Distribution E-mail for Christian Bookstores

edited November -1 in General Discussion

Here's the text of an e-mail that you can send off to Christian bookstores in your country.

Subject: Distribution of software: openlp.org


My name is <name>, and I'm the <country> representative of an open source
software project called openlp.org.

I'd like to introduce you to my project, because we are approaching our
version 1.0 release and I would like to give you the opportunity to
distribute it.

Due to openlp.org being an open source application, we have had a number of
preliminary releases which are already being used around the world. I have
had contact with people in countries such as the USA, Canada and the UK.
Further afield, there are users in countries such as Spain, Holland, Brazil,
Japan, Australia and South Africa.

openlp.org is a lyrics projection application that is written specifically
with Churches in mind. It gives Churches the ability to display the lyrics of
their songs using a data projector and a computer, with a control panel on
their computer screen to control what is being displayed by the data

Not only does openlp.org display the lyrics to songs, it also has the ability
to display Bible verses, videos and images. It can integrate with Microsoft
PowerPoint and control the display of PowerPoint presentations as well.

On top of these features, the user can create their own custom slides for
projection, and show a timed alert at the bottom of the screen for those
urgent announcements, like "Car with registration 'XBC 923 GP' has left their
lights on."

Despite all these features, openlp.org doesn't need a powerful computer, or
the latest and greatest software either. In fact, it will work fine on
computers that are up to 5 years old.

openlp.org is an open source application. This means that it is open to
everyone. The source code (programming instructions) is open and free for
anyone to look at and modify. By extension, this means that the software
itself is also free. Not only is it free to download and use, but the user is
also free to make copies of it and give those copies to others.

From a business perspective, while it is prohibited to sell the software
itself, the business is allowed to charge enough to cover the costs of the
media the software is on, the packaging the software is contained in, and the
distribution costs of distributing the software. This means that a business
that distributes open source software does not have to foot the bill, but can
charge users of the software, thereby covering their costs.

Myself and the other members of my team spend our free time and our personal
money investing in this project. We get nothing out of it, and most of the
time put more in than we ever will get out.

I tell you this because I want to illustrate to you that our main aim with
this software is to benefit the Church, and not ourselves. This is the reason
I have approached you. In order to benefit as many churches as possible, we
have identified that using a distribution channel such as yourselves would be

We know that there are many Churches using software that is expensive, and
most Churches can't afford to buy this expensive projection software. We
think that the money they spend on that software could be better used
elsewhere. Therefore we would like to be able to reach out to those Churches
and let them know that there's a cheaper option, one that allows them to be
good stewards of their money.

As I mentioned, we have a team at openlp.org, consisting of developers,
administrators and technical support staff. This means that you don't have to
worry about supporting our software, we have the infrastructure in place

Should you wish to find out more about the project, please feel free to visit
our website at http://www.openlp.org/.

If you are interested in assisting our cause, please reply to this e-mail so
that we can discuss where to go from here. However, should you not be
interested in our request, we would appreciate just being able to put
promotional leaflets in all your stores.

Looking forward to your reply,


Discuss within this topic with others to determine who should be the "country representative" since we don't want a single Christian bookstore company to receive 3 of these e-mails.


  • edited January 2008

    Just a small note, from my understanding the GPL does not prohibit the sale of the software as stated in the letter. The GPL states:

    "You may charge a fee for the physical act of transferring a copy"

    This "fee" is not restricted to covering costs of media etc.

    See http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/selling.html

    (I accept that openlp.org may not want people to sell it for profit, but I don't think there is anything stopping them from doing so under the current license)

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