Derivative Copyright Law - Impact on Accuracy?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by kubel, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. kubel

    kubel
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    I'm wondering if we can start a discussion on whether Derivitive Copyright Law has any impact on translations of the Bible (particularly, if such law was incentive for translators to make changes).

    It has been argued that modern versions are produced for profit, and in order to get maximum profit, they must obtain a copyright. And in order to get that copyright, their work must be x% different than other works. It has also been suggested that such changes are only made with regard to the copyright law (getting in enough changes so they qualify for a copyright), and without regard to their accuracy.

    Does such a law apply to all translations (such as the NIV), or just those that are derived from other versions (such as the NKJV being derived from the KJV)?

    Does such a law have any impact at all on the differences we find amongst translations?

    If so, would this in turn have an impact on accuracy? On trustworthiness?
     
  2. David Lamb

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    Copyright law varies from country to country, so I imagine it will be difficult to give an answer that applies worldwide. From what I have seen, the law here on derivative copyright seems to be concerned with original works (whether music, art or literature) which are themselves under copyright, and and the legality of copyrighting works which are based on those original works. And yes, in the UK, the AV/KJV is "Crown Copyright" (as are all materials produced by the Monarch, either directly, or via the Government), but I somehow doubt that this would affect other translations of the Scriptures, however much they might be based upon the AV/KJV. I am no expert in this field though.
     
  3. Logos1560

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    The fact that the 1994 21st Century KJV and the 1998 Third Millennium Bible that are almost identical in text both have copyrights seems to conflict with the claim that Bible translations have to make changes in order to get a copyright.
     
  4. Keith M

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    Logos, doesn't the TMB have the Apocrypha included? Or am I thinking of another version? Surely there would be enugh "difference" between the KJ21 and the TMB if one includes several books the other doesn't.
     
  5. Logos1560

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    Yes, the 1998 Third Millennium Bible includes the Apocrypha while the 1994 KJ21 does not.

    The TMB is not presented as being the 1994 KJ21 with just the Apocrypha added. There is no mention of the copyright of the 1994 KJ21 on the TMB's copyright page. It is not suggested that the 1998 copyright is only for the Apocrypha books.
     
  6. EdSutton

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    To my knowledge, one does not copyright part of a book or other work. Either the work is copyrighted or it is not. The version one time 'pirated' in publishing by the publishers in the USA, the KJV, as produced in the USA does not have a copyright on the text. However, the Zondervan edition, as found on Bible Gateway is copyrighted. Some other KJVs are not.

    The Handbook of Personal Evangelism by A. Ray Stanford, is an example of a book that is not copyrighted, that I am familiar with, and states so at the beginning, at least in my hard copy. It is a very good book, and I recommend it highly. First available on-line on The GraceNet,

    http://www.gracenet.org/

    which happens to be run by some personal friends (the original Christian internet site, and a great site today for church related web stuff, check it out) one can now find it in several places on the 'Net ( probably 300,000 times it has been downloaded in its entirety, with over 292,000 on The GraceNet, alone), and can easily obtain a hard-copy, as well.

    Here is a link to the author where one can get a (hard) copy, as well, and at little or no cost.

    eph289.com - A. Ray Stanford

    Ed
     
    #6 EdSutton, Sep 12, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2007
  7. robycop3

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    Every KJV I own except repro AV1611s contains at least one copyright, but they're for tyhe extratextual material such as maps, concordances, illustrations, etc.

    Personally, I'm gladta heve copyrighted Bibles, as it assures me I have AUTHENTIC copies.
     
  8. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    The copyright in my wide margin Oxford AV applies to the text - it has no study notes ot maps. It clearly states that no part may be copied, etc, etc
     
  9. Logos1560

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    KJV-only authors make the claim that it affects accuracy, but they do not provide sufficient evidence to prove it to be valid.

    KJV-only author Doug Stauffer claimed: “The only way to qualify for a new copyright is to make a sufficient number of changes to an existing text” (One Book, p. 121). Stauffer also wrote: “In order to qualify for a new copyright, the revisers know that they must change a significant amount of the text” (p. 97). KJV-only author Mickey Carter alleged: “Some publishers change just enough of the Bible to obtain a copyright on it” (Things That Are Different, p. 140). KJV-only author D. A. Waite claimed: “There is a certain number of words which must be changed in order to obtain a copyright” (Central Seminary, p. 116). After Gail Riplinger cited the following from the derivative copyright law [“Making minor changes or additions of little substance to a pre-existing work will not qualify the work as a new version for copyright purposes”], she suggested that new Bible versions have to change the words of the KJV “into complex, multi-syllable Latinized words” to get a copyright (Language of the KJB, p. 152). Riplinger asserted: “To establish their copyrights, each new version editor must find different words, which have not yet been copywritten by other new version editors” (In Awe, p. 108). She claimed: “The NKJV scrambles the majestic KJV in 1 Timothy 6:8 to fulfill copyright requirements” (p. 178).

    Did the KJV make a sufficient number of changes in the earlier English Bibles of which it was a revision to merit its copyright? Should it be assumed that the exact same rules apply to the translating of old texts as apply to the revision of an author‘s earlier work?

    All translations including the KJV are derivative works.
     
  10. Armchair Scholar

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    Just to add, Riplinger uses "copyright" and "copywritten" interchangeably, yet they are NOT the same thing. For a self-proclaimed "linguistics expert" and "former English teacher" (Action 60s video) she really needs to get ahold of this and correct herself. Furthermore, the word "copywritten" does not exist in my Oxford American Dictionary.
     

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