1. afinemess
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    afinemess Active Member

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    The Bible

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by afinemess, Aug 9, 2009.

    Im trying to find the thread I had where someone gave me a copyright link for rules and such. But until I find it or google it, I'll ask this specific question in case someone else is wondering this as well.

    I have a scene that takes place in a church in my novel, and I was going to have the preacher quoting the bible. What are the rules for this? I figured they might be different for the bible than other books, but I really have no idea. I could of course leave out the passages I want to quote, but my whole novel was inspired by a book in the bible, and it would tie in the theme if I could use a few quotes.

    Thanks for help, Im off to look for that post...
     
  2. Forkfoot
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    Forkfoot Contributing Member Contributor

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    You must first get permission from the author to use direct excerpts.
     
  3. afinemess
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    afinemess Active Member

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    :confused: so I need to send some prayers up to John? haha I kid. Thanks.

    Found the link, http://www.copyright.gov/

    I'll go check it out and tell you what I find. I did some quick googling, and from what I've found, it may depend on the version of the bible you use. But I'll keep checking till I find out for sure.
     
  4. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    That makes sense - which edition and such.

    I guess the King James the whatever version would have become public domain by now, but Psalty's latest kids edition will be protected =P
     
  5. Seppuku
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    Seppuku Member

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    From what I understand copyright law extends to 70 years after the creator's death...or was it 50? If you want to consider 'God' as the author there's a whole philosophical argument there. ;) I don't think there will be any issue with quoting the bible, though it might be possible that new editions may be covered by copyright law, I don't know, but I'd imagine the teachings of the bible to be in public domain anyway.

    Though tcol mentions the King James Version, which was written in 1611, so you could quote from that, though the language is more old fashioned and a little harder to understand.
     
  6. Edward
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    Edward Active Member

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    I'm fairly certain that things like the bible are fair use to quote from without having them cited in the passage (unless you're doing a research paper, you aren't likely to cite anything as it is).

    It's like having a character quote from a philosopher.
     
  7. Brode
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    Brode Member

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    Religious books are never copyrighted--with one notable exception--so you're free to quote from it however you choose.

    The different versions of the bible are generally one of two things: either A. a particular group attempting to get a more accurate translation of the original scripture, or B. a publisher attempting to scrape more money from the market with their "special" version. The versions themselves are still not copyrighted, however, because it would be impossible--or at the very least highly unscrupulous--to copyright something which one did not actually write.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    please don't be giving out advice you are not sure is valid... in fact, if someone has written their own 'translated' version of the bible within the active copyright period, it could very well be covered and you then could NOT use any direct quotes from it without both citing the source and gaining the copyright-holder's permission to use them...

    and 'fair use' applies only to scholarly and such works that are not written for profit, so a book you intend to sell would not qualify...

    one should always refer to the actual laws, before giving out advice on the subject of copyright... they're easy to check, here:

    www.copyright.gov

    from the page on 'fair use' [ http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html ]:

     
  9. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    You are always safe with the KJV. Because I read Hebrew, when I quote, I just directly translate.
     
  10. Faith*Hope*Love
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    Faith*Hope*Love Banned

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    Well, look at the series, 'Left Behind' it has various scriptures from the bible all through out it.
     
  11. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    Hahahaha, oh that made my day. Love it.

    I think you should pay attention to what Maia just said: Just because it's a well known text, doesn't mean it's automatically public domain.

    I could write my own edition of the Bible tomorrow and it'd be covered under copyright as long as it's deemed my property under copyright laws: You'd be plagiarising me at your peril.

    Widespread bible quotes are usually taken from very old editions (e.g King James, the only one I could think of at the time), so don't think you're safe to start ripping quotes out of the latest copy of Good News.
     
  12. afinemess
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    afinemess Active Member

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    well, what I was looking at doing is just using a line like

    "But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?
    Job 28:12


    Just a piece of scripture like that. From what I've read, that should be okay, but if I used something that has been translated or reworded in a version, that would be illegal. I hope I'm understanding this right. I wrote most of the sermon yesterday, and I was going to add a couple of lines like that in it so it sounds more realistic. But, if I'm getting all this backwards, then i'll just leave em all out.
     
  13. CharlieVer
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    CharlieVer New Member Contributor

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    Religious books actually follow the same copyright rules as every other book.

    The King James Version has actually never been copyrighted. If it was, it wouldn't matter, being long past the copyright date.

    The fact that the KJV is not under copyright has actually been a source of criticism for the KJV foes: different copies of the KJV actually contain different text, and nobody can say anything because there's no copyright holder to object to its misrepresentation! The same lack of copyright has been upheld by the "KJV only" group, who claim that other versions hold the bias of the copyright holders.
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it would be only if that exact wording is taken from a king james version, or another old version not under copyright... but if it's from a newer edition of something like 'good news' then you're quoting the translater, not just the 'bible' and must have permission, as you would from any other book...

    simply being a religious text does not negate the copyright laws... to paraphrase ms stein, writing is writing, is writing!
     
  15. afinemess
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    afinemess Active Member

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    Yep, what I'm using is from the kjv. Thanks for the help!! I honestly never knew until this issue arose that there are so many versions of the bible. I guess it shows how long it's been since I've been to Sunday school. Haha
     

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