Please share this email with all the Sai Center/Group members.
With Love for all,
Sent: Sunday, March 6, 2022 7:05 PM
Cc: Sri Jeevaprakash ; Dhurjati Mudigonda ; Sumana Murali ; Giridhar Jeedigunta ; Sai Sravan Cherukuri ; Ketan Kharod ; Geeta Reid ; Alekhya Rao ; Jaysai Ghayal ; Axay Kalathia
Subject: FW: Response by Sr Sathya Sai Media Centre
Sairam Regional Presidents/ Center Presidents/ Group Leaders,
Please see the mail from brother Axay regarding Response by Sr Sathya Sai Media Centre.
Please share with all the members.
In Sai’s Service,
Sent from Mail for Windows
Sai Ram Dear National Presidents,
Please share with all members this important response to individuals complaining against Swami’s institutions, from Mr. Sundar Swaminathan, the director of the Sri Sathya Sai Media Center, Prasanthi Nilayam. He sheds light on the issue of copyright requirements and the actions that have been perpetrated against the SSSGC.
Dear Sir / Madam,
I bring you greetings from Prashanti Nilayam, the abode of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
It has come to light that several entities are using Video and Audio footage of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. The intellectual property rights of these belong to Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, Prasanthi Nilayam.
I am hereby directed by the Trust to respond to the letters sent by various “Zone Chairs / Office bearers of SSSIO”, which are more or less in the same tone as that of over 130 letters received when Sri Sathya Sai Global Council was announced. The language continues to be disrespectful, devoid of basic courtesies and not worthy of Swami's devotees.
To give a right perspective to the problems posed by you all, I wish to state the following facts.
In the not too distant past the Sri Sathya Sai International organisation (SSSIO) under the leadership of Dr Narendranath Reddy and it’s other officials has taken steps against several devotees and organisations claiming copyright and ownership of some published material and has tried to prevent legitimate use by organisations which are part of Sri Sathya Sai Global Council (SSSGC). Such actions have been defended in some jurisdictions in an appropriate manner. In the USA, the SSSIO has tried to intimidate devotees in centres which have joined SSSGC and has tried to prevent them from functioning in a spirit of love and harmony by objecting to the use of teaching aids for Bal Vikas / SSSE program. This too has been defended and the SSSIO has no right to claim exclusive ownership of these materials as it is not the author of the works. I am sure you will all remember about the video released by Mr. Robert Baskin talking about copyright ownership of the name of our beloved lord, “Sri Sathya Sai”. It was shameful enough in the least to give out legal threats to Sai devotees across the world who are eager to associate with Prasanthi Nilayam.
In some jurisdictions like Singapore, SSSIO has vigorously tried to prevent the centres which have joined SSSGC from even using Bhagawan’s name claiming trademark rights. These actions are highly despicable and unwarranted.
During Akhanda Bhajans in November 2021, ‘SSSIO’ claimed copyright for a video presented by SSSGC, Taiwan. The program was disrupted and we had to take down that video and re-upload at the early hours (at around 3 AM IST).
SSSGC, Germany has been continuously threatened by SSSIO and was slapped with a legal notice and has been dragged to the court. All these were done to prevent SSSGC, Germany from translating and transmitting Swami’s daily messages and teachings.
In Malaysia, the registration of SSSGC, Malaysia was stalled and you all know that SSSIO, Malaysia claimed credit for it. There were social media postings as though it was a big achievement!
In New Zealand, SSSIO was threatening SSSGC, New Zealand for using Swami’s name.
In South Africa, the Education Trust was taken to court and the High Court of South Africa has thrown out the case foisted by SSSIO recently.
I can enumerate any number of such instances which are being perpetrated by SSSIO globally!
Your letters with a common subject (perhaps instigated by your leadership) complaining about the blockage of some videos on You Tube, which were being uploaded by SSSIO and its affiliates is completely unfounded. The letters reflect the ignorance of the writers as, probably, the SSSIO leadership has chosen to keep you all in the dark about its actions of interfering with the functioning of SSSGC centres and members.
Some of the emails are written in bad taste and contain offensive language and innuendos against the Trustees. In addition to the above unseemly acts of SSSIO, your leadership continues to indulge in mudslinging, blame game and has even given a legal threat. As in the past, Trustees have brushed them aside, as Swami has guided.
SSSCT has issued a Public Notice (with FAQs) which is available on our websites. It is a settled fact that all the Copyrights rest with Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, Prasanthi Nilayam. I am happy to make you aware that over 1000 Sai centres in Sri Sathya Sai Global Council across the globe have permission and complete access to all Swami’s literature and artifacts. The Public Notice clearly states that anyone who is keen to disseminate Swami’s message widely can approach the Director, SSSMC for permission in accordance with law.
You will notice that it is common sense that a user needs to ask for permission to use the intellectual property of SSSCT. Till date, there has been no such request from SSSIO. According to the policy of YouTube, infringing content is blocked.
The Sri Sathya Sai Media Centre has been providing ample content on social media and its channels, in several languages, and all devotees are free to enjoy them and benefit therefrom.
It is hoped that this communication sets things in the right perspective and the e-mails written by you have been responded to by this e-mail.
It is now for you to see the folly of the leadership of SSSIO, which has chosen to adopt a confrontational posture against SSSCT and SSSGC, quite needlessly.
Please do not disturb the Trust members with all frivolous letters which is very negative even in its approach. Henceforth, you are strongly urged to follow protocol and your leadership can write to the Director, SSSMC (firstname.lastname@example.org) which will be placed to Managing Trustee, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust for due consideration and the same will be communicated back to you by me.
Praying to Swami to bless all of you with His Choicest blessings!
Sri Sathya Sai Media Centre. (SSSMC)
District: Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, India