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Bikram yoga founder Bikram Choudhury has reached a settlement in a lawsuit he filed against a former student for teaching Bikram’s copyrighted 26-pose sequence, according to a report from ABC’s Nightline.
The lawsuit was filed about a year ago against the donation-based studio chain Yoga to the People, owned by Choudhury ‘s former student Greg Gumucio. It asked for a $1 million in damages and an injunction to stop Yoga to the People from offering the classes called Traditional Hot Yoga.
As part of the settlement, Gumcio agreed to stop offering the sequence at his studios beginning in February. There are Yoga to the People studios located in New York City, Seattle, San Francisco, and Berkeley, Calif.
Gumucio had said he did not believe he was infringing since the classes at Yoga to the People did not use Choudhury ‘s name. He had counter-sued, saying that a copyright should not have been granted in the first place.
Choudhury’s lawyer likened it to a copyright on choreography. But earlier this year the U.S. Copyright Office clarified that while you can copyright choreography, it could be a different story for choreography that promises to have medical benefits.
Nightline is planning to air a segment on the controversy, but hasn’t yet released the date.