DevTools:Module Submission and Copyrights
CrossWise does respect copyrights and takes in general a very cautious view in these matters.
If there is a hint of a doubt regarding the public domain status we do not publish a text unless we have permissions, either explicitly relating to us or via free licensing (Creative Commons and the like). If we believe we require explicit permissions then we welcome the assistance of community members to obtain these, but in the end it will always be the module team or the director who needs to receive the permissions from the copyright owner.
In this way we have on occasion forgone texts we really would like to publish and other projects felt free to publish, but we still believe that this approach has born fruit.
There are occasionally situations where people decided that the only likely approach to convince a copyright owner to grant permissions is to create a module as showcase. This is, dependent on the legislation at place, a potentially very risky undertaking, but clearly who does so believes that the risk is acceptable for them personally or , tahnks to local legislation is not a problem for them. As long as such modules are not discussed (explicitely or implicitly) or offered on the list for testing purposes or otherwise and as long as these people do not describe themselves as CrossWire volunteers to the publishers, then we as a community do not take a further view on this.
Beyond the above, some jurisdictions will permit private use, reuse and transformation of texts otherwise restricted. This is great for individuals, but it does not enable us as an entity to assist with this. Please do not discuss your attempts in this way on the mailing list. You are of course allowed to discuss technical problems around encoding on the list, but making such private use modules available for others via the list or otherwise is not something we want to see or be involved in.
Below some typical examples encountered in the years
- "I am working on this Bible text in my language. The text is ancient, around 200 years old, but still very relevant for my country's church. I have put my source text into Github and would be grateful about some coding advice" thanks, no questions, all are happy.
- " I am the technical guy of the Bible society of X and we want to make our new translation wider available. Can some help me to fix A, B and C , I can make the full module available to testers. Our director will write a letter to your module team regarding distribution rights as module" thanks no problem. Discuss your preliminaries and technical examples with original text if necessary here on the list.
- "I have obtained the text of the NIV by scraping this website.... Can you help to fix my module?" Sorry, stop right here, we do not want any discussion about this and certainly do not want it here.
- I have created a module of this translation into my language , the translation is from 1960, still in copyright, but our bible society is publishhing the text with a license allowing free redistribution as long As the text remains unchanged. " " thanks, sounds really interesting, can you point us at where it says that you can freely redistribute?"
- "I believe that the Bible should never be copyrighted and have created a collection of modules of modern translations to make use of my belief." No debate necessary, move on please. But do not stay here.
- "I am making use of this scholarly edition, and while it is only 30 years old, I believe I am justified to make a module because scientist crave nothing more than exposure and use of the text as a module should be allowed under academic freedom. I have further interesting theories of copyright exemptions in which only I believe, but I am sure I am right!", " well, we do not agree and we do not recognise your exemptions on the law as we know it, so please do not advertise or discuss your new modules here. "
- "I am making use of this scholarly edition and the editors and copyright holders are really keen to see it in module form, where can they send a letter to confirm this?" "Right here, right here, many thanks, brilliant news"
- "My country is an interesting one, as it has never subscribed to the Berne convention, but it introduced copyright in 1987. Everything before is under public domain. Can I publish this Bible in my language, it was published in 1985.?" Ah, this is an interesting one...
We have - we freely admit this - made mistakes and had to withdraw modules because we thought the texts were in the public domain, but then realised they were not. Or we had been "granted" permission, only to realise that the people who did so had no authority to do so. Or we had a text which we thought was ancient only to learn that the actual text we published was not named correctly.
We will withdraw as fast as we technically can any text we suspect of being incorrectly published. If you believe that a text is wrongly published please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
We are not lawyers, what we have learned over the years is condensed above and it boils down to - we want to get it right and if we err, we rather err on side of the caution.