I have some thoughts (believe it or not) on this matter.
#1. There are costs to producing things. Printing Bibles costs money. Translating the Bible costs money, because someone (many someones) are spending a lot of their time working on it. The same thing is true with Bible commentaries--having written commentaries on a couple NT books, I can tell you that they are extremely time-consuming.
#2. Regarding commentaries, they are not God's word. They are basically preaching on paper (or teaching on paper). It takes more work to write a commentary than it does to write a sermon (I do both, so I know). Yet, I'd be willing to guess that most of the people who cry out that these commentaries should all be free would at least hesitate to say the preacher shouldn't be paid for his preaching. Didn't God inspire the phrase "the workman is worthy of his hire"?
#3. I think the extent of the copyright laws in the US are ignorant, but that doesn't mean I can disregard them. I also think the 25 mph speed limit in front of the church building here is ignorant, but that doesn't mean I can violate because I think it's ridiculous. We obey the laws of the land because God says to.
#4. There are VERY VERY VERY few Bible translations that you can't get a free, legal copy of somewhere. All the big ones are free online (KJV, NKJV, ASV, NASB, NIV, NLT, ESV, etc...). Most of the lesser-known ones are also free online--AND in e-Sword format (MLV, SENT, etc...). Most Translations (especially the big ones) can be had for free in print if you contact Bible societies or call some of your local churches.
People complain frequently about "they're charging money for this Bible. God's word should be free!" That sounds good to those who don't bother to think.
So what you're saying is that people should starve and not be able to pay any bills while translating the Bible, and that companies should actually be in business to lose money by publishing books and then not be able to recoup the costs. And you're also saying that you're not happy enough with the fact that it is free to read online (BibleGateway.com has most of them), and that a print copy of almost all translations can be had for free if you ask the right people. You demand that it has to also be free in e-Sword. Demand that people put in the work and then demand that they don't get paid for it. If your employer came to you offering that deal, would YOU take it?
Edited by Bradley S. Cobb, 14 July 2013 - 07:10 PM.