The copyright for the Book of Mormon was violated in the mid 1800s in the United
States. I found a copy of the Book of Mormon with an apologetic entry explaining
that it was OK for them to violate the copyright because the book wasn't
generally available (a lie of course). They also had an interesting intro and
description of the church and coming forth of the Book of Mormon. The book can
still be found in the Eisenhower Library on the Homewood Campus of the Johns
So who has the copyright on the Bible?
While some of the newer Translations NIV, NKJV, NASB, ESV, Message, all are
copyright protected, the KJV of the Bible is Public Domain in the US. Most put
their versions out for free public use such as on BibleGateway and others, you
would be in trouble if you published these translations and tried to sell them.
Curiously enough, a few years back another church wanted to update the KJV of
the bible to more modern language without changing the meaning and basically
replaced the pronouns thee, thy, thou with their modern counterparts. The courts
ruled that such substitutions weren't worthy of copyright protection. They ended
up making more drastic changes (and altering the meaning, counter to their
original intentions) in order to satisfy the transformational demands of
copyright law. The original versions of the Book of Mormon are long out of
copyright as are the KJV of the bible.