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News, How-tos, and assorted Views on Accordance Bible Software.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007  

More on the Accordance Exchange

As Helen posted yesterday, the Accordance Exchange is now located here and has been updated to accommodate the posting of User Bibles.

The Accordance Exchange was something I originally did on my own so that Accordance users could share User Tools and other files they had created. Unfortunately, the personal web-space I was hosting it on quickly got too cramped to handle all the files people wanted to share, and I eventually got too busy to maintain it. I'm afraid I've been letting it languish for a long time.

Since we released Accordance 7.2, we've had numerous requests for a place where people could upload the User Bibles they had created so that other users could download them and benefit from them. So we decided to host the Accordance Exchange where it would have room to grow and we're working on making it easy for people to upload files to it.

The danger of offering this service to our users is that we may unwittingly become a party to a copyright violation. Naturally, we're determined to do everything we can to avoid that, and if we're in doubt about the provenance of an uploaded resource, we simply will not post it to the exchange.

So if you create a great User Bible or User Tool that you want to share with others, you can make sure it gets posted to the Exchange by doing everything you can to verify that it is free of any copyright restrictions.

In general, resources you find on the internet which are clearly in the public domain and which indicate that they are freely distributable for any purposes are okay to post.

Likewise, texts which say that they are "freely distributable for non-commercial purposes" are probably okay to post, but they may not be. You see, even though neither you, nor we, will profit from any of the modules posted to the Exchange, some people may balk at the fact that you are distributing their text for use with a commercial Bible program. It's best in such cases to e-mail the person who developed the e-text and ask their permission to distribute their text in an Accordance-compatible format. When you do, be sure to let them know that you will indicate that their text is distributed with permission and that you will include a link to their web-site.

Other texts are clearly still under copyright, but the copyright holders have given their permission to distribute those works freely. Remember, just because a copyright holder gave one person or web-site permission to distribute their text, that doesn't necessarily mean that they want it made available anywhere else or in any other form. So again, it's best if you contact the copyright holder and get their permission before you upload it to the exchange.

All this is to say that we are happy to make this service available to our users, but we simply don't have time to chase down every e-text you upload to make sure it's okay to make available. If you want other Accordance users to benefit from your development efforts, please help us by giving us as clear an indication as possible that your module is okay to distribute.

I hope this helps those of you who are eager to begin developing Accordance modules. As developers, the onus is on you to make sure you're not violating someone else's copyright.


P.S.: Obviously, I'm not a lawyer, so all of this pseudo-legal advice should be taken with big doses of salt; I may be wrong on certain points; copyright laws are changing all the time; your mileage may vary; yada, yada, yada . . . ;-)

P.P.S.: I told you I'm not a lawyer! As of May 18, this post has been emended to remove some incorrect statements I made about what I saw as "fair use" of copyright texts.

Thanks for reviving the Accordance Exchange. I think it is a great idea, and have wondered why it wasn't updated. It will be very cool to see what becomes available.

One suggestion: you mentioned that updates (new resources) will be posted on the front page. Could you throw an RSS feed onto that page, so that we could more easily see when they are available?

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