Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

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Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

Postby asunthatneversets » Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:38 am

Saw this posted elsewhere (not my writing):

"~ SHORT MOMENTS, REPEATED MANY TIMES ~

(It's now Private Property ! - so don't repeat it, you may be in breach of copyright law!)

This fundamental instruction for gaining confidence in awareness has traditionally been communicated by teachers of the Tibetan Dzogchen and Mahamudra Lineages, as part of their ancient cultural heritage.

One of the many Lamas to have done so in recent years, is Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, whose books 'AS IT IS' clearly, frequently and openly share this important instruction, and the context which is essential for complete understanding and application of this method for realization of Awareness.

'The practice, as I state over and over again,
is SHORT MOMENTS REPEATED MANY TIMES'
(citation from Tulku Urgyen's 'As It Is'
v2. p145, published 2000).

Multiple variations of this term 'SHORT MOMENTS REPEATED MANY TIMES' are used literally hundreds of times in these two volumes of 'As It Is' alone, and also have been used extensively in the Dzogchen and Mahamudra traditions for hundreds of years.

In fact for centuries the term 'SHORT MOMENTS MANY TIMES' has been utilised, preserved and passed on by many Tibetan Wisdom masters of the Mahamudra and Dzogchen Lineages, and in the west it has been widely available to English readers for several decades, in the published works of Tibetans wisdom teachers such as Tulku Urgyen, Chokyi Nyima, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, and others.

This very precious traditional instruction, that is an essential part of the freely given wisdom inheritance of the human race, was never once 'possessed', nor were the legal rights to it's use 'owned', by any single individual or organization, as if it could be their own personal 'intellectual property' (legally enforceable under copyright law). And for the good ethical reason that to do so would have been a flagrant violation of the very spirit of the Bodhisattva tradition of compassionate wisdom activity in which that particular practice, and the terms used to describe it, were used.

The very important point i'm emphasizing here is that no phrase as central to the tradition of Dzogchen as is 'Short Moments Repeated Many Times', could ever possibly be 'legally owned' as the 'intellectual property' of any individual, or business corporation.

Even to suggest so, seems to me to be not at all credible.
And yet, incredibly, now it actually is so.

As of last year the traditional term, already widely used and previously published in easily available english language books of Tibetan Dzogchen teachings, has been seized for exclusive, and legally enforceable use, by a self-appointed American teacher of a form of hybrid Tibetan/techno-futurist self-improvement.

So now we find, in september 2010, after countless years of the term and practice 'Short Moments Many Times…' being freely available to all (altho encountered by relatively few), this one particular individual was able to seize legal control over the use of this term by buying the trademark, claiming that it was her own invention.

As bizarre as it seems, that individual now seeks to claim, as her own legally enforceable exclusive 'intellectual property', the term already used by others, and in circulation in the public domain for decades before her attempt at 'spiritual piracy' was perpetrated.

Perhaps this was just an innocent mistake made by a clever but naive individual who, believing herself infallible due to her 'brilliant unerring clarity', foolishly mistook a term, which she knew to be a traditional Dzogchen wisdom instruction, to be an item of personally obtainable intellectual property that she would seize for her own exclusive use. An understandable mistake, from some points of view, perhaps.

Whatever it is, she has succeeded in gaining the legal trademark of the term 'Short Moments Many Times' and its variants, and she and/or her business corporation will now be able to legally prevent others making any public use of the term or its variants, unless authorized by her or her organization. Using this trademark she is now legally empowered to threaten and suppress their public activities if they ever teach, or publish, the ancient traditional Dzogchen practice of 'Short Moments Many Times' (as Tulku Urgyen and many other Lamas have been doing for many years before she bought the term and removed it from the public domain.)

Of course it's not likely that she trademarked these terms to curtail the activities of authorized lineage masters in the Dzogchen tradition. That would be the height of hubris.

What then is her intent in trademarking these terms? When one reads the copyright statement that accompanies all her teachings and which students are required to sign, it would appear that she seeks to prevent anyone, beginning with her own students, from ever publicly 'competing with' her by disseminating anything 'similar to or competing with' whatever she considers to be 'her' teachings.

