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Re: Crown copyright and bible-kjv

On Mon, 2002-05-20 at 14:21, Thomas Thurman wrote:
> A question I'm curious about:
> /usr/doc/bible-kjv/copyright and /usr/doc/bible-kjv-text/copyright say:
> : The copyright for the King James Version text of the Bible is expired
> : since the translation was done in 1611 under King James the first of
> : Great Britain.
> Do we have anyone who can confirm that this is correct within the UK and
> generally within the Commonwealth? I've seen it claimed that the Crown
> Copyright on the text is perpetual (e.g. at [1], and at least one
> publisher of Bible software claims that they needed a licence to do
> so: [2]).

http://www.hmso.gov.uk/g-note5.htm says that Crown Copyright (as opposed
to copyright assigned to the Crown) lasts for fifty years.  There is no
mention of the bible in any government material I can find, nor do
Cambridge University Press mention it in their page on bibles, though
they do note that they are the Queen's Printer.  The Copyright, Design
and Patents Act 1988 sets the limit of 50 years on Crown Copyright of
published material; various repeals are mentioned but the schedule of
repeals is not presented in such a way as to make it possible to find
out whether copyright in the Authorised Version was abrogated by this

> And if this is incorrect, do we just go and ask the Crown Patentees for a
> licence to distribute, or move the package into another area, or what?

I do not think that Crown Copyright is enforceable outside the UK;
certainly it is not _in_practice_ enforced; I have 2 versions of the AV
in this room, both published by American publishers and sold in the UK
without any copyright reference.  If anyone at all is affected, it is
probably only the UK mirrors.

If you would like to pursue this, why not contact CUP and see what they

Oliver Elphick                                Oliver.Elphick@lfix.co.uk
Isle of Wight                              http://www.lfix.co.uk/oliver
GPG: 1024D/3E1D0C1C: CA12 09E0 E8D5 8870 5839  932A 614D 4C34 3E1D 0C1C

     "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, 
      and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is
      not of the Father, but is of the world."       
                             I John 2:17

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