Greetings friends. I did not anticipate my discussion of this topic today, hence this posting is NOT on the topic I had promised in my previous post, which I do intend to pursue very soon. It has come to my attention that there is a great deal of confusion and, for some, anxiety, over the extent to which those who have received knowledge of certain copyrighted material can share that knowledge with the general public. As is prudent, I will first urge anyone who has such anxieties or questions to consult a competent lawyer. A general review of principles of fair use that are recognized in the U.S. legal system can be found by consulting this link: https://www.copyright.gov/fair-use/more-info.html. I am not a lawyer and am not offering legal advice. However, I am offering advice of another kind, namely, advice concerning the fair and proper use of copyright authority in a civilization in which BOTH PROPERTY RIGHTS AND INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION ARE CHERISHED.
Setting aside the question of what is legal and what is not, the question of “what is fair” is my concern here. The principle of “balance” readily comes to the fore, as it so often does. When it comes to the use of intellectual property such as written words , “fairness” requires that we balance the interests of the property owner, e.g., the owner of a copyrighted lyric, with those of others who might use it. In the U.S., it is generally acknowledged that it is unfair (indeed illegal in this case) for a non-owner to sell the lyrics and melody of a copyrighted song without permission of the copyright owner. Even if it were not illegal, we generally do not condone the sale or any other use of someone else’s property without permission. Yet, we witness hundreds of websites freely sharing copyrighted lyrics and the melody and even internet videos giving detailed instructions on how to play a song– all without permission of the copyright owner. But note, “sharing” is not “selling” or making money. Our sense of fairness is offended were a non-owner to sell those lyrics or even claim them to be of his own design. On the other hand, the fact that you own the copyright to a song does not mean that I, a non-owner, cannot sing that song without your permission, nor does it mean that I, a non-owner, cannot share those lyrics with anyone I choose. I should not undermine the owner’s economic or even egotistic interest. I would want to acknowledge, unless it were so obvious as to need no such acknowledgement, that I am not the owner of that song, lyrics nor melody; but, still, I can sing the song. I can even teach you to sing it, if I had the skill to do so. What I should not do is claim it to be mine if it isn’t; nor use it to make money without the owner’s permission; nor use it in ways that would materially impair the owner’s ability to do so. All of this reflects my own sense of fairness, regardless of whether I have a legal right to behave otherwise.
Notwithstanding my own sense of fairness, practice “in the real world” can get very complicated by the laws in any given society and, of course, by how they are interpreted and enforced— a very good reason not to take MY sense of fairness as “the law.” It isn’t. However, I am concerned that we may become unfair in the course of interpreting and enforcing laws, and that is why I am writing this.
A case in point. Dolores Cannon is an enormously insightful pioneer in the use of hypnotherapeutic techniques. She is the author of many insightful books and her method has been taught to practitioners all over the world. At present, the Dolores Cannon Living Trust owns the copyright to some core instructional material used in the training of certified practitioners. Some of those practitioners who have certificates from the Cannon organization, have recorded their sessions with clients for the benefit of those clients. Some of these recordings contain words which are copyrighted by the Cannon organization, as is the case for words which practitioners are trained to use in “The Induction. ” “The Induction” is a script which practitioners are trained to use in the initial stages of the hypnotherapy session. QHHT is the trademarked symbol for the particular technique taught by the Cannon organization. Based on their having copyrighted the words to be used in the course of a session, the copyright owners are now informing those who are sharing recordings of these sessions to remove the copyrighted words from any recordings which they post for public observation. That is, in the view of the Cannon organization, neither the practitioner, who is certified by the Cannon organization to use the copyrighted words IN THEIR PRACTICE, nor their clients, should make those words public. I do not believe that such a prohibition will be found to meet the requirements of the U.S. legal system, but that remains to be seen in the event that a lawsuit is engaged. However, I am confident in my view that such a prohibition is not at all fair, any more than it would be fair for the owner of a copyrighted song to forbid anyone from sharing the lyrics with anyone whom they choose. Performance is not to be sold by a non-owner but the song may be FREELY sung with impunity. In a civilization in which we place a high value on freedom of communication and information, I would not offer anyone the exclusive right to the use of words, copyrighted or otherwise. The skilled practice of QHHT, as I am sure the Cannon organization would agree, involves much more than the verbatim repetition of words. The sharing of some of those words in a recording intended to be of instructional value to clients in no way impairs the ability of the Cannon organization to make money selling QHHT instruction. To the contrary, the widespread display of such recordings offers many the opportunity to hear of the therapeutic benefit of the techniques that they teach.
Since I have not signed any nondisclosure agreement, and since I am eager to demonstrate the extent to which I believe in what I have written, below is a verbatim excerpt from the copyrighted material found in an official QHHT instruction manual. I do not expect to be sued for it’s publication, but if I am, I hope the outcome will be of service to all who are now benefiting from the recordings posted by practitioners and their clients as demonstrations of the value of QHHT, a technique whose value I do not dispute:
QUOTE FROM : PROCEDURE NOTES, SUPPLEMENT PROCEDURES, DOLORES CANNON, 2012, page 1.
If I were to say to you, “see a red bird”, could you see one for me?
See a yellow flower.
See a blue car.
See a dog and a cat.
See a green tree with lots of leaves and the wind blowing through the leaves.
This is the part of the mind we will be working with today. This is the part of the mind that has
the pictures and the memories. This is the part of the mind that is active at night when you are
sleeping, because this is the part that has the images and the symbols that we use in our dreams.
So, this is the part of the mind we will be working with today.
So, just for this little while that we do this today, have no problems and no worries. Time enough
for that later. They’ll always be there later. But just for this little while that we do this today,
have nothing to worry about. So enjoy the way that feels to not have anything to worry about.
And enjoy the way it feels to have relaxation moving through the body. As the relaxation moves
through the body, if there any tensions anywhere in the body, they will flow right out. Flow right
out. Let them go. Let them go. We don’t need them. We don’t need them. So enjoy the way that
feels to not have anything to think about. And enjoy the feeling of relaxation moving through the
This is a luxury that very few people are allowed. To take a little time out of their busy day to
just relax and not have to think about anything. So take advantage of it while you can and enjoy
the experience. And remember that when you awaken you will feel wonderful all over, just as
though you’ve had a nice nap. A nice sleep. You will feel truly rested and refreshed. Anytime
you do anything like this, it will always be an enjoyable experience.
Also remember, if you hear any sounds in the room, or any sounds outside of the room, they are
only natural noises occurring in the background. They will not bother you or distract you in any…
May the Cannon family and all QHHT practitioners benefit in all ways from the use of the information they are providing to everyone. May it always be so.
Sincerely. Jerry DeGregory