Her trademarking of part of a simple and profound wisdom instruction that has existed in the Tibetan Dzogchen tradition for hundreds of years, therefore, has to be understood as part of a calculated strategy to control the activities of her students, and others, now and into the foreseeable future.

It is most likely a criminal offense for anyone to trademark an item of 'intellectual property' as if it's their own invention, when in provable fact it was already in independent use by others in the public domain, prior to the trademark date. We'll have to look into this further.

Anyway, if you want to see for yourself, please check out the company 'Trademarken' for the Trademarks #85175572 "Short Moments"; #85175579 "Short Moments Many Times"; #85175602 "Short Moments of Awareness, Many Times, Become Automatic" #85175586 "Short Moments of Clarity, Many Times, Become Continuous" ; #85175592 "Short Moments of Clarity, Many Times, Become Automatic" .

I must say that to me this individuals act of seizing 'SHORT MOMENTS...' from the 'spiritual commons' for her own very exclusive business enterprise seems very much like an attempt at spiritual and cultural theft. I find it quite difficult to imagine what could possibly serve as a credible excuse for what seems like very unethical and underhanded behavior. And it's an orientation that appears to be at odds with the tradition of compassionate wisdom from which she is known to have lifted so much of her own supposedly original material.

In fact it's very obvious to anyone familiar with the writings of Longchenpa, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, and many other traditionally trained masters of Tibetan Dzogchen, that the supposedly 'original' early teachings of this person (or her 'products, concepts, systems and technologies' as she prefers to call them) are extensively derived from those earlier Tibetan authors and their traditional perspectives.

After discovering her many trademarks for the common variations of this term 'Short Moments..', which she has bought despite the provable fact that it has been, and still is, widely used in the Mahamudra/Dzogchen traditions, I wondered if she'd succeeded in trademarking any other traditional Buddhist terms or phrases.

In fact many additional terms and phrases, clearly originating in the Buddhist tradition, and published as such for very many years, have also been very frequently used by this particular individual (The 'trademarker' of the Tradition) as if they were unique inventions of her own. These include terms and phrases such as - 'short moments of awareness' , 'resting as awareness' , 'let everything be as it is' , 'the basic space' ,'natural perfection' , 'primordial purity', 'for the benefit of all', 'body, speech, mind, qualities and activities' and 'timelessly free'.

She has in fact begun that process of trademarking other traditional terms. Not only has she seized 'Short Moments Many Times', and several variants, as if they were her own inventions, and as if she had an ethical right to do so, but to my astonishment i found she has also already gained legal control over 'for the benefit of all' ! (Trademark #85175618)

Watch out you Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the ten directions, you are all now in breach of her copyright, by using 'her intellectual property' !

Now I can't help ironically wondering if, as an ex-catholic, she would try to trademark 'Father, Son and Holy Spirit' or 'Hail Mary, full of grace, . . . '. To do so would give her great leverage over much of Christendom.
However, unlike the Tibetans, those Vatican guys would have so many lawyers onto her she wouldn't know what hit her. And she'd find it impossibly costly to enforce.

But most Buddhists who realize the lack of inherent self-existence and let everything be as it is, don't manipulate their data-streams, and may appear as push-overs, so she's probably not worried."
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Re: Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

Postby Andrew108 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 6:28 am

I think that when you are meditating on the true nature then it is important to meditate short moments, many times. This is especially important in the Dzogchen and Mahamudra traditions.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

Postby asunthatneversets » Sun Mar 24, 2013 6:41 am

Andrew108 wrote:I think that when you are meditating on the true nature then it is important to meditate short moments, many times. This is especially important in the Dzogchen and Mahamudra traditions.


Yes of course. Apparently the nameless individual discussed above has took it upon herself to legally copyright 'short moments, many times' though... quite ridiculous IMO.
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Re: Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

Postby Andrew108 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 6:55 am

So will I get sued? That was why I repeated the phrase. It will be interesting to see if they go after a teacher who uses the phrase in a written work. I don't know who 'she' is, so I can't work out her motivation. Any ideas as to who?
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

Postby asunthatneversets » Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:11 am

Andrew108 wrote:So will I get sued? That was why I repeated the phrase. It will be interesting to see if they go after a teacher who uses the phrase in a written work. I don't know who 'she' is, so I can't work out her motivation. Any ideas as to who?


