There are two ways to get involved with the Digital Bible Library® (DBL) – become an an Intellectual Property Contributor (IPC) or a Library Card Holder (LCH). Contribute texts and other content into the Library by becoming an IPC. By becoming an LCH you have access to the Library and the ability to establish licensing agreements with IP contributors.
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Intellectual Property Contributors
Intellectual Property Contributor (IPC)
Intellectual Property Contributors contribute the text, audio, or other content on the DBL. These approved partners hold the copyright for each text, audio or additional content, and establish license agreements with Library Card Holders for the use of the content.
Intellectual Property Contributors can also gain access to other digital files in the library by applying for LCH approval. Although IPCs contribute content, it does not give them automatic access to other library files.
Qualified ministries can gain access to the DBL.
DBL Community and Partnership Values
As members of the DBL community, we acknowledge the following:
- The initial translation, quality control, maintenance, and stewardship of Scripture texts is a resource-intensive activity and those that engage in this work are providing a valuable service to the Kingdom of God.
- “The laborer is worthy of their hire” and all people engaged in work for the Kingdom are entitled to earn a living from this work. In order to generate these funds, organizations employ various business models, including donation-based models, sales-based models, service-delivery models, among others. All of these models and hybrid models among them are considered reasonable and appropriate and each organization has a right to function in the manner of its choice.
- There is a high value placed on people engaging with the content of Scriptures, regardless of the language or form in which it currently exists, so all organizations will seek to work together in ways that foster greater Scripture engagement.
Any organization wishing to submit their text, audio or other content (IP) to the DBL must fulfill certain criteria.
- Demonstrate Ownership – First and foremost, they need to demonstrate ownership of the content to be submitted as verified by copyright and/or other legal documentation, as recognized by the rules of the country of origin.
- Credentials – They need to be recommended by one of the ETEN Alliance Ministries (UBS, Biblica, Wycliffe) or follow the Forum of Bible Agencies International (FOBAI) standards. For the full documentation please go to: FOBAI website.
- Application Review Process – Organizations understand that each application is reviewed by the Partnership Credentials Committee (PCC). The PCC reserves the right to review individual texts for conformance to above mentioned criteria.
IPC Operational Requirements
- Technical Knowledge – The DBL expects that a contributing organization has sufficient technical capacity to be able to interact efficiently with DBL staff.
- Licensing Management – Contributing organizations will be expected to manage the licensing process for their content within DBL.
- Content Designation – In Bible publication and distribution/engagement, each contributor agrees to reference the United Bible Societies (UBS) designation of Scripture products (Bible, New Testament, Portion, Selection), and for the identification of languages, the SIL Ethnologue as well as its accompanying statistics regarding the number of languages.
Library Card Holders
Library Card Holders (LCH)
The users of the DBL are not the end users reading the text, but rather the approved Library Card Holders. These approved ministry partners develop applications or websites that take the digital files and present them to users in readable, audible, or viewable formats. Initial card holders include YouVersion’s Bible App (http://bible.com) and American Bible Society’s Bible Search website (http://bibles.org).
Other organizations may apply for a library card through this website. Approved card holders gain access to the digital files through establishing license agreements with IP contributors.
Qualified ministries can gain access to the DBL.
Any organization or ministry interested in gaining access to the DBL must fulfill certain criteria.
- Reputable Standing – Only reputable organizations will be considered for participation in the DBL. A reputable organization is one that follows the historic tenets of Christianity.
- Accessibility – Receiving a “Library Card” does not automatically mean access to content. Although some content in DBL may be accessed by default (fair use policy / open access), a majority of the content will require additional licensing steps in order to secure permissions from each IP holder.
- Technical Background – Library Card Holders should already possess viable distribution technology and a well-functioning digital platform before receiving a library card.
- Provide Statistics – All participants need to be able to provide engagement statistics on a regular basis. These statistics need to be detailed enough to accommodate requests from each IP contributor who has provided them access to their content.
- Cooperation – While we don’t expect all partners to hold to similar confessional practices or standards, we do expect them all to be able to operate cordially and constructively with all ETEN members, including the inter-confessional ones. Applying organizations should not have any outstanding conflicts with any current ETEN partners or other Library Card Holders.
- Authentication – The ultimate authority for approving new Library Card Holders will be the Partnership Credentials Committee.
LCH Operational Requirements
Any organization or ministry interested in gaining access to the DBL as a Library Card Holder must provide a minimum level of technical expertise.
Applicants should be able to handle the intricacies of accessing a web API. In particular, they must already be proficient at:
- Understanding written web services documentation.
- Making authenticated HTTP requests using any of the usual REST verbs.
- Handling data returned by those requests in the form of XML, JSON, or zip archives containing those formats.
In addition, applicants will need the technical skills and staffing to provide a means for copyright holders to preview and approve presentation of texts before public release.
As the DBL participation grows, we understand that many people and organizations may want to be involved. At the same time, it’s important for applicants to understand that accessing the DBL data for publishing takes a high level of proficiency and dedication. If the requirements above talk about technology you don’t use every day, you should not participate in this phase.
Our Support – We’ll work to quickly resolve any problems with the DBL interface or data. We provide succinct documentation of the application process and to the API (available here). We welcome clarifying questions and feedback regarding the API, but applicants should not expect tutorial-level support in the above requirements.