Baha'i Library Online

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COLLECTIONLetters from National Spiritual Assemblies
TITLECopyright Status of Bahá'í Texts
AUTHOR 1 United States Bahá'í Publishing Trust
ABSTRACTQuestions regarding copyright and posting of Sacred Writings on the Internet.
NOTES Submitted by, and name retained with permission of, recipient.

On copyright, see also the letter at uhj_permission_electronic_texts, and the Bahá'í World Center's copyright statement at

TAGS* Bahá'í Writings; Copyright and trademarks; Publishing

1. Question from an individual to the United States National Spiritual Assembly

Subject: World Wide Web Publishing
Date: 11/24/96
Author: Stephen Fuqua


I write to you in the interest of receiving permission to post material whose copyright is owned by the Bahá'í Publishing Trust of the United States on the world wide web. Publishing various Bahá'í materials on the web has become quite popular these days, and is a useful medium for spreading these materials to the world. There have been several interesting pieces of work whose copyrights are owned by the Publishing Trust which I am interested in posting on the web, such as the flyer: "Christ: Manifestation, not Incarnation." If given such permission, I would only post information of an educational or scholastic interest; no administrative information would be posted. Will you be willing to grant such permission (keeping in mind that the World Center has already posted the writings of the Central Figures on anonymous FTP for the whole world, and the Bahá'í International Community has made available all of its statements over the world wide web)? Thank you for your time.
    Stephen A. Fuqua
    Austin, TX

2. Response from the United States Bahá'í Publishing Trust

Subject: Re: World Wide Web Publishing
Date: Tue Nov 26, 1996
From: United States Bahá'í Publishing Trust
To: Mr. Stephen Fuqua

Dear Bahá'í Friend,

Thank you for your message of November 24 regarding internet publishing. We are very grateful that you took the time to ask permission for posting materials from the U.S. Bahá'í Publishing Trust on the World Wide Web.

You may certainly post anything from the Holy Texts without requesting permission each time. Writings of the three Central Figures and Shoghi Effendi may be used freely. According to a letter from the Universal House of Justice dated 9/4/81 to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States, "...Spiritual Assemblies and individual believers are free to quote in their publications from any of the Writings of the three Central Figures of the Faith or from the writings of the beloved Guardian, whether in the original language or in translation, without obtaining clearance from the copyright holder, unless the copyright holder in the case of a translation is an individual or is a non-Bahá'í institution..."

When quoting from the Bahá'í writings, great care must be taken to make sure that the quoted passages are accurate and presented in a dignified way. The Research/Review Office at the Bahá'í National Center is able to answer questions concerning proper use of the Writings.

Please cite the sources of all quotations, using the original sources rather than secondary sources. Use the most recent printing of the source.

There are some sources that have out-of-date translations or unauthenticated sections and should not be used without checking the particular passages. These include Star of the West, Bahá'í World Faith, Tablets of Abdul-Baha Abbas, Bahá'í Scriptures, and Abdul-Baha' on on Divine Philosophy. Please contact the Research/Review office if you have questions about whether a passage is authentic.

Please use the following citation for the Sacred Texts: (Author, Title, page number) For example: ('Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'í Prayers, p. 167)

Also include a permissions notice in the credits of your work, similar to the example below:

Extracts reprinted by permission from the following works:
Bahá'í Prayers, Copyright 1954, 1982, 1985, 1991 by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States

God Passes By, Copyright 1944, 1971, 1974 by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States
Pamphlets or other works published by the Publishing Trust and not written by the Central Figures are under copyright. You should ask permission for each item you wish to post on the internet.

You asked to post a flyer called "Christ: Manifestation, not Incarnation" on the Web. We do not find any record of such a flyer, pamphlet, or brochure that was published at the Publishing Trust. If the flyer was published elsewhere, you will need to contact that publisher. If the flyer used excerpts from the Holy Texts, the guidelines above apply. If the flyer used excerpts from another book published by the Bahá'í Publishing Trust, please let us know the source and we will let you know if you have permission to post the work.

We do not supply electronic files for any of our works.

We ask, as a courtesy, that you place the following notice on your website for any item published by the U.S. Bahá'í Publishing Trust: "This title and other related titles are available from the Bahá'í Distribution Service. E-mail: Phone: (800) 999-9019."

We hope this information helps you in your efforts to disseminate the teachings of the Bahá'í Faith on the World Wide Web.

Warmest regards,
    for Bahá'í Publications
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