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Thread: Bob Jones University Copyright 1996

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Default Bob Jones University Copyright 1996

    Excuse me, but could anyone please tell me how/why does Bob Jones University claim COPYRIGHT over the Ukrainian Bible Translation used in BibleWorks!??

    Pardon my ignorance, I've been Russian/Ukrainian speaking since birth and used ORIGINAL Ukrainian Bible translations in authentic Ukrainian churches in Ukraine and NEVER heard of Bob Jones University UA Bible Translation.

    Who of BJU in 1996 had the experience and credentials to translate the WHOLE Bible into Ukrainian? Which text did they use to make their new translation from? And why would BibleWorks prefer to use BJU's Ukrainian Bible Translation over the RECOGNIZED Ogienko and or Kulish(Puluy) translations???

    Thank you! I am really interested to see your responses to this.

    From the VERSION tab text:


    The Ukrainian Version of the Bible.

    Copyright 1996 Bob Jones University."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004


    I don't know Ukranian so I have no idea what the text is, but it is possible that Bob Jones owns copyright on the digitization of this text. That is a very common practice nowadays. The CCEL website for instance, exists entirely on this model. It produces works that are in the public domain, but claims copyright on the digital version of it so that you cannot copy it and use it without their permission. The theory behind this is even if the work is in the public domain as a text, someone supplied the effort necessary to put it in a new format and so can claim a right to that version of it. Whether you agree or not with whether works can be digitally copyrighted like this, is perfectly reasonable, but until that kind of thing is overruled by the courts here, it is the prevailing interpretation of the law.

    (though I must admit that I do not know if this is the reason why Bob Jones University is claiming copyright...)
    Michael Hanel
    PhD candidate Classics Univ. of Cincinnati
    MDiv Concordia Seminary
    MA Classics Washington University
    Unofficial BibleWorks Blog

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Default Well, it is quite misleading then! is not obvious what exactly they claim copyright on. By the way it is stated, it is meant to lead to believe that BJU claims copyright on the translation as a whole.

    If anyone claims copyright to anything, they really are required to specify which part of the work or which version of the work they claim the copyright to.

    As far as I know, one can claim copyright on derivative works and original content.

    I really-really have a difficulty to call a simple re-typing of the text - "derivative work" or "original content"

    As far as I am concerned, they can only claim copyright on the REVISION and they must make a significant amount of changed to the text and then document the changes to substantiate their claim of copyright to the revision or to even prove that they have produced a revision of the original text.

    In fact, states:

    What Works Are Protected?
    Copyright protects “original works of authorship” that are
    fixed in a tangible form of expression. The fixation need not
    be directly perceptible so long as it may be communicated
    with the aid of a machine or device. Copyrightable works
    include the following categories:
    1 literary works
    2 musical works, including any accompanying words
    3 dramatic works, including any accompanying music
    4 pantomimes and choreographic works
    5 pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works
    6 motion pictures and other audiovisual works
    7 sound recordings
    8 architectural works
    These categories should be viewed broadly. For example,
    computer programs and most “compilations” may be registered
    as “literary works”; maps and architectural plans may
    be registered as “pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works.”
    it also states this:

    What Is Not Protected by Copyright?
    Several categories of material are generally not eligible for
    federal copyright protection. These include among others:
    • Works that have not been fixed in a tangible [...]
    • Titles, names, [...]
    • Ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts,
    principles, discoveries, or devices, as distinguished from a
    description, explanation, or illustration
    So, according to digitization is not protected by copyright law. For one this method of represantation of content is not listed in the "protected works" and, secondly, methods and procedures are listed under what's not protected, so, again, what BJU is claiming copyright to in this case?

    Which Ukrainian translation is being used in BibleWorks?
    Last edited by roshka; 07-26-2011 at 12:31 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004


    Hi Roshka,

    The copyright statement on the Ukranian text is not complete. Some of our earlier texts (and this, apparently, is one of them) did not always list in full detail the full publication information. In this case there is no publication data listed. Any versions that we include now we try to be as complete as possible with the full publication information, so that the BibleWorks user knows exactly what Bible version they are using.

    The copyright information probably is for the production of the text into an electronic format. We also include the RST version that has a similar copyright status. The text of the RST version is actually a 1917 Russion Synodal text. Judging from what is written in the copyright statement I expect that the people who put it together wanted to be sure that the text was protected so as not to be changed, and to be kept from people selling it. I could be wrong, but it appears that it is a ministry effort that has good motives for what they were doing.
    (Whether or not the copyright statement has any legal protection or not is something you would have to discuss with Bob Jones University.)

    At BibleWorks we include the copyright information that is given to us when we license a text. That is all that have to go by. We license texts, and we include the information provided to us. Any copyright questions that you might have would have to go to the stated copyright holder, in this case Bob Jones University.

    If you know of other Ukranian electronic texts that we might be able to license and include in BibleWorks, we would be glad to hear about them. We certainly want to include Bible versions that would be helpful to you in your study and ministry of the Scriptures.

    Glenn Weaver

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