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Re: Crown copyright and bible-kjv

On Wed, 22 May 2002, Walter Landry wrote:
> Thomas Thurman <thomas@thurman.org.uk> 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]).
> 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
> copyright.

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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