Sefaria and Urim Publications Strike Agreement

Urim Publications has agreed to release one of their books from copyright restrictions via the Creative Commons CC0 license (making it free for use and reuse in any way). Urim has released Mikraot Gedolot Hachut Hameshulash by Eliyahu Munk under the CC0 license, and the content is already being added to the Sefaria website. The book contains English translations of major Torah commentaries written by four medieval rabbis: SefornoRashbam, Radak, and Rabeinu Chananel, all expertly rendered by Eliyahu Munk.

The Sefaria team has been in touch with several intellectual property experts and as far as any of them know, this is the first time a copyright owner has released a book from restrictive use in exchange for payment from a third party.

Sefaria is building a free, living library of Jewish texts and their interconnections. Their scope is Torah in the broadest sense, from Tanakh to Talmud to Zohar to modern texts and all the volumes of commentary in between. They are inspired by the biblical affirmation (Deuteronomy 33:4) that the Torah is the rightful inheritance of the entire Jewish people.

As part of this commitment they provide texts in both Hebrew and translation (English, for now). They have imported public domain translations, and allowed users to create crowd-sourced translations, but that’s not the only avenue they have been pursuing. They are also actively working with authors and publishers to release texts from copyright restrictions, making them free for use and reuse via Sefaria.

Sefaria’s goal is to digitize texts in a machine-readable way, to create open source, flexible, technology, and ensure that everything produced through the generosity of their donors belongs to the public and can be freely used and re-used.

More information can be found on The Sefaria Blog.

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