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Notice On Reprinting Without Permission

It came to the attention of TDE Press that its latest publication, a fresh English translation of ‘The Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra’ (as below) with footnotes had been ‘pirated’, by being reprinted without permission.

Features Of Reprint Without Permission

[1] Covers are dark with poor colour contrast.
[2] Pages are white, thin and not eco-friendly.
[3] Text is faint, smaller and with low resolution.
[4] Binding is stapled instead of stitched.

Above is the original production, while the below is the ‘pirated’.

Importance Of Permission For Reprint

[1] Maintains high printing standards for readers.
[2] Ensures latest improved edition is printed.
[3] Maintains good image of precious Dharma books.
[4] Maintains reputation of TDE Press productions.

Can Reprinting Of Dharma Books Break Precepts?

Question: If permission was not sought for reprinting the book above, is it stealing? However, is permission needed to reprint sutras?

Answer: For the case of the book above, yes, it is a form of stealing. Of course, no one can steal the original sutra in Chinese, but the English translation with footnotes took much effort, and most importantly, permission given ensures the latest improved edition is reprinted.

Without permission, what if errors are reprinted unchecked by the original publisher? This will circulate the mistakes indefinitely, confuse readers indefinitely, and tarnish the publisher indefinitely.

For the case of the book above, it is also a form of lying – because the book itself stated that it is published on eco-friendly paper. Yet the page with this information itself, like the rest of the book, is reprinted on poor paper! Dharma materials should be reproduced properly, and not carelessly. Poor quality books are likely to be chucked aside disrespectfully too.

The printing and funding of printing of sutras and Dharma books is meritorious, but if even basic precepts against stealing and lying are broken, while not safeguarding the image of Buddhism, there might not be much merits created. There might be negative karma created instead.

1 Comment

  • Re: TDE books are produced of high standards. I used to buy and give as gifts to friends to share Dharma.

    This article on reprint of TDE books use harsh words like pirated, stealing and lying to those who reprint the books. Please be more lenient as they may not have the intention to pirate, steal and lye. They have good intentions but have breached some copyright issues. Thanks.

    Reply: The ‘piracy’ might be with good intentions. While this is unclear, actual good intentions should be followed by right actions, instead of ‘stealing’ and ‘lying’ in effect, even if without intention to do so.

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