Copyrighted Dharma books

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Re: Copyrighted Dharma books

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:14 pm

Sara H wrote: there's more than one way to do things, and being able to offer the Dharma for free, is an achievable goal.
I agree totally.
Some of the models you mention work for some situations and not for other situations. I pretty much know what people are willing to 'offer' to pay for artwork, and that is usually what I charge. Unfortunately it is much less that what I can 'donate' to the grocery store, the veterinarian, the utility company, and so on. Most symphonies in the United States cannot survive on patron support alone. Perhaps some people in your sangha would be able to write down the method for accomplishing what you have described. A sort of how-to guide. I remember the shasta abbey ads in magazines. I believe they have a very large support base. Not all Buddhist groups are in the same situation as OBC.

By the way, at the bottom of the OBC website:
© 2012 Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

There are many ways to do things, as you say.
I have put together a different type of fund raising for that group I mentioned, begun last year, which does rely purely on generosity, a little bit each day, from a large number of people, and that will bring in much more than selling things did. And in fact, they got a big single donation too, as a result of it.

But this doesn't have much to do with copyrighting Dharma literature. As far as copyright goes, whether related to finances or not, it is still important for maintaining the integrity of the work. It is designed to protect works from being misused, or used in a way that presents the creator as having said something they didn't, as I alluded to before. There is plenty of stuff in Buddhist teachings that can be, and has been taken out of context for the purpose of denouncing the Dharma. Nobody is required to copyright their work, but we should respect those who do.


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Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Copyrighted Dharma books

Postby Sara H » Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:50 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Sara H wrote: there's more than one way to do things, and being able to offer the Dharma for free, is an achievable goal.
I agree totally.
Some of the models you mention work for some situations and not for other situations. I pretty much know what people are willing to 'offer' to pay for artwork, and that is usually what I charge. Unfortunately it is much less that what I can 'donate' to the grocery store, the veterinarian, the utility company, and so on. Most symphonies in the United States cannot survive on patron support alone.

You're misunderstanding.

I'm not promoting communism here. What I'm talking about applies only to the Dharma, and to media content creators.

I'm not extending that to anything else.

Not everything can or should be run this way, and I'm not advocating that it should be.

What I am saying, is that the Dharma, can be offered for free, and, that media content creators can make money using alternative methods. Though perhaps not the millions that people were once used to.

Symphonies in some countries are supported by tax dollars.

Canada has an arts and film board that is supported by taxes.

The arts, have traditionally never been a way to make lots of money, unless people were extraordinarily talented or well-connected.

That's the way it's always been. Not everything can make tons of money as a career.

Regarding other Buddhist organizations, if you read back to what I said, I said that offering the Dharma for free is an achievable goal that can be worked toward.

The OBC started out small at one point too. They used to charge for their books as well. The monks even had part-time jobs.

It's something that can gradually be built up toward, over time.

There are many small priories and temples in the OBC, that are not Shasta Abbey or a big monastery. Some of them only have one or two monks, but they still offer the Dharma for free.

It can be done. And it's worth working toward that as a goal.

-Sara
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Copyrighted Dharma books

Postby Sara H » Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:13 pm

I was just remembering that at Shasta Abbey, they used to have bake sales.
They had this really great baker at one time, and the town of Shasta still talks about the cakes.
They also have a huge yard-sale every year where laity and people bring in and donate items to be sold to help support the temple.
They re-use margarine containers for tupperware, buy their food in bulk and at commercial-grade prices, and cook it themselves.
Make their own yogurt, eat a relatively simple, and inexpensive, though healthy diet, like lots of brown rice, pasta, homemade gluten protien, baked tofu, beans, soup, greens, etc.

They garden extensively, and pickle their leftover veggies,

They have time limits on the showers for the monks, are conservative with heat, or use wood stoves when possible, etc.

At Shasta specifically, (and I think also Throssel) they have their own wood shop, and monks assigned to make repairs or do maintenance.

There's a lot of ways to bring in or be very frugal with money.

And of course, as soon as you pay off your mortgage and property completely, you save a ton of money every year.

I actually learned a lot about how to be frugal in a practical way from them when I lived in Shasta.

-Sara
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Copyrighted Dharma books

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:08 am

Sara H wrote:It can be done. And it's worth working toward that as a goal.-Sara

Yep.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Copyrighted Dharma books

Postby randomseb » Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:16 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
randomseb wrote:I wonder if Marpa the Translator charged Milarepa, and his other disciples, for access to the dharma texts and teachings he went and acquired in India and translated into Tibetan!

As I recall, Milarepa had to pay a lot in order to get the teachings. By today's standards, paying a few dollars for a paperback book is much easier than building a 9 storey tower.
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They made an offering to the teacher in order to be their students, this is true. I am not sure this can be considered payment though, more lime a donation, as the teacher doesn't seem to be bound to give said teachings. But this is not the same as paying royalties to a copyright holder for translation of texts, because this teacher essentially gives room and board to the students, and so needs the offering funds to pay for all this!

