Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

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Re: Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

Postby Jikan » Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:05 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Oooooooooohhh... Did i just detect a nasty underhanded swipe? :tongue:


I hope not. It's just that learning Dharma is probably less a priority for Candice O'Denver (or her org) than policing her google results when it comes to her online activities. Business is business.

Case in point: if she regularly checked DharmaWheel, don't you think she's have chimed in by now in one way or another?
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Re: Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

Postby conebeckham » Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:39 pm

In other news, I've just trademarked the phrase "long periods of vacancy, repeated only occasionally."

So don't even try using it.
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Re: Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

Postby heart » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:56 pm

conebeckham wrote:In other news, I've just trademarked the phrase "long periods of vacancy, repeated only occasionally."

So don't even try using it.


only occasionally, yes indeed :smile:

/magnus
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Re: Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

Postby Alfredo » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:23 am

You can trademark something invented by others. Ever heard of Alfred E. Neumann, the Mad Magazine mascot? His image came from some earlier product. The reason Mad was able to trademark it, is that his image had fallen out of commercial use--was no longer being used as a mark.

So a phrase like "Short Moments" or "Short Moments, Many Times" could be trademarked, assuming that no one else has been using in AS A MARK (as opposed to everyday speech) recently. And why not? Again, think of Apple Computers. You are still free to discuss, sell, and advertise for apples. But you cannot use the word "Apple" to sell computers that are not Apples (or otherwise attempt to profit from their mark). And this is only fair, no? So unless you were thinking of calling your dharma center, book, etc. "Short Moments," this doesn't affect you.

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.


If this is the case, then SHE is confused by what copyright actually protects. (Or perhaps she said "trademark," but she'd still be wrong.) Not concepts--those are unprotectable. Not techniques--that's what patents are for.

BTW the 1990's U.S. controversy over trademarking the Enneagram may be relevant here.
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Re: Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:29 am

Alfredo wrote: think of Apple Computers. You are still free to discuss, sell, and advertise for apples. But you cannot use the word "Apple" to sell computers that are not Apples (or otherwise attempt to profit from their mark). And this is only fair, no? So unless you were thinking of calling your dharma center, book, etc. "Short Moments," this doesn't affect you.


Actually, a long time trademark dispute was finally settled between The Beatles' Apple label, and Apple Computers. Until last year, I think, you couldn't get Beatles music on an ipod.

Years ago, the terms "Thick' n ' chewy" and "thin 'n' crispy" became registered trademarks of Pizza Hut.

It was pointed out that any copyright or trademark for "short moments" and its variations only really matter if someone is using it specifically for a similar purpose. However, copyright & trademark laws are not written in stone. So, really, it only matters if a lawsuit is filed by Candice O'Denver and the balanced view organisation, and if they can prove that the purpose that someone else has used these terms was to create confusion in the mind of the public (an interesting concept, for a buddhist) and purposeful misrepresentation. In other words, if you started your own group and called something like it balanced view, and you used these catchy phrases, and it was obvious that you were manufacturing a counterfeit. Like a fake designer purse.

But, as mentioned above, these terms were already in use, and it can be easily shown that they were in use.
So, while technically they may hold a copyright, it is a pretty damn' flimsy copyright.
Their copyright page opens with this goofy statement:

The copyright and trademark protections of this website ensure that all members of human society have access to high quality, complete, plainspoken, free information about the exact nature of humans and of open intelligences inexhaustible beneficial potency.

I just feel sorry for anyone who gets taken in by this scammer /nut job. But I wouldn't worry.
Looking at their logo, I wonder if:
1. anybody in their organization has an original idea
2. They plan to sue the President of the United States for trademark infringement
3. They run a racket where they copyright other people's stuff and then try to sue for trademark violation
4. They are actually misrepresenting themselves because they are obviously unbalanced!!!
:rolling:
The very fact that these time-honored expressions were trademarked by her organization should be a warning sign.
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Re: Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

Postby randomseb » Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:24 am

The act of doing so shows that this group has nothing worthwhile to teach and no one worth being taught by. They obviously don't engage in much thinking either :shrug:
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Re: Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:23 pm

randomseb wrote:The act of doing so shows that this group has nothing worthwhile to teach and no one worth being taught by. They obviously don't engage in much thinking either :shrug:


It seems to be a company that repackages a mix of buddhist and new-age concepts in order to sell them to businesses and individuals for self improvement (themselves, mostly). In other words, a spiritual path run by attorneys! :rolling:
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Re: Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:19 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:It seems to be a company that repackages a mix of buddhist and new-age concepts in order to sell them to businesses and individuals for self improvement (themselves, mostly). In other words, a spiritual path run by attorneys! :rolling:
Could be worse, could be a spiritual path run by accountants. At least attorneys like a good argument.
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Re: Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

Postby Jikan » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:46 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:It seems to be a company that repackages a mix of buddhist and new-age concepts in order to sell them to businesses and individuals for self improvement (themselves, mostly). In other words, a spiritual path run by attorneys! :rolling:
Could be worse, could be a spiritual path run by accountants. At least attorneys like a good argument.


a spiritual path invented by MBAs...

