How do you reconcile the claim that it's bad karma to download a sutra without permission from the copyright holder, with the claims contained within many such sutras, that the merit generated from merely reciting one paragraph is 'greater than the number of grains of sand in the river Ganges.'?KeithBC wrote:Perhaps not, if you limit the meaning of "stealing" to depriving the other person of the work.Karma Dorje wrote:When you copy something you don't steal it.
But the relevant precept in Buddhism is not "Thou shalt not steal", but "I undertake the training rule to abstain from taking what is not given." It is not about whether or not you deprive the person of the object, but about whether you acquire it with or without permission. Taking stuff without permission is bad karma.
Om mani padme hum
I think that the karmic argument - for example in the Prajnaparamita literature - is decidedly in favour of freely copying, printing, spreading. What would be karmically problematic, from that point of view, would be anything which directly and explicitly impedes that.