: [sword-devel] Copyrights and cash
> > Hi there ....
> >
> > I've been thinking a lot about the big copyrights issue.  The Sword
> Project
> > has some exceptional software to offer now.  The performance outshines
> > of the commercial programs and the potential is growing rapidly.  The
> Sword
> > library itself is awesome and completely platform independent.  But at
> > end of the day, it is only as useful as the modules that we are able to
> > offer.  In English speaking countries, the majority of Christians seem
> > want the NIV.  Second to that is possibly the NRSV maybe followed by the
> > NJB.  I could be wrong, but I guess there will be few other real
> > contenders.
> >
> > We may eventually get some success with the copright holder of the
> > but Zondervan will never, I'm sure allow free issue of the NIV.  Is it
> > totally against the policy of the Sword Project (that's us, I think) to
> > refuse to allow anyone to charge a copyright fee for a locked module
> > we would provide?
> >
> > I know we have no mechanism or desire to handle copyright funds.  Could
> > not consider arranging with a copyright holder together with a
> > retail organisation such as Amazon to handle the commercial side of
> > transactions involving downloadable modules only?  Or maybe Zondervan
> > themselves could set up a mechanism to arrange the supply of the Sword
> > module?
> >
> > This would not mean that we would (ever) charge for the software.
> > make it available as we do now, but with a method of buying copyrighted
> > modules.
> >
> > I seriously believe we ought to do something in that direction and would
> > like to propose that listmembers offer their thoughts.
> >
> > God bless,
> >
> > Barry
> >
> > From Barry Drake (The Revd - minister of the Arnold and the Netherfield
> > United
> > Reformed Churches, Nottingham - see http://www.arnold-urc.supanet.com
> > our
> > church homepages).
> >
> > Replies - b.drake@ntlworld.com
> > Fax: 0705 069 8746
> >
> >
> >
> >