Originally posted May 21st, 2010
I have a very important announcement.
As many of you know The Way International had filed a lawsuit against myself and the WNAE (under our old name of SANJ) this last summer, alleging that portions of the HRV Scriptures infringed on the copyright of a translation they once published about twenty years ago.
We responded by arguing that the lawsuit itself was unconstitutional on the basis that Bible translation is Scripture interpretation and Scripture interpretation is doctrine. (The US Supreme court has ruled that the Establishment Clause of the Bill of Rights forbids the court from adjudicating property disputes between religious groups where hearing the case would require the court to consider, weigh or interpret doctrine, or resolve doctrinal
issues.) In this case hearing such a case would put the government in the position of regulating Scripture interpretation, and that we as an Establishment of Religion may interpret the Scriptures as we see fit.
We also responded by stating that the HRV is an original translation made directly from Hebrew and Aramaic sources and that close agreement with the AEINT is to be expected since both are (at places) literal translations of the Peshitta, and that such similarities fall within the legal doctrine of merger. Furthermore we argued that any use the AEINT made of the HRV was within the four criteria of the fair use law and was also permitted by an implied license, and thus did not constitute copyright infringement.
I am pleased to announce that after a process of discovery and taking of depositions, The Way International has chosen to settle their lawsuit rather than take it to trial. As part of the settlement they have issued us a permanent license with no monetary consideration. Also as part of the settlement we have maintained that there was no copyright infringement on our part, however we have also agreed as part of this license agreement, to henceforth give credit in editions of the HRV to the TWI version. (Thus allegations of copyright infringement are forever ended.).
We have always maintained that a final stage in the translation of the HRV involved comparing with previous translations of the Aramaic so as to insure that the HRV presented the best possible translation of each and every word and phrase, and so we have no problem giving them due credit. In fact we will be crediting several other works that were referenced as well.
We maintain our use of the TWI edition was legal fair use and was also permitted under an implied license, but for the record there is now a formal license as well. Where there is a formal license in place there can be no question of either copyright infringement or plagiarism.
With this suit behind us, we can now freely answer our critics who have accused us of plagiarism and copyright infringement. We have compiled a document from the evidence we had originally planned to present in court which demonstrates that the Hebraic Roots Version is an original and independent translation made directly from Hebrew and Aramaic sources, not infringing on anyone's copyright. This PDF document (about 50 pages) settles this issues once and for all and can be downloaded at: