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Rolfing® Wars in Wikipedia

Lo, the battle rageth back and forth, now you see the Rolfing trademarks used in the wikipedia definition of Rolfing work…..and now you don’t.  On-a-daily-basis.this.happens.  (Also–now you see the attempt to medicalize or quacksterize the definition and now you don’t– now you see the attempts at documentation and now you don’t.)  One poignant comment whined, “But what is Rolfing, really?”

Part of the Wikipedia Rolfing Structural Integration definition war story:  numerous folk, some more legit than others, would like to use the words Rolfing and Rolfer to define their Structural Integration practice.  A lawsuit from one of those numerous back in the last century helped to define what the Rolfing Structural Integration trademarks are and who gets to use them. That lawsuit solution was not to the liking of the numerous, although they thought it was at the time.  It is to the advantage of the numerous NOT to have the marks used in Wikipedia (or anywhere else), and here’s why.

First, more history of trademarks and body work:  a very few years after that Rolfing suit mentioned above, in a different court, the Feldenkrais Guild was able to uphold their marks to the tune of $300,000.00 worth of legal fees.  In still another, for big bucks also, the original holder of Pilates lost theirs.  Anyone can say they teach Pilates.

Since part of the loss of the Pilates trademarks was “failure to vigorously defend”, the Rolf Institute has been more active in defense of the marks especially in such places as Wikipedia, which by Wikipedia’s own definition gives a certain kind of “open” definition–by anyone who wants to change it.

Thusly, the Wars of Wiki and its Pedia with open definition continue with supporters of both sides of the trademark issue,  leavened with comic relief of stereotypical category anal-istas.  (Not to mention that a Wikipedia functionary barked, we don’t care about your legalities, and anyway you haven’t proved it to us at all that they exist.)

At the bottom of the Wikipedia article, (at least today), Schleip’s disclaimer on the fascia idea deserves more pixels, and will get it here, tomorrow.

Linda Grace

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