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Copyright Laws and Bible translations

Discussion in 'Bible Versions & Translations' started by Jordan Kurecki, Jun 21, 2018.

  1. Jordan Kurecki

    Jordan Kurecki Well-Known Member
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    I am King James only for English readers and speakers because I hold to formal equivalence method of translation and to the Masoretic Hebrew Text and the Textus Receptis Greek text, but I am not opposed to the KJV being revised to more modern English as long as meaning and accuracy is not sacrificed in the process (retaining singular 2nd person [thee and thou] and 2nd person plural [ye and you].
    {as a side note, I’m told that even in 1611 they did not use thee,thou and ye, even then it was archaic but they used them to maintain accuracy of singular vs plural}

    Back to the OP: most of the KJV “revisions” ,such as the NKJV or the MEV, I have looked at have either seem to 1. Changed the source texts from the Masoretic or the TR and/or 2. Take too much liberty and use words that are not accurate to the Greek or Hebrew, IE they are not actually revising into modern English words but using entirely different words.

    Could this be a result of influence for. Copyright laws? I know that are a certain amount of changes must be made to receive a new copyright, do you think this puts pressure on Translators to change words that do not necessarily need to be changed?
     
  2. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    If someone wanted to do a new revision or translation from the same source texts as the KJV, I wouldn't oppose it, and might even buy one. But I would not participate as a translator. My burden is missionary Bible translation, and such a version would not contribute to that cause at all.

    According to modern copyright laws in the USA, you don't even need to apply for a copyright. As soon as you write something (this, for example), it is automatically copyrighted. You can register your copyright for a fee, and that gives greater protection.

    So, nothing need be changed in order to copyright a Bible or Bible portion. The government has no interest in overseeing Bible translations, and the US Constitution wouldn't allow it anyway.

    Should we copyright the Bible, or even simply put a copyright page on a missionary translation? To me that's a no-brainer. We should, absolutely. This is in order to protect the hard work we have put in, literally thousands of hours of translation work. Anyone who wants to can take a version with no copyright, copyright it, then prevent it being published.

    I actually know of a case like this in India. A missionary did a NT for a people group there. He then made the mistake of taking it to the India Bible Society for correction. The IBS is a very proprietary organization, and according to my source they copyrighted the missionary's version, then refused to print it or allow it to be printed. The poor missionary became depressed and quit the field.

    By all means, let's preserve God's Word by copyrighting it!!
     
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  3. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    is there really that much of a difference in a practical sense between using the Kjv/Nkjv/Nasb/Web for example?
     
  4. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    There have been studies that showed both the Nas and Nkjv more accurately reflect the originals books than the Kjv does though...
     
  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    I'm not sure what you mean.
     
  6. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    if one chooses to study and use the Nas/Kjv//Esv/Csb, would there really be that big of a difference in what they learned?
     
  7. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Yes there would in a number of passages.
     
  8. Logos1560

    Logos1560 Well-Known Member
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    Can you provide the documentation and evidence for what you claim to know and demonstrate that it is correct?

    Should it be assumed that the exact same copyright rules apply to the translating of old texts as may apply to the revision of an author's own earlier copyrighted work?

    According to actual copyright law, can you demonstrate that Bible translators are required to replace factual or accurate renderings of original-language words in earlier English Bibles with different words?

    Richard Stim maintained: “Under copyright law, factual works receive less protection than works of fiction because the underlying facts are legally considered to be in the public domain” (Patent, Copyright & Trademark, p. 239).

    Lloyd Jassin and Steven Schechter wrote: “Because copyright does not protect ideas and facts, copying alone is not enough to prove copyright infringement” (Copyright Permission and Libel Handbook, p. 20). Jassin and Schechter added: “Where fact and expression merge, such as in the portrayal of factual truths, copyright protection is said to be extremely ’thin’” (Ibid.). Jassin and Schechter maintained: “Extracting pure facts from a copyrighted work is not copyright infringement” (p. 55). Jassin and Schechter asserted: “Unfortunately, no simple rule exists for distinguishing uncopyrightable facts from their copyrightable expression” (Ibid.).
     
  9. MartyF

    MartyF Well-Known Member

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    If you need a Bible translation with absolutely no copyright, you can use the American Standard. (Not to be confused with New American Standard.)

    The Copyright on the American Standard has completely expired.
     
  10. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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  11. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Would those passages differences really though mislead any if using those versions to study the scriptures? As my contention is that one can use Nas/Esv/Kjv/Nkjv and still pretty much have the same scriptures!
     
  12. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    A little bit. The main problem we have is not understanding, but obeying the Scripture we do have. As Mark Twain is supposed to have said, “It ain't the parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it's the parts that I do understand.”
     
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  13. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    I think that one could use the Kjv/Nkjv/Nasb/Esv and still come up with same bible doctrines and theology pretty much!
    And also agree that all of us here practice too little of what we really know!
     
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  14. Logos1560

    Logos1560 Well-Known Member
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    Can you demonstrate that the 1994 21st Century KJV with its 1994 copyright made a certain amount of changes to the KJV?

    Does the fact that the 21st Century KJV with its 1994 copyright and the Third Millennium Bible with its 1998 copyright, which both are almost identical in text, have copyrights and have not been demonstrated to have a certain unidentified number of changes support your claim?
     
  15. David Kent

    David Kent Well-Known Member
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    The copyright of the KJV is owned by the British Crown, although they don't enforce it.
     
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  16. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    British crown "copyright" to the KJV is not recognized by international or American copyright law, to the best of my knowledge.
     
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