OIF and its Claims

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. A large subset of the background addresses various aspects of OIF's claimed right to control Osho's legacy, particularly regarding the legal muscle of copyright and trademark. This page explores OIF's institutional ancestry and what it claims to own. It is sourced from Osho Friends International. For more legal pages, see OFI or Legal Main Page.

What is OIF and what does it claim to own?


Osho International Foundation (OIF) was originally called Rajneesh Foundation Europe (RFE). It was set up in November 1984 by Rajneesh Foundation International (RFI), the foundation that owned the property on the Ranch (Rajneeshpuram, Oregon, USA).

RFE was renamed Neo Sannyas International Foundation and after 1990 renamed of Osho International Foundation and Board changed. OIF has never had a real presence in Switzerland. The address in Zürich is the address of an office service that receives mail and takes telephone messages. There has never been an actual working office there. Even today OIF, Zürich has no office, no staff, no facilities, and no activities like meditations or events.

RFI, USA signed a document in 1985 allegedly transferring RFI's rights in Osho's copyrights to RFE, Zürich. The copyright section of this site shows RFI didn't own Osho's copyrights at that time, the alleged transfer meant nothing. Nonetheless, that document is the basis for all of OIF's claims to special status and ownership today. OIF has never received an assignment from Osho himself or from any sannyas-related foundation or group except RFI. The last purported assignment from RFI was in 1986. (See Copyrights for details.)

There's no evidence that Osho ever knew about the foundation in Switzerland. At the time of the alleged copyright transfer from RFI to RFE, Osho had already left the US to return to India, so there's no evidence that He knew about that either. The name OIF came after 1990, after Osho left the body.

It is understood that after Osho returned to India from Rajneeshpuram, Rajneesh Foundation, India (RF) began to claim ownership of the "copyrights" (really exclusive publishing rights) again. During the rest of Osho's life these rights were claimed by India-based entities.

Meanwhile, the name of RFE was changed to Neo-Sannyas International Foundation (NSIF). At around the same time the name of RF was also changed to NSIF. That way, when Osho's books and recordings had a copyright attribution of NSIF, it was unclear whether the Zürich or the Indian foundation was claiming ownership.

As the copyrights section of this site demonstrates, neither of these foundations actually owned the copyright, since Osho had never transferred more than a conditional publishing license to anyone. The point is that the foundation now known as OIF, Zürich was concealing its claim to copyright ownership. The question naturally arises, was the purpose of this to conceal this claim from Osho, as well?

After Osho left the body the concealment continued. NSIF in Zürich changed its name to OIF in 1990 or 1991, and in 1991 a completely independent Indian trust called OIF was set up. In all publications of Osho's work in India it continued to appear that it was the Indian foundation, not the Swiss, that was claiming copyright ownership. It wasn't until the year 2000 that OIF, Zürich finally came out and openly claimed in India to own all copyrights.

So what does OIF claim to own today? OIF stated its claim to ownership of Osho's work and work related to Osho's teachings in its applications for trademarks to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). OIF said in several different applications: "Applicant [OIF] is the owner of all copyrights in the writings and oral teachings of the mystic Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh." OIF, Zürich based its claim to trademark ownership on this claim to copyrights.

Is this copyright ownership claim true? No, it's not even close to true. First of all, no one can own an "oral teaching." Someone could own a recording of a discourse (though there's no evidence that OIF, Zürich does), but no one can ever own an oral teaching. Copyrights cover what is called expression. That means the way things are written, said, sung, performed, photographed, painted, recorded, and so on. Copyrights never cover ideas.

That means that anyone, yes anyone, who wants to take Osho's ideas (or anyone's ideas) and repeat them as their own is completely free to do so, as long as they don't quote, paraphrase, or organize material in the same way Osho did. As long as a person puts the ideas in his or her own words and organize in his or her own way, anyone's ideas are free for the taking. To do that might be rude, but not illegal. This is true of any copyrighted material. Ideas can never be owned, by anyone, ever.

After all, Osho himself did a kind of borrowing extensively. He drew on every major religious tradition and even used quotes from many works for commentary, but He rarely, if ever, got permission from the copyright holders to do that. Osho, at least, never claimed any of that was "His;" He simply pointed out that Existence was speaking through Him. Osho understood deeply that ideas aren't anyone's property.

