New Bible Study Tool Online

Lifeway has started a new online Bible study tool. It is called From what I can tell right now, it looks neat. It is geared towards leaders who sign-up groups for studies. The idea is very cool; however, the cost is fairly high…$17/month/group. This would be ok if the leader could copy stuff off the site, print it, and distribute it to the participants; however, the terms of use prohibit that. They even address it on their FAQ about this very thing:

Q. Wow! Can I just get one subscription for our church and make copies of the lessons I customize to distribute to my leaders?

No. While the Terms of Use specify that leaders can create a second copy of their teaching notes for a substitute who will teach in their absence, the license does not grant the subscriber a legal right to create more than the one copy for themselves and/or a copy for a substitute. While it is possible, it is not lawful.

While I applaud Lifeway on this really cool use of technology, they need to make the information free. Before you write me, I mean free as in freedom not free pizza. For more information (and other links) dealing with free as in freedom, refer to the “Are there any special things for me to consider?” question on my store about page. I’m sure that Lifeway is bound by the terms of their agreements with the various authors and publishers of the material they use; however, they are big enough they could take a stand and really make a difference. If they began to publish all their material under a Creative Commons license or something similar, they could have a tremendous impact on the world. Imagine a collection of free materials published by a company as big as Lifeway!

[Update 01-18-2009 01:51:47] Updated the Lifeway link at the start of this story.  It was bad.

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