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 Miracles”(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 lagiarized, 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.
Sincerely, The Foundation for A Course in Miracles(r)
———–transmitted via acim_correspondent——————-
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.
FACIM Letter to Robert Perry
Thank you for your letter of April 26, 1999. I apologize for the delay in
getting back to you.
I am sure that as a student of A Course in Miracles you can appreciate the
importance of ensuring the integrity of its message and our decision to
deny you permission to use the copyright, A Course in Miracles.
In responding to your letter, I would prefer to not comment on your
assessment of the law with regard to the publication of your manuscript,
except to state that under these circumstances I disagree with you. I find
it necessary, moreover, to advise you that to the extent you choose to
publish your manuscript, that the Foundation for A Course in Miracles, as
owner of the copyright of the Course, intends to vigorously and vigilantly
safeguard its rights with respect to protecting its legal interests.
We trust that this letter provides the clarification that you requested
concerning your use of A Course in Miracles.
The Circle of Atonement, P.O. Box 4238, W. Sedona, AZ 86340
FACIM Letter to Tony Ponticello
To Whom It May Concern:
This is the text of the letter we at the Community Miracles Center received
from the Foundation from A Course In Miracles(r) on their official
June 9, 1999
Community Miracles Center
2269 Market St.
San Francisco, CA 94114
As you are no doubt aware, the copyright and trade/service marks for A
Course In Miracles(r) have been transferred from the Foundation for Inner Peace to the Foundation for A Course In Miracles(r).
It has come to our attention that all your newsletters, “Miracles Monthly”contain copyright and/or service mark infringements of A Course In Miracles(r)(c). These infringements include describing the CMC ministers as “A Course In Miracles Ministers(r)” and describing yourself as “A Course In Miracles(r) Minister-Counselor. Use of the Foundation’s registered trademark in this fashion will likely cause confusion in that it may suggest that the Foundation has sponsored or otherwise endorsed your organization and its activities. As you may know, the Foundation does not view the Course(r) as a religion and while it conducts seminars to promote the study of the Course(r) we do not ordain or certify ministers or counselors. Futhermore, printing an abridged version of “The Choice for Completion” in the February, 1999 newsletter without prior permission violates the Foundation’s copyright in A Course In Miracles(r).
Since you may have not been aware that these infringements existed, we are sending you a copy of the Foundation’s copyright and trade/service mark policy for your information and ask that the violations be removed. If you have any specific questions concerning our policy, please do not hesitate to contact us. We thank you for your cooperation.
Foundation for A Course In Miracles(r)
1275 Tennanah Lake Rd.
Roscoe, NY 12776
Love (Rev.) Tony
Community Miracles Center * * * * * * (415)621-2556
2269 Market Street * * * * (toll free) (888)621-2556
San Francisco, CA 94114, USA * * (fax) (415)255-9322
“Become MIRACULOUS in the new millenium.”
FACIM Letter to Robert Perry
July 6, 1999
U.S. Express Mail
Mr. Robert Perry
The Circle of Atonement Teaching and Healing Center
P.O. Box 4238
West Sedona, AZ 86340
Dear Mr. Perry:
This firm is counsel to the Foundation for “A Course in Miracles” (“FACIM”), the lawful and exclusive owner of the copyright in the work “A Course in Miracles” (c) (Second Edition) that includes the Text, the Workbook and Teacher’s Manual. As you are aware, FACIM obtained ownership of the work through a written assignment from the Foundation for Inner Peace (“FIP”).
Of particular concern to FACIM is your Current Workbook Lesson Commentaries found on the Center’s web site at http://net.sedona.net/acircileofa/curwkbk.html. [their mistyping] First and foremost, neither the Foundation nor FIP has given Circle of Atonement, or either of you individually, permission or other authorization to use the copyrighted material in this manner. Furthermore, your use includes verbatim copying of the principal themes of each of the 365 daily lessons contained in the Workbook, with summaries of the Workbook’s instructions and abridgements of other portions of the Workbook lessons, and
“commentary” consisting of substantial copying and paraphrasing of the
Text. Based on our review, this unauthorized use of FACIM’s copyrighted
work appears to extend well beyond the parameters of fair use even in the
non-profit, educational setting. Furthermore, the descriptions of your Workbook Companion, Manual Study Series and the Electronic Text Class, contained in your catalog of publications, strongly suggest that these materials may exceed the limits of fair use as well. Thus, in light of the foregoing, you are respectfully requested to cease and desist from all future distribution of any of these materials in all forms.
In addition, it has come to FACIM’s attention that neither you nor Allen Watson have received express permission from FIP to quote extensively from the Course in your series pamphlets, despite the fact that the vast majority [mistype] these pamphlets contain a statement that you have such permission. Please provide us with evidence of such permission. If you cannot provide us with such evidence, we demand that you cease and desist all further distribution and sale of these pamphlets.
It is our hope that we can resolve these issues amicably, so that FACIM will not be forced to seek all appropriate legal remedies available to protect against the unauthorized use of its valuable copyright interest in the above-referenced work.
Very truly yours,
Philip D. Mitchell
cc: Kenneth Wapnick, Ph.D.
Mrs. Gloria Wapnick
Frances M. Maloney (FYI)
Sanford J. Hodes (FYI)
The Circle of Atonement, P.O. Box 4238, W. Sedona, AZ 86340