Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

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Re: Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:09 am

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:Somebody is willing to pay for it, both in time and money. Who supports Ven Thanissaro? Without that support he could not do his okay translations and Access to Insight would be very thin, indeed.


Sure, but you're answering a question different from what Individual is asking you.

All the religious texts available for free online which he mentioned earlier did not just emerge without support either... yet there they are.

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Re: Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

Postby Individual » Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:12 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Individual wrote:Tiltbillings, I asked this question earlier in the thread but I'd like to ask it again: Do you think that a freely available Tipitaka or other Buddhist texts would be beneficial? Do you think it will ever happen?


It would be good, but who is going to pay for it?

Public domain translations don't cost money to distribute. Once the translation has been made, as I said earlier -- job done, send it out there, let people do what they want with it.

As for who could engage in a project to create a public domain Tipitaka -- I don't know. Lots of people could. Anybody here could contribute in their own way.
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Re: Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:15 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:Somebody is willing to pay for it, both in time and money. Who supports Ven Thanissaro? Without that support he could not do his okay translations and Access to Insight would be very thin, indeed.


Sure, but you're answering a question different from what Individual is asking you.


I answered his question, but in turn there is a further question that comes out of this that needs to be asked: Are you willing to pony up to support making these texts "free."

[/quote]
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:18 am

Individual wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Individual wrote:Tiltbillings, I asked this question earlier in the thread but I'd like to ask it again: Do you think that a freely available Tipitaka or other Buddhist texts would be beneficial? Do you think it will ever happen?


It would be good, but who is going to pay for it?

Public domain translations don't cost money to distribute. Once the translation has been made, as I said earlier -- job done, send it out there, let people do what they want with it.


Are you willing to support with time and money the individual(s) and institutions making the translations?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

Postby Individual » Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:20 am

What's confusing to me is that nobody seems to argue against the fact that a free translation would be more beneficial. But then, when somebody proposes that one be made, they claim it's not possible financially... Like Retro just said, this has been done with other religious texts, though they're smaller.

But certainly, the most incredible things are possible: If you believe the total alleviation of suffering, the elimination of war, poverty, disease, and so on, is possible... If it's possible to provide many different translations of Buddhist texts for sale and commentaries, and other stuff... Over several centuries, if hundreds of people work together, is it really IMPOSSIBLE for there to be a freely available Tipitaka? Why? You appeal to costs but I don't understand what those costs are, especially when, again, some of these translations have already been made and are already in the public domain. You basically suggest that you need to copyright translations to fund the creation of future copyright translations, to fund future copyrighted translations, to fund future copyrighted translations... But with all that overwork, if you made simply ONE really good free translation, that cycle of re-publishing and getting more and more funding would no longer be necessary. In fact, if there were several highly accurate public domain translations of all the Buddhist texts of the world right now, PTS and BPS would have no reason to exist (I'm not saying that's true now, though, since many obscure texts are still being translated and new manuscripts are discovered from time to time). The point is: Far ahead into the future, continuing the "traditional" model of publishing isn't helpful or sustainable. These organizations will find out when they find their work on Bittorrent or find volunteer groups and wikis crop up that provide translations which rival theirs in accuracy.
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Re: Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

Postby Individual » Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:21 am

tiltbillings wrote:Are you willing to support with time and money the individual(s) and institutions making the translations?

You've asked me this already.... And I answered: Sure, whatever I can do, but I'm not very reliable. What is it you want me to contribute? And are you willing to help?
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Re: Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:22 am

Individual wrote:What's confusing to me is that nobody seems to argue against the fact that a free translation would be more beneficial.


The problem is that translations are not free. Someone has to pay for them.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

Postby Individual » Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:24 am

Making something that's copyrighted become public domain has no cost, because it's a legal decree. Like you said, they don't do it because it would hurt the work of FUTURE work, not the present ones.

I don't want PTS or BPS to make all of their stuff public domain right now, because they probably do have some obscure manuscripts, like the new -- gandhari stuff is it? -- that they need to work on, and I'm sure they have debates about how accurate certain renderings are, and so on.

...But again, once the translation has been made, there's zero cost to release it to the public. It harms future profits, but why should that matter, once all the translations have been made, and if they're darn good?
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Re: Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

Postby Individual » Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:25 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Individual wrote:What's confusing to me is that nobody seems to argue against the fact that a free translation would be more beneficial.


