[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: sword-text-kjv - King James Version and Royal Letters Patent

Lionel Elie Mamane <lionel@mamane.lu>

> > http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2002/05/msg00108.html
> I don't see a conclusive answer in that discussion; only doubt and
> "didn't find any proof that this restriction still holds". I'd prefer
> if we could find a specific abrogation of the restriction.

Trying to prove that any unseen letters patent do not apply is
rather difficult, isn't it?  We don't know the current letters
patent (if any) to know for sure whether we can do anything.

> I see... Then it would make the KJV merely non-free in the UK, not
> illegal to distribute. On the other hand, I wouldn't be too surprised
> if the courts would interpret "printing" in such an old text as "any
> efficient way to disseminate / distribute".

I would be very surprised by such an interpretation. In recent
copyright-related cases I've read (like the Sony anti-hacking),
the courts seem very intolerant of attempts to stretch words.

> > This "orthogonality" or "independence" is
> > mentioned in articles, including some you can find online like
> > http://www.lexum.umontreal.ca/conf/dac/en/sterling/sterling.html
> > Crown Copyright in the United Kingdom..., by J.A.L. Sterling.
> This one doesn't contain the string "ortho" and "indepen" only at one
> place that doesn't seem to apply.

Apologies. I did not mean to suggest the words were quoted from that
article. I wrote and emphasised them before looking for references.
/orthogonality/ or /independence/ may have been better.

> > The act currently in force in England is the Copyright Designs
> > and Patents Act 1988 as amended. If the KJV were covered by
> > Crown Copyright, wouldn't that have expired after 125 years? I
> > think the letters patent and royal prerogative are the problem.
> On the other hand, it says (section 171):
> 171.-(1) Nothing in this Part affecs-
>        (a) any right or privilege of any person under any enactment
>        (except where the enactment is expressly repealed, amended or
>        modified by this Act);
>        (b) any right or privilege of the Crown subsisting otherwise
>        than under an enactment;
> Wouldn't this preserve this perpetual Crown Copyright / Royal
> Prerogative / ...?

I've seen no credible evidence of perpetual Crown Copyright (CC)
covering this package. That's not surprising because CC wasn't
mentioned in early copyright law. The 1911 Act created a CC with
a term of 50 years, later extended up to 125 years by the 1988.

The above does not affect royal prerogatives, as it says.

> I'm starting to think that the Wikipedia article talks of "copyright"
> loosely, not only to what is called "copyright" legally, but of all
> legal restrictions of dealings with distribution, performance,
> derivation, ... of literary works.

Bluntly, I think some of the authors of that Wikipedia article
would struggle to tell copyright from a hole in the floor. This
bug should probably be tagged moreinfo until more reliable data
appears, regardless of other actions.

This may be another case where non-XX (a way for mirror
operators to block locally-uncertain content) would be good.

Reply to: