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BH
BH, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
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Experience:  IP and Entertainment Attorney
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I am writing a book and wanting to use historical information

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I am writing a book and wanting to use historical information from the founder of a self-development process about which I am writing. This information was taken from his website - do I need his permission to insert this in a book or can I acknowledge the source of the information without his permission. I can include the actual excerpt if you desire. thank you Kellie Poulin

BH :

Is the book a non-fiction book about this person?

BH :

You cannot use word for word text from the website but if you are writing a biography or something similar you can use information that you find and just cite the source. However, I would be careful if any of the information can be seen as derogatory or potentially libel.

Customer:

no the book is a non-fiction about a process the he is recognized as the originator of (started in 1970's) but has evolved and is even called a different name today. The idea is that I just want to chronicle his part in the history of the evolution of the process.... below is the exact information:

Customer:

Leonard Orr


In the 1970’s, the use of breath in healing and expanding consciousness continued to evolve. The genesis of modern breathing techniques emerged in the work of Leonard Orr who developed a technique called Rebirthing and in the research and work of Dr Stanislav Grof and his development of Holotropic Breathwork.


Leonard Orr’s life was dedicated to the exploration of consciousness. His discovery of the process he eventually named ‘Rebirthing’ began in rather pedestrian but intriguing circumstances. In the early 1960’s, he experienced spontaneous birth memories while meditating in his bathtub. With repetition, he also discovered that if he stayed in the tub thirty minutes to an hour longer than he wanted to stay, he would pass through what he called the ‘urgency barrier’ and would be moved into states of expanded consciousness. http://rebirthingbreathwork.com


As he shared this discovery with his seminar groups, participants expressed a desire to experience these compelling encounters as well. They requested that Orr be present during their meditative adventure as both support and witness to their experiences. Thus began the first ‘rebirthing’ processes that, by the 1970’s, had graduated from individual experiences in the bathtub to group sessions in hot tubs using snorkels and nose clips. As Orr would facilitate these rebirthing sessions for people, he noticed there was a point at which the breath naturally shifted rhythm. It was at that moment it seemed that ‘the body breathed for you’ and that experiences of healing were reported. He called this point of shift the ‘energy cycle’. Today this is still the indicator of the healing process at work in Breathwork. The final evolution of the process occurred with the advent of ‘dry birthing’ which moved the water rebirthing sessions to land – people could now lie down, relax and breathe and achieve the same healing and spiritual experiences that happened in water. http://rebirthingbreathwork.com/2013/03/13/discovery-of-rebirthing-breathwork/


Leonard Orr named his process ‘Rebirthing’ because as participants were exploring this technique in jacuzzis and hot tubs, the altered state of consciousness that was induced seemed to open a subconscious gate that gave way to recall of perinatal memories from the experience of being in the womb, to the birth event itself.

BH :

So this person is a public person in that he is generally well known for this process?

Customer:

yes

BH :

Then it should be fine. Just make sure that you do not copy the text as that would be copyright infringement.

BH :

But you are free to note the information and the source.

Customer:

thank you for that information....

Customer:

does that also apply if the book is being published in Australia?

BH :

If the book is only about this guy and he is still alive, I would ask his permission since he is not a household name. But if the book is about the process itself then it shouldn't be an issue as long as you do not disparage him.

BH :

I am not an expert on Australian law but I think that it is generally the same. Also, does this person live?

Customer:

no it is about the process itself and a small piece about his contribution - the book is 280 pages with his piece being only a couple of hundred words. thanks

BH :

Sorry, that was meant to say - where does this person live?

BH :

I assume that he is alive

Customer:

Leonard Orr is still alive and lives in USA. The actual author of the book is John Stamoulos who lives in Australia I am the researcher for John.

Customer:

Does it make a difference if the person is still alive or not? I have several poems that John wants to use in his book that the authors are no longer alive - do different rules apply here?

BH :

That is a different issue than this. A poem is a written piece of work that has a copyright for the life of the author plus 70 years (in the US). Writing facts about someone's life is an issue of a right of privacy.

BH :

Private people have a right of privacy but public figures have less of a right.

BH :

That is why I said that you cannot copy the text from the website (a copyright issue) but you can use the information because this is about a person who has put themselves in the public eye.

Customer:

ok thanks - am tracking down permissions - was just hoping I could use the same approach - guess not :(

BH :

Sorry, those are two separate legal issues.

BH :

Best of luck with the book!

Customer:

how do I get a copy of this so I can save it

Customer:

our chat, I mean

BH :

That I am not sure of as it is a technical question about the site. I do know that the link to the question will remain for some time so you can just link back to it.

Customer:

ok thanks so much

BH :

You're welcome. Please rate my answer good or better if you are satisfied.

Customer:

If I exit, will I lose the content of this chat?

Customer:

never mind, I found the answer thank you so much for your help

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