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Recent Acquisitions discuss Need an Intervention Before I Jump (SWRB) in the The Literary Forum forums; OK, boys and girls, I have read some of the past threads offering arguments for why SWRB is not a particularly reliable source of materials ...

  1. #1
    DMcFadden's Avatar
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    Need an Intervention Before I Jump (SWRB)

    OK, boys and girls,

    I have read some of the past threads offering arguments for why SWRB is not a particularly reliable source of materials (e.g., copyright issues, business practices, etc.).

    However, perhaps it is only my covetous nature, but the idea of 11,000 Reformed and Puritan resources that could be loaded onto ONE external portable drive has my inner Pavlovian salivating. The current pre-pub deal has the following for $695.50:
    * All files work with all operating systems and computers, PC or MAC.
    * Over 11,000 Resources (Puritan and Reformed Books, MP3s And Videos)
    * Includes Over 500,000 Pages Of Great Christian Books!
    * Includes Over 368,000 Minutes Or 6,133 Hours Of Audio Material On Over 9,000 MP3s And Over 100 Hours Of Videos (So Load Up Your iPhone, iPod, Zune, Or Any Other Portable Device And Take The Best Reformation and Puritan Sermons And Audio Books With You Everywhere You Go)
    * Over 5,000 Important And Historic Reformed And Puritan MP3s (Audio Books And Sermons) Which Are NOT Available At Sermonaudio.com/SWRB
    * Includes Millions Of Dollars Worth Of Resources!
    OK, bibliophiles, attorneys, old salty dogs of the Reformed persuasion, PLEASE give me something to hang onto here. I'm on the ledge, the people below are shouting (buy . . . buy . . . buy . . . buy). I need an intervention. Anybody out there know anything about this deal or Reg Barrow's operation that they can share with me? Sproul, Beeke, Beisner, and McMahon are all cited as saying it is the next best thing since chocolate fudge sundaes. I receive these offers constantly, but it has gotten sweet enough to be difficult to resist.

    [BTW, I do NOT have access to the old English books project where you can obtain some of the out of print materials.]
    Dennis E. McFadden, Ex Mainline Baptist (in Remission)
    Atherton Baptist Homes, Alhambra, CA, President/CEO, Retired
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    Apparently, dear brother, nobody cares. You are going to have to save yourself.

    I have nothing to add because I have no information about them except third-hand innuendo.

    [/gratuitous and one-time-only bump]
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  3. #3
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    If you believe that is the best use of your money and will greatly benefit your walk with Christ, then go for it!
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    I would never buy anything from SWRB. I have personal experience of a member of my former congregation lending a set of rare expensive books to Barrow in exchange for some reprints. When the books came back with ripped pages and damage. When my friend called to inquire, he was basically attacked by Barrow for "not caring about his (Barrow's) ministry."

    That does not even begin to mention the ecclesiastical nightmares, or the copyright infringments.

    I'd rather have nothing than put a penny in his pocket.
    Fred Greco
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    I don't know anything about SWRB's business practices, but if Fred's experience is the norm...
    soli Deo gloria!
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    I wouldn't do it. On a practical note, keep in mind a lot of the PDFs are facsimilies and are not searchable if that makes a difference.
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    Wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole. I'm not going into why because I don't have permission to do so.
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    If you know for sure there are copyright violations in the material it would be wrong to purchase it.

    As for the audio sermons just be sure not to listen to the ones from their Steelite ministers.

    I think God has disciplined them. My understanding is the 2 ministers have now split so there really is no org left.

    I bought their old CD sets years ago and was unaware of any violations on it.

    Not sure if this is the same old Ref Heritage library just on an MP3 or also contains new books.
    DonP

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    Quote Originally Posted by fredtgreco View Post
    I would never buy anything from SWRB. I have personal experience of a member of my former congregation lending a set of rare expensive books to Barrow in exchange for some reprints. When the books came back with ripped pages and damage. When my friend called to inquire, he was basically attacked by Barrow for "not caring about his (Barrow's) ministry."

    That does not even begin to mention the ecclesiastical nightmares, or the copyright infringments.

    I'd rather have nothing than put a penny in his pocket.
    Fred,

    You were one of the ones I wanted to hear from since I can remember you having said something about SWRB in the past.

    I cannot address the torn page issue and obviously have no other information about it, but was under the impression that the copyright issues had been ironed out and they were operating correctly. Is that not true? Also, if you feel free to say, what do you mean "ecclesiastical nightmares"??? It this a schismatic ministry?
    Dennis E. McFadden, Ex Mainline Baptist (in Remission)
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by victorbravo View Post
    Apparently, dear brother, nobody cares. You are going to have to save yourself.

    I have nothing to add because I have no information about them except third-hand innuendo.

