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 I have now almost finished the writing of a biblical study book with the title of "Our Loving Savior Jesus Christ", which may be printed for commercial use. Most of the content I am confident you will agree with. Perhaps as high as 98% or after reading the content and comparing to bible versions, maybe higher. The problem I have now is after learning from Greek words and their definitions or confirming what I already believed about their definitions, I wonder if I will be able to copy these definitions to my book, while giving them clearly written credit for their definitions? For example, two Greek Dictionaries that I use called the Vine's Expository Dictionary and the Thayer's Greek Lexicon. I am having trouble contacting the companies that may have the copyright status. What are your views on giving them credit for their definitions while copying some of their Greek word definitions to the chapters of my book for commercial use? Or should I reword their Greek definitions with my own wording, which might be more clearly understood?  Does anyone here have legal information on this?

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2 hours ago, Mark Sanguinetti said:

 I have now almost finished the writing of a biblical study book with the title of "Our Loving Savior Jesus Christ", which may be printed for commercial use. Most of the content I am confident you will agree with. Perhaps as high as 98% or after reading the content and comparing to bible versions, maybe higher. The problem I have now is after learning from Greek words and their definitions or confirming what I already believed about their definitions, I wonder if I will be able to copy these definitions to my book, while giving them clearly written credit for their definitions? For example, two Greek Dictionaries that I use called the Vine's Expository Dictionary and the Thayer's Greek Lexicon. I am having trouble contacting the companies that may have the copyright status. What are your views on giving them credit for their definitions while copying some of their Greek word definitions to the chapters of my book for commercial use? Or should I reword their Greek definitions with my own wording, which might be more clearly understood?  Does anyone here have legal information on this?

Sounds like you need legal advice from someone conversant with publishing/copyright/intellectual property law. 

I would be very skeptical of any such advice on the subject you might get here.

Edited by Rocky
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6 hours ago, Rocky said:

Sounds like you need legal advice from someone conversant with publishing/copyright/intellectual property law. 

I would be very skeptical of any such advice on the subject you might get here.

Thank you Rocky for your feedback. In research so far when using my brain. I need to contact organizations or corporations that have received or perhaps purchased the copyright of the documents that I can quote from to get their approval or at least their feedback. The problem now is that it is very difficult to contact them. Perhaps at least in part because of the virus. The organizations should at least let me compliment them for their definitions while I write that their definitions of Greek words are very factual and that they confirm what I already believed before reading their definitions.  Then using my own words for the definitions. Here is an example of the definitions that I copied from the BibleSoft software. I can not even now contact BibleSoft Software. I tried contacting them through their web site yesterday without hearing back from them today. I tried to get their phone number with no success now, perhaps because of the crazy virus. 

Quote

OT:7585  she°ol

 "place of the dead." Sha°al seems to be the basis for an important noun in the Old Testament, she°ol. Found 65 times in the Hebrew Bible, she°ol refers to the netherworld or the underground cavern to which all buried dead go. Often incorrectly translated "hell" in the KJV, she°ol was not understood to be a place of punishment, but simply the ultimate resting place of all mankind Genesis 37:35. Thus, it was thought to be the land of no return Job 16:22; 17:14-16. It was a place to be dreaded, not only because it meant the end of physical life on earth, but also because there was no praise of God there Psalms 6:5. Deliverance from it was a blessing Psalms 30:3.

In some instances, it may be a symbol of distress or even plague; it is often used in parallel with "the Pit," another symbol of destruction. Everything about she°ol was negative, so it is little wonder that the concept of hell developed from it in the intertestamental and New Testament literature.

(from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

From internet research Vine's was originally written by William Vine with completion in 1940. The Thomas Nelson Publishers perhaps gained copyright of this. I am trying to contact them also via the internet with no success. I wonder if the covid-19 virus also spread to the internet, but I do not think so. Sarcasm by Marky!

Edited by Mark Sanguinetti
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Well, well.  Vine's.  Was written in part, I believe, by the very late father of a late client of mine.  I still work for her son, who has the volumes of the books that were written.

Bu it's so old now.  Is it still subject to intellectual property / copyright law?

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1 hour ago, Twinky said:

Well, well.  Vine's.  Was written in part, I believe, by the very late father of a late client of mine.  I still work for her son, who has the volumes of the books that were written.

Bu it's so old now.  Is it still subject to intellectual property / copyright law?

Thank you Twinky. It would be good for me to contact PC BibleSoft Software or Thomas Nelson Publishers , but no success so far. Yes, it likely took a number of people to do the research work for this. 

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At least the Thayer's Greek Lexicon is NOT subject to intellectual property / copyright law, because it was published before 1923.  However, the Vine's Expository Dictionary may be subject to copyright law because it was first published in 1940. Perhaps the Thomas Nelson Publishers purchased this. Difficult contacting them.

