maybe some additional thought to the issue and I like to start with some sentences form „The Awakening of Compassion and Wisdom“ by Ven. Master Chin Kung (founder of Budaedu.or) about teaching and supplying Dhamma:
In order to teach other, we practice cultivation as well as encouraging others to do likewise. We do so to sincerely introduce Buddhism to other people. What is our driving force? Compassion. But if we do so for wealth or fame, then it is purely business and this is totally wrong for it totally violates the very spirit of Buddhism.
In fact, the circulation of the teachings, including sutras and reference works should be unconditional. Copyrighted material do not accord with the true spirit of Buddhism. Every time I am presented with a Buddhist book, I first check for the copyright page. If it says “This book is protected by copyright; any unauthorized printing of this book shall lead to punishment”, I will not read the book. If asked why I do not want to read it, my answer is that any true and good knowledge should benefit others unconditionally and that reprinting should be allowed. It would be a waste of time and energy to read copyrighted book. Only the writings of those who are broadminded and kind-hearted and who sincerely practice what they teach deserve to be read and studied. How can we expect a narrow-minded, profit-seeking to write good things and conclude them with the great perfection?...
Some would now say, yes that's the point (bearing in mind, the main task in Dhamma practice is to help)
I guess the real problem (like always when we do not find a good solution) is deeper. Our practice of Dhamma should generally have the intention to turn usual or common into the way of Dhamma and we need have some faith that our commons are not so pure that the way it should grow to.
So our general inspiration should be to turn in direction of the Dhamma and not to turn Dhamma into the direction of our commons.
There is an important borderline of orientation and that is the acting according to Vinaya and the a good common acting.
When we look at mikenz66 statements for example - "To me that would be the "best of both worlds" as long as it did not reduce the production of high-quality material. " - they are very according to the teachings of the Buddha to layman in regard of possession, and knowledge is also possession.
"Furthermore, the disciple of the noble ones — using the wealth earned through his efforts & enterprise, amassed through the strength of his arm, and piled up through the sweat of his brow, righteous wealth righteously gained — wards off from calamities coming from fire, flood, kings, thieves, or hateful heirs, and keeps himself safe. This is the third benefit that can be obtained from wealth.Adiya Sutta
So there is no problem, if somebody publishing Dhamma Books and makes a livelihood (The running/, working of/for non profit organizations is also a kind of livelihood) out of it.
But even here we have one important addition, which we should keep in mind and protect us from suffering:
"If it so happens that, when a disciple of the noble ones obtains these five benefits from wealth, his wealth goes to depletion, the thought occurs to him, 'Even though my wealth has gone to depletion, I have obtained the five benefits that can be obtained from wealth,' and he feels no remorse. If it so happens that, when a disciple of the noble ones obtains these five benefits from wealth, his wealth increases, the thought occurs to him, 'I have obtained the five benefits that can be obtained from wealth, and my wealth has increased,' and he feels no remorse. So he feels no remorse in either case."
Different is it in regard of somebody following the Vinaya as there is no more such thing like possession and no more exchange of it. There is no more "mine" and there is no more aspiration to put other intentions higher as virtue. Actually in the Vinaya there are a couple of rules in regard of teaching Dhamma: how, whom, in which conditions and so on.
They have proposes: To protect the reputation of Dhamma and Sangha, to make a teaching event not to something wasted, to protect the teacher himself, to transport the real meaning also in a surrounding which does not suggest that Dhamma is something hypocritical and theoretical.
One other thing is, that there is a reason why Dhamma was original an oral tradition, because it would be difficult to turn a line between producing (and with it additional harming) literature for entertainment or for Dhamma. So we would have the old taking for the sake of giving problem.
One more thing is, that in the common ways, the Dhamma easily degenerates to something that is written but nobody really lives according to it. It’s also very humanly that secrify our live for the welfare of others (help) rather than to actually practice it honestly. So there are manifold projects beside the practice project and countless organizations beside the Organisation Sangha.
I guess it was after the council of Rangoon, that Buddhist monks started to use new technologies to reproduce the Tipitaka. From a honest view on the Vinaya, it was not so good and I guess an act out of seeing the Dhamma and Vinaya fading away in Asia. But we do not need to adopt fearful reaction to commons but establish more trust into the teachings of the Buddha.
However the history was, we are here and we are able to change things more into direction of Dhamma and the most necessary condition to force the flourish of Dhamma is teaching the value and the meaning of Dana as well that supporting somebody walking a holy path is not made to get something back. That would be not easy if the teachings are not in balance with the idea of economy beside of direct exchange, somebody not doing very strict in regards of Dana, would not be able to teach it correctly or would give a suggestion that it is just something theoretical.
There is no such Dana for teaching relation inside the way of Dhamma Dana.
I guess it is good when we support people who take care of free given Dhamma as well it is good to support Bhikkhus in a way that they neither need to be involved in worldly business nor need to step over some rules.
It’s also needed to see that (like many things today) Dhamma translation and Dhamma distribution and teaching is in the Hand of people who often do not really live a holy life, so it’s natural that the own ways and kind of thinking penetrates the teachings with time. And Buddha Dhamma does really not need theoretical conservation to survive, those things decay much faster as we might think.
As long as there are people putting main effort into practice rather than to enjoy times in “how it could be” Dhamma and Vinaya will not be gone even if it is not public available on demand.
It might sound very naughty and in-compassionated, but if one likes to help a Bhikkhu or others, take them away their projects and jump into their old shoes. You can learn and do better while you give those in front of you more freedom to make an additional step.
Otherwise it will lose its dynamic very soon.
I guess this Dhamma Dana AṬṬHAKAVAGGA (Sutta Nipāta, 4)
shows well the cave of projects even if they are for a "higher" (?) propose:
II. GUHAṬṬHAKA SUTTA
II. EIGHT-VERSED DISCOURSE ON THE CAVE
1. Holding fast in a cave, much obscured,
A man stays plunged in confused stupidity.
He, being of such a type, is far from detachment.
Objects of desire in this world are indeed not easy to abandon.
2. Founded in desire, bound to the pleasures of existence,
People are released with difficulty and indeed cannot get release
Hoping for what is after or before,
Longing for these desirable objects or former ones,
3. Greedy, engrossed, confounded over objects of desire,
Miserly, they are entrenched in the way of inequality.
And brought to an uneasy end they lament,
“What will become of us when we have passed away from here?”
4. Therefore a person should train himself right here and now;
Whatever he would know in the world to be a way of inequality
Not because of that should he go along the unequal way.
The wise say this life is but a little thing indeed.
5. I see in the world this race of men
Thrashing about with craving for existences.
Inferior men cry out in the jaws of Death
With craving not gone for this or that existence.
6. See them thrashing in the midst of what they call “mine”
Like fishes in a dried-up stream with little water.
And having seen that, one should go the way of “not mine,”
Not working up attachment for existences.
7. Having dismissed preference for either extreme,
Having thoroughly understood stimulation, not greedy for
Not doing that which would lead to self-reproach,
A wise man is not stuck to by the seen or the heard.
8. Having truly understood perception he would cross over the flood.
A sage is not mired with possessions.
With the spike pulled out, going with mind unclouded,
He does not wish for this world or another.