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King James Bible
Permission to use?

 5:52 am on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Foreign works published before 18xx (don't remember the exact date) are generally in the public domain (in the U.S. anyway). An exception, it appears, is those works that are still protected by Crown Copyright in the U.K. Since they are still considered copyrighted in the U.K., and the U.S. generally recognizes the copyright status of the work in its country of origin (with exceptions), then the King James Bible would still be protected under copyright?

Anyone know for certain? If I want to publish (on my web site) portions of the King James version Bible, do I first need to obtain permission from the British Crown to do so?



 6:04 am on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Should you require permission to quote from the KJV for publication in the UK

Link [speroforum.com]

Quote away if you're in the U.S.


 1:34 pm on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Not to spark a religious debate but I find it strange to copyright the "word of God" (even if interpreted by men). Demaestro's sure has point when he says that there are a lot of inconsistencies in copyright laws.


 1:44 pm on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

not to get involved in a religious debate either but Harry the "facts" as laid out in your post do need a little clarifying

It is written by men who claim it to be the word of an entity that they claim exists ..

given the foregoing ..

the fact that is is copywritten ..just as are Grimms fairy tales ..and other works of fiction produced for gain by the writers ..is perfectly understandable ..


 1:51 pm on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

In many cases where literature is translated, the source document can be in the public domain and it's the work of the translator(s) that is copyrighted.

If you want to make your own translation of the original, you're free to do so, but if you want to use someone else's translation, permission is required.


 1:53 pm on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

But didn't the scribes who wrote the King James' Bible rewrote from other sources!


 2:08 pm on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Grimms fairy tales ..and other works of fiction produced for gain by the writers

Clarification: Grimms' fairy tales were not written by the Grimm Brothers, they were collected from many sources and transcribed from the oral tradition.

It's not accurate to label the Bible as a work of fiction. The BIble is also a collection and contains the work of multiple authors spanning many centuries and many topics: history, poetry, philosophical musings and more. Some sections are purely literary but in other parts the writers were doing their best to record history as it happened, in some cases putting their lives on the line to do so.

The Bible should be approached with the same critical thinking skills that you'd bring to any history book or work of serious literature.


 2:13 pm on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Actually Christians are SUPPOSE to share "the word" ... witnessing is a requirement for the religion ..

I'd think any christian being take to court for copying the bible and spreading the word..would have a solid defense in saying

"God Told me to do it "



 2:26 pm on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Quote away if you're in the U.S.

Well, that's a sticky situation, considering it's going on a website. ;)

Poking around last night, I found that the American Standard Version is in the public domain (not the New American Standard Version though). So, I think I'll take a look at that and use it if the portions I want to use are not too dissimilar.

I'd hate to have to avoid ever visiting the U.K. for the rest of my life. ;)

As for the "religious debate," the original Bible is not copyrighted, but the various translations (a derivative work of a public domain work) are copyrightable.

One reason for copyrighting a translation of the Bible is to protect the integrity of the work. In the U.S., the "Revised Version" was not protected by copyright, so various publishers printed Bibles and called them the "Revised Version." But, they could each make changes so every "Revised Version" could be different. So, the American Standard Version was copyrighted so that no one else could publish that same translation and call it the American Standard Version.

It's difficult to "spread the Word" if everyone's Bible is different. "Hey, my Bible doesn't say that!" Not that having various versions of the Bible doesn't make for some confusion, but at least each version can be standardized so that people can be sure they are at least looking at the same version.


 2:59 pm on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

You most certainly have my permission to use the KJV of the bible on your website.

Seriously, I did a website for my church and we went to the attorney's etc. and we learned the KJV version is public domain. We used it without hesistation from then on.

Being a child of God I cannot help but feel that He wouldn't mind your quoting His Works if there is the possibility to affect someone's life in a positive, uplifing way which may either re-store them or bring them closer to the Lord.

On a personal note, I like KJV because it was written using 'proper' english. I Love to listen to and read proper english, even though it sometimes doesn't make sense to me.

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