Candace O'Denver would be my guess.
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Re: Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

Postby Inge » Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:12 am

Andrew108 wrote:So will I get sued? That was why I repeated the phrase. It will be interesting to see if they go after a teacher who uses the phrase in a written work. I don't know who 'she' is, so I can't work out her motivation. Any ideas as to who?

Candice O'Denver and the balanced view organisation
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Re: Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

Postby Andrew108 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:32 am

O.k so she is just carving out some territory in the Advaita spiritual marketplace. Sad that people who have come across the teachings also have these kinds of strategies.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

Postby Inge » Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:37 am

Apparently all those trademarks except one are no longer pending, as can be seen here: http://www.trademarkia.com/company-bala ... 5-page-1-2
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Re: Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

Postby Wayfarer » Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:42 am

I read an article several years ago about IP (intellectual property) wars in Yoga schools and terminology in the USA. Similar story - some special names and terms, which are generic to Yoga, had been trademarked and therefore 'owned' by various yoga teaching organizations. Anyone else using those terms were being sent 'cease and desist' letters. I don't think this covers use in conversation or on forums etc, but in any published materials, classes, website names, and so on. My reaction at the time was that it was too depressing for words.

To me it seems inextricably linked with the desire to exploit which is linked to the 'craving to become'. Surely this has to be one of the main drivers behind the 'spiritual supermarket'. The commercial exploitation of Eastern spiritual traditions is not pretty, nor edifying.
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Re: Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:09 am

Inge wrote:
Andrew108 wrote:So will I get sued? That was why I repeated the phrase. It will be interesting to see if they go after a teacher who uses the phrase in a written work. I don't know who 'she' is, so I can't work out her motivation. Any ideas as to who?

Candice O'Denver and the balanced view organisation
She'll be dead in a few years and her organisation will be torn apart by infighting over who is the heir to the money/power, so I wouldn't worry too much about it.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

Postby Lingpupa » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:03 am

Quite apart from the fact that they seem to have lapsed, the trademarkia site suggests that what is it issue is trademarks, which is quite a different thing from the astonishing claim that the phrase itself is "copyright".

It would have meant that you could not run an organisation, course or sell a book with that as the title, or as your own trademark.

I once worked for a company that was selling some lightning-fast image processing boards under the name of "Concorde". They were made to stop using that name. Admittedly, they asked for trouble, by having a photograph of the boss published with an inflatable model Concorde aircraft hanging from the ceiling by a nylon thread. Had it not been for that, they could well have argued that there were no grounds for confusion between an electronic circuit board and an aircraft, and who knows they might have won, though possibly not because the appeal was to the idea of "speed". The inflatable 'plane, however, rather shot a hole in that argument.

Anyway, the point is that although Concorde was, and presumably still is, a registered and protected product name, that doesn't mean to say that you can't use the word concorde in any other appropriate circumstances, possibly even as a product name as long as you are not trying to coat-tail the famous aeroplane. If you breed a new strain of cabbage, it might be quite easy to call it Concorde, unless there is one on the market with that name already. Although if you tried to suggest that your new strain grew far, far faster than conventional cabbages, you might again run into trouble, if anybody cares.

As far as I know, and *I am not a lawyer* it is not legally possible to simply copyright phrases. One should be careful before rushing to judgement, distasteful as you may feel this particular case to be. Not that I really either know or care - perhaps she is a nice lady.
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Re: Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

Postby Alfredo » Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:59 am

Right. Trademark protect words or images (possibly trade dress) in active use as brands. "Apple" is an ordinary word, but you can't use it to sell computers, which is only fair. On the other hand, you couldn't get away with registering "Computer" as the brand name of a computer. Note also that you are entirely free to discuss Apple Computers without getting permission; the one thing you can't do is use their name to make money.

Copyright protects the products of creative expression, such as novels or paintings. You can't copyright a word or phrase, because that is not creative. Nor can you copyright an idea--only its expression.

An example: Most of the Tarzan novels are in public domain (i.e., copyright has expired); however, the trademark to the name "Tarzan" has been actively maintained. If you wanted to publish a comic based on Tarzan, you would have to use a different title (as one company actually did).

