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  • I hate situations like this. Copyright on the Bible was controversial the first time it happened (some time around 1901, with the American Standard Version). Somewhere along the line, we rolled over and accepted it.

    Then I grew up and started questioning everything, and decided I couldn't agree with that policy. I follow it, because it is the law, though if a soul hangs in the balance, I'm going to flagrantly disregard it, and with pleasure. (Of course, I don't agree with copyright at all, any more.)

    If you really want a text most widely disseminated (for religious or other reasons), you need to have a permissive license of some sort. The old crock about needing copyright to obtain the revenues to fund distribution no longer flies in this digital age (and in retrospect I don't believe it flew in the paper age). The idea of copyright to "ensure purity of text" doesn't work, either, especially now that we have the technology to do a diff. Clearly the Bible's purity of text got preserved somehow for 1800 years. The only defense needed against an heretical derived work is publicity of the fact, and this method worked for centuries.

    Finally, the idea that this is the only way the translation process can be funded is similarly ludicrous. Do these people really not believe enough in the Text they are translating to work for any reason other than a profit motive? Surely they need to earn a living, but are there not enough people out there who believe in the importance of this Text enough to fund the workers so they can dedicate themselves to this great Work? How is it that churches and preachers can be supported entirely through voluntary donations, but the work of the translation of the Bible cannot?

    There's at least one public domain modern speech English Bible out there, though the quality is not yet stellar. I look forward to more of these.

    As for the specific issue you brought up, copyrighting a lectionary, again, should not the highest purpose be to encourage the maximum dissemination of this kind of work?

    If you want, I'll make you a Bible reading schedule and release it under a Creative Commons sharealike license. I'll even include the Deuterocanonicals, though I know nothing about them. ;)

    J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
    • Heh, thanks. Actually, the guy has said he'll switch to another translation soon, if he has to... which he probably will.

      Dear USCCB: Thanks for the bushel. It hides that lantern really well.
      • Heh. I like that comment. :)

        J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
    • The people who make the NASB are constantly trying to put out the best version of the Bible they can, in many languages. That requires money. Without the royalties, they will have not enough to do the work they want to do.

      If there were not many good and freely available version of the Bible, that would be one thing. But that's not the case. Yes, it's annoying, but I have no problem with it.