Category Archives: Free Feldenkrais

Feldenkrais Classics: Try One For Free

Ryan Nagy, Feldenkrais Classics, Volume 2

 
Hi there, this is a free Feldenkrais session (often called a “lesson”) titled, “Rhythmic Tapping” from Volume Two of my “Feldenkrais Classics” series. By far, one of the best selling series on the work of Moshe Feldenkrais.

Enjoy!
 
 
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Or download to your computer and listen later:
Feldenkrais Classics: Rhythmic Tapping

More Free Feldenkrais Sessions

Scanning Yourself Deeply

Eliminate TMJ Now, Session #2: Shoulder, Neck and Jaw Connections:

Eliminate Back Pain While Sitting. Session #1: Turning Right and Left

Instant downloads of Feldenkrais mp3′s available on my store:

http://utahfeldenkrais.org/feldenkraismp3.html

Feldenkrais Is Not Owned: Copyright does not protect a concept or idea.

There is a topic that keeps coming up inside and outside of the Feldenkrais community. Simply stated: “Who owns Moshe’s ideas?”

The simple answer, as I have noted before (Free Feldenkrais) is: “No one”

When I say that no one owns Moshe work I’m being literal. I’m not staking out a metaphysical position. When people talk about owning the “copyright” to one of Moshe’s works, they own something which is actually quite limited. They own the particular expression of some ideas, not the ideas themselves. Copyright does not protect a concept or idea. As my lawyer wrote it to me:

As an initial matter it is important to recognize that copyright law does not protect a concept or idea, it rather protects the expression conveyed, which may be presented in the form of words, song, music, or dance. In your case, and as noted above, Moshe’s written description of his movements would certainly qualify for copyright protection…

 

“Copyright does not protect a concept or idea.”


“Copyright does not protect a concept or idea.”

Moshe’s work is not patented. No one owns any idea that he created, used or expressed. No guild, association, accreditation board or trainer owns the work of Moshe Feldenkrais. Not now – not ever.

Even the International Feldenkrais Federation has conceded this point. They write about transcripts of Moshe’s teaching:

“…any person who drafts a [Feldenkrais] lesson in their own words, with their own expression, and where the text is not derived substantially from the materials, then this is considered one’s own work, not subject to the copyrights owned by the estate of Moshe Feldenkrais.”
(http://iffmaterials.com/copyright_information)

The “form” of the work IS owned. That is, the particular words and phrases are owned. As long as you are not republishing Moshe’s copyrighted material you are fine. Put the ideas into your own words.

But are the movements themselves copyrighted?


I think the confusion about this issue has to do with the movements themselves. People are confused about whether the movements themselves are copyright protected.

I paid a law firm to give me a written opinion on this matter. And this is what they wrote:

III. A movement is not protected under copyright law, much as a dictionary word cannot be protected under copyright law. As an initial matter it is important to recognize that copyright law does not protect a concept or idea, it rather protects the expression conveyed, which may be presented in the form of words, song, music, or dance. In your case, and as noted above, Moshe’s written description of his movements would certainly qualify for copyright protection because it is an expression of his movements. Certainly copying (in a substantial manner) Moshe’s description of movements would infringe his copyrights to his expression of movements.”

And furthermore:


IV Functional Elements and Compilations. As a general matter copyright law does not protect functional elements of a work. For example, if one wished to copyright a bottle shape, which is functional by definition, the applicant would have to show that the shape in his or her case is non-functional; that is, the shape doesn’t make the bottle easier to hold, to fill and to utilize. A medical procedure, therefore, would likewise not be protected by copyright law because of the functional nature of the procedure or set of procedures. Movements that are purely functional, in that they comprise a set of movements utilized to accomplish a medical end, may not be protected by copyright at all because of the functionality of the movements.

To put that another way – the sequence of movements within one of Moshe’s sessions would be protected by copyright so long as it is non-functional. Think about that for a moment. Would it be possible to show that Moshe’s work was not related to a function?

What I have posted above is merely part of a much lengthier document. There is much more that I could post, but I would rather not do so right now. And of course, I am not giving you legal advice, as I am not qualified to do so. However, I do invite you to consider that if you want to use any of Moshe’s ideas or lessons you can do so without restriction as long as you convey the ideas and lessons in your own words.

I believe there is a deeper issue at play here, which has to do with maturity and independence. Put bluntly: Do you have the courage to do what you know is correct and what is legal? Or are you in a relationship of dependence to a particular person or ideology? No one is going to write you a permission slip. And yes, those who think they own Moshe’s work may try to attack you or intimidate you if you do the right thing and become your own person and vehicle for his ideas.

Do you have what it takes to stand up to them? Or better yet, ignore them?

Who Own Feldenkrais Ideas? Everyone. (That means YOU!)

I had a brief email conversation recently about the ownership of certain Feldenkrais materials. For example there are transcripts of the awareness through movement sessions that Moshe Feldenkrais taught at Alexanader Yanai in Isreal. Someone wondered about the legality of teaching a version of an Alexander Yanai session. What if you create workshops or products based on Moshe’s Alexander Yanai? Would your lesson be considered “derivative”? Could you sell it? Can the International Feldenkrais Federation sue you?