    [/gratuitous and one-time-only bump]
    Thanks for the "gratuitous and one-time-only bump" since I was beginning to think that nobody cared! I had almost given up on the question.
    Dennis E. McFadden, Ex Mainline Baptist (in Remission)
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    There is no they to SWRB anymore as I understand it.

    The one man who now runs it was broke and looking for pre pub money for projects last year and he went to a church that held we all are in sin if we don't repent of the revolution and breaking with England, National and Solemn League etc. They feel if you occasionally attend another church, since they don't have one near you, that you need to be excommunicated for false worship. So I guess one could say they think they are the only pure enough church.

    Its usually all over their email adds. They had been called Steelites, Ref Pres Covenanted was the church.
    Who are the Covenanted Reformed Presbyterian Church?

    If you want to know detail not gossip I would check with people on the PB who were in their churches.
    I will ask one to check this thread and contact you privately if he is willing.
    DonP

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    Hi Don, Thanks for the heads up on this thread.
    Hi Dennis, Don't give way to all the flashy adds and sales pitches. The CD's aren't worth loosing any sleep over. I have most of the banned CD's that they had to dump because of copyright infringement.
    Sure there is good material on the CD's, but like Chis said, you can't search them, they are just pictures in pdf format. If you have something special you want to see, maybe I could find it and send it to you.

    As far as a ministry, or as far as the character of the people involved in SWRB, you can send me a PM if you want to know more, I was part of the group affiliated with them.

    In a word, they were radial separatist who separated from each other until there was none left.
    Rick Taron
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  13. #13
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    * All files work with all operating systems and computers, PC or MAC.
    I'd like to see the legal fine print on that. Are they really saying that I can view the file on my computer that runs on CP/M? Maybe we can find an old Trash-80 or C-64 to try as well. <P>So, if we start with a premise that they may be less than candid, what other fine print should we look for?

    What IS the file format? Something useful like HTML, or something that's going to be next to worthless like a plain ASCII file?

    I'd have to know a LOT more before I'd lay out $700. If it's public domain, can you replicate most of it with Google?
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    Edward,

    Most of their stuff is in PDF, hence it is available to be used on either Mac or PC.

    They also have thousands of hours of MP3s.

    Could someone pull the public domain stuff together themselves? Sure, if you sat in a library and xeroxed out of print books and than turned them all into PDF documents. In other words, gazillions of man hours of work.
    Dennis E. McFadden, Ex Mainline Baptist (in Remission)
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    Although it does not address all of the copyright concerns with SWRB, I found this post by Tim Bayly very helpful in addressing the matter of so-called "sweat equity" in relation to copyright.
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  16. #16
    MW
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    Technically the same principle has been violated with most of their materials, and not simply with the Puritan CDs. A book in public domain in the sense that the author does not possess copyright of it does not automatically entail free rights to the book. If a photocopy is obtained from a book in possession of a library, the library has rights over that photocopy. In the case of a rare book even a copy is worth a few pennies to the owner. One is not at liberty to reproduce it without obtaining permission.
    Yours sincerely,
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    Cool so if one re-typesets on old equipment they could claim a patent but to scan in or even word process without significant change, they can not copyright, so anyone can do the same they did otr even copy their work?
    DonP

  18. #18
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    Thanks, everyone. I like the idea of a decent sized collection of theological materials in digital form. However, I do NOT want to cheat, participate in unethical conduct, support schism, etc. As more materials are available on the internet, I will just have to download them and (when necessary) make my own PDFs.
    Dennis E. McFadden, Ex Mainline Baptist (in Remission)
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    MW
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceMaker View Post
    Cool so if one re-typesets on old equipment they could claim a patent but to scan in or even word process without significant change, they can not copyright, so anyone can do the same they did otr even copy their work?
    Scans would be regarded as reproductions, but I am under the impression word processing would initiate a new work and would therefore be lawful.
    Yours sincerely,
    Rev. Matthew Winzer
    Australian Free Church,
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    Quote Originally Posted by armourbearer View Post
    If a photocopy is obtained from a book in possession of a library, the library has rights over that photocopy. In the case of a rare book even a copy is worth a few pennies to the owner. One is not at liberty to reproduce it without obtaining permission.
    Copyright laws vary by jurisdiction. I don't believe your answer is applicable in the US.

    A couple of useful sites:

    Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States

    and here

    " A work of authorship is in the “public domain” if it is no longer under copyright protection or if it failed to meet the requirements for copyright protection. Works in the public domain may be used freely without the permission of the former copyright owner. "

    U.S. Copyright Office - Definitions (FAQ)
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    MW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward View Post
    Copyright laws vary by jurisdiction. I don't believe your answer is applicable in the US.
    I would be surprised if this were the case. It is probably simply the case that the libraries don't insist on it. But it is their prerogative to maintain that reproductions be approved by the librarian and that images contain a mark which identifies the holding library.
    Yours sincerely,
    Rev. Matthew Winzer
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    Has Google Books made SWRB obsolete?

