Copyrighted Dharma books

A place to post videos, pictures, and any other sort of Buddhist or non-Buddhist media.
User avatar
Nemo
Posts: 795
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:23 am
Location: Canada

Re: Copyrighted Dharma books

Postby Nemo » Sun Jun 17, 2012 11:36 am

I wanted a book last year and my neighborhood library had a one month waiting list. So I went on the libraries free wi-fi and downloaded it in three minutes.

One is legal the other is not. I often think of the internet as my library. The current model of distribution is broken and outdated. I would gladly pay the full royalty to the artist, but some greedy middle man wants to take 96% of that cash. So authors and creators side with the content mafia that charged 22$ for a music cd in the 1980's. The current system needs to adapt to the fact that content delivery for text can be less than 1¢.

User avatar
Thrasymachus
Posts: 272
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:28 am
Location: Dover, NJ

Re: Copyrighted Dharma books

Postby Thrasymachus » Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:15 am

There is a profound thinker, , who writes alot about how money destroys and replaces the concept of the gift. Accordingly he puts his writing online for free, like as a gift and he has a page if you decide to give him a gift in return. He says that if you open yourself up to the concept of the gift, to freely give and freely receive without expectation, it fundamentally changes yourself, and how others react to you. In that he was a Professor at Penn State but he was uncomfortable with his job, because he had to grade to his students which to him was morally and intellectually wrong and a betrayal of the respect and relationship he cultivated with them. So he felt had to leave that job even though he had no other form of livelihood lined up. As chance would have it, since he gave the gift of his work freely, who hosts that I listen to, broadcasting out of Upstate New York was reading on her program and the Faculty at Goddard College of Massachusetts heard this. They decided to contact Eisenstein and offer him a which he accepted. Now if he believed in copyright this likely would not have happened. But if you open yourself up to give freely you are more liable to receive in kind. Case in point, normally I have no problem pirating books, movies, etc. or just checking them out from the library, gratis. But since he offered his book freely, I gave him a meagerly $6 via paypal, which is not alot, but as I understand it is likely more than the normal the cut of what an author would receive for each book sold.

Another case in point is that there is a great Greek publisher, that offers e-books with no DRM at all. Since they don't treat people like criminals, I feel they are a publisher that should be supported and I bought a book by from them. How you treat others or behave changes how others react to you.

Now we have methods of transmission thanks to a costly electrical and fiber optic infrastructure that allows us to instantly transfer intellectual work like books across the world at almost no cost, other than what people already pay for this infrastructure. Ultimately keeping up intellectual property does humanity a disservice. If you want to just make as money as possible, I feel no obligation or kindness toward you. If you act differently, so will I and others change tact toward you, if you show you care more about spreading your message, giving your gift without the restrictions meant to maximize monetary exchange at the expense of every other human concern.

