Credits and Copyrights

Seriously, what’s the deal with people being afraid that their method will be diluted?

Where in the world of human people, can you create something and make it grow, without it changing in the process?
I have met this so many times in the past few years and I just continue to be surprised and honestly also a bit annoyed by the trademarks-stories I’m witnessing.
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I wonder – isn’t the biggest compliment for the work I do, if someone gets inspired, finds it soo good that they integrate it in their approach, their work and let it grow? And isn’t it then the decent gesture, honoring the person who inspired, by mentioning their name? (Maybe not even necessarily because they invented it – some things are soo old – but maybe because they managed to present it to me in a language, that I understood and it made a difference for my life.)
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In a recent training I heard this sentence ‚xx hasn’t benefited from this kind of references‘ – and having heard this in other methods before, I started thinking about what that is even supposed to mean.
It seems to be an inherent flaw in applying the trademark/copyrights-system to living, growing things.
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Trademarks, seem to make sense with a tool, a material object or even with events/experiences that can be reproduced or copied. By machine or by not caring about how the conditions are for those creating it, as long as the outcome, quality standard of the products, the visual appearance etc is aligned with the ‚original‘. In this context, it seems like they offer a way of growing a business, earning more money, offering others the opportunity to earn some money through the use of established design (visual and content). They work, I guess, as part of capitalism.
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However. When I’m working with people and nature of our work is ‘creating the best circumstance for this person to thrive‘ and the basic understanding of human beings is, that while we have similar needs on average, as soon as we talk individual we need to work individually… Then of course, I cannot create a copy of what I’m doing. I mean, of course I can employ people and tell them what to do (or expect of myself, to do exactly the same again as I have once done). But in this act, I’m cutting away a part of the potential to create new, relevant, now solutions.
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Also, it appears to me that all human groups find rituals, exercises and tools to improve well being. And so far all teachers I have met, have presented me with their personal interpretation and further development of those. And I appreciate to learn them, with their particular interpretation or approach.
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But to then sell me, that this specific way of doing something is so special and original that I will put a trademark/copyrights label on it, so that I can threaten anyone doing it in the same way that I have found practical, unless they’re loyal to me… what’s the deal with that?
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Only if I sell the name of my work to someone else, will they get the power to influence my image. Or if I buy theirs for my work. Besides that, it’s all on me. If it is this intricate, intimate relationship with people, my ability to pay attention, change perspective and hold space for another person, my touch and creative thinking that people come to me for, my work cannot be diluted or hurt by others than myself.
It is my own responsibility to maintain a practice that holds to my standards. I am not responsible for what someone else does; neither do I get credit for their results or actions.
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In arts and academia I see and appreciate referencing. Maybe sometimes it’s a bit extreme, to have to footnote when I have read a sentence by someone that I’m referring too… But certainly there is a part of this practice, that is giving credit where credit is due. (Of course, not everyone does this, but it seems to be a clear that a decent thing to do is give credit.)
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In the bodymindselfdevelopment world, I seem to observe the opposite. You can only even mention a method, if you’re mastering it and have a certificate or two to prove, that you really understood the material and aren’t destroying it’s name etc. You don’t only give credit, but it has an atmosphere of ‘declarations of loyalty are needed‘ or else you’re a rebel. Or a cheap copycat.
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I wonder, if there was an atmosphere of freedom, of invitation to make it your own and become strong and independent with your version of this… would it offer a way more sustainable relationship of appreciation and positive references, than holding someone on the leash?
Of course – it includes trusting. This uncertainty of not knowing whether they will give credit. (And it requires the potential founder, too, to stand on their own feet – relying on their immediate work and not the general image that others confirm or deny.)
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But imagine… what if we all got an A?
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(‘the conductor, doesn’t make a sound!’)

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