    Google Books make most of what is on SWRB available for free. Besides putting it all in one place, what value added does SWRB provide?
    Thomas Yeutter,
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by armourbearer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Edward View Post
    Copyright laws vary by jurisdiction. I don't believe your answer is applicable in the US.
    I would be surprised if this were the case.
    Do you have any supporting authority for what appears to me to be a completely novel legal theory? If you can point to any US statute or case law, I'll be happy to dig further into the issue. At this point, however, I'm not disposed to accept your legal conclusions.

    Intellectual property is not my practice area, so if you can educate me, I'd welcome it. If you are just sharing an opinion not based on legal training and knowledge of US law, please disclose that as well, so that folks aren't misled by your legal advice.

    Here's a case which sheds a little light:

    BRIDGEMAN ART LIBRARY, LTD. v. COREL CORP., 36 F. Supp. 2d 191 (S.D.N.Y. 1999)
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/copyright...Supp2d_191.htm
    Last edited by Edward; 04-10-2009 at 10:03 AM. Reason: Added case citation
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMcFadden View Post
    Edward,

    Most of their stuff is in PDF, hence it is available to be used on either Mac or PC.

    They also have thousands of hours of MP3s.

    Could someone pull the public domain stuff together themselves? Sure, if you sat in a library and xeroxed out of print books and than turned them all into PDF documents. In other words, gazillions of man hours of work.
    Dennis, The mp3s are all on Sermonaudio. They have volunteers that read Puritan books, etc. It actually drives me nuts because they change words in areas- example: They will change Saint Paul to Apostle Paul when reading. There are a lot of little areas like this.

    As for your question: Is this a schismatic ministry? The answer is an overwhelming YES!

    If you have access to a college or university library that has EEBO (Early English Books Online) or ECCO (18th C. Collection Online), then you can download all the PDFs you want until your heart's content.

    I would not say that $700 towards Barrow is money well spent in the kingdom- and I also have personal experience. My best friend and his wife we excommunicated for asking some ecclesiastical questions. I also have members of the LA church that were excommunicated for the same questions.

    Give your $700 to me. We have a manse to decorate.

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    It would seem that there is a difference between the owner of a book having a right to dictate how the particular volume he owns is used, and the actual substance of a book being protected. I have every right to tell anyone not to take my books and rip off the spine so they can scan them more conveniently. I have every right to tell people not to copy files from my hard drive. But if I sell a book, it's no longer my business if someone rips it apart, makes a scan of it, and then distributes that scan freely.
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    MW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward View Post
    If you are just sharing an opinion not based on legal training and knowledge of US law, please disclose that as well, so that folks aren't misled by your legal advice.
    It is obvious I am sharing my opinion from the fact I said I would be surprised if what you suggested were the case. However, having spent many hours chasing up rare books and speaking with librarians, I can say without having a law degree that libraries holding rare books take their ownership of this material seriously and usually require special permission before allowing reproductions. One example -- the Ann Arbor microfilm of Early English Books contain holdings from numerous libraries. When I sought permission to create facsimiles of a Puritan work from the microfilm I was required first to receive permission from the British library which held the original before the microfilm company would even consider it. The reason -- every book on the microfilm contains the holding library's stamp.

    I'm not giving a legal opinion, but merely pointing out that the books are the possession of the libraries which hold them, so that it is not simply a matter of author-creator copyright expiring after so many years.
    Yours sincerely,
    Rev. Matthew Winzer
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  27. #27
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    I purchased 2 cd's, (vol 1 and 11) from them thru Amazon.

    The material on these cd's is priceless. You'd spend $1000's if you could find the material.

    I'm not aware of a copyright issue, most of this material is quite old, such as Knox's Works. Is there not some kind of a public domain element after the material has been in print for so and so long?

    BTW, the cd's are cheaper on Amazon and you can pick and choose the ones you want. There is some bit of duplication on the cd's.
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    Knox's works are on google, and to some degree searchable. And it is free.
    editions:OCLC283197 - Google Book Search
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    If SWRB obtain copies of privately owned rare books, then they are in the clear; if they obtained it from some other murkier source, maybe not. I know there are CDs floating around of Rutherford's works, where someone carefully snipped out the library stamp and any reference to EEBO; but because of unique markings I happen to know that it was the EEBO copy. I am afraid once SWRB put those earlier CDs out they have taken on other life in other products from other vendors.

    Quote Originally Posted by tgoerz View Post
    I purchased 2 cd's, (vol 1 and 11) from them thru Amazon.

    The material on these cd's is priceless. You'd spend $1000's if you could find the material.

