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Audio/Video Recordings

Audio/Video Recordings

Audio/Video Recordings

The copyright license documents Osho is alleged to have signed are a bit ambiguous as far as recordings go. Osho purports to grant a license for “the exclusive printing and publishing rights in the said Books, Articles, Speeches, Writings and other Works heretofore written or delivered.”

If we interpret “publishing” broadly to include the production of audio/video recordings, then these might have been included in this license. But the same limitations would apply to these recordings as apply to the books.

First, the documents allegedly signed by Osho have never been authenticated and original copies are not known to exist. This means they can’t be legally enforced. Second, all of OIF, Zurich’s claims rely on the 1978 document , which Sheela, as Osho’s attorney in fact (holder of His power of attorney) swore in 1985 was limited to eight titles . (See Copyrights for a full discussion.) Since some of these are very old titles, no recordings of them exist.

If the 1978 license applied to recordings at all, it probably applied to at most four titles of works that are available in audio recordings and probably no videos.

So, the most OIF, Zurich could own in relation to the audio/video recordings of Osho’s “performances” in discourse would be an exclusive publishing license in Osho’s contribution to the recordings that were used to create the eight titles identified by Sheela.

As with the books, the recordings involved the work of many individuals who recorded, edited, copied, and otherwise worked with the recordings. The extent to which that work created a copyright interest in the individuals depends on the law of the countries where the work was done. If the individuals gave their rights away to someone else or some legal entity, the sufficiency of those transfers would depend on the laws of the country were the work was done. The same kinds of work-for-hire agreements are required for all creative work in the US as are required for work in book publishing. That means a work-for-hire agreement has to be in writing and signed before the work is completed.

The situation with recordings is the same as with the books. The most OIF, Zurich could ever possibly claim would be an exclusive publishing license in Osho’s share of the recordings of eight titles, several of which were not recorded.

 

 

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