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Just ask permission.

Yes, it is usually possible to ask for permission to use any copyrighted resource from the owner. However, here's why such an expectation is severely limiting in practice:

  1. The owner may not be contactable because they:
    • Don't respond
    • Take too long to respond
    • Changed address
    • Didn't publish contact information
    • Don't speak your language
    • Have died
  2. The owner may not grant your request because they:
    • Have too many requests
    • Have lost interest in the resource
    • Aren't convinced of your use case
    • Want more payment than you're able to give
    • Apply too many restrictions to your use
    • Only accept organizations (if you're an individual)

As you can see, there are many possible barriers to simply "asking permission", and these barriers are all possible for any resource you require.

Now apply that to situations where you need to not just ask permission from one copyright owner but multiple. Bibles are an excellent example of this. There are thousands of Bible translations in the world, however a majority of them are under restrictive copyright. If you want to make a resource, such as a Bible app, that has as many languages and translations as possible, you will need to literally form thousands of legal agreements with hundreds of organizations. And each organization has a chance of either being uncontactable or simply not granting your request because of the reasons above. So it would take many years and intensive labour just to form such agreements.

Which is why there is only one Bible app available that has most of the world's Bible translations in it, and few other options.