Scanning Library Books

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Motova
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Scanning Library Books

Post by Motova » Wed Sep 26, 2018 1:53 am

Is scanning library books non-virtuous?

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To become a rain man one must master the ten virtues and sciences.

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Karma Dorje
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Re: Scanning Library Books

Post by Karma Dorje » Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:03 am

Motova wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 1:53 am
Is scanning library books non-virtuous?

Thank you.
As this is a Mahayana forum, the intention of an action is what is most important. It's impossible to say whether an action is non-virtuous without understanding intention and context. However, all of the original scriptures were reproduced by hand by students from their masters' copies. It's hard to see how the act of copying using a different technology would not be similarly virtuous, as many suttas and sutras talk of the merit of reproducing the scriptures, particularly for the benefit of others.
"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

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Josef
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Re: Scanning Library Books

Post by Josef » Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:22 pm

I would say yes.
Scanning and making e-files of copyrighted material amounts to theft and is even worse if those files are distributed.
We should purchase dharma books that we need for our practice and not bother with amassing a collection.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

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Karma Dorje
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Re: Scanning Library Books

Post by Karma Dorje » Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:38 pm

Josef wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:22 pm
I would say yes.
Scanning and making e-files of copyrighted material amounts to theft and is even worse if those files are distributed.
We should purchase dharma books that we need for our practice and not bother with amassing a collection.
While I agree that purchasing dharma books helps publishers continue to publish new books to our benefit and should be encouraged, I am trying to make sense of the claim that copying a copyrighted book is theft. I haven't found a country that prosecutes copyright violation under larceny laws... have I overlooked something? The RIAA on the other hand, invested a considerable amount of energy to try to equate file sharing with theft in the Napster days because they realized that it's really hard to sell people on the idea that sharing is bad.

At a transactional level, it's difficult to work out how the karma could possibly accrue from it. For example, a publisher sells a book. The purchaser then owns the book. If the purchaser freely allows the text to be copied, one can't say that it is not given. If you want to make the tenuous claim that the author still owns the book and is simply licensing it to the purchaser, then how can they be resold? If instead you want to say that the author owns the idea but not its execution in print, I can't think of any example from the scriptures that have a similar example of owning verbal constructs. Theft is always defined very clearly as having a tangible object that has an owner that is deprived of the object by the act of taking. Copying, which produces a plethora of objects, deprives no one of anything tangible. Possible future profits, or future anything can not be the object of theft in the current moment. It's simply speculation.

It all comes down to intention. If someone is copying files to help someone that needs help, I simply can't see it as unvirtuous.
"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

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Wayfarer
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Re: Scanning Library Books

Post by Wayfarer » Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:23 am

In most books, there's a thing called 'fair use provision'. It usually means that you're able to make copies, etc, provided they're for your own use and benefit and not so as to make profits or reproduce the material for others. I would interpret that to mean that if you scan library books for your own purposes, to study and understand them, I don't think anyone would have a problem with that. Scanning them and putting them online or distributing your copies would be a breach of copyright.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Karma Dorje
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Re: Scanning Library Books

Post by Karma Dorje » Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:32 am

Wayfarer wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:23 am
In most books, there's a thing called 'fair use provision'. It usually means that you're able to make copies, etc, provided they're for your own use and benefit and not so as to make profits or reproduce the material for others. I would interpret that to mean that if you scan library books for your own purposes, to study and understand them, I don't think anyone would have a problem with that. Scanning them and putting them online or distributing your copies would be a breach of copyright.
Fair use only allows for excerpts. Full copies are typically prohibited by copyright, regardless of use. Fair use provisions cover the use of quotes in scholarly papers, journalism etc.
"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

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Re: Scanning Library Books

Post by Wayfarer » Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:42 pm

True, but if in practice you scan books for your own use and don’t distribute them, it’ hardly going to be policed, nor do I see it as an unethical practice, unless you went to obsessive ends over it.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Re: Scanning Library Books

Post by Bristollad » Sat Sep 29, 2018 4:44 pm

Also to be remembered - not all library books are still under copyright, and not all Dharma books are still available in print even if covered by copyright. So intention gets added back into the mix again - if it's simply to accumulate without having to pay for it then it seems unethical to me. If it is not copyrighted then you are breaking no laws. If it is out of print and you can't get hold of a second-hand copy and you need it (as opposed to just wanting it) then maybe it's not unethical.

