UnIP (UnIntellectual Property): Copyright for Yoga Sequence

I previously wrote about the United States Copyright Office’s stance as it relates to copyright protection for yoga sequences.  The United States District Court for the Central District of California has agreed with the Copyright Office.  Plaintiff Bikram Choudhury sought to enforce copyright rights to the yoga sequence taught by him and others authorized to teach Bikram Yoga.  The Court held that “the yoga sequence itself is not covered under Choudhury’s copyrights and thus, there can be no infringement.”  In doing so, it specifically agreed with the Copyright Office, noting:

Although books or photographs that depict a compilation of exercises may be copyrightable, the “compilation authorship would not extend to the selection, coordination or arrangement of the exercises themselves that are depicted in the photographs or drawings.”

As such, the Court granted Defendants’ Motion for Partial Summary Judgment.  Whether an appeal follows remains to be seen.

Bikram’s Yoga Coll. of India, L.P. v. Evolation Yoga, LLC, 2012 WL 6548505 (C.D. Cal. Dec. 14, 2012).


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