In doing a Google search, I just found out that Thomas Nelson Publishers was acquired or purchased by Harper Collins Publishers. I can perhaps at least contact this publisher. I will try to do that by phone call soon.

Edited by Mark Sanguinetti
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  • 3 months later...

Did you ever get this answered?  The copyright.gov site covers it pretty well. I dealt with this a lot over the years for employers and online content and their lawyers always promoted permission, citation and full crediting for any use of material that was used, when it was being quoted verbatim and specifically if it was in the format of the creator on even the most benign and innocuous material and circumstance. But it also depends a little on 1. your moral and ethical values and 2. how deep those ethical pockets are. In a worst case scenario the worst that can happen to most of us is a cease-and-desist order, which any licensed attorney - well, anyone really, can issue. But who wants that? So your question is valid. 

Two scenarios I dealt with were typical - if it was clearly for commercial use permission was required and cited in a set of footnotes at the end of the content, document, paper, etc. 

If it was use of a set of words and phrases that came from a piece of reference material like a dictionary or industry standard reference source - it was assumed that non licensed use was legal unless otherwise stated in the source material itself. It was still always cited and credited as source material in the footnotes. 

So if someone wrote .... "the definition of the term 'duty of care' may apply here, which in common legal definition is 'a requirement that a person act toward others and the public with the watchfulness, attention, caution and prudence that a reasonable person in the circumstances would use.' "....and it would be cited in the footnotes for the source of the quote. 

This can be expressed in  language many ways, I could say the same thing but write "as it states in the online source dictionary.com.law" blah blah blah.......which covers the citation (and would still get included as a reference source in footnotes listing) but it would assume that non licensed use is permitted......

And your question was generally around "but is it?"

You're on the right track. I knew the answers to that for most of the situations I encountered and understood the application of them, so I could actually do a first review of the content if it hadn't "been through legal" yet, and then forward to them for review and in nearly every case they hit that nail again and again with the answer "Let's make sure we have permission and include the statement in the footnotes". 

I'd consider contacting some reliable sources or an actual attorney to go over your questions. If it were me, and I was using publicly available reference material for the purpose of research, teaching and academic advancement I'd cite and note a nice clear thank you to the sources in my foreword and/or in the footnotes. If I were collecting a charge or donation for the material I'd written for the usual "covers cost and handling", I'd handle it that way too, thus declaring openly my intentions. 

Run it by an attorney for fast relief and get their answer in writing. 

Just the facts, please:
https://www.copyright.gov/fair-use/more-info.html

Some attorney talk about the facts:
https://www.janefriedman.com/the-fair-use-doctrine/

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Thank you Socks. I at least understand the basics. The basics are that biblical research books published before 1923 are in public domain and can be quoted without needing permission from the publishing companies. For example the King James Version and for the definition of the original Greek words for the New Testament, the Thayer's Greek Lexicon were published before 1923 and are therefore in public domain. References published after 1923 are not in public domain. There is the risk to quote from them, for example the Vine's Expository Dictionary for the definition of biblical Greek words for the New Testament. I therefore simply need to contact them in order to quote from their sources of reference, while getting their permission. I will simply do that in a friendly way while thanking them for their biblical study work. Then giving them credit on one of the beginning pages of my book. I do not know everything on the planet. I especially do not know the Koine Greek language. Perhaps I am only a Kindergarten student for this language and therefore I can use the help of others who are teachers of this.

Thank you again socks.

Edited by Mark Sanguinetti
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There's something called "fair use" that allows you to quote from published works without permission, provided that you don't publish too much of it. I am sure for your purposes you will be fine.

It's also a wise practice to quote from multiple versions of the Bible so you do not run into the possibility of crossing the "you-should-have-asked-for-permission" line on copyrighted work. I am not sure how much you can quote before you need to ask for permission, but it's a significant amount. Sure, quote the KJV, but there are so many versions that you can quote each of them once and probably not run out of versions before you finish whatever it is you're writing. [Slight exaggeration, but I see there are more than 400 English translations of the Bible. You're not going to violate anyone's copyright by spreading the love].

Good luck on your project.

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Oh, I see you were discussing research books, not Bible versions. Again, I am sure there are enough different lexicons that you don't have to worry about crossing lines. When all else fails, fall on Bullinger because first, it's very good, though not perfect, and second, I'm pretty sure it's pre-1923, but don't quote me on that. Or I'll sue. Just kidding.

