"I'm not aware of anyone who has successfully done what Bikram is trying to do," said Netanel, who has discussed the case in his law classes. "Which is, through the guise of copyrighting photographs or descriptions of an exercise method, to control the practice of yoga."
Hamilton is expected to rule on the copyright issue this spring
Some of Open Source's executive board members studied with Choudhury but have since struck out on their own, creating new sequences and styles of yoga -- with a definite Bikram influence. They are among the most outspoken of his critics.
Ted Grand studied with Choudhury in 1999 and started four Bikram studios in Canada. Grand built studios with radiant heating panels, reclaimed hardwood floors from old gyms, and nontoxic paint. "Bikram was very upset with us for not putting carpet down in the yoga room, and threatened to sue," he said.
Rather than fight, Grand came up with his own sequence of about 40 poses -- done in a hot room -- and created a small chain of studios. He called his new style Moksha Yoga.