Saturday, January 5, 2008

CEV is the sensible copyright Bible

When writing my essay "Ideas and Themes Behind Askar", I needed to quote from "The Bible". Checking out the copyright notices on Bibles I found them surprisingly demanding. The Bible itself is more than 50 years old but publishers claim copyright on their translations. The worst example I saw was the "New International Version"(NIV) which allows even small amounts of quoting only on condition of a LARGE statement at the BEGINNING of any essay or article. IMHO NIV's statement infringes the critical review provision of the copyright law of most countries. This is part of a wider issue. It is quite OK and fair for publishers to say "ALL RIGHTS RESERVED". In my new role as a publisher I do that myself. But the wording that follows on many title pages seems to be an exercise in wishful (or paranoid) thinking that tries to invent diy copyright law that simply does not exist. Electronic versions seem to have more of this disease than printed books. My reaction to the NIV statement was to reject the NIV and search for a Bible with a sensible copyright statement compatible with the APA Referencing standard for quotes where we add brief pointers to a list of sources at the END of the article.

And the winner is .. (ta da!)

Congratulations to the American Bible Society for their Contemporary English Version(CEV).

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