As for Milarepa's having to work building towers then having to tear them down and start over a few times was not a payment, it was meaningless manual labor to make up for the terrible crimes he had perpetrated, a kind of hell on earth experience type of thing, or if you want, a way to burn off all that negative karma

As for their having to copy the texts themselves, this may be so, but that is beside the point here, which was that this paying copyright for translations of spiritual texts is not very nice... If you were to manually copy a translated text of that nature these days, you'll still get docked with right usage fees and get sued and so on. (In response to the two unquoted replies right under my post in this thread)

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Re: Copyrighted Dharma books

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:04 pm

randomseb wrote:
As for Milarepa's having to work building towers then having to tear them down and start over a few times was not a payment
Yes, I know. l meant was, for Milarepa, getting the teachings didn't come easy, and compared to buying a paperback book, you could say he really had to pay a lot. I sort of meant it figuratively.

randomseb wrote: paying copyright for translations of spiritual texts is not very nice.

Is it also not very nice to pay for the paper and ink? Or to pay someone to transport the books which should be free, from one location to another, or to pay for any electricity used when reading the texts under a light bulb? Everything arises interconnectedly. Getting the words out of Buddha's mouth and into your eyes and ears takes a lot of time and work in the human realm. On what basis can one isolate a step in the interconnected process and decide that it is unfair?
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Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Copyrighted Dharma books

Postby randomseb » Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:26 pm

And these are supposed to be shared and taught, not hoarded and marketed as business enterprises.. This is buddhism :twothumbsup:

If I have my ink, my paper, my time, and a copy of joe capitalist's western new age slanted translation of ancient buddhist text's book I borrowed from a friend or library, and copy myself a copy by hand, at 0 cost to the author (who already got the $ for the original purchase of that book), my hand written copy is now considered a breach of copyright laws and I would owe him the cost for this and however many copies of my copies I zeroxed and distributed.

This is not right, this system is build around greed and capital gain, not sharing the dharma for the benefit of all beings, to help liberate all beings. This is a key tenant of mayahana, no?
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Re: Copyrighted Dharma books

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:07 pm

randomseb wrote: If I have my ink, my paper, my time, and a copy of joe capitalist's western new age slanted translation of ancient buddhist text's book I borrowed from a friend or library, and copy myself a copy by hand, at 0 cost to the author (who already got the $ for the original purchase of that book), my hand written copy is now considered a breach of copyright laws and I would owe him the cost for this and however many copies of my copies I zeroxed and distributed.


You condemn "Joe capitalist" but in fact you are saying that a worker should not have ownership of what he or she creates. That is the essence of capitalism, is it not?

If I create a work, a translation, I sell only the rights to reproduce that translation to a publisher.
But I still own the fruits of my labor, translation itself.
The publisher doesn't own it, unless he purchases it from me outright.

When our licensing agreement is fulfilled and our contract is finished,
I can sell my translation to another publisher, or give it to you, or burn it.
And if we are a group of ten translators, then we produce and own that translation collectively.
This is Collectivism, is it not?

You are saying that, If by my labor I translate a Buddhist text, then I should not have the right to establish the terms on which that translation is sold. Once my labor is done, whatever I have produced no longer belongs to me, but belongs to everybody.

This isn't getting rid of the evils of capitalism.
This is merely dividing the evils of capitalism equally among the people!

I am ripping you off by charging you money for it,
but you are not ripping me off by appropriating it from me without my consent?
Interesting logic.

If the Bourgeoisie steals the products of labor from the proletariat, it is wrong, because doing so only benefits the capitalist.
Yet, if you take what the laborer produces, without compensation, it is right because it is done on behalf of the masses.
Interesting logic.
There is some merit to that, becausae of good intentions,
but it doesn't feed the worker who produces the product of his or her labor.

The argument against copyright and royalties is essentially
that If I take a book from a store without paying for it, that is theft.
But if I take the contents of a book without paying for it, this is not theft.
Why?
because the book is a material thing
and the contents are not.
How does this square with the buddhist understanding of the true nature of phenomena?

Very interesting logic.
Please explain.
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.
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Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Copyrighted Dharma books

Postby randomseb » Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:52 pm

I am sorry, I was under the impression this discussion on ownership of intellectual property was being conducted from the prospective of buddhism and merit building by offerings of gifts and sharing, not of grasping and attachments to things and illusional self-building with "Mine! Mine! Mine!" concepts.. My apologies, I will stay out of it

:twothumbsup:
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Re: Copyrighted Dharma books

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:57 pm

randomseb wrote:I am sorry, I was under the impression this discussion on ownership of intellectual property was being conducted from the prospective of buddhism and merit building by offerings of gifts and sharing, not of grasping and attachments to things and illusional self-building with "Mine! Mine! Mine!" concepts.. My apologies, I will stay out of it


Ummm... you are the one who brought "Joe capitalist" into it. You said:
This is not right, this system is build around greed and capital gain, not sharing the dharma for the benefit of all beings, to help liberate all beings. This is a key tenant of mayahana, no?

So, I tried to make my reply appropriate to your concerns.
The commercial book publisher is not concerned with Mahayana values.
If a translator wants to be comepnsated for his or her work, they have to find a publisher or a donor or other benefactor.
There are a number of free-distribution Buddhist publishers.
Commercial publishers also frequently donate unsold Buddhist books to Prison Dharma outreach groups and other non-profit organizations.

It's the same with the Christian Bible. There are thousands of different printed versions for sale,
or you can get a free one in any hotel room.
That is different from making an unauthorized copy of a commercially printed book.

The question posted in the original post (hence the topic of this discussion)is:
Should Dharma teachings be freely available to all sentient beings?
Yes, they probably should be
But not every way of doing this may be fair.
Otherwise, why not just go to the buddhist book section of a store,
grab a handful, run out the door with them and start giving them away?

Did the Buddha meditate in Sherwood Forest?
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Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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