Copyright status of A Course in Miracles

This is an issue that I am frequently asked about, as just recently happened by email. It is time that I start posting this information more publicly.

An email from M & P -

Dear Tom: Am an avid practitioner of ACIM and Voice for God. First let me bless you for having the 1972 version, I love the fact that it is the pure version from Helen and Thetford There is also a www site that gives us free texts from ancient and modern books called "Sacred-Texts.com". They say they haven't included ACIM because of copyright problems; I didn't know that the 1972 version was on line then. Since the 1972 version is excellent, can they be given that text? Would you be willing to contact them about it?

. . . and my answer:

Not really, in my opinion. I am familiar with sacred-text.com (and love it). Some time ago I studied its copyright policy, and it takes a conservative, and safe, approach to copyright issues.

There is considerable ambiguity about the copyright status of the 1972 version, and I am taking a calculated risk by publishing it online, as is anyone else who does so. Actually, in my opinion, the ultimate copyright status of the 1975 version is also quite ambiguous. One Federal judge in New York city has very limited jurisdiction, and it is conceivable (however unlikely) that a different judge in another jurisdiction could be prevailed upon to make a different ruling on the 1975 copyright, if anyone is interested in going to the considerable expense of litigating the issue again. Not only is the validity of the 1975 copyright and the copyright on the 1972 version in legal limbo, there is considerable doubt about actual ownership of those copyrights, to the extent that they remain valid.

My admiration for the Course, and my special fondness for the 1972 version of the Course makes me brave, I guess. Or foolhardy, perhaps. Some unknown heir of Helen Schucman could pop up unexpectedly and assert a copyright claim to the whole thing. This involves an undeniable risk of being sued out of the blue.

If I understand sacred-text.com's attitude correctly, this is not a risk they would be willing to undertake, but that is just my guess.


Community Miracles Center website

The website of Community Miracles Center in San Francisco has been around forever, it seems. I don't know exactly when Rev. Tony and Rev. Larry started it, but I'm sure that it was going strong well before 1998, when I first noticed it, if I remember it correctly. Over the years, it has always been a source of information and inspiration for the Course community. In recent years, the website's 1990's origin and design began to show, as other sleeker Course websites came online. The explosion on online Course activity that has taken place since the removal of ACIM copyright and trademark restrictions in 2004 almost threatened to leave the CMC icon in the dust.

For those of you who do not know, or who chose not to remember, fear was intentionally fostered by the self-appointed "guardians of the faith," starting with FACIM's acquisition of all legal rights over the Course in 1999 and ending with the intervention of a higher power in 2004. Scores of fledgling Course-related websites bit the dust during that period. Tony, Larry and the San Francisco Community Miracles Center were always there on the front line, standing up for freedom. They shall forever have my gratitude and appreciation.

Anyway, I visit the CMC website regularly to stay informed about what is happing in the Course world. My last visit before yesterday was back on November 15th when the 2009 ACIM Conference was announced.

Sometime in the last two weeks, without any fanfare that I know of, the venerable CMC website underwent a total overhaul, both in structure and in appearance.

Community Miracles Center has not only totally re-designed the look of its classic ACIM website, it has also adopted the Open Source web content management system provided by Joomla.

Take a look. It is really nice. Twenty-first Century style and function, but still warm, friendly, funny, and informative.


ACIM December 2007 Lesson calendar

ACIM Lesson calendar screen shot image
Here is a handy ACIM Workbook Lesson reminder calendar for December, 2007, with links to Lessons 335 through 365. This calendar is available for use online, and also for download as a printable PDF file.
ACIM Lesson calendar for December, 2007


A Course in Miracles video documentary

cover image of A Course in Miracles Documentary video
View abridged version (70 minutes of 120 minutes) in seven segments posted on YouTube. Links to A Course in Miracles video documentary here.


Miracle Distribution Center 2008 ACIM Calendar

ACIM 2008 wall calendar

This ACIM wall calendar is available from the Miracle Shop at Amazon.com

Big bargains on used Course books

Sometimes there are some great one cent used book bargains available on Amazon.com.

You heard me right. One-cent books. A penny for a book. $0.01!

How is this possible? There has to be a trick, you think. No one would bother selling a book for a penny.

This is the way it works. Amazon.com allows its third-party used book sellers to charge $3.99 for shipping, so the total cost of a one cent book, including shipping, is $4.00. By using US Post Office "Media Mail" rates, it only costs about $2.00 - $2.50 to ship the book, so the used book seller makes its profit on the shipping! It's not a big profit, to be sure, maybe only a dollar or two, but it is still a really great bargain for you!

I've purchased dozens and dozens of hard-to-find used book through Amazon.com this way, and I've never had any problems at all. Media Mail shipping is a little slower to arrive than are other delivery options. Sometimes it can take 10 days to two weeks for a book to arrive, depending upon where the book was shipped. Obviously it takes something shipped from Oregon longer to arrive in Kentucky then it does for something shipped from Ohio, but it is well worth the wait in dollars saved.

These are books you'll probably never see at your local used book store. It's a really great deal, and you can save a tree in the process by buying second-hand books.

The book pictured above is "We Never Left The Garden" by Pamela Galadrial, 228 pages, and published in 1996. It is Pamela Galadriel's first book, with her own illustrations. It is an illumination of Course principles with deep heart.

As of this morning there were four copies available for a penny each. No, better make that three one-cent copies of the book. I just bought one for myself, but if you hurry, you might be able to get one here.