Re: Crown copyright and bible-kjv
On Wed, 22 May 2002, Walter Landry wrote:
> Thomas Thurman <firstname.lastname@example.org> 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 , and at least one
> > publisher of Bible software claims that they needed a licence to do
> > so: ).
> Reading some stuff on Eldred v. Reno, I cam across the following snippet
> Until the Statute of Anne (1710), copyright in England had been
> perpetual. Historians' Br. at 5-6. After the Statute of Anne
> limited the copyright term, publishers continued to insist that
> their common law copyright remained perpetual, the Statute of Anne
> notwithstanding. Not until 1774 was this question finally resolved
> against the publishers. Donaldson v. Beckett, 4 Burr. 2408, 98
> Eng. Rep. 257 (H.L. 1774).
> at http://eon.law.harvard.edu/openlaw/eldredvashcroft/, p. 26 of the
> opening brief. So I don't think that we have to worry about Crown
Doesn't that show only that copyrights in general are not perpetual? The
question at hand is whether Crown Copyright, and particularly the Crown
Copyright on the text of the KJV, is a special case (as has been claimed
elsewhere; see the references in the original email).
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