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Books

Books As discussed fully in the copyright section of this site, OIF does not own the copyrights to any of Osho’s books. The documents Osho allegedly signed were at most licenses for publishing rights for not more than eight books . Further, according to those documents any future discourses Osho gave were not to be part of the license unless Osho specifically gave them to the licensee. He had the option of refusing to give any future work. There is no evidence that Osho ever included more than eight books in the license. Since there is no original of the license document, not even the license for eight books can be proven in court. The most OIF, Zurich could possibly own (if the document could ever be authenticated) would be an exclusive right to publish the material included in...

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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...

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Osho’s Meditation Techniques

In 1999 OIF attempted to register trademarks in the US for the names of Osho’s meditation techniques: Dynamic, Kundalini, Nadabrahma, Nataraj, Gourishankar, and for the phrase “active meditations.” The trademark office refused to register any of these because they were merely descriptive and didn’t indicate OIF, Zurich as the source of a product or service. The trademark office went on to point out that OIF, Zurich could not own meditation techniques that have been in widespread, uncontrolled use for many years. OIF, Zurich dropped the attempt to register the names of the mediations and came up with what it thought was a way to get sannyasins to help OIF, Zurich gain control of the meditation techniques. OIF, Zurich began telling sannyasins, often through its agent Global Connections in Pune, that people could help keep Osho’s meditations “24-karat” by adding...

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Music

Music There are several different ways to own a copyright for music. You can own the music composition, the lyrics, the performance contained in a recording, and the recording, and the recording. Several years after Osho left the body OIF came up with the idea of making all musicians who play in Pune sign over the rights in their compositions or they aren’t allowed to play. Only some of the composition rights appear to have been assigned to OIF, Zurich and some to OIF, India. First, Rights in a composition are not sufficient to own rights in a recording or to have a legal right to duplicate and sell a recording. To sell a music product you have to have ownership or a license of all the copyrights involved, including the performance rights of all musicians on the recordings....

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Photographs

Photographs Photographs are copyrighted by the person who takes the photograph. The copyright “affixes” to the photograph the moment when it is taken and becomes fixed. Like with other artistic endeavors, the photographer owns the copyright to his or her own photos unless he or she has assigned the rights to others. The only limitation is that while the subject of the photo is alive, no one can use the picture for commercial promotion. That’s no longer an issue with Osho. It was “common wisdom” in the community at one time that whatever creative work, like photography, artwork, editing, writing, and so on, that was done in an Osho commune or ashram legally belonged to the commune or ashram. Saying that doesn’t make it so, and in many cases it wasn’t so. This is clearly untrue in the US,...

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Osho’s Signature

Osho’s Signature OIF, Zurich has registered a trademark for one form of Osho’s signature in the US. This is so meaningless, that the US trademark challenge didn’t even bother with it. Like all trademark registrations, this does not mean that OIF owns this particular signature. More importantly, this registration has absolutely nothing to do with any other form of Osho’s signature. This registration does not mean OIF, Zurich owns “Osho’s signature” or that it owns Osho’ art that involved painted versions of His signature. In reality, OIF, Zurich has never owned Osho’s signature because it never received an assignment of ownership rights in Osho’s signature (or of anything else) from Osho, who owned the rights to His own signature. Further, OIF, Zurich has never used that particular signature in the marketplace so the signature has not become a source-indicator...

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