Milarepa, you hear my music; that music comes from the beyond. I cannot claim any monopoly, any copyright on it.
~ from The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here, ch 6

Also, no work is copyrightable until it is "fixed." This means that it is written down, photographed, recorded, put into musical notation, painted, and so on. It has to be in a fixed form so that it can be identified. There could never be a copyright for some sort of ethereal "oral teaching." There could only be a copyright for recordings, which OIF, Zürich clearly does not own. (See Copyrights)

Aside from the problem of owning oral teachings, there is no evidence that OIF, Zürich owns the copyrights to any of Osho's work. In fact, that would be impossible, since Osho never assigned ownership of His copyrights to anyone else. He still owned them when He left the body. (See Copyrights)

Based on its claim to own copyrights, to have licensed copyrights in the marketplace, and to have licensed and controlled all Osho centers since 1989, OIF, Zürich now claims to own all of Osho's work and all the work ever done by anyone else in the marketplace related to Osho's teachings. This claim, is, of course, absurd. The reasons why it is absurd are discussed fully in the trademark and copyright sections of this site.

OIF, Zürich has registered or attempted to register trademarks for "Osho" in the US, Switzerland, EU, Canada, and Australia etc. OIF, India has registered [or attempted to register?] trademarks for "Osho" in India. It's important to note that a trademark registration is not proof of trademark ownership. An applicant for a trademark registration merely swears, truthfully or not, that it owns the trademark and pays the fee. No proof is needed. See the trademark section of this site for detailed discussions of this.

OFI has separate pages relating to all the possible types of goods and services
OIF claims to own, control or license. They have been gathered below,
as most are fairly short. Each segment is linked to its original source page.

Books    Audio/Video    Meditation Techniques    Music
Photographs   Signature    Art    Domain Names    OIF Products

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, Zürich could possibly own (if the document could ever be authenticated) would be an exclusive right to publish the material included in the eight books listed. Further, there's no evidence that OIF owned rights other than those belonging to Osho in the books.

Since Osho didn't write books, but gave discourses that had to be transcribed, edited, designed, and so on, many people besides Osho were involved in creating the books. Each of those persons whose contribution was copyrightable owned the rights to their own works unless they had specifically given those rights away. Whether or not transcribing, editing, designing, and so on created a copyright interest in the work depends on the law of the country where the work was done. In the same way, the sufficiency of any assignment of rights depends on the law of that country. For example, in the US work-for-hire agreements must be in writing and signed before the work is completed in order to be legally enforceable.

Given the nature of Osho's work and the way books were created, it would be virtually impossible for anyone to own all the rights in one book, let alone all the books. They could start from scratch and do the transcribing and editing over again, but the cost of that would probably be prohibitive.

OIF, Zürich's claim to own exclusive rights in all of Osho's books is without foundation and can never be proved.

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, Zürich'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, Zürich 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, Zürich 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.

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, Zürich as the source of a product or service. The trademark office went on to point out that OIF, Zürich could not own meditation techniques that have been in widespread, uncontrolled use for many years.

OIF, Zürich 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, Zürich gain control of the meditation techniques. OIF, Zürich began telling sannyasins, often through its agent Global Connections in Pune, that people could help keep Osho's meditations "24-karat" by adding the prefix "Osho" to the names of the meditation techniques: Osho Dynamic, Osho Kundalini, and so on. OIF, Zürich's idea was that since they were pretending to own the name "Osho," they would also pretend to own any meditation technique with "Osho" as part of the name. Many people began to use Osho as a prefix in the meditation names, not realizing why OIF, Zürich was trying to make this change.

Of course, even if OIF, Zürich did own all rights in "Osho" (which it clearly does not) that would not give OIF ownership or control of meditation techniques that have been in the public domain for many years. OIF, Zürich is well aware of this, but there may be sannyasins and others who are not, so OIF, Zürich continues to claim to own and control the techniques. If fact, OIF, Zürich goes so far as to claim that one of the main purposes of trademarks is to "protect" the meditation techniques.

The reality is that Osho placed the meditation techniques in the public domain during His lifetime, and no one can change His decision. Osho began teaching meditation techniques to people in meditation camps in India in the 1960s to 1970s. He encouraged, even insisted, that people take the techniques and teach them to others. He asked people to open meditation centers were a large part of the program was teaching and doing these techniques. Individuals took the techniques to other kinds of centers and programs and taught them in college classes or in business settings. While all of this was happening, Osho exercised no legal control over His techniques and didn't assign any kind of right over the techniques to anyone else. Now, over 40 years down the road, no person can claim ownership of those techniques. Osho gave them as a gift to the world, and once the goose is out of the bottle, you can't get it back in and have the techniques belong to one entity.

