[sword-devel] host[ing] despite legality

Brandon Staggs bstaggs at swordsearcher.com
Tue Aug 23 12:19:17 MST 2005

> From: Eicke Godehardt <eicke.godehardt at igd.fraunhofer.de>

> I don't want to circumvent rights.  That's why I'm not for sword modules
> of copyrighted texts in any form.  But to provide a tool to build a
> module myself for my use only should be ok, as/when private usage is
> alowed.  I'm even willing to pay for copyrighted sword modules, but
> there is no one available.
> Do you think this is a wrong, dubios or questionable?  I'm realy not
> shure about that.

A tool that is specifically designed to scrape text from a
copyrighted, proprietary source probably violates the DMCA, and
anyone distributing it could be accused to inducing infringement.
The e-Sword import tool most definitely is designed to induce
infringement, because the copyrighted texts they are designed to
scrape are *not* licensed to be used in this manner.  Every
modern Bible version license prohibits this kind of usage.  There
is a reason why you have to pay to unlock the NIV in every Bible
program you own, rather than just one time -- because that's the
way they have licensed it, and it is definitely intentionally

One way to tick off licensors is to provide a means of
circumventing their license.  It would be a bad idea to do it.

As for the arguments surrounding the legitimacy of copyrighting a
translation of the Bible, it's largely irrelevant unless someone
here is willing to go to court over it.  Personally, I think it's
absurd to insist that a translation of a public domain text
constitutes a bona fide "creative work," and I think it's a
little bit ironic that someone attempting to create an accurate
translation would be willing to call their work a "creative act"
in order to hold ownership of it.  If they were honest in their
advertising and called it a new creative work, they'd lose a lot
of business.  Also, putting a large legal notice at the beginning
of a "Bible" warning people not to quote more than 500 verses
without written permission is laughable -- who owns it?  God or
the publishers?  Anyway, I digress -- until someone is willing
to go to court over this, it's a moot point.

-Brandon Staggs

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