To All Pilates Friends, Professionals and Practitioners
We need your help.
As many of you know, the simple act of sharing vintage Pilates photographs and materials -- all of them widely seen and shared in the past -- is under attack. In the past year or two, beloved Pilates instructors everywhere have had their social media pages and websites taken offline by Sean Gallagher and his company, Richtone Designs. Countless others have either been threatened or have chosen to self-censor, fearful of exercising what should be their right.
Now, our Pilates colleague Mary Kelly of True Pilates Boston is being sued for copyright infringement by Richtone after posting historical Pilates photos on Instagram.
This lawsuit impacts you directly: it provides all of us in the Pilates community with the opportunity to know what materials are in the public domain and what (if any) are not.
Since the early 1990's, even as the Pilates field has expanded and grown, our ability to reach back into our collective history has been stymied by Sean Gallagher and Richtone. Joe Pilates was far ahead of his time, and there is still much to discover about his method and insights. This is why it is so important that our community retain access to historical documents. Moreover, as Pilates practitioners, we must preserve our right to refer to the founder of the Pilates Method, not just in words, but in images.
This lawsuit will benefit our community and help us to honor Joe Pilates. Now is the time to act.
With Mary's case, we have a unique moment right now to defend our history. In 2000, our community came together to defend the word Pilates for all of us to use - and we won! Now we must come together to help Mary affirm in a court of law that Sean Gallagher and Richtone have no rightful claim to own the visual materials that depict Joe and/or Clara Pilates and/or reference Pilates exercises.
Helping Mary Kelly will help all of us.
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