The problem is that translations are not free. Someone has to pay for them.

To produce them, yes. But not to own or alter the rights to them. I'm not suggesting anybody be forced to produce a free translation, but that, as time goes on, what translations they DO make become widely distributed when they enter the public domain.
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Re: Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:34 am

Individual wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Are you willing to support with time and money the individual(s) and institutions making the translations?

You've asked me this already.... And I answered: Sure, whatever I can do, but I'm not very reliable. What is it you want me to contribute? And are you willing to help?


At the very least you can do is acknowledge that Wisdom Books, BPS and PTS, each in there own way, are maing the Dhamma more readily accessible and that there is a significant monetary cost in doing so. You give what you can. I have donated significant amount of money to both BPS & PTS over the years, and I have purchased their books, which is also a way of supporting their efforts.

...But again, once the translation has been made, there's zero cost to release it to the public. It harms future profits, but why should that matter, once all the translations have been made, and if they're darn good?


What it hurts, particularly with the PTS, are further projects. What won't get translated or critically edited because the funds are not available? If you want their stuff to immediately become free upon completion, then you should also be willing to significantly financially support these outfits and the translators so that they can do further projects. Rather than buying a dime bag, give the money to BPS.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

Postby Individual » Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:42 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Individual wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Are you willing to support with time and money the individual(s) and institutions making the translations?

You've asked me this already.... And I answered: Sure, whatever I can do, but I'm not very reliable. What is it you want me to contribute? And are you willing to help?


At the very least you can do is acknowledge that Wisdom Books, BPS and PTS, each in there own way, are maing the Dhamma more readily accessible

I hope so. I think that Wisdom Pubs releases to Accesstoinsight were great and the same goes for BPS soon-to-be-released Vissudhimagga. As for the PTS, I don't get it. They have lots of old public domain translations just laying around and nobody's distributing them, which makes no sense. Once a translation is that old, the claim that releasing it would be "bad for business" doesn't seem to sit well with me.

tiltbillings wrote:
...But again, once the translation has been made, there's zero cost to release it to the public. It harms future profits, but why should that matter, once all the translations have been made, and if they're darn good?


What it hurts, particularly with the PTS, are further projects. What won't get translated or critically edited because the funds are not available? If you want their stuff to immediately become free upon completion, then you should also be willing to significantly financially support these outfits and the translators so that they can do further projects. Rather than buying a dime bag, give the money to BPS.

But like I said, how long will this go on? Further projects to support further projects? Will they NEVER distribute any public domain work, ever? Is there really an infinite amount of translating that needs to be done, that requires an eternally repeating cycle of re-publishing to fund? No. So, the question is: When will PTS be a bit more like Wisdom Publications or BPS, and actually distribute some public domain stuff?

Oh, they did release the Pali Dictionary, though, didn't they? Well, they didn't publish it, but somebody else did. I wonder how they felt when it first appeared... "Oh no!! Now we can't sell Pali dictionaries anymore!!!"

Also, I don't want it to be released for free upon completion, but simply a reasonable amount of time after the work has already been done.. If the translators are dead, it seems reasonable enough to distribute it.
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Re: Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:48 am

Individual wrote: As for the PTS, I don't get it. They have lots of old public domain translations just laying around and nobody's distributing them, which makes no sense. Once a translation is that old, the claim that releasing it would be "bad for business" doesn't seem to sit well with me.


Why don't you write them and ask them.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

Postby Individual » Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:48 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Individual wrote: As for the PTS, I don't get it. They have lots of old public domain translations just laying around and nobody's distributing them, which makes no sense. Once a translation is that old, the claim that releasing it would be "bad for business" doesn't seem to sit well with me.


Why don't you write them and ask them.

Good idea!
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Re: Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:57 am

Individual wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Individual wrote: As for the PTS, I don't get it. They have lots of old public domain translations just laying around and nobody's distributing them, which makes no sense. Once a translation is that old, the claim that releasing it would be "bad for business" doesn't seem to sit well with me.


Why don't you write them and ask them.

Good idea!


Also, ask them, very diplomatically of course, what would be the cost of doing so, and ask how you can help.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:59 am

Prof R.M.L. Gethin is the president of the PTS. He is an excellent scholar and a Buddhist. I'd love to hear what he would have to say.

http://www.palitext.com/
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

Postby Nibbida » Tue Dec 21, 2010 7:08 pm

Nyanatusita wrote:Hello,

Jack kindly informed me about this thread. I have been a member of this forum from the start, but because of many other duties with respect to the Buddhist Publication Society (BPS), of which I am the English editor, etc, I have little time and had not noticed this thread.

