Re: Crown copyright and bible-kjv
Thomas Thurman <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> On Wed, 22 May 2002, Walter Landry wrote:
> > Thomas Thurman <email@example.com> 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
> > 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).
Well, the King James Bible came out before the Statute of Anne. The
citation I gave seems to suggest that the Statute of Anne limited all
copyrights. I don't have access to a law library, so I can't check
the 1774 decision myself. The reference at cni-copyright probably
didn't know about the 1774 decision.
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