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Dharma Chameleon is a registered trademark.

September 7, 2010

Hands off suckahs! Dharma Chameleon is a registered trademark of, well, me.  Ok, well, maybe it is not quite registered as of this moment, but I’d better get on it because yoga industrialists are straight greed mongering  everything that they can get their hands on.

As I’ve discussed before, yoga is a multi billion dollar industry, and apparently everyone (even me) wants to make sure they get their cut. A little late to the game is the nation of India.  To combat the ever-increasing number of western gurus  trying to label something-or-other as their own unique creation, India has assembled hundreds of their finest scientists and home-spun gurus to amass (hopefully) a list of over 1500 documented postures, concepts and terminologies. They’ve finally had it, apparently, with major yogi-corp types trying to take the  credit for a tradition that is reportedly 6000 years old.

Part of the reason I had left Bikram yoga was that I did not want to partake in any more corporate yoga. This whole movement on the part of India presents somewhat of a conundrum for me. If India claims/copyrights yoga is that any different? Or is this  purely a protective measure? One thing for sure is this concept has left me wondering about the legality surrounding an issue such as this. This is almost as obscure as someone copyrighting a slew of “your momma” jokes.  That one about “your momma is so fat she’s got her own area code…” that was mine. Copyrighted.

But seriously, what exactly is it that Bikram has copyrighted? To the best of my understanding he copyrighted or patented or whatever a series and a set of conditions. The other question is why? When he started Bikram yoga how could he have possibly anticipated that a whole country would go ape shit over it? Is the man that much of a narcissist? Let’s just say that I complete my yoga training, or a string of trainings successfully and people think I’ve got something really good going. Hell, let’s just say I’m REALLY popular,  and in this fantasy I’m even turning a nice little profit through my yoga career. Never in one bazillion years would I ever think to myself, “Marla, you are SO amazing, you really must copyright these little isms of yours so that no two bit poser tries to steal them from you.” I mean, really that is what it is…I would really just be reinventing the wheel and would feel no necessity to claim it as my own.

Ok, but that is me, and clearly, for whatever reason Bikram (and others) have found it necessary to claim ownership over something that more or less is a couple thousand year old tradition being claimed by a people, and a land.  Perhaps I need to just consult a lawyer and discuss this. Does one only do these things when they are planning on setting up a franchise? Maybe I’m just not self absorbed enough to understand.

I may have to have a guest post from  a lawyer about copyright law. Stay tuned.

[Image via: That’s Fit]

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 2, 2011 5:28 am

    Good job.
    Check out my work of a sentiment similar to you own.
    Particularly http://bauddhamata.blogspot.com/2010/12/basis-of-style-in-yoga.html
    Always read the label.
    best,
    troy

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