[sword-devel] Other Bible versions

Chris Little chrislit at crosswire.org
Mon Jun 28 18:15:53 MST 2004

On Tue, 29 Jun 2004, Richard Gray wrote:

> Thats interesting to hear. I'm not sure that E-sword are doing things in the 
> most honest of ways, as I have downloaded a number of their bibles, and none of 
> them seem to come with an associated software license. I would have assumed that 
> even if the actual text is distributed for free, they would be required to put 
> in the file that says "Less than 500 verses, as long as its not a whole book etc 
> etc etc."

I can't speak for e-Sword, but we do know that they have acted responsibly 
in pursuing licenses, at least some of the time, because copyright owners 
have confused us with them, thinking they'd already given US permission 
because they had recently given THEM permission.  They may not be 
required by any of their license agreements to print usage limitations 
anywhere, and even if they are, failing to do so doesn't mean they don't 
have ostensible permission to distribute these translations.
> I emailed another software developer called Online Bible, to ask about 
> alternative versions, and the second I mentioned E-Sword I got firmly knocked 
> back because (quote) "We have great reservation with anything associated with 
> e-sword. They took our copyright materials for their CD without permission." 
> I'll try and press things further.

I wouldn't pay any attention to anyone at Online Bible.  They've got their
own history of taking the keyboarding work of others and claiming that
they then own copyrights on it and of claiming copyrights on texts for 
adding text markup (which is not covered by US copyright law, at least).  
They say basically the same things about us as they apparently are about 
e-Sword.  And they blame us for loss of profits and reduced sales (rather 
than, say, having a severely outdated interface and being unable to 
compete with the dozens of other packages that are now available).

> As a Brit, its hard for me to get in touch with anyone in the ABS,
> however I do have the ear of the current chairman for the Scottish Bible
> Society. Is he likely to be of any use? I presume the associated
> licenses are held by the IBS as opposed to the ABS?

Does the Scottish Bible Society own any translations? :)  I know BFBS 
creates Anglicized versions of the TEV & CEV, so if you feel like 
petitioning your own Bible Society, that's something you could potentially 
request rights to.
> I had a look at the ToDo list. I'm primarily a Java developer, but the
> JSword wiki doesn't appear to have changed since 2002. Is it dead in the
> water? If so, I can turn my hand to other programming languages, but if
> JSword is still alive (or even sinking, but still moving) then I'd sign
> up for that :)

JSword is definitely still active.  Their website is 
http://www.crosswire.org/jsword/index.html and they have their own 
development list to join, if you're interested in getting more involved 
with that.


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