Osho's decision and actions meant that the meditation techniques could not be controlled or "protected." This never bothered Osho, and there's no reason why it should bother us. Osho gave certain warnings about not misusing the techniques, which we would do well to pass on. Beyond that, there's nothing we could do, even if it was appropriate to try and control the techniques in a way Osho never did. The meditation techniques are in the public domain where Osho wanted them to be.

OIF, Zürich has products that are CDs of music to do the meditation techniques by. After its trademark applications for the meditations were denied, OIF changed the names of those CDs to "Osho Dynamic," "Osho Kundalini," and so on.

In the US trademark case Pramod (Klaus Steeg) testified that the names of Osho's meditation techniques had always included His name as a prefix. Pramod claimed that before the name change in 1989, the meditations had been consistently called Rajneesh Dynamic, and so on, instead of just Dynamic Meditation. He never explained why, if this was true, OIF tried to register plain "Dynamic Meditation" as a trademark in 1999.

In 2000 and 2001 OIF, Zürich filed new US trademark applications for "Osho Kundalini" and "Osho Nadabrahma." Every trademark application says the mark will be applied to specified goods or services. The applicant must claim that it has the exclusive right to sell the goods or services in the marketplace. The services OIF, Zürich applied for under the names of Osho's meditations were:

"Education services, namely, conducting individual sessions, workshops, retreats, seminars, groups, courses, training in the field f the teachings of the mystic Osho" in International Class 41.

"Spiritual counseling and meditations," in International Class 42.

In other words, OIF, Zürich claimed that the Osho centers have no legal right to use His meditation techniques in sessions, etc. OIF, Zürich gave the date of first use of these meditations as 1978. (It had to go back and change that after it added "Osho" to the names of the meditations, since Osho wasn't used until late 1989.) The important point is that OIF, Zürich openly admitted that the meditation techniques had been used in the US from at least 1978 onward. OIF, Zürich was not formed until 1984 in Switzerland, and it had never received any assignment from any person, center, or foundation of rights in Osho's meditation techniques in the US.

From the facts OIF has admitted it is completely clear that OIF, Zürich could not possible own exclusive rights to use Osho's meditation techniques. OIF could not have rights superior to the rights of centers that used the techniques for at least six years before OIF, Zürich was even founded. Some US Osho centers, on the other hand, have been conducting sessions, workshops, retreats, etc, using the meditation techniques since at least 1978, so OIF, Zürich's claim that it had the exclusive right to use the meditation techniques was unfounded.

None of the applications for trademarks of the names of Osho's meditations were approved for registration before the action to cancel all trademarks claiming an exclusive right to use "Osho" was filed in the US. All applications to register the names of Osho's meditation techniques as trademarks in the US were cancelled as descriptive in the Trademark Board's decision. In spite of this lack of registration and the evidence OIF, Zürich has admitted that shows it could not have exclusive rights to use Osho's meditation techniques, OIF continues to this day to claim ownership and control of the meditations.

On its website at Osho.com, OIF has this statement:

All trade names, trademarks, service marks, logos and trade styles on this site are owned by Osho International Foundation. Proper use is limited to use in connection with the products and services of the mark owner and no other use is permitted without the owner's prior written permission. The following marks are owned by OIF, Zürich: OSHO and the OSHO SIGNATURE DESIGN, OSHO ACTIVE MEDITATIONS, OSHO KUNDALINI MEDITATION, OSHO GOURISHANKAR MEDITATION, OSHO NADABRAHMA MEDITATION,OSHO NATARAJ MEDITATION, OSHO DYNAMIC MEDITATION, SPIRITUALLY INCORRECT, OSHO REBALANCING, OSHO DIVINE HEALING, OSHO CRANIO-SACRAL BALANCING, OSHO TIBETAN PULSING, OSHO MYSTIC ROSE, OSHO TIMES, OSHO ZEN TAROT, OSHO TRANSFORMATION TAROT, OSHO MEDITATION RESORT, OSHO MULTIVERSITY, NO-THOUGHT FOR THE DAY AND THE SWAN LOGO.

Please Note:

No permission is required to use any of the marks as an accurate factual reference to the practice or teaching of Osho Meditation techniques, provided you as user accurately identify yourself by your own name (not including Osho as part of the name).

The only restriction is that if you are teaching or presenting Osho Meditations publicly, you need to ensure that what you are offering is as described and presented in detail on the meditation area of osho.com, with its correct title, for example, Osho Dynamic Meditation, and is accompanied by the music specifically created for that meditation.

[Three links in this section were supplied to osho.com content. Since none of them work any more, they have been omitted.]


