Netflix may be facing a copyright fight over its controversial documentary “Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator,” as yoga colleges claim they have used their material without permission.
Metro UK reports that the 90-minute film, which documents yoga master Bikram Choudhury and his abusive methods towards those in his classes, features several old clips from inside the hot yoga sessions that turned him into a U.S. star.
However, Ghosh’s Yoga College, based in Kolkata, is claiming video footage and photographs used in the film is actually theirs, and want its immediate removal, according to the report.
Choudhury, who has been accused of racial, verbal and sexual abuse in the film, learned his yoga craft at Ghosh’s College.
In the film, early footage of Choudhury learning yoga at the school is aired as he attended the site and built his craft.
“For the past four years, I have worked hand in hand with Ghosh’s Yoga College as one of only three people who have permission to use family specific photos and material to preserve the legacy of Bishnu Charan Ghosh,” Ida Jo, ambassador for Ghosh’s Yoga College, told Metro in an interview. “They trust me to represent them around the world.
“When the production team reached out to me to get photos and materials for their new film about Bikram Choudhury, I relayed this information to the Ghosh family,” she added. “They said they had no interest in being involved. I told the filmmakers ‘No.’ Despite explicitly telling the producers they would need permission to use materials owned by Ghosh’s Yoga College, including photos and the contents of Yoga Cure, they used them anyway.”
Choudhury fled the U.S. after he lost a discrimination and harassment lawsuit against his former lawyer, Micki Jaffa-Bodden, to the tune of $7 million, the report added. He did not pay any money he owes her, it notes.
Of the six women who accused Bikram of sexual assault, four have been settled out of court, and he continues to deny any wrongdoing, according to the report.