karmalodro
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:38 pm

Re: Copyrighted Dharma books

Postby karmalodro » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:12 pm

I edit books professionally on a freelance basis. At the moment it's the smaller part of my income, but at some point soon it will become the larger part of my income. I work in what should be my "spare time", and during my "normal working hours" I edit scientific journals anyway. If I stopped working, I would not have the money to live on. I have been told that if I attempted to live like Milarepa (in the mountains, eating wild plants, etc.), I would be dead pretty soon. A normal person like me couldn't survive, or would at least be very unhappy and very unhealthy. So, I need to keep working. While I am able to choose what things I edit (whether Dharma books or books on history, politics or anything else), I cannot choose to do this work for free. I have to get paid... or I die. So, when we are thinking of the ethics of getting paid for one's work in producing Dharma books (or other Dharma materials), we have to keep in mind the fact that people need to be paid for their work. If people are only ever doing Dharma publishing in their "spare time" they might never actually do any Dharma publishing, because lots of people are so busy and work so hard in their normal jobs that there is no "spare time"... or not very much, maybe just a few hours on a Sunday. So the availability of thousands of Dharma books in the shops and places like Amazon these days is due to the fact that people get together to publish teachings (usally as publishing companies) and they pay people for their work. Even when the pulishing entity is not a private company but a non-profit organization or educational institution, the money has to come from somewhere! There has to be a kind and wealthy Buddhist sponsor somewhere, or else funding from government grants, etc. People have to be paid because they need to buy food and pay their rent, clothes, toothpaste, toilet paper... So there has to be an economic model of some kind in place. And the copyright system is simply part of that whole picture. Because if someone spends thousands of pounds or dollars on producing a book (recording, transcribing, translating, editing, designing, commissioning forewards and introductions, producing artwork, indexing, printing, binding, warehousing, distribution, marketing...), then there has to be a return on that investment. Otherwise, nobody gets paid, which means everyone either starves to death or goes to find a new job (maybe sweeping streets), and the publishing company goes BUST. And one major way that publishing companies would fail to make a return on their costs would be if some other person could just take their book, scan it and then reproduce it without permission. Because the ripped-off version would be so much cheaper, and then customers would not necessarily wish to buy the original. They'd just go for the cheap, ripped-off version. Like I said, publishing companies (and employees like me) need to be rewarded for their hard work and investment, otherwise they go out of business. And without publishing companies, there would be MUCH fewer Dharma books and materials out there. In fact, most of the Dharma books in English would never have been produced in the first place! And I would not be able to spend my time on editing books, because there would be nobody to pay me for doing so. Instead, I'd have to go sweeping streets for a living (or selling toilet paper). So, bascially, copyright is an essential aspect of financial survival for those who produce good-quality Dharma materials. If anyone wants to produce Dharma books and not claim copyright on them, or declare that they are free for anyone to copy, or even give the books away for free, then they are perfectly free to do so. That's their right. Nobody will stop you if you would like to produce 50 good-quality Dharma books every year and then give hundreds of thousands of copies away free. If you think you can do that, then please go ahead! You will be very popular and create lots of merit for yourself. But you'd have to find some other source of cash to keep the whole operation running (including buying the toilet paper). And I'm talking about hundreds of thousands of pounds. Maybe millions of pounds... As I said before, such charitable institutions exist, but they require the existence of wealthy sponsors. Once I get to the stage of Milarepa, I may consider editing books for free. Maybe.

User avatar
justsit
Posts: 800
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:24 pm
Location: Delaware

Re: Copyrighted Dharma books

Postby justsit » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:58 pm

Dear Editor,

These poor old eyes are crossing trying to read your post. :rolleye: I keep losing my place.

Would greatly appreciate it if perhaps you could use some spacing or paragraphs next time??

Thanks!
Justsit

:focus:

User avatar
Jainarayan
Posts: 284
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:23 am
Location: New Jersey, USA

Re: Copyrighted Dharma books

Postby Jainarayan » Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:17 pm

Worthy, wise and virtuous: Who is energetic and not indolent, in misfortune unshaken,
flawless in manner and intelligent, such one will honor gain. - Digha Nikaya III 273

Yudron
Posts: 1087
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:55 pm
Location: Sunny California
Contact:

Re: Copyrighted Dharma books

Postby Yudron » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:11 pm

Author of Buddhist young adult fiction. Vlogger at Wisdom and Compassion: Grandma Yudron's Totally Chill Vlog on Meditation and Tibetan Wisdom Blogger at Very active on Twitter.

User avatar
Karma Dorje
Posts: 1236
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:35 pm

Re: Copyrighted Dharma books

Postby Karma Dorje » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:49 pm

"Although my view is higher than the sky, My respect for the cause and effect of actions is as fine as grains of flour."
-Padmasambhava

User avatar
Nicholas Weeks
Posts: 2820
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:21 am
Location: California

Re: Copyrighted Dharma books

Postby Nicholas Weeks » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:55 pm

Too many of these posts have it backwards. The focus is on getting the texts, not on giving. One of the prime functions of lay folk is to support the existence & spread of the Dharma by giving money or their own labor. Whether the translators are lay or monastics, support them with money or your own volunteer labor. Quit grumbling about the 'system', where you rarely get some Dharma for nothing.
A bodhisattva does not become weary of evil beings nor does he commit the error of bringing forth thoughts inclined to reject them and cast them aside. Avatamsaka Sutra, ch. 25

pemachophel
Posts: 941
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2010 9:19 pm
Location: Lafayette, CO

Re: Copyrighted Dharma books

Postby pemachophel » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:04 pm

I was a professional publisher, translator, and editor for 30 years. I know of two companies, my own (now owned by someone else) and a good friend's, that have simply stopped publishing due to the pervasive breech of copyright via the Internet. In the last couple of years I worked for the company, part of every week was spent playing wack-a-mole with people/companies who were republishing our copyrighted works on-line, either for free or for profit. I understand the arguments of those who question the very concept of copyright and believe that all information should be free (including Dharma), however, the reality that I saw is that companies like mine are simply moving out of the publishing industry. Hence, less information will ultimately be available, not more, at least really good, time-consuming information. If people cannot expect to make a fair return on their investment of time, money, and effort, then they simply won't write, translate, edit, design, and/or publish. That's not theory; that's the experience of someone who was on the inside of the industry.