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Thank you Raf and thank you for helping to remind me that I do quote a few times from E.W. Bullinger's book "Figures of Speech Used in the Bible". I do have a copy of this book that I am looking at now as I am writing this. At the beginning of this book it says "Originally published in 1898 by Messrs. Eyre and Spottiswoode in London". Then it simply has years that this book was again printed or reprinted. These years are 1968, 1970, 1971, 1974, 1975 and 1978. The year of the book that I have was 1978 with no copyright symbol on this page. This book was simply reprinted from a book published in 1898. Therefore it should at least be legal to quote from a few of the figures of speech with information from this book because this book should be in public domain. 

Edited by Mark Sanguinetti
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  • 5 weeks later...

Hello my friends from Grease Spot Cafe. I am making progress with my perhaps soon to be published biblical teaching book. I have written 16 chapters with over 82,000 words. I am now only doing a little more editing of the chapters. I have perhaps been successful regarding copy right with approval as long as I don't quote from a document that I find informative that is not in public domain more than 250 words. The Vine's Expository Dictionary is legal for me to copy from regarding the definition of ancient Koine Greek words from the New Testament as long as I do not copy more that 250 words. Regarding definitions of Koine Greek N.T. words, I give Vine's Expository dictionary a grade of "A". I simply do not know the Koine Greek language. Regarding this language perhaps I am a kindergarten student and therefore need help. 

I am looking for a publisher now. Any recommendation for Christian book publishers? 

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15 hours ago, Mark Sanguinetti said:

Hello my friends from Grease Spot Cafe. I am making progress with my perhaps soon to be published biblical teaching book. I have written 16 chapters with over 82,000 words. I am now only doing a little more editing of the chapters. I have perhaps been successful regarding copy right with approval as long as I don't quote from a document that I find informative that is not in public domain more than 250 words. The Vine's Expository Dictionary is legal for me to copy from regarding the definition of ancient Koine Greek words from the New Testament as long as I do not copy more that 250 words. Regarding definitions of Koine Greek N.T. words, I give Vine's Expository dictionary a grade of "A". I simply do not know the Koine Greek language. Regarding this language perhaps I am a kindergarten student and therefore need help. 

I am looking for a publisher now. Any recommendation for Christian book publishers? 

Mark, here is one to check into:

https://www.xulonpress.com/

 

Edited by Infoabsorption
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On 12/10/2020 at 2:25 PM, Infoabsorption said:

Mark, here is one to check into:

https://www.xulonpress.com/

 

Thank you. I will consider xulonpress.com as publisher. I have already been in contact with westbowpress.com. I am considering this publisher also. 

Edited by Mark Sanguinetti
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look forward to it Mark...for example I've looked at the scripture where in the KJV it says Jesus breathed ON the disciples and said receive the holy spirit (John 20:22) the youngs concordance has a differn't spelling to the Interlinear which has a differnt spelling to the critical lexicon and concordance ! I just finished my first edition of 'Bible College in a day'...it's only a booklet of 40 pages and took 3 weeks...I cannot even imagine the effort involved to complete an 82k book !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good on you though and God speed :) 

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Hi Alan: Thank you for your response. Are you referring to different bible version text or different Greek word text or something else? I use the PC Study Bible Software program that helps with research. For writing I use the Word software program which is certainly better than hand writing like the original bible authors had to do. But then they very likely got more help from God and Jesus Christ. For example, the Apostle Paul got much help from Jesus Christ for his epistles. He certainly needed this for his original writings. Of course I cheat and learn from Paul regarding God's word. Just kidding. No need to create our own bible. I simply learn from Paul or other authors and then type content, while either adding bible quotes or typing in the bible verses that I found the information from. I try to simplify and make my content understandable.  Perhaps I am a workaholic instead of an alcoholic, but it took time for me to produce my 16 chapters. Many hours and even years. People might find this interesting, but because of the Covid virus with less business and more stay at home scheduling. I have had more time to type or write the chapters content. 

Edited by Mark Sanguinetti
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  • 3 weeks later...
On 12/10/2020 at 2:25 PM, Infoabsorption said:

Mark, here is one to check into:

https://www.xulonpress.com/

 

Hi Info: Regarding the Xulonpress. I have received emails that promote a writing contest with three rewards of 1st, 2nd or 3rd for the top three who enter by providing some of their writings of 700 to 750 words. They promote this as a large saving for book publishing, but I just found out that the entry fee will be $39. I can afford this, but I do not want to waste money. What are your views on this? Here is the link for this contest. Does this sound legitimate or only used to make money for Xulon?

Christian Writers Awards | Xulon Press

 

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Good question. I've read a few books published by Xulon & occasionally I hear an ad by them on the local Christian radio station on the way to work. That is why I gave you their web address when you asked for publishers. As far as the contest goes, their intentions are speculation to me. Maybe they are just trying to discover some new talented writers and the contest is a way to get people to send them material.

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Hi Info: Thank you again for your feedback. However, so far I have not heard any positive reviews for Xulon Publishing.

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