Patents protect inventions; they are the third major form of Intellecual Property Rights, or IPR. Conceivably a set of yoga poses could be patented (if they are considered scientific, and if they were invented by the claimant, as opposed to having been passed down from others). Alternatively, they might be considered as a form of artistic expression, analogous to dance steps, and thus copyrightable.

There are international treaties covering IPR, though details do differ from country to country. In the USA, there has been controversy over whether it is possible to trademark the name of a religion. Court decisions on this have been mixed, but a very generic name would probably not receive protection (as opposed to the specific name of an organization). The examples from yoga and Buddhism seem related.
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Re: Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

Postby randomseb » Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:40 am

The copyright system is of course heavily abused by the capitalists, but as far as I know if you can demonstrate prior use, doesn't that somehow dissolve the copyright?
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Re: Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

Postby Alfredo » Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:52 am

See my post above. You seem confused about what copyright actually protects.
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Re: Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

Postby Kyogan » Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:54 pm

There is some confusion arising from the distinction between "Copyright" and "Trademark", as regards this issue of "Short Moments...".
What Candice O'Denver did was to Trademark the traditional term "Short Moments..." (and several variations)

But she did this despite the easily established fact that the exact same term and it's exact same use have been published in books by Tibetan Lamas years before. These Lamas books were surely where she took the term from of course, as she obviously also took a great many other distinctively unique and iconic perspectives, images, concepts, terms, metaphors that were virtually unique to Dzogchen texts, and presented them as her own work, from 2007 on.

The fact is that Candice O'Denver has trademarked the traditional Tibetan Dzogchen instruction "Short Moments" and "Short Moments, Many Times" (and several other variants).
On 5/April/2011 she successfully bought that right from the company 'Trademarken', before any of the Lamas thought to protect it for the tradition.
- for instance check:
http://www.trademarken.com/trademark/85 ... VrBeBkkg0o
And see : The books "As It Is" by Tulku Urgyen. Vol1 publ.1999; & Vol2 publ 2000 - for the 'originals' of her 2011 trademarks)

But it's not only that she's Trademarking the parts of the tradition that she wants to own, she is also Copyrighting the ''concepts and techniques" from the tradition she wants to own for herself.
In other words she seems to be trying to Copyright all the "concepts, systems and techniques" that she has extensively derived from traditional Dzogchen sources, apparently in order, as she says, to ''limit the right'' of any other individual "now or in the future" from developing any other ''concepts or techniques'' that she considers to be "SIMILAR TO or IN COMPETITION WITH" her now copyrighted ''intellectual property''.

Consider this citation from her own Copyright statement, which also contains farcically comprehensive lists of every possible way in which everyone who attends any teaching event of hers, or even access's her web site, are, in her view, forever forbidden from utilizing anything even SIMILAR TO, or possibly COMPETING WITH, anything that is being presented by her now, or that may be presented in the future !

["….. The terms of copyright shall be construed to limit the Recipient’s right to independently develop products or services which may be similar to those discussed in the Copyright Notice. The Owner acknowledges that the Recipient may currently or in the future be developing information internally, or receiving information from other parties, that is similar to the copyrighted information. Nevertheless, this copyright notice shall prohibit the Recipient from developing products, concepts, systems or techniques that are similar to or compete with the products, concepts, systems or techniques contemplated by or embodied in the copyrighted information." -citation from her copyright statement, presently on the Balanced View website]

This seems to mean that she wants to have the right and power to limit the right of anyone, currently or in the future, from ''developing the concept or technique'' of "Short Moments Many Times", because she has now purchased it and considers it her personal intellectual property. Or for that matter, of communicating anything like "let everything be as it is", "Basic State", "Pure Space", "Natural Perfection" or any of dozens of other key terms and concepts, images and metaphors that she directly lifted from the already available traditional writings.

There seem to me to be a few ethical and spiritual problems with this approach of hers. One particular problem (for those interested in Dzogchen teachings) is that as the works that she has now Copyrighted as 'her own' ''intellectual property'' (most especially the early talks and writings of 2006/7/8 etc,), are almost all very obviously closely derived from previously published Dzogchen texts (sometimes with whole passages, phrases, images and concepts lifted from Tibetan works).