One Geshe I know was asked about this and he said it wasn't necessarily clear-cut, but that we should endeavour to act honestly.

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Josef
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Re: Scanning Library Books

Post by Josef » Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:08 pm

And here we are again debating the ethics of circumventing publishers of dharma books...
It’s this simple, if you want publishers to have the capacity to produce books go through appropriate channels to acquire the books they have already published. If you don’t care about future publications or the precepts steal them or find stolen scans online.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: Scanning Library Books

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Sat Sep 29, 2018 6:45 pm

And there are plenty of Dharma books available for free distribution online.

It also couldn't hurt to see your need as an opportunity.
Many temples give Dharma books away or sell them very cheaply.
You could buy or request them with the intention of making a donation to your local library.

In my own experience, the benefits of doing this are extraordinary and very quick.
The Dharma is no small gift.
Amitābha Buddha!

The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have unobstructed vision in all directions. Everything is in their presence; and I stand in front of them. -- Shantideva

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Motova
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Re: Scanning Library Books

Post by Motova » Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:22 pm

I'm talking about all books, not just Dharma books.
To become a rain man one must master the ten virtues and sciences.

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javier.espinoza.t
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Re: Scanning Library Books

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:55 pm

Motova wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:22 pm
I'm talking about all books, not just Dharma books.
you shouldn't share something that's not yours, unless it is entrusted to you or the owner gave you a discrete permission to share, a specific permission to share, or an open permission to share, etc.

I'm talking of the contents of books, texts, etc.

on receiving copies I still consider the person who gives away the responsible and the only person that know's or should know and tell about any permissions, specifics, etc. since one is ignorant about it.

:shrug:
what are you doing

Motova
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Re: Scanning Library Books

Post by Motova » Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:24 am

javier.espinoza.t wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:55 pm
Motova wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:22 pm
I'm talking about all books, not just Dharma books.
you shouldn't share something that's not yours, unless it is entrusted to you or the owner gave you a discrete permission to share, a specific permission to share, or an open permission to share, etc.

I'm talking of the contents of books, texts, etc.

on receiving copies I still consider the person who gives away the responsible and the only person that know's or should know and tell about any permissions, specifics, etc. since one is ignorant about it.

:shrug:
People used to memorize entire books before the printing press.
To become a rain man one must master the ten virtues and sciences.

Norwegian
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Re: Scanning Library Books

Post by Norwegian » Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:37 am

Motova wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:22 pm
I'm talking about all books, not just Dharma books.
Buy books. If you care about knowledge, support those who makes knowledge accessible. Buy book cases / shelves. Fill them with the books you want to study, and appreciate a home library. Over the years it can become a treasure trove. Get a Kindle or a Kobo if you want ebooks too.

But whatever you do, buy books.

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javier.espinoza.t
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Re: Scanning Library Books

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Sun Sep 30, 2018 3:11 am

Motova wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:24 am
javier.espinoza.t wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:55 pm
Motova wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:22 pm
I'm talking about all books, not just Dharma books.
you shouldn't share something that's not yours, unless it is entrusted to you or the owner gave you a discrete permission to share, a specific permission to share, or an open permission to share, etc.

I'm talking of the contents of books, texts, etc.

on receiving copies I still consider the person who gives away the responsible and the only person that know's or should know and tell about any permissions, specifics, etc. since one is ignorant about it.

:shrug:
People used to memorize entire books before the printing press.
contents and their support are not the same thing :P
what are you doing

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