Terms of Use

Copyright and terms of use

Are these texts protected by copyright?

Yes. You may copy and redistribute any texts from this website, provided that you abide by these two basic principles:

  • You may not sell any texts copied or derived from this website.
  • You may not alter the content of any texts copied or derived from this website. (You may, however, reformat them — see below).

You may download these files to your computer, print them out, read them, share them with your friends, copy them to your own website, translate them into other languages, and redistribute them electronically — provided that you do not charge any money for them. They are not in the public domain. You may reformat the files as you please (see below), but you may not change their content without first obtaining permission from the author, translator, or publisher.

Some texts contain additional copyright notices with specific additional rights and restrictions spelled out by the authors and publishers; please read and abide by these notices. If you reprint or republish any of these materials, please acknowledge the original author, translator, or publisher, as appropriate.

Please ask me if you have any additional questions about the copyright status of anything offered here.

Are Buddhist Teachings texts governed by an “Open Source” or “GNU” copyright?

No. Buddhist Teachings texts do not conform with two key principles of most “open source” software licenses:

You may not sell anything that comes from this website. (Open source licenses allow you to sell software.)

You may not modify the content of any of the texts that come from this website. (Open source licenses allow you to modify software.) You may, however, reformat the texts in any way you like — see below.

May I copy your pages onto my website?

Yes, provided that you make them available free of charge. I also ask that you please post a simple notice somewhere on your website acknowledging that the materials came from here. Although I don’t require it, as a service to your visitors you might also consider including a link to, so that your visitors can easily get hold of the most up-to-date editions of these texts. Finally, please make it clear to your visitors what material on your site comes from here and what comes from other sources.

May I reformat the texts from your website?

Yes. As long as you don’t alter the content, you may reformat pages to your heart’s content. You may convert the files to Microsoft Word, PDF, or any other proprietary format. You may extract excerpts from any text, provided that you somehow indicate that they are excerpts. You may alter the “look” of the pages to match the style of your own website.

May I sell copies of materials from your website in order to raise money for a non-profit cause?

May I sell copies of materials from your website if I charge just enough to recover the costs of printing, etc.?

No. It doesn’t matter if you’re hoping to make a profit or not. These teachings are to be given away, not sold.

May I require people to pay for reproduction costs or postage?

No. Requiring someone to pay for the cost of reproducing these texts (photocopying costs, cost of a floppy disk, etc.) or for shipping costs (packaging, postage, etc.) is equivalent to selling.

May I ask people to make a “suggested donation” in exchange for copies of these texts?

Be very careful here. As long as you make it crystal clear that anyone may receive a copy free for the asking — regardless of whether he or she makes a donation — then that’s fine. You should put no pressure — subtle or otherwise — on anyone to pay. These teachings are to be given away, not sold.

May I include a short excerpt of a text from your website in a publication that I plan to sell?

You must first obtain permission from the author of that text. Please contact the author directly, or contact me for more info.

How should I cite references to Buddhist Teachings?

If you’re writing a paper for a school or university, you should check with your instructor to see what citation standards you are expected to follow.

To cite individual pages from the website, you might consider the citation format that’s shown in the colophon at the bottom of every page.

To cite the entire website, you might use something like this:

“Buddhist Teachings” (http://www.forestsangha.org), Robin Moore, ed., DATE.

where DATE is the revision date that appears at the bottom of the home page.