"Yoga piracy is becoming very common and we are moving to do something about it,"

I’m going to solicit comments from all of you before I post my comments on this. Please read the article linked to above, and the follow the link below..You can also reference my previous blog post on this subject

This is going to be a big battle in the very near future, and I predict it will get ugly. Please weigh in with your thoughts on this issue.

“Yoga piracy is becoming very common and we are moving to do something about it,” says Vinod Gupta, the head of a recently established Indian Government taskforce on traditional knowledge and intellectual property theft. “We know of at least 150 asanas [yoga positions] that have been pirated in the US, the UK, Germany and Japan. These were developed in India long ago and no one can claim them as their own.”

Proceedings of THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL COMMITTEE ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND GENETIC RESOURCES, TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE AND FOLKLORE

Share

6 comments on “"Yoga piracy is becoming very common and we are moving to do something about it,"

  1. Dear Leslie,

    i think it is selfish & ridiculous to be putting patents & trademarks on these ancient & sacred ideas – but that’s just my opinion.

    It seems to me that this is all namarupa – Maya…………….

    Thank you for your good efforts.

    Virginia Williamson,
    Port Charlotte, Florida

  2. Not sure I understand this — this seems to speak only of Internet databases, is that right? I don’t know patent/trademark law, but isn’t information in the public domain available, well, to the public? And if information and practices are taught, then don’t the learners have a right to pass on the information? I never heard of this dispute around karate or T’ai Chi so I can’t see that it has any tangible foundation. I can’t see this being a problem unless we choose to make it one, but again, I don’t know legalities. Anyway, lawsuits are a very American phenomenon so it just goes to show how quickly, with the help of the Internet, the east-west culture gap is being bridged!

  3. Thank you Leslie for your well-chosen interesting bits of information on how these ancient teachings are being managed by peoples minds. Were they of course to pay attention to the actual teachings, and put them into practice, none of this discussion would be significant. Can the positions of the body be trademarked? I think I will run an experiment, which I believe yoga practice to be… an experiment… I will see if I can trademark walking. Right, left, right, left… If I call it a specific name and specify precisely how to walk, at what temperature, and under what condition, with of course tie-ins to clothing to wear for it, do you think anyone will claim it as their national heritage? Globalization, from a certain point of view, is going to be a painful process….

    Thanks Leslie! Jaime Stover Schmitt

  4. I think some people don’t understand what’s really being said here. Specific yoga asanas, which have been around for thousands of years in “the public domain,” so to speak, are now being claimed by some people in the western world as “their own intellectual property” (that’s a legal concept). Such a claim is absurd, of course, and the Indian Government is quite right to take action against those who would make such a claim.

    It is clear to me, at least, that anyone who would make such a claim has either lost sight of what yoga is all about or is so lost in his/her own self-image that one wonders why anyone would take yoga from such a person anyway. The forms, in whatever order they are taught, are there for anyone to study. What the individual teacher brings is his/her own level of being and understanding and his/her own ability to teach the asanas in a helpful way to others.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.