This claim to control the meditation techniques or the name you can use for the center that is presenting the techniques is completely false. No one is required to use "Osho" as a prefix with the meditation techniques if they don't choose to. During Osho's entire life the meditation techniques were called Dynamic Meditation, Kundalini Meditation, and so on. Osho never thought it was necessary to use His name as a prefix. OIF, Zürich is trying to get people to do this as a backhanded way of trying to claim ownership and control of the techniques that Osho never gave to them or to anyone else. OIF, Zürich knows it doesn't own these techniques, but is hoping that others don't know that.

Most of the so-called trademarks in OIF, Zürich's list above have not even been the subject of trademark applications, let alone been registered at least in US. These claims by OIF, Zürich are a major bluff intended to convince the unwary that OIF, Zürich owns and controls Osho's meditation techniques, and can, therefore, control the activities of Osho centers. There misrepresentations about ownership of the meditation techniques are false.

Osho's meditation techniques are today what they have always been since Osho created them: free for every spiritual seeker who wants to use them. According to Osho, they are an expression of Existence that moved through Osho and are intended to help people move into deeper states of meditation and consciousness. The meditation techniques are not anyone's property or anyone's power base. They belong to all.

This means that the meditation techniques can't be "protected," it also means they can't be exploited, commercialized, franchised, controlled, or restricted. Osho knew what He was doing.

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, Zürich 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.

Second, contracts, such as assignments of copyrights, are only legally enforceable if there was what is called "consideration." That means that the party receiving the benefit under the contract [OIF] gave something valuable in return. Since OIF, Zürich has no legal power to control who performs music in the Pune center, it gave nothing of value and assignments to OIF, Zürich would most likely not be enforceable if any musician wishes to revoke them.

It's possible, though unlikely, that musicians received something of value from OIF, India. That would only be true if OIF, India, and not other entities, has the legal power to determine who performs music in Pune.

Finally, if assignments are gained by misrepresentation, then they aren't enforceable and the artist can revoke them. For example, OIF, Zürich has told some people that they have already given ownership of artwork and music to "the foundation," during the time in Pune I and II. OIF sometimes claims that these assignments have been "lost." OIF further implies that these rights now belong to OIF, Zürich.

This representation is completely false. OIF, Zürich is a completely separate entity from any entity in Pune, and no entity in Pune has ever assigned any rights in music or artwork to OIF, Zürich. If any entity in Pune ever owned any such interest, it has absolutely nothing to do with OIF, Zürich. So, for example, if OIF, Zürich obtained an assignment of rights in music because OIF claimed it already owned those rights, that claim would be a misrepresentation. OIF, Zürich has never been assigned any rights from entities operating in Pune I and Pune II.

Further, if OIF only has the composition rights in music, but not the performance rights from all the performers or the recording rights, then OIF, Zürich has no legal right to produce or sell the music as a product.

OIF has also claimed the right to decide what music may be recorded in relation to Osho. As we discuss at length in the trademark articles, trademarks never have anything to do with an historical person, even if the trademark is the name of that historical person. People can record and sell music related to the person Osho in any way they want. No claim to own any trademarks has anything at all to do with it. Only a valid ownership of composition rights to music could be used to prevent that music from being recorded.

This dispute has centered around Amrito's, and perhaps Jayesh's, idea that devotion is unacceptable, even though Osho talked about devotion as a path. Amrito and others claim the right to decide, in the way of a hierarchical religion, what music is acceptable. This is wholly unfounded. People can play and record any kind of music they like in connection with the historical person Osho. No one can ever own an historical person or control how others relate to an historical person; that simply isn't what a trademark is about.

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, where the individual owns his or her own work unless a valid written work-for-hire agreement has been signed. Everyone should check the laws of the countries where they did creative work to see what ownership rights they have.

At one point OIF, Zürich claimed to own all photographs of Osho and to have the power to control who used them and how. OIF reportedly once threatened to sue a sannyasin-owned magazine in Europe for $25,000 for using a picture of Osho on the cover. (If this kind of behavior occurs, it needs to be reported as harassment. See Your options)

It's unclear whether OIF, Zürich owns the rights to any photographs at all. No Indian entity has assigned its rights in photographs to OIF, Zürich . This means that OIF, Zürich clearly does not own rights to any photographs taken pre-Pune I, in Pune I or Pune II, or on the World Tour.

RFI, the US foundation did assign rights in photographs to OIF, Zürich , but its unclear what rights RFI actually owned. In order for RFI to own rights in photographs it would have to have obtained work-for-hire agreements from the photographers before the photos were taken. Then it would have needed to keep track of who took each photograph or group of photographs, so that photographs could be matched to the work-for-hire agreement.

