Need an Intervention Before I Jump (SWRB)

Discussion in 'Recent Acquisitions' started by DMcFadden, Apr 9, 2009.

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  1. DMcFadden

    DMcFadden Puritan Board Doctor

    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:
    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.]
  2. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    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]
  3. Calvinist Cowboy

    Calvinist Cowboy Puritan Board Junior

    If you believe that is the best use of your money and will greatly benefit your walk with Christ, then go for it!
  4. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    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.
  5. nicnap

    nicnap Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    :wow: I don't know anything about SWRB's business practices, but if Fred's experience is the norm...:wow:
  6. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    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.
  7. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor

    Wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole. I'm not going into why because I don't have permission to do so.
  8. DonP

    DonP Puritan Board Junior

    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.
  9. DMcFadden

    DMcFadden Puritan Board Doctor


    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?
  10. DMcFadden

    DMcFadden Puritan Board Doctor

    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.
  11. DonP

    DonP Puritan Board Junior

    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.
  12. RTaron

    RTaron The Grandpa (Affectionately Called)

    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.
  13. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    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?
  14. DMcFadden

    DMcFadden Puritan Board Doctor


    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.
  15. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    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.
  16. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    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.
  17. DonP

    DonP Puritan Board Junior

    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?
  18. DMcFadden

    DMcFadden Puritan Board Doctor

    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.
  19. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Scans would be regarded as reproductions, but I am under the impression word processing would initiate a new work and would therefore be lawful.
  20. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    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)
  21. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    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.
  22. yeutter

    yeutter Puritan Board Senior

    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?
  23. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    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)
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
  24. N. Eshelman

    N. Eshelman Puritan Board Senior

    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.
  25. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    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.
  26. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    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.
  27. tgoerz

    tgoerz Puritan Board Freshman

    I purchased 2 cd's, (vol 1 and 11) from them through 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.
  28. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

  29. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    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.

  30. N. Eshelman

    N. Eshelman Puritan Board Senior

    Yes, they were from EEBO.
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