mikenz66 wrote: Of course. That's exactly what is happening with sites like Access to Insight, and so on. Can it bring in enough money to finance an operation like PTS, BPS, or Wisdom? I don't know, I don't know their financial models.
In my opinion the "shareware" at Access to Insight, etc, is not yet as consistent and complete as the volumes from the traditional publishers. As Ben says, there are lots of costs involved in organising quality publishing.
BudSas wrote:What is their financial model?
BudSas wrote:How's about Ven Chin-kung's Buddha Educational Foundation in Taiwan ( http://www.budaedu.org/en/introduce/ )? In the past 25 years, they have been printing a large numbers of Dhamma books in many languages for free distribution worldwide, with good quality printing. What is their financial model?
BudSas wrote:Although there have been concerns/complaints on their violation of copyright, I sincerely admire their dedicated Dhamma work; and I for one, have been on the receiving end, benefitting many free good Dhamma books from them.
BudSas wrote:There are also other smaller groups (susch as in Malaysia, Singapore) which print and distribute free copies of Dhamma books, and rely on generous donations from Buddhist readers.
mikenz66 wrote:Having said that, I'd really like a proper searchable PDF (not a scan) of those books to aid searching...
mikenz66 wrote:Hi Chula,Chula wrote:Thanks for your post. This doesn't have anything to do with affordability - it's really a matter of principle. I also am aware of the great work that BPS and PTS have been doing all these years. It's just that if they don't adapt their models to the times quickly it will seem like they're withholding the Dhamma for no good reason.
Given the vast amount of "free" stuff out there I don't see why anyone should talk about non-profit publishers "withholding Dhamma". It's not trivial and certainly not zero cost to produce and host high-quality electronic copy. And it's not trivial to change your business model and make sure you can keep running the projects that you've got planned.
I've put "free" in quotes above, because, really, it's not free. Someone has paid, in time and/or cash, for all of the "free" Dhamma that I (or you) have ever received. It's been like that since (and including) the time of the Buddha. I don't actually see much difference in principle between spending a few dollars to buy high-quality translations and giving support in the form of time, money, and food to my teachers.
Chula wrote:Now, in the modern world, one of the main ways most of us "hear" the teachings is through reading the texts. Taking the same principle of dāna into account and considering the very low cost (ok, not costless - but I'm sure donations can handle this) of hosting a publication online, it would be the right thing to do for a Buddhist non-profit to make all their texts available online for free - for the benefit of all mankind.
Manapa wrote:would this reproduction be stealing?
and as such be breaking the 2nd precept found in Theravada Buddhism?
Ben wrote:Its a mistake to assume that the only cost of publication is the printing. Having worked for one book publisher, the cost of printing as a total of all production costs was less than 10 percent.
Personally, i think its very important to support publishers of Dhamma Books by buying their publications when possible. By purchasing Dhamma Books one is indirectly funding important translation projects that will not only benefit us right now, but many others well into the futue.
And if one can't afford to purchase this or that Dhamma Book and it is not available online, then one can borrow (even if via inter-library loan) via the public library.
— a bhikkhu in the same waykings arresting the criminal would
flog, imprison, or banish him, saying, "You are a robber, you are a
fool, you are benighted, you are a thief"
mikenz66 wrote:I really don't see the problem, and I feel that these legalistic discussions about precepts completely miss the point. These precepts are just a very minimal level of sila, and it seems clear to me that we should aim to exceed them (e.g. not just not kill, but also mimize harm to other beings).
Chula wrote:Exceeding the precept by minimizing harm to other beings might be taken as a call to vegetarianism for example. While it is commendable (I am one myself), it's clear from the multiple examples of eating meat in the suttas that the Buddha wasn't trying to "exceed" the precepts. An person who has done the training just has unshakeable sīla - not a broad application of it in a social context.
Chula wrote:That's why I think it's important to clarify what constitutes the precepts.
mikenz66 wrote:The precepts are voluntary. If you try to keep them you'll feel better and so you'll progress better. If you are doing something that you think might violate a precept ask yourself if you really need to do it, or whether you'd feel better if you didn't.