It's very unlikely that OIF has this kind of information for the Ranch-era (Rajneeshpuram, USA) photographs, which means that the 1986 assignment from RFI to OIF was meaningless as far as the ownership of copyrights in individual photographs is concerned. If OIF claims to own "all photographs of Osho" anyone can feel confident in completely ignoring them. If OIF claims to own a particular photo it needs to produce the identification of the photographer, the work-for-hire agreement, and the assignment of rights to OIF. If OIF has all that, simply choose a different photo.

Osho's Signature

OIF, Zürich 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, Zürich owns "Osho's signature" or that it owns Osho's art that involved painted versions of His signature.

In reality, OIF, Zürich 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, Zürich has never used that particular signature in the marketplace so the signature has not become a source-indicator for OIF.

Since OIF, Zürich has not used the signature since it was registered several years ago, OIF, Zürich has abandoned any trademark it might have had in the signature. It won't help OIF, Zürich that it has sometimes used other versions of Osho's signature on the website and in other places. Even a slight change will usually constitute abandonment of the original mark.

So anyone who wants to use Osho's signature as artwork, go ahead and use it. If OIF harasses you, fill out an Intimidation questionnaire and choose a different version of the signature.

Osho Art

There is no evidence that OIF, Zürich owns Osho's artwork. RFI in the US assigned some rights in artwork to OIF, Zürich , but there's no evidence that RFI ever owned any rights in Osho's artwork. Osho never assigned rights in His artwork to anyone else, including RF in India. No other entity ever assigned rights in Osho's artwork to OIF.

Websites (Domain Names)

In 2000 a US for-profit corporation, America Multi-Media Corporation, filed a claim on behalf of OIF, Zürich with the National Arbitration Forum against Osho Dhyan Mandir and Atul Anand in New Delhi. The complaint claimed that OIF owned trademarks for "Osho" in the US, and as a result, Osho Dhyan Mandir's domain name "OSHOWORLD.COM" should be transferred to OIF, since OIF was the only entity that could have a domain name including "Osho" on the entire Internet.

The arbitrator refused OIF's demand in a strong decision, where he said:

This record…is more than sufficient to establish that OSHO does not and cannot serve as a source indicator and/or distinguishing moniker for Complainant [OIF] and/or Complainant's goods and services. Under these circumstances, there is serious doubt as to whether Complainant "has rights" in such a trademark or service mark because the purported mark does not and cannot serve a trademark purpose.

The overwhelming evidence indicates that it refers to Osho, his teachings and his spiritual movement.
(Decision, p. 4–5)


(Nine years later the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) reached the same decision that "Osho" is not a source indicator for OIF, Zürich and that, instead, the term refers to the person Osho, his teachings, and his spiritual movement. On this basis all trademark registrations or applications including "Osho" were cancelled or denied.)

The arbitrator went on to point out, as the TTAB did later, that trademarks cannot be used to attempt to monopolize a religious teaching:

To grant Complainant's request for relief would be to permit virtual monopolization on the Internet by Complainant of any domain name which includes the name of a great spiritual teacher and leader. While making no judgment on the relative merits or validity of the world's religious or spiritual movements or any leader thereof, this Arbitrator finds that permitting this would be as improper as doing the same with Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Zorastrianism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Shintoism or any of the several hundred other of the world's religions and/or spiritual movements. Neither the Lanham Act nor the ICANN Policy and Rules contemplate or intend such a result.
(Decision, p. 6)


OIF Products

OIF, Zürich has a few products it claims to license in addition to Osho books and recordings, mediation music, and other music. These include some sets of tarot cards, note cards, and so on.

Most of the products OIF purports to license have some Osho material included. For example, OIF, Zürich had a product with a teacup that included a book of Osho quotes, and both tarot decks and the note cards have Osho quotes as well. This means that OIF, Zürich doesn't own all the rights in the products it has been producing, since it doesn't own the copyrights for Osho's work.

It may own some of the rights. For example, there may be some assignments of artwork or other work done by individuals, but OIF, Zürich still doesn't have any exclusive rights to the Osho material that is usually included.

OIF, Zürich would own the copyright in compilations if it had work-for-hire agreements with the people who did the compilations. That is, the person doing the compilation has rights in the way the compilation is organized, but that person doesn't gain any rights he or she didn't already have in the material being compiled. So a compilation copyright for material that OIF, Zürich doesn't own isn't worth very much.

Though OIF, Zürich has some rights in some of the products it purports to license, it has very few more than anyone else. OIF, Zürich is not in a position to stop others from creating their own compilations, tarot cards, note cards, and so on, related to Osho's work.