    I'm not aware of a copyright issue, most of this material is quite old, such as Knox's Works. Is there not some kind of a public domain element after the material has been in print for so and so long?

    BTW, the cd's are cheaper on Amazon and you can pick and choose the ones you want. There is some bit of duplication on the cd's.
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    * They "claim" that there are more than 500 MP3s not available on Sermonaudio.
    * I already referenced not having access to EEBO (which is known to me but unavailable).

    After a couple of the comments in this thread, I will probably just pick and choose to download what I want when it becomes relevant to me. But, don't underestimate the immense amount of time it takes to scan and convert 500,000 pages of rare books, which cannot be found in the same location. It would be wonderful if a reputable ministry would take on this kind of challenge. Or, if someone with legal access to EEBO could obtain permission to package some collections of rare Puritan books.

    Most of the rare books in the EEBO inventory are the type used by graduate students at schools with plenty of money for their subscription fees. However, the subset of books we are talking about are rare Puritan and Reformed titles that are of interest to a wider group than grad students in some dusty English department. Many on the PB would probably be in the market for them if they could be provided.
    Last edited by DMcFadden; 04-11-2009 at 12:44 AM.
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    El Tirano put the link to this and more on his post? Seems with old works there is no copyright even if digitized. Thoughts?

    There are plate tectonic implications for Christian companies who have built their business model on threatening to take to court anyone who reproduces their work in cases where the heart of their work is a public domain work that was written centuries ago. Threats of legal action and the underlying claims of copyright are not sustained by the law.

    Unless Christian businesses making money off selling digitized copies of works in the public domain can demonstrate they have added significant original or creative content--not hyperlinks, standardization of Scripture references, formatting, or indexing, for instance--their claim of copyright is baseless, legally. Further, threatening that they will take users to court if they share the public domain text with others is contrary to the explicit command of Scripture--that we are not to go to court against one another.

    For too long, Christians have been nave concerning these claims and have allowed themselves to be intimidated by the threat of legal action. Who wants another Christian accusing one of being a thief?

    But works of dead fathers in the faith are in the public domain and no matter how much money and time Christian businessmen have spent scanning, OCRing, and proofing those texts as they take them from analog to digital media, the courts are clear that they may not copyright that work.

    For businessmen to claim otherwise is to mislead the public.
    DonP

  33. #33
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    For out of copyright and public domain works, it is the value added that is copyrighted. I.e. a new translation that is someone's new work, scholarly additions, notes, editing, etc. The original work can't be copyrighted; but photolithing a new work with any or all of the value added is pretty much violating the copyright of the new work. This is what I do, and that is what I"m copyrighting when I put out a new edition of an old work. That is also why I don't do photo reprints.
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    If I recall accurately, notes and editing are creative work - adding Scripture references is not. In the cases reviewed by Tim Bayly, at any rate, the courts held that only creative work, not sweat work, could be copyrighted.
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    That's interesting. When all is said and done, it pays to create a critical edition with notes, commentary, new translations, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by py3ak View Post
    If I recall accurately, notes and editing are creative work - adding Scripture references is not. In the cases reviewed by Tim Bayly, at any rate, the courts held that only creative work, not sweat work, could be copyrighted.
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    We have a brother on this board that has first hand, pastoral experience with the "Barrow Boys".

    So I will defer to those with first hand experience.

    I will say that the majority consenses among those that have had dealings with the barrows is uniformly negative.
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    Can the formatting of a text be copyrightable? I don't mean the text of, say, Owen, clearly that is outside copyright, but how the text is formatted in a book or even on a web page, if there is something unique (and possibly work-intense) about the formatting?
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    Let's start a new thread on this.
    Stand by.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitefield View Post
    Can the formatting of a text be copyrightable? I don't mean the text of, say, Owen, clearly that is outside copyright, but how the text is formatted in a book or even on a web page, if there is something unique (and possibly work-intense) about the formatting?
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    That may be; but there are more than two bros so let's not paint with too broad a brush. Also, I think enough warning/opinion of SWRB material has been given and we don't need to enter into this sad tale any further.
    Thread closed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
    We have a brother on this board that has first hand, pastoral experience with the "Barrow Boys".

    So I will defer to those with first hand experience.

    I will say that the majority consenses among those that have had dealings with the barrows is uniformly negative.
    Chris Coldwell, Lakewood Presbyterian Church (PCA), Dallas, Texas.
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    Calvin in the Hands of the Philistines: Did Calvin Bowl on the Sabbath?
    The Regulative Principle: The Scriptures are the “only infallible rule of faith and practice, no rite or ceremony ought to have a place in the public worship of God, which is not warranted in Scripture, either by direct precept or example, or by good and sufficient inference” (Samuel Miller).
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