Q-Tips, Enlightenment, etc.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Bikram Choudry: enlightenment not enough, must have copyright to yoga!

Condensed, Readers Digest-style, from here

We are pleased to report that Bikram and Rajashree Choudhury have achieved a significant victory in their lawsuit against Kim Schreiber-Morrison, Mark Morrison, and their business, Prana Incorporated (the “Morrisons”).
This outcome represents a significant legal victory for Bikram, Rajashree, and the Bikram Yoga community, and fully vindicates Bikram’s conviction in the originality and legal enforceability of Bikram’s Yoga.
With great pleasure we would like to announce that Bikram recently secured federal copyright registration under 17 U.S.C. Section 410 for his original work of authorship in his asana sequence of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises.
Please join us in congratulating Bikram for more than three decades of groundbreaking work in bringing to fruition the recognition of the priceless intellectual property assets that are Bikram Yoga.
Registration of the asana sequence with the U.S. Copyright Office
represents a significant milestone for Bikram in his efforts to formalize the intellectual property rights which encompass the Bikram Yoga style and method.
Bikram’s insight and creativity have once again proven them

* Payment of substantial monetary compensation to Bikram and Rajashree, the amount of which must be kept confidential pursuant to the settlement agreement
* To provide a signed statement of apology to Bikram and Rajashree.
Bikram's Yoga College of India reminds yoga practitioners and aspiring yoga instructors everywhere that this litigation serves as a powerful example of why there is no benefit to learning from uncertified and unlicensed yoga instructors
This lawsuit is proof that the legal system will vindicate Bikram against those persons who exploit and adulterate Bikram Yoga for their own purposes.
It is for the protection of...the true spirit of yoga that these imposters must and will be stopped.
Bikram can now easily and effectively enforce these rights.

Virtually all modifications or additions to the sequence will constitute copyright infringement, including:

* the unauthorized use of even a small number of consecutive postures
* the addition of different postures or breathing exercises to the sequence or portions of the sequence
* the teaching or offering of the sequence with or without the Dialogue
* the addition of extra elements to the sequence, like music

Bikram will be entitled to receive an award of statutory damages of up to $150,000 per infringement and can also recover his attorneys’ fees from infringers in lawsuits concerning copyright infringement of the sequence.