A three-person panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against Bikram Choudhury in a case involving his attempt to copyright his yoga sequence.
The news is out there at various outlets. Here’s Time:
Bikram Choudhury, the self-styled creator of Bikram yoga, has for years threatened to sue practitioners that he feels are copying his signature yoga poses. However, a court ruled on Thursday that he has no legal right to do so.
Choudhury’s most recent legal case involved Evolation Yoga, a Florida-based studio that the magnate accused of copyright violations.
A three-judge panel on the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has now disagreed with him after he appealed a district judge’s ruling in favor of Evolation. The judges clearly stated that his sequence cannot be protected by copyright law, the Times reports.
“Copyright protects only the expression of this idea — the words and pictures used to describe the sequence — and not the idea of the sequence itself,” Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw, one of the judges on the panel, wrote.
Radio coverage I heard here in Los Angeles of the ruling — Bikram’s based here — reported that the judges also determined yoga is meant to improve people’s health and well-being and that copyrighting such a thing would be akin to giving a doctor exclusive rights to using a certain medical procedure.
He could appeal up… but I’m not sure given the substance of the ruling that he has a good chance. But you never know.
Posted by Steve