[sword-devel] Zondervan and NIV

Barry Drake b-drake at supanet.com
Mon May 2 00:32:15 MST 2005

Hi Jeremy ...........

I've made a couple of alterations, but I really like what you are 
saying.  Subject to any other comments from this list, how about:

Dear Zondervan,
I use the NIV regularly and would find computer study tools useful.  
However, I use neither Microsoft Windows nor Apple Mac OS.  I use Gentoo 
Linux, one of many (mostly compatible with each other) distributions of 
the Linux operating system.  The Linux operating system is growing but 
is still somewhat a niche offering.  Nonetheless, I would love to be 
able to use the NIV on Linux and would be willing to pay a reasonable 
price for such a capability.  More importantly,  God's work could be 
furthered through such an effort.  My suggestion for the easiest (and 
perhaps most cost-effective) way to support Linux would be to sell a 
module for the pre-existing Sword project from CrossWire (not to be 
confused with e-Sword).  The team leader for copyright issues and 
negotiations is Daniel Glassey - dglassey at crosswire.org.  The members 
of  CrossWire would be more than willing to assist with the technical 
hurdles involved in creating the module and to help you with any 
problems you may encounter.  If you wish, one of them would create the 
module unassisted given the source texts, and would supply you and no 
one else with the completed work.  They also actively develop the Sword 
library and the various frontends available for it, so your developers 
would not need to deal with maintainence.  Sword frontends are already 
available for most major platforms (including Windows,
Linux, Mac OS X, and various forms of Unix), and I can attest to the 
maturity and quality of the BibleTime frontend I currently use.

    However, CrossWire is a volunteer-based nonprofit organization which 
does not have the financial resources to act as an e-tailer for the 
modules.  Therefore, it would be up to you to sell the modules and deal 
with the financial aspects.  Nonetheless, this approach would seem 
simpler for you than developing a full-fledged Linux suite of tools.  If 
you would rather deal solely with your own software, you may want to 
consider using a cross-platform tool such as Qt from Trolltech Inc. 
(http://www.trolltech.com) or the community-developed wxWidgets 
(http://www.wxwidgets.org) when
developing your software, as programs using these tools can be compiled 
on all major platforms with few or no changes.
 From my understanding (though I am not a lawyer and this is not legal 
advice), the copyright risk involved in distributing a Sword module is 
minimal.  Though the GNU General Public License used for Sword is often 
considered "viral", its effects only cover software and not data modules 
used with covered software.  In addition, Sword has the capability to 
use modules which are actually encrypted and thus for all practical 
purposes impossible to use without the proper access codes.  It would 
thus be more difficult to illegally copy Sword modules than the .pdb 
files used for Laridian MyBible on PalmOS.

I hope that God's work may be furthered by the use of the NIV on Linux!  
Your time is appreciated.

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