It is important to recognize that copyright law does not protect a concept or idea, it protects the expression conveyed. The copyright holder of a certain transcript owns the word order and particular expression not the ideas. If you teach an ATM and put it in your own words – as you will invariably do – you then “own” (if you choose to) that particular work that you created.

This is a very important concept to grasp. The Feldenkrais Guild of North America does not own Moshe Feldenkrais’ ideas, neither does the International Feldenkrais Federation. They may own the particular transcript and word order, but that’s about it. They do not own any particular ATM or movement sequence. You can learn and teach any idea based on Moshe Feldenkrais’ work. It does not matter whether you are guild certified or whether you have taken a training or not.

If anyone tells you otherwise, they are confused or lying. Ignore them. Use Feldenkrais transcripts and ideas in any way that you choose. Do not copy the exact form or word order. But teach the ideas. Do it. The world needs this work and it needs your contribution.

Free Feldenkrais Lessons: Free For Any Purpose, Person or Organization

 

“What I propose to you is a permanent engagement with those who think they possess what cannot be possessed. Time spent arguing with the faithful is, oddly enough, almost never wasted.” – Christopher Hitchens, Letters to a Young Contrarian

Free Feldenkrais Lessons

Free Feldenkrais!

While having some email conversations with Falk Feddersen, the man behind the wonderful Open ATM website, it occurred to me that I had never fully explained the meaning of the free feldenkrais movement, what it means to me personally, and to the work in general. Though I have begun giving away some of my work for free: The Feldenkrais Forty, my concept of free has very little to do with money.

What does “Free Feldenkrais” mean?

To modify a phrase from the GNU software movement:

Free Feldenkrais is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, think of “free” as in “free speech,” not as in “free beer.”

The freedom where one can move in any direction without hesitation or preparation has its analogue in emotional freedom, intellectual freedom, freedom to express one’s self and ideas and the freedom to get Moshe’s work, and yes – your work – into the hands of anyone who is willing to try it. Free Feldenkrais is about the user not the developer. It is about preserving the rights of the user to have access to the work in any way that he or she thinks will benefit.

Respecting the Rights of the Public

Freedom is about the freedom to use the ideas for any purpose, to study how the ideas or a particular session work (if one chooses). It is the freedom to experiment and to develop. In short it is about using Moshe’s work to engender the organic develomental process of anyone with the curiosity to do so. Just as importantly it is about creating access to the ideas outside of any particular legal, cultural or training ideology.

Access to Source Code

Just as with free and open source software, access to the “source code” is a precondition for these freedoms. This is why I recommend not only distributing audio and video versions of the work, but also transcripts in the form of pdfs, word documents and rich text files (.rtf). Creating multiple versions ensures compatibility and the ability of an end user to modify and re-use.

These freedoms include the right to redistribute copies so that a person can help his or her friends, neighbors or another practitioner and colleague. Also included is the freedom to distribute copies of one’s modified versions to others. And the freedom to repackage and sell any versions – modified or not.

The freedoms above mean that “you don’t need a permission slip.” You do not need to ask the permission of any organization, trainer, developer or legal system. No one has the right to control the dissemination of these ideas. In fact, no one (let’s be honest) really has a clue as to the best way for this work to develop, grown and touch the masses. By giving away as much material as possible, it becomes more likely that someone will be able to do so.

Free Increases Value For Everyone

Feldenkrais ideas become more valuable the more that they are used. The more people know of them, the more they want them. The more they experience them, they more they will want to experience them.

Giving away materials does not degrade your ability to make a living and make a difference. It enhances your ability to do so, and it enhances by multiples. People who download and try free sessions will end up in your classes and on your table. They will end up wanting to know you. They will end up in training programs (for better or worse). There are people who desperately need this work and do not know that they do. There are people who desperately need this work and cannot afford it. Does anyone have the right to limit the choices of those people by locking up Moshe’s work behind copyright, trademark and exclusionary legal protections?

Actually – YES – they do. That’s their choice. But it is not mine. You do have the right to keep your materials or some of your materials under copyright protection. I do sell Feldenkrais mp3′s and other products. They are copyrighted and I have the right to do so. But I also have the right to disseminate ideas in any other way that I choose.

No one owns Feldenkrais

There are those who think they own Moshe Feldenkrais’ work. They are wrong. Ideas can neither be owned nor copyrighted. Moshe’s work is not patented and no guild, association, accreditation board or trainer owns the work of Feldenkrais. Not now – not ever.

Learn More and Get Involved

For more information click any these links: The Feldenkrais Forty (mp3 + transcript). Open-Source Feldenkrais Materials:The First 5 Open Source Feldenkrais (transcripts) Free Feldenkrais-Based Back Pain Relief Workshop (Transcripts)

If you have your own transcripts or mp3 to share, let me know. We can find a way to get them out there. If they are already posted, please put the link in a comment below.