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Re: Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

Postby Alfredo » Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:05 am

Actually, a long time trademark dispute was finally settled between The Beatles' Apple label, and Apple Computers. Until last year, I think, you couldn't get Beatles music on an ipod.


The problem is the business environment has changed--now it is far more common for a single mark to be applied to a broad range of products. So McDonalds tends to sue anybody who uses the "Mc---" prefix (let alone "McDonalds," even if the proprietor is actually named McDonald) for anything at all, on the grounds that the public might be confused, and assume McDonalds to be behind it (thus diluting the brand). While their reasoning is often legally debatable, few would wish to find themselves in a lawsuit with McDonalds.

Years ago, the terms "Thick' n ' chewy" and "thin 'n' crispy" became registered trademarks of Pizza Hut.


Yes, slogans can be trademarked. Fox News is "Fair and Balanced" (TM). McDonalds comes up with new ones every year or so. ("I'm lovin' it").

But, as mentioned above, these terms were already in use, and it can be easily shown that they were in use.


But were they in use AS MARKS? For example, as the name of a book or dharma center? It's not enough to have spoken the words--you have to have used them to sell something, or otherwise establish a brand.

So, while technically they may hold a copyright, it is a pretty damn' flimsy copyright.


You mean trademark. But unless you can show prior use AS A MARK, I don't see what is flimsy about it. (Of course they are free to copyright the text of their books, websites, etc. And that is as it should be, no?)
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Re: Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

Postby Kyogan » Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:11 am

I think Alfredo is probably right to make the distinction about the 'trademarking of slogans'. Actually, neither Tulku Urgyen, Tsoknyi Rinpoche nor any of the other Tibetan Lamas who already used and published the words "short moments many times" in their books in the years before O'Denver trademarked it, actually used it as a Trademark, but really more as a ''slogan'' as part of their teaching and method.
But it's probably also as a ''slogan'' that could distinguish 'her own' unique teaching method, that is why she wants to own it.

But from what i've heard of the reports of threats and intimidation she or her org has made against people whom she considers are, or may be, using the ''concepts and techniques'' that she's copyrighted, her principle intent seems to be to intimidate people who are not sure of the legalities, or who feel they couldn't afford to pay for a court case anyway.

I think it's true that Candice O'Denver would have very little chance to actually win a court case against other teachers or writers, even though she could, and does, threaten to legally attack them for "using her intellectual property" or "any products, concepts or techniques that she considers are similar to or in competition with" the many concepts and techniques that she's directly lifted from Dzogchen sources.

Firstly, because so many of the basic perspectives and concepts and techniques she claims as ''hers'' have been obviously lifted from Tibetan sources that are widely available to others as well. Therefore those original sources that she cribbed from have undoubtedly influenced how various other western (not to mention traditional Tibetan) teachers communicate many of the same basic ideas. So she could never effectively prove that an idea/concept that anyone else used and that included aspects derived from the traditional perspectives and expressions were actually derived from hers, because hers are provably derived from the same earlier tradition.

[ In the last year or three, O'Denver has been faced with considerable criticism from several well informed Dzogchen teachers and students who've directly confronted her with detailed proof of her plagiarism. She tries to deny it by claiming these are all from a kind of 'anonymous open source' domain, but she has since then made considerable effort to modify her earlier expressions by simply replacing the very obvious and unique Dzogchen terminology for most of her basic concepts, and dress them up with terms derived from computer systems, virtual reality, transhumanism, etc.
For example, she now seems to have re-worded her earlier book "The Basic State" (which was a transparently obvious rehash of many basic Dzogchen ideas, tho presented as her own world first breakthrough discovery!) in a kind of techno-lingo form, and renamed it "The Singularity of Virtual Reality". It doesn't look good, but it does help disguise her sources a little. ]

Secondly, she'd never actually risk an open court case, most especially one she'd have almost no chance of winning, because of the terrible publicity it would bring to her highly contrived reputation as a perfect teacher who possesses ''unerring clarity at all times'', and only does all she does "for the benefit of all" (another term she's trademarked also). Her main method seems to be to keep her power plays and threats in the shadows, so that she can still uphold the surface image of someone who practices her own teachings and "does not manipulate points of view but relies on the View, and lets everything be as it is".