:namaste:
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ

User avatar
Karma Dorje
Posts: 1236
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:35 pm

Re: Copyrighted Dharma books

Postby Karma Dorje » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:27 pm

"Although my view is higher than the sky, My respect for the cause and effect of actions is as fine as grains of flour."
-Padmasambhava

User avatar
justsit
Posts: 800
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:24 pm
Location: Delaware

Re: Copyrighted Dharma books

Postby justsit » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:52 pm

Thank you, KD!
:twothumbsup:

:focus:

Son of Buddha
Posts: 1123
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:48 pm

Re: Copyrighted Dharma books

Postby Son of Buddha » Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:27 pm


User avatar
Sara H
Posts: 573
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:51 pm
Location: On Hiatus from Dharmawheel.

Re: Copyrighted Dharma books

Postby Sara H » Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:53 pm

"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 Singer

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy

etinin
Posts: 55
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:40 pm
Location: Rio de Janeiro/Brazil

Re: Copyrighted Dharma books

Postby etinin » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:09 pm

Capitalism is deeply flawed and profoundly against buddhist teachings.
I doubt any legit guru would care if you pirated their book for the reason of not being able to afford it or find it. The only exception is when it comes to books which are supposed to have some degree of secrecy. One of my teachers was talking about the pirated Dzogchen books of her tradition floating around the internet. But even them, the point was to reiterate the importance of completing Ngondro. Never, at any point, there was any attempt to attack people for not paying.
--Karma Rigpe Wangchuk

"Meditation brings wisdom. Lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back."
Shakyamuni

User avatar
mandala
Posts: 171
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:51 pm

Re: Copyrighted Dharma books

Postby mandala » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:27 pm

Interesting topic... I know a Dharma Teacher who gets his students to make bulk photocopies of all kinds of dharma books (that are not 'free for distribution') so he can give them away to students - on one hand I see that it's spreading the dharma, but it makes me feel a bit uncomfortable because it seems to me to be a form of stealing... ie: taking what is not freely given.

While I do believe that dharma is given freely - one can access teachings in person and online for free - I think it's equally important to support the works of buddhist organisations/teachers by paying for books, dharma supplies, offering donations for teachings if you can etc.

User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
Posts: 2870
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: Copyrighted Dharma books

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:56 pm

This reminds me of a story.
A famous Tibetan Lama was giving a public talk at a Buddhist center in the United States.
and the local sangha sponsoring the event was asking for a suggested $10 donation per admission ticket.
When one attendee handed over a $5.00 bill,
the person selling the tickets said,
"You know, this is a very wise lama. His words are precious.
Of course, nobody will be turned away,
but $10 is really not too much to listen to this talk tonight!"
And the visitor replied,
"That may be true, but I am only going to be listening to the translator!"
:rolling:

You can go and find ancient buddhist texts and translate them
and not have to pay any royalties to the Buddha.
It is the translations that are copyrighted, not the teachings.
Copyrights can also protect the work
from intentional misuse.
This may not apply to written words as much as it does to reproductions of Buddhist artwork.
.
.
.
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.

User avatar
Sara H
Posts: 573
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:51 pm
Location: On Hiatus from Dharmawheel.

Re: Copyrighted Dharma books

Postby Sara H » Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:56 am

That's pretty funny!
:)
"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 Singer

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy

User avatar
Indrajala
Posts: 6312
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Copyrighted Dharma books

Postby Indrajala » Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:39 am

tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

Yudron
Posts: 1087
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:55 pm
Location: Sunny California
Contact:

Re: Copyrighted Dharma books

Postby Yudron » Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:07 am

Author of Buddhist young adult fiction. Vlogger at Wisdom and Compassion: Grandma Yudron's Totally Chill Vlog on Meditation and Tibetan Wisdom Blogger at Very active on Twitter.

User avatar
Indrajala
Posts: 6312
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Copyrighted Dharma books

Postby Indrajala » Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:14 am

Yudron, that's actually a reasonable model given the present day circumstances where print runs might amount to a few thousand copies with limited sales to be expected.

To sponsor translations is probably the best option for financing these projects for the simple fact that market demand won't supply the adequate profit margins necessary for mass publication.

In my experience I would say that most translation projects will be done at a financial loss when all things are considered, which makes commercial publication unrealistic. Like academic works, you just can't expect wide readership.
tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |


Return to “Media”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests