The inevitable backlash against YogaGlo’s attempt to patent its style and method of filming yoga classes for online use — which we highlighted here — has begun.
And the group behind the main effort is none other than Yoga Alliance. It has started a petition to have YogaGlo withdraw the patent application:
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.
The petition site has some good details from YogaGlo’s patent application. As of this moment it has 4,162 of a desired 10,000 signatures.
I know only tangential things about Yoga Alliance. Mainly, I know that some yoga teachers have felt underwhelmed by its ability to support them via insurance, training, government relations needs, etc. But I think Yoga Alliance has heard those complaints and is trying to be more activist. And this is an example of that.
We’ll see where it goes.
Update (Thursday afternoon California time):
YogaGlo has a response, I guess from Wednesday, to all the hubbub. It reads, in part:
To clarify many of the comments being made and address your questions:
- We have not sued anyone or filed a lawsuit.
- We are not trying to patent how classes are taught in studios all over the world.
- We are not trying to patent how a teacher might film instruction for their students in their own studio or how one might wish to film a DVD.
- Our patent application deals very specifically with online streaming yoga classes, and in that, it deals with only one of many possible ways to film online streaming yoga classes.
- So what is the YogaGlo way of filming classes? Our patent application clearly outlines that the “look and feel” of a YogaGlo online streaming class is comprised of the following elements that all must be present in conjunction with one another: position of camera, position of the teacher, position of the mats relative to the camera and the teacher, an open corridor down the middle, the teacher must be facing the camera, the students must be facing the teacher, etc. We are not seeking to patent a camera angle. We are not seeking to patent the placement of a teacher in a room (online, offline, in your private studio, in your public studio). We are seeking to patent this one very particular combination of elements for a single online class.
- There is more than one way to film and stream an online yoga class. Many wonderful online yoga businesses film their classes differently and are thriving. Many online yoga customers prefer their look to ours. We aren’t trying to patent how they film their classes. We are simply trying to patent our way of filming online classes.
My guess is this isn’t going to go far enough. As the comments here, and other places, suggest, people aren’t buying the “patent our way of filming” argument.
Posted by Steve