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Yoga copyright denied in US

13 Dec 2011

The US copyright office has stated that yoga poses cannot be copyrighted, as part of a dispute between practitioners of hot yoga

Bikram Choudhury, the owner of Bikram Yoga, is suing three businesses in Los Angeles for copyright and trade mark infringement. The three businesses – Yoga to the People, Evolation and Yen Yoga – all contain former pupils of Choudhury.

As part of the response filed by Yoga to the People, Laura Lee Fischer, the acting chief of the office’s Performing Arts Division, has stated that yoga and other exercises “do not constitute the subject matter that Congress intended to protect as choreography. We will not register such exercises (including yoga movements), whether described as exercises or as selection and ordering of movements.”

The lawyer representing Bikram Yoga has claimed that this will not affect his case. More information is available on Bloomberg News.

Rumours of patent and copyright registrations in the US covering yoga poses have previously caused controversy in India.