- Hello All
Thanks so much for the informative replies. There is certainly a
wealth of intelligence available in this group. It was seeing the
potential for harnessing such input more productively that has
shaped some of my ideas around the proposed early Buddhist stusies
websie. In other words, if all the contributions in the 5000+
messages on this group could be organized better, it would be an
astounding resource. To be able to do something like this is what i
want the early Buddhist studies site to do.
I will take this info on board. To clarify, i was primarily
interested in the obscure stuff, and the mention of the PTS dict was
really just a remnant of the comment about the copyright for that -
we were not thinking of putting that on the site, though it would
not be a bad idea. Nor were we thinking of approaching Wisdom,
though again that might not be a bad idea. I was, however, thinking
of approaching Bhikkhu Bodhi to suggest that future editions of the
Connected Discourses, etc., could be furnished with concordances for
the Chinese parallels, which could be co-ordinated with the site.
(Chinese editions regularly give Pali parallels, not always
accurate, but pali never refers to Chinese). But the main purpose of
the site would be to do what was not being done elsewhere, so text
and translations of Pali suttas would not be a priority, though we
would in the concordances provide links to these. The idea would be
that when one looked at, say the Digha Nikaya, the entry for the
Brahmajala Sutta, links would be provided to the Pali text (at VRI),
the Chinese versions (at CBETA), translations of the Pali (at access
to insight etc) and translations of the Chinese (which in this case
is also available online). This is just one of our ideas, and of
course does not involve copyright issues.
To return to the copyright issues, for now i will try to simply
obtain whatever permission needs to be obtained. Is there anyone who
would like to help with that? I can furnish a list of publishing
details, and it would be a matter of trying to contact who was the
copyright owners. I'm just too busy to do it myself.
The idea of Public License was interesting, and i think getting the
funding would not be difficult. I think that those in academia, who
largely deal with stuff like the newly discovered manuscripts, etc.,
are probably missing out on a lot of potential funding by
overlooking the fact that many faithful Buddhists would love to help
support such projects, but simply don't know about them.
Would Public License mean purchasing each individual copyright? This
would seem to involve just as much work as simply getting
permission. I don't anticipate there will be much problem in
actually getting permission, the question is how to contact the
copyright owners. This, incidentally, is not such a gargantuan task,
as the material is limited, and much of it has been done by a few
scholars, eg Waldschmidt. Other scholars, such as Hartmann and
Allon, i am in contact with already, and i am sure this group could
furnish more contacts. Perhaps i should send the list of copyright
holders to the group and see what we get?
Re the publishing of a disclaimer, i had already thought of that
idea (don't worry, i'm not asserting copyright on it!). I think it
might be useful, but we would want some firm legal advice first.
Re the bhikkhusangha as owner of the manuscripts, this idea came to
me when i saw the wrangling going on over ownership of the old
manuscripts. They are currently in private hands. Some would like to
see them returned to Afghanistan(! I'm sure they would make great
kindling). The bhikkhusangha has a distinct sense of corporate
identity, and was recognized as a legal entity under the old Indian
legal system. If we could get it together, i think we could make a
good case for the manuscipts to be entrusted to an international,
pan-sectarian Sangha body, who would be charged with ensuring the
safe-keeping and availability for study of these precious documents.
But alas, these are but dreams wafting in the never-never!
I am going to Perth to visit my family and the monks at Bodhinyana,
and after that to India for a pilgrimage with the Buddhist
Fellowship of Singapore, before returning here to Santi Forest
Monastery around the 20th December. I won't be able to get to the
internet much if at all in this time.