Terms of Use - Impact on Potential Web Apps

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Arden Harrell | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Oct 31 2012 5:35 AM

I am a software developer and I have several web applications that I'd like to write. 

First, I'd like to thank you guys for all your work on the Biblia API and your efforts in the Bible software market.  If you guys didn't stand up and cut code we wouldn't have the products we have today.

Unfortunately, it seems like I won't be able to advance forward due to licensing restrictions.  The Biblia API's Terms of Use reads as follows from  http://api.biblia.com/docs/Terms_of_Use under the Licensed Uses and Restrictions heading:

     use these APIs to extract the content of databases made available through them for storage in an alternate database system.

Unfortunately, based on this one item, it restricts developers to use the Biblia API for merely read-only purposes.  While this does have significant value that has never been available before, it seems a little strange.  Most software applications that actually do something eventually save the data the user is working with.

For example, if I wanted to create a sermon application.  I could totally do this if I used refTagger. Very cool! The user creates a sermon, users read the sermon and access full text of the scriptures as long as they have an internet connect.  This is cool.  It's a worthy application.

Another cool feature for a sermon application would be to provide the ability to generate a PDF so users could print the sermon.  However, if I decide to store that same PDF with scripture (both reference/text) on my hosted site it would be a breach of the license.

Obviously, I have other scripture web application ideas, but I chose the sermon application because it's an easy example.  I've wondered why there aren't more Bible web applications today.  Could this be the reason?

Please help me understand how to proceed or if I can at all.

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Philana Crouch | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 31 2012 5:53 AM

I'm not an expert, and you should wait for Logos to officially respond. But if I were to speculate is that since Logos is a for profit company and since many of the Bibles stored on on Biblia are under copyright. It's likely that the terms Logos got from the publishers do not allow for it. I know for example that I have resources that I've purchased that Logos does not have permission to allow me to have access on Biblia or within my mobile app (I have to use my desktop version of Logos). I'm guessing the issue is copyright.

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 31 2012 6:01 AM

Arden Harrell:
Please help me understand how to proceed or if I can at all.

Obviously, someone from Logos would be needed to comment on this. They are very accessible people, so maybe the best idea (if no Logos employee shows up in this thread) would be to contact CEO Bob Pritchett himself and clarify with him.

The point of this passage in the Terms of Use is to avoid a breach of copyright that is held by the publishing companies of the resources you access through Biblia. Logos have the right to host a certain resource on their servers for legitimate users to see and use, but they don't have the right to allow you to host this resource on your server and make it available to users of your site, which could be anybody. 

Running Logos 7 latest (beta) version

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Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Nov 1 2012 9:30 AM

The modern English translations are copyrighted, and control over what you can do or not with their text resides with them. Most allow you to copy up to 500 verses (for a sermon, writing a book, etc.).

The license for the Biblia API restricts storage because the Biblia API is a tool for working with Biblia.com, not for stripping a Bible text out of the system and storing it locally for use in an unrelated project.

If your external application just needs to store occasional verses as part of user-created documents / work, that's no problem with us or the publishers. If you're looking to store and manage your own copy of the Bible, you need to get your own license from the publishers of the copyrighted versions. (We offer a modern translation with a very generous license at http://lexhamenglishbible.com/; you'll find the KJV and other public domain Bibles all over the Internet.)

-- Bob

 

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