As regards the question why the Path of Purification is not put online for free: It will be put online as a PDF for free on the BPS website and the Access to Insight website. Hopefully somewhere next year when the newly typeset and slightly revised printed edition will be put out.
Those who quickly scan in books and put them online as PDFs such as the Russian who scanned in the latest edition of the Path of Purification (1991) and put it online without having asked for permission to the BPS (Manapa gives the link) don't realize the huge amount of work it is to proofread, format and typeset a book, especially a large and complicated book like the Path of Purification with its many headings and styles, etc. They also don't realize the cost of printing and distributing the book and the cost of maintaining an non profit publishing organization such as the BPS.

The Path of Purification printed in by the Corporate Foundation of the Buddha in Taiwan, to which one of the posts in this forum refers, is a photocopy edition done without the permission of the BPS. The Corporate Foundation of the Buddha is careless with respects copyrights and has photocopy-reprinted several BPS books such as the Great Discourse of Causation by Ven. Bodhi without seeking permission to the BPS.
The BPS is generally lenient in giving permission to reprint its books and regularly gives permission to organizations in Malaysia and Singapore to reprint books for free distribution. The BPS is also making all of its Wheel Publications and some other books available online on its website (http://www.bps.lk/onlinelibrary.asp), a project which I have been organizing and which takes a lot of work. Many BPS books are also viewable on Google Books. The problem with putting larger books online is that it takes a lot of work and funds to produce them and there is the concern that organizations such as the Corporate Foundation will use the online digital files to reproduce the books without asking permission and that the BPS and its distributors in the US and Europe end up with stocks of books which can not be sold because everybody has already got the free books from our Mahayana friends in Taiwan. Another problem with making books available online for free is that everybody starts to copy it to their own websites with little effort, and sometimes without properly acknowledging the source website.
I hope to find some kind of middle way between making Dhamma books available online for free and on the other hand keeping the BPS going as an organization dedicated to publishing Dhamma books.

Regards,
Bhikkhu Nyanatusita
Editor
BPS



Has anyone heard of any progress concerning the PDF version of the Visuddhimagga? Just curious. Thank you.

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Re: Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

Postby James the Giant » Sun Jan 01, 2012 6:43 pm

The Visuddhimagga is now officially free and legal to download, as of a few months ago.
BPS and ATI have worked together to put out a nice PDF here
and Bhikkhu Yuttadhammo in Sri Lanka has organised it to be converted into various formats, epub, mobi, and html here.
Great news!
In the foreword of the electronic edition it says:
Publisher’s Note: The BPS thanks all those who assisted with making this book
available in a digital as well as printed edition. This book is the result of the
work of Mr John Bullitt of Access to Insight who initiated this digital edition,
the several volunteers who helped him to convert the previous edition of this
book to digital text, the other volunteers who helped the BPS with proofread-
ing, Bhikkhu Nyanatusita, the BPS editor, who helped with and coordinated the
proofreading, formatting, and typesetting, corrected the Pali, etc., and the work
of the BPS typesetters Bhikkhu Sacramento Upatissa and Mr Nalin Ariyaratna
who skilfully typeset the text.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
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Re: Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

Postby ancientbuddhism » Sun Jan 01, 2012 7:56 pm

Unfortunately the BPS/ATI .pdf copy is still not bookmarked and linked throughout the text.

This one is:

The Path of Purifidation (Visuddhimagga)
Katamo ca bhikkhave asaṅkhatagāmī maggo: samatho ca vipassanā ca. Ayaṃ vuccati bhikkhave asaṅkhatagāmī maggo.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Calm and insight. This, bhikkhus, is called the path leading to the unconditioned.” SN. 43.2 – Samathavipassanāsuttaṃ

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Re: Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:33 pm

I ran into a problem when searching Pāli words in the PDF. Words that were obviously there were not found if they included Pāli diacrtics. I discovered that this is because the font used is: BPS Times Font, which uses ANSI encoding and not Unicode.

To find Koraṇḍaka, for example,you have to search for Koraóðaka.

See my LibreOffice Review page for a macro to convert Unicode text to BPS encoded text.
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