So altho i doubt she would ever win, or even mount, litigation against other teachers, the very fact that she's set herself up to appear to be able to do so, and has already been known to threaten to do so, is one of the many signs of significant disfunction in her own personality, and in her business model, and very tightly controlled organization. imo.

And, this despite the fact that she now boasts that, for the very first time ever, she alone has discovered "the algorithm" that is "The Standardized Solution to the Nature of Mind" and which will provide permanent mental and emotional stability to all who pledge lifelong devotion and service to her and her organization, which is of course the only way guaranteed to lead to permanent well-being! Can this be anything more than the narcissistic grandiosity of an unbridled ego?

She and her senior devotees often claim that total reliance on the methods of their organization will lead to complete liberation,and 24/7 mental and emotional stability, wisdom powers of great benefit and so on. And yet, apart from their repeated assertions there isn't much in O'Denver's behavior itself that attests to this. The many significant contradictions between her optimistic hyperbole and her own behavior (especially her covert behavior, behind the scenes, or using pseudonyms to criticize others, or via her lawyer, all attest to the fact that she can't walk her own talk..

And after encountering the literally control-freak level of micro-management with which she totally dominates (almost puppeteer's) the speech and behavior of her inner circle of devotees (in order to assure that the "Standardized Solution" remains standardized), her frequent claims that her org is a ''worldwide grassroots movement'' without the type of top-down control so common in the past, is simply laughable. As is the claim she's made to audiences at her talks on several occasions, that she now has "millions of followers in hundreds of countries'' utilizing her methods and living in reliance on her "Four Mainstays".

Anyway, it almost doesn't matter, in a way. She seems to be just another one of the many clever New-Age charlatans, who've dressed up some second hand Tibetan teachings to help launch her career as an impostor-Guru selling another partial self-help method as the ultimate truth. Such characters will always be circling around the edges of the herds trying to lure neophytes into their own exclusive little flock.
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Re: Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

Postby Alfredo » Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:32 am

What kind of "threats and intimidation" are we talking about here? Cease and desist letters? I would like to see the precise language of her complaints. The law can't help you if you won't stand up to her.

"Techniques" cannot be copyrighted or trademarked, only patented (and then only if you invented them). "Concepts" cannot be protected at all.

This is going to sound really obscure, but I promise you it's relevant: U.S. religion scholar David C. Lane has documented numerous instances of plagiarism by Eckankar leaders, who lifted material from Sant Mat literature (they're both on Wikipedia if you really want to know what these are), but changed the proper names of the Masters who supposedly revealed the material. Lane's expose did attract legal threats (he was just a university student at the time), but he persevered, and Eckankar started losing members. Your best allies, besides lawyers, are journalists and religious-studies scholars. There should be critical blogs, ex-member discussion forums, and You-Tube videos. Make it harder for her to attract money.

If it's any comfort, a trademark re-enters the public domain after a period of inactivity--in the USA I believe this is ten years. I doubt that this woman's activity has enough appeal to last very long, though she may succeed in ruining the marks for anyone else (like the swastika).
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Re: Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

Postby Dharmaswede » Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:11 pm

It is quite sad really. I have met practioners of great sincerety and capacity, unlike myself, who buy in to this. If you are not familiar with dzogchen, well then it sounds... great.
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Re: Iconic Phrase 'SHORT MOMENTS, MANY TIMES' Copyrighted?

Postby monktastic » Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:41 pm

I feel this is relevant to share. My curiosity was piqued, so I emailed Lama Lena:

Dear Lama Lena,

I am a student of the Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. Years ago, I came across Candice O'Denver's teachings, and found them to be quite beautiful.

I've heard rumors that she has been recognized as a Dzogchen lineage holder by Lama Wangdor Rimpoche. I thought I would ask you directly whether or not the rumors are true. If so, what a skillful way to share the heart essence!

Thanks very much,
(Monktastic)


Her response:
Lama Candice is a heart student of Wangdor Rimpoche, my own root teacher and she received her Linage Dzogchen teachings from him. Her presentation of Dharma is not of a specific Tibetan linage but is in English and suitable for many westerners who do not wish to adopt the Tibetan cultural paradime in order to realize Dharma.

.the meat is the same, the spicing is more suitable to a western palate. True Tibetan Ka-tsa ( a VERY hot spice) can be a bit much, and even obscure the flavor of the meat if one is not accustomed to it! So it's Rimpoche's meat but not his recipe. This is an analogy.

I am glad you are enjoying my heart sisters teachings! I also find them excellent and to the point!

Love,
Lama Lena
This undistracted state of ordinary mind
Is the meditation.
One will understand it in due course.

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