That makes sense to us. If you can't copyright the bench press, squat, or pull-up, why should yoga be treated any differently?
After Bikram Choudhury, the founder of Bikram Yoga, filed lawsuits against three yoga studios for copying his moves, a defense attorney contacted the U.S. Copyright Office for some clarification on the matter.
Although Bikram had registered a copyright for a book containing his yoga sequence, the copyright office's acting chief of the Performing Arts Division determined that exercises like yoga "do not constitute the subject matter that Congress intended to protect as choreography." As the statement continues, the representative writes:
"We will not register such exercises (including yoga movements), whether described as exercises or as selection and ordering of movements.”
Evolation Yoga, Yoga to the People and Yen Yoga have been sued by Bikram who believes each studio violated his copyrights and trademarks as well as limitations on how and where his students can teach his method.
As far as the defendants are concerned, however, yoga should NOT be privatized.
Yoga to the People founder Greg Gumucio states that although "Bikram owns the right to his name and his likeness", he can't prevent any other human being from teaching his sequence, referred to as "hot yoga".
It looks like the battle for yoga has begun! Which side do U think is right?
[Image via WENN.]