Published on March 14th, 2020 | by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada | Full size image


ISKCON–Copyrighting and Trademarking HARE KRISHNA!!!

The Sankirtana Movement is not my invention. So how can it be copyrighted?

Letter to: Dinesh (by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami) New Vrindaban 10 June, 1969

My Dear Dinesh,

Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated June, 6, 1969 and the copy of the agreement which you sent. The first thing is that I have already given you my word, so there is no need of an agreement with me. My word is final agreement, but if you want it for business reasons, I have no objections to sign it. But the wordings are not always clear. Another thing is although I have brought this Sankirtana Movement to the Western World we cannot make it copyrighted. The Sankirtana Movement is not my invention. So how can it be copyrighted? Besides that, as you will find in the album of my previous recording, the chanting of Hare Krishna is going on since time immemorial. So Hare Krishna cannot be copyrighted, although the tune in which I sing with my disciples, that may be made copyrighted. I have no objection to sign this agreement, but don’t be misled that the chanting of Hare Krishna or Lord Caitanya’s Movement can be made copyrighted.

There are some points in the contract which are not very clear, so you may explain them to me further by post. The points are as follows: ”ISKCON shall have the sole and exclusive right and authority to collect preserve and distribute all tangible expressions of said sound vibrations.” ”Said sound vibrations shall be fixed in a tangible form solely by ISKCON” ”ISKCON shall have the exclusive right to any existing sound recordings contained in any medium of fixation that have been previously recorded by the SWAMI” ”ISKCON shall have the sole and exclusive right to use the name and likeness of the SWAMI for all purposes and activities encompassed by this agreement.”

So upon hearing from you on these points I shall send you back the agreement duly signed by me. I am very much encouraged by the statement of your letter, but I must let you know the pros and cons of this agreement.

Please convey my blessings to Krishna Devi. I hope this will meet you in good health.

Your ever well-wisher,
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

If you Love Me Distribute My Books -- Srila Prabhupada

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15 Responses to ISKCON–Copyrighting and Trademarking HARE KRISHNA!!!

  1. Tushar Dangayach says:

    I am having a YouTube channel. There, Can I read and explain prabhupada books to my audience. Is there any need to take permission of “ISKON” ? If yes, what’s the process?

    Thanks in advance

    • Yes of course Prabhu, you can read and explain Srila Prabhupada’s books to your audience on youtube!!!

      That is what they are for. Reading and explaining to the people. That is why Prabhupada wrote them.

      So Prabhu please do it immediately. You do not need permission from anyone and if you do it it will be a great service to Srila Prabhupada, Krishna and your audience, and you will also benefit greatly from it. When we try to explain Krishna consciousness to others our own realizations grow and grow. So it is also very beneficial to ourselves to read and explain Prabhupada’s books to others. So please do it Prabhu, you don’t need to ask anyone for permission.

  2. Krishna Das says:

    Hello I am a Vaishnava Monk ( via Ramanujacharya Achariyar tradition). Can I republish Swamy Prabhupada books without changing Translation and Pupport in name of our guru Ramanujacharya and distribute those books ? please reply even we want to spread importance of Unalloyed Krishna Conciousness among common people via Bhakthi Yoga?

  3. Steven says:

    Madhudvisa Prabhu,
    I messaged you earlier regarding my concerns about ISKCON and you promptly and kindly provided a befitting response. I benefitted greatly from reading your words. But now, I am facing a spiritual crisis. I had earlier messaged you from the farm community I was living in, and things were going awry there. While I was living there, there were four incidents of assault in the community, and I was the victim of the fourth assault. A new temple president was brought in who strangled one devotee, broke the leg (double fracture) of another devotee, and then threw punches at myself after verbally abusing me. The GBC representative and the GBC regional secretary and a few other officials were duly notified of the assaults but they were terribly ineffective and completely failed to respond to the situation and rectify the wrong-doing. Due to the nature of these incidents, I have since left the farm community and returned to material life.

    Also, I was banned from Bhakti Vrksa classes at one temple on racial grounds as the temple management is attempting to recruit and evangelize westerners/whites instead of colored people such as myself.

    All of this has left me deeply troubled and I have resorted to substance abuse to alleviate my suffering. There is no hope for me without the association and support of devotees. I don’t know what to do, and I can actually feel myself sinking deeper and deeper into the mode of ignorance. Please understand my plight and please don’t be heavy-handed with me. I’m not in a position to psychologically cope with any more distress.

    • Hare Krishna Steve


      Association with ISKCON will destroy your life and destroy any hope you have of making spiritual advancement.

      So just become Krishna conscious where you are. It does not matter if now you are not following the regulative principles or chanting. Just start chanting Hare Krishna mantra at least 16 rounds a day and strictly follow the four regulative principles and read Srila Prabhupada’s books at least 1-2 hours a day and very quickly you will become Krishna conscious.

      You have to surrender to these simple thing. That is the only way. Otherwise you can not become Krishna conscious. And stay away from ISKCON!

      Only association with real devotees who are more advanced than ourselves and who are actually seriously engaged in the practice of saddhana-bhakti as taught to us by Srila Prabhupada is beneficial. We have to have some discrimination when associating with devotees. If the ‘devotees’ are not of good character and good behavior then associating with them will not be beneficial for us.

      We need to associate with Srila Prabhupada and Krishna and all the great souls who appear in Srila Prabhupada’s books by reading his books…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  4. Sumeet Rastogi says:

    Hi, I recently applied for “Hare Krishna Vaish Federation” company name to Registrar of Companies, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, India. They suggested me to take an NOC letter from ISKCON. I hope you would have no objection to issuing me an NOC for using Lord Krishna’s name and energy in company’s name. Waiting for your positive response.

    • Hare Krishna Sumeet

      ISKCON has no copyright on ‘Hare Krishna’. There are so many associations of Krishna devotees. So you do not have to check with ISKCON…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  5. Ajitesh Mitra says:

    HARE KRISNA. DANDABAT PRANAAM.I am very interested to distribute the books of SRILO PRABHUPADA’S . Please help me about the origin of the original books of HIM.
    Hare Krsna.

  6. Ajitesh Mitra says:

    HARE KRISNA. DANDABAT PRANAAM.I am very interested to distribute the books of SRILO PRABHUPADA’S . Please help me about the origin of the original books of HIM.
    Hare Krsna.

  7. Chetan says:

    Hare Krsna Madhudvisa Dasa

    Thanks…You are doing great work…

    One suggestion from my end that on all Original Books, the word “Unedited” should be mentioned so that people/devotees can identify which are “Unedited” and “Edited” books…

  8. Chetan says:

    Hare Krsna Madhudvisa Dasa

    Are you planning to sell Srila Prabhupada’s Original (unedited) books in India…

    • ISKCON Bangalore is doing this Prabhu.

      You can enquire from them

      Also BBT in India have printed Prabhupada’s original 1972 Gita so you should be able to get Prabhuapda’s original Gita from all Indian ISKCON temples now, it now published by Indian BBT. And many books BBT and Indian BBT are publishing are still Prabhupada’s original books. Most small books, Science of Self-Realization, etc. And I am sure if you keep on asking at the ISKCON temples for Prabhuapda’s original books BBT will print more original titles.

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About the Author

Founded the Hare Krishna Movement in 1966 in New York. In only 11 years he spread the movement all over the world. He wrote more than 80 books including Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Sri Isopanisad. Prabhupada's books constitute a complete library of Vedic philosophy, religion, literature and culture.

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