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case of consciousness about copyrights - Dhamma Wheel

case of consciousness about copyrights

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Sekha
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case of consciousness about copyrights

Postby Sekha » Mon May 10, 2010 9:47 pm

I started publishing french translations of the suttas on http://www.tipitaka.fr as there was only few things available in that langage (my mother tongue).

I wanted to share some suttas I had found inspiring, and read in Bhikkhu Bodhi's books. So I went on mettanet and found public translations of these suttas, but with quite a poor quality. So I used BB's work to improve the quality of the rendering in French, when mettanet's translation was too poor. But I progressively noticed that during my work my eyes remained more and more on BB's translation and that I was nearly publishing a translation of his work.

Now this is a problem of copyright, as his work is under strong copyrights. But I definetely think it is not a good thing to forbid free access to the Dhamma. So I wonder if I should act neglecting what seems to be a mistaken wordly rule in order to provide others access to the supramundane, or if I should abide by the international copyright law.

So far, I have cited both sources -mettanet and BB's books - but in some cases BB's work accounts for more than 95% of the source. I am certain I can't present my work as a translation of BB's. So should I stop doing this and perhaps delete the translations I have done which could be contentious, or should I keep going?

What is your advice?
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

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Ben
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Re: case of consciousness about copyrights

Postby Ben » Mon May 10, 2010 10:27 pm

Have you considered contacting Bhikkhu Bodhi and asking permission to translate his rendition of the suttas into French?
If you wish to do so, please contact me via pm.
kind regards

Ben
“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

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David N. Snyder
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Re: case of consciousness about copyrights

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon May 10, 2010 10:49 pm

You may be alright in doing the translations. You are not transcribing word-for-word what Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote and in fact you are creating a new work with your translation.

I did a google search and here is some interesting info:
http://www.librarycopyright.net/wordpre ... hp?id=1466

Apparently, it could be considered a "new" work for which you could even copyright your translation. But some others have stated in that forum that no income could be earned from it, which I don't think is a problem for you either as you are interested in spreading the Dhamma with that work in the French language.

I think the only issue might be with copyright is if there already is a French translation of Bhikkhu Bodhi's translations (to English and then to French), which it sounds like there currently is none.
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Sekha
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Re: case of consciousness about copyrights

Postby Sekha » Mon May 10, 2010 11:40 pm

Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org

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Kim OHara
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Re: case of consciousness about copyrights

Postby Kim OHara » Tue May 11, 2010 1:50 am

What you are doing may be technically legal but does seem to border on infringing Bhikku Bodhi's moral rights. To me, the fact that you are concerned about the ethics of the situation is (1) a good sign :smile: and (2) enough reason for you to contact him and ask him about what you should, or can, do.

:namaste:
Kim

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retrofuturist
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Re: case of consciousness about copyrights

Postby retrofuturist » Tue May 11, 2010 4:17 am

Greetings,

Did Bhikkhu Bodhi breach earlier intellectual property rights on the commentaries and such when he used them to translate from Pali to English? PTS editions and so forth...

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Ben
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Re: case of consciousness about copyrights

Postby Ben » Tue May 11, 2010 4:35 am

Hi Retro

This is where copyright law gets complicated. If memory serves me well, I imagine that some of the commentarial material and suttanta that Bhante was working on was material whose copyright had expired.

With Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation of the Majjhima Nikaya, Samyutta Nikaya and other works, the copyright (which is a copyright of the translation) is held by Bhikkhu Bodhi and/or Wisdom Publications. With written works the copyright expires after 25 years if it is not renewed (I think). Whether someone breaches copyright by translating Bhikkhu Bodhi's translations from English into another language will be in part determined by the nature of the copyright protecting those works. For example, whether the copyright includes the right of the translator, editor and/or publisher to translate and publish into another language.

Anyway, the prudent thing to do is to contact Venerable and discuss it with him.
kind regards

Ben
“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]..

Stuart
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Re: case of consciousness about copyrights

Postby Stuart » Tue May 11, 2010 6:35 am

Hi Dukkhanirodha :anjali: ,

I have rather unorthodox view (for a Buddhist) of copyright .... there was no copyright laws in the time of the Buddha, as far as I'm aware. I think that infringing copyright is no more wrong than taking a photograph of someone without asking their permission - it's a bit rude, but I haven't stolen their soul ;-) .... I do not think that it infringes any of the precepts. I could also ask:- "If copyright has a material value, then what is a Buddhist monk with vows of poverty doing 'owning' such a thing?" Personally I would inform Bhikkhu Bodhi of what you are doing, and maybe you would even get some help from him. Having said that, we are however admonished to live within local laws as far as possible and you should be prepared to face the consequences of your actions.

Stuart
xxx

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Re: case of consciousness about copyrights

Postby appicchato » Tue May 11, 2010 6:36 am

Hi Ben...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... ght_length

Hi Kim...not wishing to disagree, nor sound sarcastic...it's possibly to your (and many other's) way of thinking, but Infringing on Bhikkhu Bodhi's 'moral rights'?...please, morality is such a relative (with a capital R) term that no two people will agree on every aspect of it...where does one draw the line?...easy, you can't...

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Ben
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Re: case of consciousness about copyrights

Postby Ben » Tue May 11, 2010 7:36 am

“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]..

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Kim OHara
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Re: case of consciousness about copyrights

Postby Kim OHara » Tue May 11, 2010 12:08 pm


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Ben
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Re: case of consciousness about copyrights

Postby Ben » Tue May 11, 2010 12:20 pm

Hi Kim
Thanks for your concern, though I feel completely fine with regards to the erosion of my copyright knowledge!
It happens!
kind regards

Ben
“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]..

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Sekha
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Re: case of consciousness about copyrights

Postby Sekha » Sat May 22, 2010 11:03 am

so, thanks to Ben, I wrote to ven. Bodhi, but there is still no answer.

On the other hand, I realized that one of the two books on which I based my work is actually made available online for free on the bps webstite. So I will just have to change the quotation of the sources and I will be fully in legality.

But I used also Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, of which I am not aware of any online publishing. But I am not sure it would be appropriate to erase the works I have done partly thanks to that book, partly thanks to metta.lk's ressources.

What do you think? May I use that book to be able to provide a better quality translation, or should I not at all without permission either of the author or of the publisher?
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org

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retrofuturist
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Re: case of consciousness about copyrights

Postby retrofuturist » Sat May 22, 2010 11:09 am

Greetings Dukkhanirodha,

You can always take it down if there's an objection. This is what some people do when they are unsure of the copyright status of something and it sounds like you've done what you can. You're not trying to profit out of it, your intentions are wholesome, and we're starting to see legitimate instances of some of his suttas appearing full-length online, so I honesty doubt there will be a problem.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Alex123
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Re: case of consciousness about copyrights

Postby Alex123 » Sun May 23, 2010 6:21 pm

"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."


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