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
 Covers are dark with poor colour contrast.
 Pages are white, thin and not eco-friendly.
 Text is faint, smaller and with low resolution.
 Binding is stapled instead of stitched.
Above is the original production, while the below is the ‘pirated’.
Importance Of Permission For Reprint
 Maintains high printing standards for readers.
 Ensures latest improved edition is printed.
 Maintains good image of precious Dharma books.
 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.