Here’s yet another example of a group of yoga people who believe that there is not enough abundance in this world and are threatening others who share in the pie. (Big sigh)
YogaGlo, which offers online yoga training featuring a teacher and students, is sending cease-and-desist letters to other yoga groups claiming that it is a violation of YogaGlo’s intellectual property for others to also videotape and sell yoga classes featuring instruction with a teacher and students.
“YogaGlo CEO Derik Mills responded to a blog post claiming that his company filed an application for a patent and issued the cease-and-desist letter in order “to protect (our) intellectual property, just like any other online business.” According to YogaGlo’s patent application, the “invention” they claim to own is the method of recording a yoga instructional video in a live classroom setting. In other words, YogaGlo believes that the idea of videotaping a yoga teacher instructing a class of students, instead of simply recording the teacher, is their unique invention.” (source: Yoga Alliance)
Really? That’s a unique invention? Think of how many yoga teachers this will affect. I’m all for free enterprise, but yoga is meant to be shared. How many unique inventions are there in yoga? Isn’t that counter intuitive to the lineage and core philosophies of yoga?
By the way, YogaGlo has applied for a patent. That patent has not yet been reviewed.
Fortunately, Yoga Alliance has taken a strong stand against YogaGlo’s actions. This is from Yoga Alliance’s website from Yoga Alliance, President and CEO, Richard Karpel:
(Yoga Alliance’s full article is here.)
Yoga Alliance supports the proper use and enforcement of intellectual property rights….We also support the patenting of real inventions, which serve to protect inventors’ economic interest in their work.
However, we don’t believe YogaGlo’s “invention” qualifies for patent protection. Videotaping a yoga teacher in a live classroom setting is an obvious idea, not an invention. Therefore, YogaGlo’s patent application can serve only one purpose: To manipulate the legal system in order to suppress competition by bullying other online yoga-instruction businesses and individual yoga teachers into submission when they use a similar method of recording and presenting online classes.
We call on YogaGlo to live up to its claim of encouraging “more access to yoga, not less,” by withdrawing its patent application. We also encourage our Registered Yoga Teachers and Registered Yoga Schools, and anyone else who supports yoga and/or the appropriate use of the U.S. patent system, to sign this petition asking YogaGlo to withdraw its patent application.
If you feel strongly about this issue, consider signing the petition. Call Yoga Alliance and have your voice heard.
Bravo, Yoga Alliance!
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Hmmm, I think they’re going to have to contend with Kripalu, too, as I’ve watched videos from them that also show both the teacher and the class. How UN-yoga of this guy!
Absolutely! Very un-yogic. By the way, Yoga International is one of the companies that received the cease-and-desist.
It’s called a “Process Patent” and there are quite a few companies out there applying and often being awarded patents for not a new invention but using existing technology in a certain way. Our office got a letter threatening to sue because we have a scanner hooked up to a server that connects to computers that allow us to send emails and they held the “patent” for that “process.” Then they offer to sell us a license to use their patent; that could be YogaGlo’s aim. More recently courts have started rejecting the types of patents because their sole intent is to use as a cudgel to sue other companies. It’s essentially legalized piracy.
Thanks, Carissa, for sharing your experience. Wow, legalized piracy.
If taking a video of someone doing something was violating intellectual properties, then YouTube would be out of business and only 10 people in the world would have video cameras.
The only thing that would violate intellectual properties is if you took one of their videos and called it yours, or if you did a new type of yoga you learned from them and didn’t give them that credit ie: “this new and wonderful style of yoga was pioneered by ….. Yoga. I hope you enjoy learning it from me like I enjoyed learning it from them”, then you are violating some form of copyright. Raquel Welsh learned that lesson when she did her video and book and didn’t mention the guy who trained her.
By taking this to a lawyer and the courts will just cost them money.
It is almost comical what YogaGlo is trying to do. Petition signed and forwarded! They need another 5,000 signatures so everyone forward, forward! Thanks Suzanne 🙂
I may not be keen on legal matters but this has got to be one of the most ridiculous idea to bring to the court. Aren’t we encouraged in training to share what we know and express ourselves through the practice? When the world evolves, we evolve along with it, including the means of communication, so we can spread yoga-love. They should change their name to YogaGoo.
Ok, that’s a bit childish. But it’s better than ridiculous!
I just signed the petition, Suzanne and will forward to other yogis. Thank you for sharing. xo
Maia, thanks for weighing in, dear, and for spreading the word! I LOVED your posts on Italy and was living vicariously through you. You are such a wonderful writer! Peace, sister
Sweet Suzanne… know that I adore you and your practice and not to burst any sort of bubble or anything… but that would be Aleya in Italy. Not me, lol! Though I really would like to be there with her as well… and am loving her vicarious experiences every bit!
I’ve tweeted the link to the petition, and have received feedbacks. And some have retweeted it, too.
Stay sweet… and funny. 😉 xo
Oh, I’m so sorry. My Vata personality and (non-yogic) rushing gets me into trouble. You are so gracious. 🙂
Are you kidding me?? We’re Vata sisters!! This is how they greet me at work… “Hey, Trouble. Whatcha up to?”
Nothing to be sorry about, sweets. xo
Be More Yogic has introduced the YogaGlobe Awards for the worst Yoga patents world wide! Just the best way to reply I think (and funny as well 🙂
You rock, Elise, for sending this. Very funny! (except the cease-and-desist part). – Namaste, Suzanne
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