Paratext is the result of many years of work and collaboration by United Bible Societies and SIL, with input from many Bible translators around the world. It is our goal to make it available as widely as possible to promote the translation of God’s Word into the languages of the world.
We desire, where possible, not to duplicate translation work. It would be better to help an organization in their Bible translation effort or do a translation for a people group that does not have one. At the same time, this is not a requirement for approval.
The use of Paratext is managed by the Paratext Board of Governors
We reserve the right to revoke access to the product under the following circumstances :
- Infringement of copyright, plagiarism, or not honoring licensing agreements in some other way.
- Socially irresponsible behavior, such as using Paratext to publish obscenity, defamation, incitement, etc. (the exceptions to freedom of speech in the United States and the United Kingdom)
- Public actions deemed as damaging to the Church in general and the Bible translation movement in particular.
Tiers of Paratext Use
Paratext has three tiers of use, based on the user or organization’s qualifications and standards for Bible translation. The tier of usage depends on the project registration and can be different for different projects on the same computer.
Tier 1 – Basic
Anyone may apply for and use Paratext on the basic tier, and the software is supplied “AS IS” without any warranties and support. UBS and SIL assume no responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of the software.
The Basic Tier allows registered users to:
- Join an existing project and participate in any role.
- Make their own local project but without access to the following:
If the user requests registration as an independent translator, or as a user in an organization where they have a translation or support role, they can begin to register projects in the system once their registration is approved.
Registered projects gain access to more features in tiers 2 and 3.
Tiers 2 and 3
When people use Send/Receive, our organizations are actively involved in the project: running a S/R server, resolving issues at a server level and helping people in the event of data corruption, etc. This is a lot of work for SIL and UBS and means that we are actively contributing to the project. We will only do this if we agree with the principles being applied in the translation.
Therefore, users and organizations with access these advanced features must agree to comply with FOBAI translation standards
Projects must be registered with the Paratext Registry* (footnote: projects may be marked as confidential when there is appropriate justification)
Tier 2 – Translator
- Registered projects in the Translator Tier may use the printing and collaboration features of Paratext.
- They may not have access to the Concordance Builder, Names Index Builder or Publishing Assistant as these are reserved for the Publisher Tier.
Tier 3 – Publisher
We do not encourage competition with existing translations when there are many languages without a Bible. As a result, we reserve access to the Publisher Tier for projects that do not intend to compete with an existing UBS translation.
- Registered projects in the Publisher Tier have access to all Paratext features, including the Concordance Builder, Names Index Builder or Publishing Assistant
- Projects cannot be in direct competition with active UBS translation projects without an agreement with the Bible Society.
Approval Process for the Tiers 2 and 3
- Organizations and independent translators request membership through the Paratext website.
- They should provide as much information as they can, including:
- Official name of the organization to appear in the registry
- Project information and language code (if requesting for a specific language).
- The URL for the organization’s website or a document describing it.
- The email address of the person who will administer the registry entries for the organization.
- Agreement to abide by the by FOBAI Translation Standards.
- The Board of Governors will respond to the request within two weeks.
- A vetting process will begin that should not take more than two months if enough information is provided initially. The applicant will be informed of any issues along the way.
- If there are no objections, the board of governors will approve the addition of the organization or Independent translator to the Paratext registry.
- Projects registered by the organization will automatically be given access to the Translator Tier. If there are no objections of competition in the next 6-8 weeks, they will be elevated to the Publisher Tier.
Approval Process for Registered Projects
Newly registered projects have an internal review period of 4 weeks for the organization to check and, if necessary, amend any registrations. After the internal review, project registrations are reported to the project registration reviewers in Paratext member organizations. See the Project Registration Reviewer’s Guide for more information.
Revocation Process for Contested Projects
- The board of governors is contacted through the website about something inappropriate that is happening in a project (relative to license granted).
- After investigating, the board decides to
- Reject the complaint if there are no violations.
- Downgrade the project to a lower tier, in the case of competition.
- Revoke the project, in the event of an infringement of copyright or other violation of the global principles
- Revoke the user’s license, in the event of intentional or repeated violation of the global principles.