A US federal appeals court says a sequence of 26 poses and two breathing exercises used in Bikram Yoga classes is not entitled to copyright protection.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Thursday the yoga sequence is a process intended to improve people’s health, and copyright law does not extend to such processes. The court said a copyright on the yoga sequence would be akin to giving a surgeon the exclusive right to perform a complicated surgery.
The 9th Circuit’s ruling came in a lawsuit filed by Bikram Choudhury, considered the founder of Bikram Yoga. The yoga is performed in a hot room.
Choudhury sued yoga studio Evolation Yoga, accusing it of copyright infringement for using his sequence in its classes.
A call to Choudhury’s attorneys was not immediately returned.