OIF Authority and Legal Positions Debunked

This page is part of the historical background relating to "What Is an Osho?", a slick, sannyas-paradigm-shifting policy paper written by Amrito and circulated in 1998. A deconstruction of Amrito's paper is presented on this site, introduced here.

Many substantial pages of legal opinion have been posted at Osho Friends International concerning various aspects of OIF's legal maneuverings to control Osho's legacy. The author is not stated but the pages are presumed to be the work of Ma Prem Sangeet, OFI's legal advisor. Many of those pages have been re-posted here as well, including just about everything they have posted on trademark and copyright. This page is an index to those writings.

Lawyers rely a lot on precedent, and Sangeet is no exception. What is exceptional here is that her precedents include what Osho has said and done, as well as jurisprudence. A "case" can always be made for saying that Osho contradicts himself frequently and thus, anything that relies on his say-so can be "disproved" by a "competing" Osho quote. While this has a certain literal truth, the preponderance of what Osho has said and done fits well with jurisprudence and with sannyasins' collective experience of not being controlled by a "higher authority". And the weaknesses of both OIF's positions and their questionable actions are shown vividly by Sangeet's thorough presentation. This collection is a major service.

The articles are listed and described below. Links to the original individual articles at OFI are supplied at the individual pages. They are more or less in the order presented at OFI, if it matters. There is some repetitiveness and overlap. Perhaps some of that is unintended, but to repeat something in a new context so that a theme may be decently explored in one place looks like sufficient benefit to compensate for anything unintended. So comprehensive and wide-ranging is this presentation that any such "shortcomings" are completely insignificant.

What is a Trademark?, explains what a trademark is, how it works and why OIF's trademark claim does not work.

Why a Trademark?, takes apart OIF's rationale for needing a trademark.

The Legal Structure of Sannyas, well, there isn't one, and Sangeet shows this well, with plenty of Osho quotes and history.

Pune as HQ, on OIF's de facto control of the Pune Resort and how that has been spun into a presumed right to control all aspects of Osho's legacy.

Inner Circle and Presidium, on the lack of legal basis for any authority for these bodies.

Osho and OIF, lots of detail on the lack of legal connection between Osho and OIF.

OIF, RF and RFI, the claimed lineage from RF and RFI to OIF debunked.

OIF and Pune, demonstrates the lack of legal connection between OIF Zürich and any legitimate entity in India.

OIF, NY and London, touches on OIF's affiliates in NY and London.

OIF and Centers, explores in great detail how Osho's centers have always been autonomous, legally free even of him, never mind of his orgs. Includes a long look at OIF's infamous "Letters of Understanding", which have no legal significance.

OIF and its Claims, traces OIF's institutional predecessors and history, and surveys and debunks what OIF claims to own.

Osho on Copyrights and Trademarks, lots of Osho quotes sampled on this theme.

The Ever-Changing Story, on how testimony from OIF officials justifying what they do has changed over the years.

OIF's Trademark Claims Problems, on the fundamental problems of OIF's trademark claims.

OIF's Strategies and Tactics, on the sleaziness of some of OIF's approaches to asserting their hegemony.

US Trademark Decision, presenting the key parts of a 2009 judgment from a US board voiding OIF's trademark claims in the US.

Claims and Facts, debunking the propaganda put out by OIF surrogates in the wake of the US trademark decision.

Options for Centers, on what centers can do when challenged by OIF.

Above pages relate mainly to OIF's trademark claims, with some overlap with copyright and other areas. Below, copyright matters, with, inevitably, some overlap with trademark.

Who Owns Osho's Copyrights?, presents an overview of OIF's copyright claims, and why they don't work.

The Paper Trail (such as it is): the documents OIF claims give it ownership of Osho's copyrights, along with explanations of why they don't.

Osho's ≤1978 Book Titles: a list of all of Osho's English book titles preceding the date of a document allegedly assigning copyright to his foundation.

Indian Entities' "Competing" Claims: a history of other copyright claimants pre-1990, creating further doubt about OIF's claims.