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How can I prove that the King James Version of the Bible is public domain?

Westlake, OH |

My publisher is insisting that I secure an "Authorization to Publish", when it is not necessary for a book in the public domain and published 400 years ago. Nevertheless, how can I satisfy this requirement?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Best answer

    Simple. Contact a Copyright attorney and ask for a letter certifying that the book is in the public domain.

    USPTO Registered Patent Attorney, Master of Intellectual Property law, MBA I am neither your attorney, nor my answers or comments in create an attorney-client relationship with you. You may accept or disregard my free advice in at your own risk. I am a Patent Attorney, admitted to the USPTO and to the Florida Bar.

  2. Attorney Golab is 100% on point. The other thing to note in the case of copying a Bible is making sure that you are only copying the original text. Comments and other additions that are often included in different printings of Bibles could still be protected under copyright and not within the public domain.

    Answering of your question is merely general advice and does not constitute legal advice. None of the statements or implications made by this answer creates an attorney-client relationship with the attorney answering the question. The statements made in this answer are not to be solely relied upon and you should meet with a competent attorney to discuss any concerns you may have regarding this answer.

  3. I think Mr. Marlink hit on the issue here. Its not the substantive content of the Bible at issue, this of course is no longer protected under copyright. But authorized translations as well as other additions of creative expression in any given version can certainly be protected.

    You should consult an IP lawyer in private and discuss in more detail. Most of us here, including myself, offer a free phone consult.

    Best regards,
    Natoli-Lapin, LLC
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