Anyone already familiar with the published writings of Longchenpa, Garab Dorje, Dilgo Khyentse, Tulku Urgyen, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, Ponlop Rinpoche, Namkhai Norbu, and others will easily recognize dozens of very distinctive phrases, images and metaphors that she has taken from those writings, with no acknowledgement as to whom she took them from. And quite apart from the many particular and unique terms ("natural perfection", "basic state" etc etc etc) she's taken directly from the traditional writings, most certainly the essential perspectives are also obviously derived from the published teachings of Tibetan lamas.

In 2008, O'Denver published claims that she has "developed a breakthrough understanding of the nature of reality" ! - which turns out to be that "there is a basic state naturally present in all phenomena" ! - obviously failing to mention the widely available books by Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche (and other Buddhists) that frequently communicate the same ancient perspective, well before she came on the scene and launched her career. Maybe she really meant it was "a breakthrough understanding" for her personally when she discovered other people's previous communications of that concept, but reading her inflated hyperbole about her own extraordinary advances in human knowledge, it would be easy to assume she intends you to believe that if she hadn't discovered this concept no-one else would ever get to know it. Which probably seems a good reason to her to have the right to own it as her very own intellectual property.
.
So, taking the work of others and presenting it as your own uniquely innovative discovery is one thing. (Not necessarily so bad, if others come to be exposed to those beneficial ideas who wouldn't usually come to do so from the original sources. In fact this is the principle reason advanced by her devotees in defense of her plagiarisms).

But then for her to try to gain permanent Copyright ownership of all the slightly modified ideas, concepts and methods that she has derived from traditional Dzogchen teachings, in order for her to have "the right and power to limit the right" of any individual to "develop the concepts or techniques" that she considers "are SIMILAR TO or IN COMPETITION WITH" her copyrighted material, takes the whole matter to another level, i believe.

This Copyright power she's bought will be increasingly significant if she continues to threaten to use it against other teachers, because as ''her own'' (sic) ''concepts and techniques" are necessarily so very "similar to" the many basic Dzogchen/Buddhist concepts and techniques from which she derived and modified her own, then anyone who also learns, realizes and teaches anything ''similar to'' any of the basic concepts, techniques, terms, images, metaphors or perspectives of the Dzogchen tradition, will be found by her to be ''similar to and in competition with'' her own modified version. Altho that does sound crazy, which it is, it's not as unlikely that she will not act on it, as it sounds .

If anyone feels concern about any of the implications of this issue, i urge you to contact any Lama or Dzogchen Teacher you may know, and request them to discuss the matter with Candice O'Denver in person. You might also like to write directly to her and ask her for a public explanation about this. She can be contacted at her FaceBook site or at her business, "BalancedView.com"
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Re: Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

Postby Jikan » Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:07 pm

If we use the phrase Candice O'Denver more than a few times in this thread (like this: Candice O'Denver Candice O'Denver Candice O'Denver Candice O'Denver), then it's very likely that Candice O'Denver or her friends at Candice O'Denver's organization (committed as they are to Candice O'Denver's teaching and Candice O'Denver's reputation) might use a computer owned by Candice O'Denver to use a google search. Probably by searching the term "Candice O'Denver."

Your thoughts, Candice O'Denver?
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Re: Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:33 pm

She's already registered here at Dharma Wheel, so she won't need to Google search to find this thread.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

Postby Jikan » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:50 pm

I'm not assuming she regularly checks DharmaWheel. It's a discussion board about Buddhism.
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Re: Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:57 pm

Oooooooooohhh... Did i just detect a nasty underhanded swipe? :tongue:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:59 pm

I can ask my wife (attorney)..but I doubt much of this is actionable in any meaningful way.

Far as normal usage stuff goes, all that is covered by fair use...where you would run into issues is putting out a book etc. using the exact phrasing. I have no idea how that would play out, it probably depends on whether or not she would take action. As far as I know copyright law is usually a civil thing (to the best of my knowledge naturally), suing someone for copyright infringement is not necessarily an accusation or claim of a "criminal" act.

All that said, it's exceptionally sleazy behavior, really terrible. I knew she was teaching pseudo-dharma but I had no idea she had gone to these kinds of lengths:(
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