Open-Source Materials Based On The Work Of Moshe Feldenkrais

Do you think the work of Moshe Feldenkrais should be more widely available?

If you read the FeldyForum or participate in other community activities such as attending guild conferences, you may have heard about the dissatisfaction that many Feldenkrais and Feldenkrais-based practitioners have about the accessibility of materials. The discussions have been going on for many, many years.

Much of the materials related to the work of Moshe Feldenkrais are, in fact, copyrighted. That is, the written transcript or audio of the particular “ATM” or other session is protected under copyright law and a person cannot wantonly make copies, re-sell, re-transmit or otherwise utilize the materials without written consent of the creator.

That is, perhaps, sensible. People do expect to have certain protections on the use of their creative work and do expect to profit from their own materials.

The Limitations of Copyright

However, when considering general access to materials related to the work of Moshe Feldenkrais there are deep and problematic issues with copyright that no one in the community has fully addressed.

Some of the limitations of copyrighted Feldenkrais-based materials:

1) Restrict the growth of the method by restricting access to materials.
2) Restrict the development of practitioners by forcing them to buy and adapt source materials.
3) Encourage pathological interactions where friends and colleagues seem forced to “break the law” in order to share, grow and learn together.
4) Slow the process of creating new applications and products based on the work.
5) Limit the public’s ability to learn about the method and utilize it (this is a huge problem).
6) Dramatically reduce the potential of the work to “go viral” and spread on the internet via email, social networking websites, blogs, podcasts and the dozens of new tools that have not been invented yet.
7) Hide the crucial “elusive obvious” that there a many business, revenue and marketing models that do not rely on copyright. Models that may be more beneficial to the continued growth of our communities and by extension – individuals within our communities.

There are other issues such as violations of evolutionary and learning principles. But I will save those arguments for a later post.

For now, let me ask you a question:

What would happen if there were a core of Feldenkrais-based lessons that were freely available, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year – forever?

I’m talking about lessons that anyone could download, use, adapt, share, give away, post on Facebook, email, give to their neighbors, their students, their lovers, their mothers, in any way they choose, for their own benefit and for the benefit of their community? Do you think that might help to create an explosion of interest in the work of Moshe Feldenkrais?

Would greater access Feldenkrais-based materials make the world a better place…?

Would greater access Feldenkrais-based materials help more people understand and use the work….?

Would some people who downloaded and used free Feldenkrais-based materials be more likely to end up in your classes…and on your table…?

Would you like to have freely available material that you could use in your study groups, classes and in your own products?

Would you be excited if you released one of your own works under an open-source license and found that it was being used by people all over the world, thereby introducing you and your ideas to a huge audience?

If any of your answers to those questions resonate with you, then it’s time to for you to get to work and start enacting your intention. Nothing is stopping you from making your own transcripts, putting lessons in your own words, and releasing them under a less restrictive copyright such as a creative commons share-and-share alike or even a public domain license. And when you have done so , let me know, so that I can help others find your work. Who knows, we may be able to build an entire database together.

And in case you haven’t noticed:

“I’ve Already Made My Decision”

Over the coming days and weeks, I am going to begin releasing many of my own transcripts and perhaps other materials under a Creative-Commons “Share and Share Alike” license. I will also be discussing some of the benefits and limitations of doing so.


Until then, stay tuned. I hope you will enjoy and use the materials that I share with you. If you would like priority notification of the materials as they become available and of new blog post and podcasts, please consider signing up for updates by using the form below. Your email address will be held secure and private by Feedblitz service and will only be use to send you notifications of new posts.

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8 thoughts on “Open-Source Materials Based On The Work Of Moshe Feldenkrais

  1. Jim Hansen

    I have been learning all I can about Feldenkrais in the past 2 months, through 4 books and some audio I bought, one visit to a practitioner, and whatever I can find on the internet. It is helping me relearn how to move as a runner. I have tried everything else and this is the first thing that is “teaching’ me. I am surprised at how little is know about Feldenkrais with runners. It makes a lot of sense!

  2. jon

    I think this is a no-brainer. People with this paranoid financial-based interest are dead wrong. Giving away a load of ATM materials will only mean more interest in Feldenkrais and FI work, so it’s not “giving it all away for free”. The rest of the world is catching up and stealing from us anyway – the other day I went to a yoga class where there were bits of FM in (differentiating head and torso in rotation etc). If you give something away for free, it can’t be stolen.

    The other question is WWMD – what would Moshe do? I was told on my training that Moshe ‘invented’ ATM because he wanted to be able to get his work to more people than he could with FI alone. We now have the internet, let’s get out of the 80s!

    Amherst and Yanai should be open-source, now that might change the world, and if anything should increase the interest in trainings and FIs.

    I think a lot of this might be generational. Let’s just hope that the new generation bring Feldenkais to the world before it becomes obsolete…

  3. rn

    Thanks for your comments. Let the games begin.

    Jim – I like your blog and I hope you can use the materials that are forthcoming. I use a text-to-speech program (built into the preferences of Mac’s) so that I can do them without having to make audio recordings.

    Jon – I agree with you – the more people that have access to the work for “free” the more interest there will in trainings and workshops. There is no substitute for experience of the method.

    – Ryan Nagy

  4. Bob s

    Well it’s about god damn time 🙂

    I was planning on doing pretty much the same thing myself.

    Ain’t the internet grand?

  5. jon

    Ryan,

    I had an idea:

    A Feldenkrais wiki.

    Content to include not only ATMs, but also analysis of the ATMs, strategies for use in FI, principles of the method, pages on relevant topics such as ‘cybernetics’ or ‘evolution’ etc, a growing evolving and ALIVE resource…

    I’m sure there are Feldies all over the world working away on the same problems in isolation… Time for collaboration…

  6. rn

    Jon – A wiki is a great idea. I played around with several earlier this year. But I found that the open-source (i.e. free!) ones are not as user-friendly as other open-source platforms like WordPress blogs. For example, there was no built in module for registering multiple options. That being said, if you no of a good Wiki platform let me know.

    What would you think about a blogging site, set-up like social media so that everyone could have their own blog, plus communicate with each other on the main page? Believe it or not, I could do that quite easily.

    – Ryan

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