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About the legal statement of the website

 
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Halie0201
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Joined: 26 Dec 2015
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:03 pm    Post subject: About the legal statement of the website Reply with quote

I have a question regarding quoting Bible in a book. I'd like to quote some Bible verses in a book, and on the official website of the Bible society, I saw the statement is as following:

http://take.ms/pIxFS
According to the guideline, if I do according to the first point, I don't need the written permission. So I just use some Bible verses in my book. The book is over 500 thousand words and I quote about 200 verses in total from the Bible, about 6000 words. And In every passage, there are only a few verses. And it's completely not commercial or for profit. So I believe I use it in the correct way. But yesterday, when I call the Bible society because of something else, they told me that I have to get the permission from them if I want to quote the version in a book. I am wondering, in the case, what I do is following the statement on their website, is it a copyright infringement for me to use the Bible verses? Can I keep the screenshot of the statement on that web as the proof?
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Nick Cooper
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Joined: 30 Jun 2013
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:29 pm    Post subject: Re: About the legal statement of the website Reply with quote

Halie0201 wrote:
I have a question regarding quoting Bible in a book. I'd like to quote some Bible verses in a book, and on the official website of the Bible society, I saw the statement is as following:

http://take.ms/pIxFS
According to the guideline, if I do according to the first point, I don't need the written permission. So I just use some Bible verses in my book. The book is over 500 thousand words and I quote about 200 verses in total from the Bible, about 6000 words. And In every passage, there are only a few verses. And it's completely not commercial or for profit. So I believe I use it in the correct way. But yesterday, when I call the Bible society because of something else, they told me that I have to get the permission from them if I want to quote the version in a book. I am wondering, in the case, what I do is following the statement on their website, is it a copyright infringement for me to use the Bible verses? Can I keep the screenshot of the statement on that web as the proof?


Obviously the issue with the bible is that while it is a very old work, not every version is the same, and every new version or translation is entitled to varying degrees of copyright protection. You might want to consider quoting instead from a different and sufficiently older version. The King James Version, for example, is public domain outside of the UK. If you are within the UK, Cambridge University Press hold the publishing rights in England, and they seem to be more generous in allowing up to 500 verses "for liturgical and non-commercial educational use."
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Halie0201
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Joined: 26 Dec 2015
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:38 am    Post subject: Re: About the legal statement of the website Reply with quote

The version I want to quote is RVR 1960 in a non-commercial book, which is a copyrighted Bible in Spanish. I go through the official website of the copyright holder American Bible Society and found the copyright policy about RVR 1960 on their legal page: http://www.americanbible.org/about/legal

Terms quoted as below:

Quote:
Policy for use of the RVR1960
General Statement: The RVR 1960 text may be quoted in any form (written, visual, electronic or audio) up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without written permission, providing the verses quoted do not amount to 50% of a complete book of the Bible nor do the verses account for twenty-five percent (25%) or more of the total text of the work in which they are quoted. This permission is contingent upon an appropriate copyright acknowledgement – (see below).


So I followed the rules and gave them credit, use within 500 verses and the verses quoted do not amount to 50% of a complete book of the Bible nor do the verses account for twenty-five percent (25%) or more of the total text of the work in which they are quoted. I thought in this case, I don't need to get the written permission from them. But recently, when I contacted them to confirm some questions, a worker of American Bible society said I have to send my book to them before I publish it and they will give me a number for the publication. Besides, I have to send one copy of printed book to them once I get the book be public. I am kind of confused. According to what is written on their web, only if when I use over 500 verses or on their website or for commercial usage, I have to get the written permission and let them know this usage. So which saying is more authentic and reliable, the website legal terms, or the words from the worker? If there is something happened in the future, can I take the terms on the website as the proof to prove that my usage and quotation doesn't violate their copyright?

This question really made me worried. Hope someone can help me!
Thanks!
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AndyJ
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Joined: 29 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi halie,

I suspect that the reason for the disparity lies is the use of the term 'non-commercial'. Their written terms (on the website) say
Quote:
Commercial Use: Commercial use means use in any product offered for sale, lease, rental or barter on any level. Rights and permissions requests for the RVR 1960 in media intended for commercial use should be addressed to: The American Bible Society
From that it is probable that they view your book as being commercial, despite your belief that it is not. Consequently the remaining terms and conditions which follow on (including the one you quoted) will not apply and you need to rely on the special terms communicated to you by the employee.

Therefore if you feel that they have misunderstood the purpose of your book and that it truly is a non-commercial work, I suggest you contact someone slightly more senior than the employee you spoke with previously and see if you can use the non-commercial terms you quoted. As his email address appears in the Terms and Conditions I suggest you contact Thomas Durakis who is the Director of Publishing Services at ABS: tdurakis@bibles.com. However you need to bear in mind that the ABS are not the copyright owners of the RVR 1960, and so they may have limited room to vary these terms. You may need to contact the actual copyright owners: http://www.lockman.org/
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Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007
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