The following letter has recently been sent, and continues to be sent, to students and teachers of "A Course In Miracles"(c) who maintain Web sites or Internet discussion groups related to the Course. We are sending this letter to you, now, not only because of your extensive involvement with the Course and those associated with it, but so that you will have first hand information about what has been said.
We would emphasize that the Foundation is not interested in censorship or limiting scholarship and discussion and does want to work directly with individuals who are simply asked to contact the Foundation via conventional mail, Fax or phone. Such a step seems to us to be a common sense act of courtesy on the part of those who wish to exercise publication privileges related to the Course. (Note the explanation of our services at the end of this message).
Again, we emphasize that the Foundation is interested in cooperating with students and teachers of the Course, and respects differing interpretations as well as the interest in discussion of Course principles from various points of view. There is no effort to censor opinons or restrict scholarship and discussion, but the Foundation does have an interest in people honestly, and with humility, representing their opinions and interpretations as their own and not necessarily official versions of the truth, and in seeing that the integrity of the Course itself is not undermined by separating out segments of it to the exclusion of others, widespread selective quoting, or attempts to reinterpret the Course through derivative works.
We think that there may have been some misunderstanding about when copyright, trade and service mark restrictions apply. It needs to be clear that people are not being asked to request permission to use the title of the Course or its acronym in the process of discussion, nor is there any restriction on quoting brief sections of the Course in the context of a discussion.
The most grievous violations to which the Foundation must attend are those involved in publishing large sections of the Course, such as all of the first 50 Workbook lessons, representing them as a complete, short term path to enlightenment; or publishing the entire Text on the Web; or publishing the fifty miracle principles alone and without permission.
These are only a few examples of some of the gross copyright violations that have occurred. Of course, all of this concern about the Foundation and the copyright easily serves the ego in providing a distraction from the very personal nature of one's spiritual growth in removing the blocks to the awareness of love so that forgiveness might be manifested in one's life as a seeming individual, and eventually, the transcendence of that individual identity.
Following is the letter we referred to:
Dear Fellow Students and Teachers of "A Course In Miracels"(c),
With the recent transfer of the copyright and service marks from the
Foundation for Inner Peace to its sister organization, the Foundation
for A Course in Miracles(r) and with the ever-widening exposure of the
Course on the Web and Internet, we thought it appropriate to encourage
students of A Course in Miracles(c) to familiarize themselves with the
Foundation's copyright, trade and service mark requirements, to ensure
that their Web sites and Internet classes and discussion groups are in
conformity with our guidelines.
A more complete history along with clarification of the copyright, trade and service mark policies can be found on the Web sites for the Foundation for Inner Peace
(www.acim.org) and the Foundation for A Course in Miracles(r)(www.facim.org).
To briefly summarize, "A Course in Miracles"(r) is the registered service mark of the Foundation for A Course in Miracles(r) and cannot be used to designate or identify a Web site or Internet discussion group without the written permission of the Foundation. The following statement from our guidelines may be helpful in this regard:
To avoid confusion, the internationally registered marks "A Course in
Miracles"(r) and "ACIM"(tm) cannot be used by authors or others in titles of their written, audio, visual, or electronic works, products, or activities and can only be used and/or licensed for use at the discretion of the Foundation for A Course in Miracles(r). In lieu of using the mark "A Course in Miracles"(r) as a title or subtitle, it is suggested that a term such as "miracles studies" be used as a generic term or reference.
Further, the logo (a star over the letters "ACIM") which appears on the cover of A Course in Miracles(c) is a registered trade mark and cannot be reproduced on Web sites without permission from the Foundation for A Course in Miracles(r).
The Web and Internet should not be used to publish sections or lessons
from A Course in Miracles(c). Brief quotes from the Course, when
properly acknowledged and referenced, can be appropriately used
in discussion. Furthermore, where explanations of A Course in
Miracles(c) are presented and discussed, it should be made clear at the very beginning that statements reflect the interpretations and opinions of the author, and are not endorsed by the copyright holder. If explanations of A Course in Miracles(c) are taken from the Course material itself, they should be appropriately referenced and acknowledged.
Requests for copyright and service mark permission must be submitted in writing to: Director of Publications, Foundation for A Course in Miracles(r), 1275 Tennanah Road, Roscoe, NY 12776, or by fax to (607) 498-5325. Please note that requests directed to our sister organization, the Foundation for Inner Peace, will be forwarded to us for review.
Therefore, to have your request be more quickly processed, it should be sent directly to us.
In closing, we should like to quote from a statement previously found on the Web site of the Foundation for Inner Peace:
". . . it is also important for everyone to understand that the
Foundation's copyright guidelines are not designed to censor
discussion, education, debate, criticism, or scholarship. Rather, the
guidelines are designed to safeguard the integrity of the Course within the traditional copyright and trademark laws to ensure that it is not plagiarized, abridged or rewritten, and that its name is not exploited, falsely portrayed or misrepresented."
It is our intention to work cooperatively with all students and
teachers of A Course in Miracles(c) to ensure that the copyright and
service mark guidelines are respected, as well as to support the
efforts of all of us to learn, practice, and exemplify the Course's
principles of forgiveness.
The Foundation for A Course in Miracles(r)
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acim_correspondent is a volunteer agency providing Internet and Web services for the Foundation for A Course In Miracles(r). The Foundation is not accessible by e-mail. This volunteer service is primarily for transmitting information from the Foundation to students and teachers of ACIM(tm). The Foundation is directly accessible by phone (607-498-4116), FAX (607-498-5325) or conventional mail: 1275 Tennanah Lake Rd, Roscoe, NY 12776-5905. The Foundation is eager to cooperate with you in resolving any copyright, trade and service mark issues and you are encouraged to contact them directly.