October 10, 2000
By Abhay Vaidya
PUNE, OCTOBER 9: The brouhaha over the copyrights issue of Osho’s books may just about be nullified, if the Osho Sannyasin rebels, keep up their promises of flooding the internet with Osho’s discourses.
Enthusiastic about reaching their master’s voice to every corner of the world, Swami Chaitanya Keerti, former spokesperson of the Osho Commune and Swami Tathagat, former administration-in-charge of the commune, who have turned rebels against the commune management, have taken the lead to use the internet to provide a befitting reply to the raging controversy over the copyright of Osho’s books, the contents of which comprise Osho’s live discourses.
Osho International Foundation, Zurich, with the managers ”perched smugly” in New York, claim that they have the sole copyright over Osho’s works. Rebels contend that the words like a master like Osho cannot be subject to any copyright.
Keerti and Tathagat told The Indian Express today that they would soon start to place Osho’s discourses on a website so that admirers all over the world can listen to him anywhere they like and even download if they like.
The website chosen for this unique mission is the Oshoworld.com’ – an Indian site that has recently won a battle for its domain name. The mission is scheduled to take off ”at the earliest, since we are going with the feelings of genuine Osho sannyasins, spread across the globe, who are intensely hurt about Osho being reduced to a mere trademark and copyright,” says Swami Chaitanya Keerti. States Tathagat, ”Several high-tech savvy sannyasins are already working on the economic viability and other matters and it will be very soon, that you will hear Osho’s magical and spellbinding voice, at the click of the mouse. Of course, it is not possible to feed everything that he spoke, since it is too vast. For example, if you want to feed in even his Hindi discourses, it would come to roughly 240 GB. Then there are his numerous discourses in English.”
”Yet, Pune commune always being ahead of times and we will keep up the tradition. Osho’s wish was to spread his message to as many people, with the application of the latest technology, and if the commune management is not doing it, we will do it.”
”We are planning to use the internet as the best source to counter any monopolisation by commercial-minded sannyasins.”
So, when will they get, set go? Says Swami Chaitanya Keerti, who finds this super tech medium, as a fulfilment of his master’s ardent wish to effectively amplify his message to the ”New Man,” says excitedly, ”within a very short span of time. We are not attempting this as an egoistic venture.
We are just fulfilling Osho’s wish who always wanted that his works should be preserved in the latest technology. Somebody has to do it, some day or the other and we have taken up the challenge?” Have they planned how to go about this mission, that is sure to stir a hornet’s nest? States Keerti, ”Since it is not possible to put in his complete work at one go, we have decided to put it in part-by-part series.
Some of the titles we have already thought of is Osho on Bhagvad Gita, Osho’s discourses on Guru Nanak and also his enlightening talks on Jesus Christ. It is possible that we might change the discourses every month or every quarterly, if we begin with a limited server capacity. That would sustain viewers’ interest and it would enable them to download the talks and look forward to newer discourses, at regular intervals.”
Says Swami Tathagat, ”As against the present tendency by a bunch of sannysains to possess all Osho’s works with the sole objective of cashing on this intellectual wealth, we already have genuine sannyasins coming forward to sponsor this project, that will provide a fillip to the sagging morale of the sannyasin community and make it clear that we care two hoots for the copyright and trademark threats. Also, Osho’s followers and admirers would have access to this vast intellectual property, practically free of cost.”
The first step has already been taken by the Osho World Foundation based in Delhi, which has already released Osho’s discourses on the Bhagwad Gita in the CD format. The rebels claim to have in their possession, an impressive number of Osho’s discourses which will soon step out of their closets and into the mind boggling world of the internet, in an attempt to make a mockery of the copyright issue. Now, now, is this called a cyber war, albeit in a small way?
Copyright © 2000 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.