I was looking at this topic and remembered that Ven Anālayo had worked on a translation of the Madhyama Agama and found the website and a bunch of translations from the Dirgha & Madhyama Agamas available as free PDFs. Maybe someone should contact BDK and see if the translations can be used on SC. That way time could be saved by only having @cdpatton translate suttas that haven’t already been translated.
My apologies is this has already been considered and found not viable for whatever reason.
In any event for those interested in the available translations regardless of whether they can be used on SC go here:
I’d just like to mention that the Āgama Research Group is working on a new translation of the Dīrgha-āgama. Why?
A cursory look at the translations by Ichimura Shohei (2015, 2016 and 2018) of the Chinese Dīrgha-āgama (長阿含經, Taishō 1), published by the Bukkyō Dendō Kyōkai America under the title The Canonical Book of the Buddha’s Lengthy Discourses, Volume I,Volume II , Volume III, brought to light an unfortunate tendency of the translator to add text that is without support in the original.
Since such additions are not marked in any way (such as with square brackets, which are used a few times elsewhere in the translation), the reader is unable to recognize what portions of the text are not found in the Chinese original. Such a non-transparent practice in turn makes the translation unreliable. At times such additions also betray a lack of familiarity of the translator with early Buddhist thought and with current academic knowledge of the Chinese Āgama s, which is evident already in the translator’s introduction to the translation. (Source: A new English translation of the Dīrgha-āgama (Taishō 1) | Āgama Research Group)
So perhaps it would be better to wait for the ARG translation and leave the Ichimura translation for what it is.
I felt quite certain that at some point after this there was a thread/post somewhere on the forum mentioning how BDK / Numata had originally planned to freely share the Madhyama, but then changed their mind, however, I can’t find it anywhere so perhaps I dreamt it!
Anyway, I think the concluding comment of the linked thread (from three years ago) about sums things up.
My understanding is that BDK released the PDFs of many of their translations to get more interest in their project and make them available to people without the means to purchase the hardcopies (they are pricey). It’s up to them where those can be published, though. They aren’t actually public domain.
If it helps, I’ve decided this year to only translate material that hasn’t been translated or published yet. That’s what’s needed most. I’ll still clean up some of my old translations and the stuff I drafted last year, but new translations will stick to that rule.