15 August 2011

Selecting Biblical Software: Software License

Software License

For users, the issue is what the license permits, and prohibits. It is all too easy to click through a license, when installing new software. US Courts have consistently upheld that click-through licenses are legally binding. 

Select software that allows one to do the type of Bible Study one desires.

The Terms of Use of The Watchtower Library CD states
2. Who may have a copy of Watchtower Library? This is a research tool for Jehovah's Witnesses, not for the public or for institutions such as schools or libraries.

Obviously this restricts individuals that are not Jehovah's Witnesses from using this software.

A clause from the license for Bible Analyzer:
Bible Analyzer must not be used to criticize, undermine, subvert, or in any way question the accuracy and integrity of biblical Christianity or the Authorized King James Version of 1611 or 1769.
The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, The Holy Roman Catholic, and Apostolic Church, and The Living Stream Ministry all claim to practice Biblical Christianity.  The theology of those three groups is so different from each other, that one might not realize that they used the same source, to come to their mutually exclusive conclusions.

Consider the License Agreement for The Scroll, Multimedia Study Bible for Window. (http://web.archive.org/web/20090326043014/http://www.abu.nb.ca/ecm/products/copyrigt.htm)
ADDENDUM. The Software may be used for educational purposes in schools and Churches for teaching and instructional purposes only. Requests for quotations in excess of 2,000 words must be directed to and written approval received from Electronic Christian Media, 19 Dresden St. Riverview, NB E1B 3G8
Does that clause permit you to use the Biblical software where you teach others?

In other Biblical software I've seen clauses about payment of property tax, legality of using the software, and non-commercial usage, amongst other things.

Read the license carefully. Understand what words, phrases, clauses, sentences, and paragraphs mean. If you don't understand something, find out what it means, before accepting the license.

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