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Scriptures in a database

Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:08 am
by dude22
I want to develop a game similar to Book of Mormon baseball.

There is a similar app found here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rubenengineering.bofmgame

I have ideas of how to do it, what I am asking is that can I legally do this type of thing?

I want to build a database with every verse and use that as my basis for my app. Can I store the scripture verses in a database in my app and release an app with the contents of the scriptures? The verses would be in plain text without footnotes.

Please let me know if there is an issue with doing this type of thing.

Re: Scriptures in a database

Posted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 12:01 pm
by sbradshaw
I believe there is, or at least there was, a scriptures API that developers could get approval to use. I would start by contacting the copyright office ("Rights and Use Information" link at the bottom of LDS.org). I don't know if it included/includes other content besides the scriptures, or if it includes footnotes or chapter headings, but it sounds like you aren't looking for those anyway. There are some older editions of the Book of Mormon in the public domain, if other options fall through.

Re: Scriptures in a database

Posted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 1:00 pm
by aebrown
sbradshaw wrote:I believe there is, or at least there was, a scriptures API that developers could get approval to use.

I think you're referring to the Third-party API for gospel content, for which there was a wiki page until a few months ago. However, that page was deleted on 8 June 2015 by SmootAR with the note "(Removing this page since we do not really provide an api, Tyler D. & Ransom should be providing this soon.)"

Re: Scriptures in a database

Posted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 1:05 pm
by dude22
I guess I'm not looking for an API as much as an understanding that what I'm doing is okay from a legal perspective.

Since I would just be storing and displaying a plaintext of verses, it seems like that's okay, but again I'm just double checking before I proceed.

Re: Scriptures in a database

Posted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 1:38 pm
by russellhltn
dude22 wrote:Since I would just be storing and displaying a plaintext of verses, it seems like that's okay, but again I'm just double checking before I proceed.

Copyright is less about format and more about distribution. If you're distributing it, then you have to deal with copyright. You'll either have to go with the public domain version or get permission to distribute the church's copyrighted version. If you're not concerned about chapter headings or footnotes, then I think there's only a handful of verses that are different between the two.

Another thought is to talk with the Gospel Library folks and see if they'll let you tap their database. That would create a dependency, but would shrink your storage footprint.

Re: Scriptures in a database

Posted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 1:41 pm
by eblood66
dude22 wrote:Since I would just be storing and displaying a plaintext of verses, it seems like that's okay, but again I'm just double checking before I proceed.

It's not really a matter of format but rather whether the text you are using is under copyright and whether you have permission to use it. If you use the older public domain edition of the Book of Mormon then you'd be OK. Otherwise you should contact the Office of Intellectual Property as indicated at the end of this page: https://www.lds.org/legal/terms?lang=eng

Re: Scriptures in a database

Posted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:36 pm
by dude22
So is there an easy place to get the public domain verses?

I am not looking for footnotes, chapter headings, or anything else. I am just looking for Book, Chapter, Verse.

Re: Scriptures in a database

Posted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:35 pm
by aebrown
dude22 wrote:So is there an easy place to get the public domain verses?

I am not looking for footnotes, chapter headings, or anything else. I am just looking for Book, Chapter, Verse.

See http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/17

Re: Scriptures in a database

Posted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:19 pm
by russellhltn
dude22 wrote:I am not looking for footnotes, chapter headings, or anything else. I am just looking for Book, Chapter, Verse.

Note that there have been some changes to the actual text. I think most are quite minimal - but you need to research it.

Re: Scriptures in a database

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:49 pm
by bartholomew
What you're looking for is the LDS Documentation Project at: https://scriptures.nephi.org/

They have exports of the scriptures for MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, CSV, JSON, Microsoft Excel, and Open Document Spreadsheet.