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Copyright - Dhamma Wheel

Copyright

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Cittasanto
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Copyright

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:34 pm

Hi,
what if someone scanned and distributed freely the published work of a non-profit publishing company, without asking permission to reproduce this work.
lets say it is the Visudhimagga and the Buddhist Publication Societys edition.
would this be legal?
would this reproduction be stealing?
and as such be breaking the 2nd precept found in Theravada Buddhism?
or would this be providing the gift of Dhamma freely? dhamma has several meanings from truth to teachings but both of these can be used here, and thinking of the Dhammapada verse the gift of Dhamma excels all gifts.

I have asked this on yahoo! answers so it is a straight cut and paste. as some may remember a while ago I did share a link to the Visudhimagga from a russian site as I thought (mistakenly) that this was a legal reproduction, but what is everyones thoughts on this? is it legal or is it illegal and breaking the 2nd precept?
is it appropriate for such work to have a copyright? and what does the Vinaya say on this issue or does the vinaya have an equivelent?


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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David N. Snyder
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Re: Copyright

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:50 pm

If it is a straight copy and paste of a copyrighted material, it would definitely violate the copyright. If it is a scan and distribution of copyrighted material without permission, it would also violate the copyright. But if it is from a non-profit company that freely gives permission for scanning and copying, then no violation.

For Dhamma materials, it is best to spread and offer the Dhamma to all. But we also need to abide by current laws. Since this is the 21st century where the internet rules, my personal view is that people need to lighten-up more and allow copying and distribution of their materials that they have online. If they don't want that, then they should not put it online in the first place. It is sort of like running across a football field nude and then complaining when the news broadcasts it on the television for the whole world to see.

But scanning a book that is not online right now, would probably be crossing that line, since it is not made readily accessible by choice of the author and / or publisher.
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Cittasanto
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Re: Copyright

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:07 am

the Visudhimagga isn't available online (with permission) it is a scanned document turned into a pdf then hosted online.
although I believe they are making it available next year at some point, but it is at present not available via them online only copies of the book.

Personally I feel it is ok to distribute stuff freely online so long as propper permission is obtained, if it isn't available via the author or publisher for free distribution then there is a problem.

but I came accross (from the same source) a link to a PTS Abhidhamma book which had been scanned and made into a pdf so asked PTS about it and they said it was illegal (another link was dubious).


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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BlackBird
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Re: Copyright

Postby BlackBird » Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:29 am

"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." -

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Cittasanto
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Re: Copyright

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:39 am

Cheers Jack :twothumbsup:


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

BudSas
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Re: Copyright

Postby BudSas » Tue Dec 01, 2009 1:05 am

The late Ven Abhinyana, an Australian monk, had the following declaration at his website:

"Since all the words we use come to us from other people, there is no copyright on any of my books. If anyone wishes to reprint anything from them, or even all, they may do so without permission; all I ask is that they do not copy wrong!"

see:

BDS

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Cittasanto
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Re: Copyright

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:04 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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poto
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Re: Copyright

Postby poto » Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:47 pm

Personally, I think it would be nice if Buddhist texts were released under some sort of General Public License.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GPL

That would probably help ease concerns that works might be significantly modified, while still allowing them to be distributed freely.

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Chula
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Re: Copyright

Postby Chula » Tue Dec 01, 2009 5:09 pm


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Cittasanto
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Re: Copyright

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Dec 01, 2009 7:52 pm

Hi Chula,
have a look at the BPS website!
but do you are anyone have any answers to the op questions?


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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mikenz66
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Re: Copyright

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Dec 01, 2009 8:00 pm

Greetings Chula,

We went through some of these issues on the other thread that was mentioned above:
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2306&start=40#p32363

Remember that PTS and BPS are non-profit organisations that have been producing high-quality translations for over a century and half-century respectively, through many generations of printing and distribution technology. (I'm not sure how long Wisdom have been going but they are also non-profit and the recent Nanamoli/Bodhi and Bodhi translations seem to be joint Wisdom/PTS efforts). These publishers are obviously aware of modern developments of wide-spread internet access in the last decade or so, and their support model will presumably evolve (BPS has stated that they will make the Visuddhimagga available on the Internet next year - see the link above).

As I said on the other thread, if I were a trustee of one of these organisation I would want to ensure the continuation of the translation projects. PTS has almost all of the Vinaya, Nikayas and Abhidhamma available in English, () but translations of the Commentaries are sporadic () and I presume that PTS wants to finish that off over next few decades.

Meanwhile, if you can not afford the translations of the Nikayas from Wisdom/PTS, there is plenty available for free at http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/index.html and http://awake.kiev.ua/dhamma/tipitaka/

Metta
Mike

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Chula
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Re: Copyright

Postby Chula » Tue Dec 01, 2009 8:43 pm


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mikenz66
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Re: Copyright

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:00 pm


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Ben
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Re: Copyright

Postby Ben » Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:06 pm

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

Zen
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Re: Copyright

Postby Zen » Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:28 am

Any breach of copyright is illegal and is stealing. That's why we have copyright laws. These days everyone seems to make a lot of poor excuses about it, like if you don't want it stolen don't put it on the net, or it's not really hurting anyone, or it should be free... But the fact remains that taking and using anything that is not freely given is stealing.

I also think it is appropriate to have a copyright on the translated version of a text, because someone has taken the time and effort to translate the text therefore the translation is thier intellectual property. It doens't matter if the copyright holder intends to make a profit or distribute the work freely, they are entitled to control how that text is used.

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Cittasanto
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Re: Copyright

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:50 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

BudSas
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Re: Copyright

Postby BudSas » Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:07 am


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Cittasanto
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Re: Copyright

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:50 pm

some do, but is this feasable accross the board?

the ones that springs to mind is dhammafarer/piya tan http://sites.google.com/site/dharmafarer2/, and there are people who sell their books but teach all over the world via donations, a couple are christopher titmuss http://www.christophertitmuss.org/ & Michael Kewley http://www.puredhamma.org/index.php


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

Mawkish1983
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Location: Essex, UK

Re: Copyright

Postby Mawkish1983 » Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:42 pm


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mikenz66
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Re: Copyright

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:22 pm



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