Just randomly browsing (actually it was looking up why you go to hell if you drive a Mercury), I noticed (for the first time) an enormous smattering of copyright notices attached to the verses. Digging deeper, there's whole pages of legalese mumbo-jumbo -

http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/?action=getVersionInfo&vid...

How in the hell can anyone claim copyright to the bible ? I'd love to be a malicious lawyer and start an internecine copyright feud between all these idiots and their "copyright" claims. New American Standard Bible are far from the only ones claiming to own it.

Tags: bible, bullshit, copyright, lawyers, sue 'em 'til they bleed

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If the author has die there may be a period of time (perhaps 20 to 50 years) to set the record straight, but after that the written content is free for anyone who would like to use it. The bible and its numerous contributors and their kin have long since becomes worm food.

The bible is public domain. Rip the fuckin' crap outa thm. ...just my humble opinion....
They do this by making new translations and adding reference material, commentary, and footnotes. This is one of the main reasons we see so many new and updated translations. The King James Version by itself is well in the public domain. But not the New King James or what is now the Newer King James (not sure what it is called). Silly I know.
No - the notices are on the bible text itself, not annotations or commentary.

Just look at this as an example.

To me, by copyrighting it because it is a significantly different new translation, it can no longer be the inerrant word of god.
Yeah like I said, it is primarily the new translation.

Of course I agree with you about the "inerrant" thing. The fundie answer is a combination of these two things:
1. The Letter of The Law: The original Hebrew and Greek is the inerrant Word (Logos), and in our translations, we try to get as close to it as possible.
2. The Spirit of The Law: The original writers were "inspired by God" (Rhema), and the Holy Spirit wrote through the personalities (thus flavored with) of the writers.
I believe certain translations of the Bible are copyrighted, not the Bible itself. The KJV is public domain in the US but not in Great Britain. The ASV and WEB appear to be public domain everywhere. This list might help.


But I've often used the argument that since there are numerous translations, each potentially fraught with errors and willful alterations (and since the Bible was written by fallible humans in the first place--even if they were "inspired by god") there's no way it is the "inerrant word of god".
It's a tricky issue, but as with other ancient works, the main issue is over translation. While I respect a good translation and know it's not easy--translators definitely need paid for their work--I have some serious moral issues with this. As other people have noted, definitely annotations and other additions can also be copyrighted. If you use the KJV verbatim you'll have no copyright issues.
They have to pay for it somehow, since God pays shit.

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