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Wed May 4 18:08:57 EDT 2011

Design Course, and that any other permaculture "curriculum must be by
application to the author".

Does that mean if we want to run a PDC course or even a short course
on a particular aspect eg How To Build a Herb Spiral, we first must
have it approved by Bill and his Institute?

The two comments "nor can any group of people substantially alter or
assert ownership of the text" and "people need to write their own
curriculum and textbooks and not plagiarise my work" seem to be at

My reading is that if we want to continue under the permaculture
umbrella as designers and teachers we each have to create our own
textbooks of curriculum, following the principles outlined in Bill's
(and David's) books so as not to "substantially alter" the work, but
not too closely as to be accused of plagiarism.  And then submit it to
Bill for approval.

My greatest concern to Bill's trademarking "Permaculture Design
Course" and "Permaculture" is that teachers and designers would have
to pay royalties.

I suppose if these royalties went to an Institute that successfully
administered the curriculum and PDC and higher degrees, then it would
be a good investment. (?)  Such an Institute would, if it followed the
principles laid down in the Manual, be democratic and open in its

Permaculture is different things to different people.  This is one of
the reasons why it is so successful and has spread so quickly. This is
also why we are asked in our PDC to define the term.  It is also why
the PDC courses needs to be administered a hell of a lot better than
they are at present (to avoid the example of a one week PDC courses
when it clearly says 72-hours duration, and the registration of cowboy
PDC teachers and designers).

This whole situation also reminds me of the current state in the
internet's growth, with companies like Yahoo initially giving it all
away free until it grows to a critical mass, then start charging (for
something that we all created together).  The internet is going
through a massive attrition as companies fail and people adjust to the
internet being capitalised and regulated.  History repeats, are there
are a lot of similarities between the net and permaculture.

Bill must be laughing now.  He reminds me of ol' Joh Bjelke Petersen
coming out every so often to "feed the chooks" (Joh was an Australian
politician suffering early dementia who was refering to himself giving
press conferences - the media and public were his "chooks" or

Marcus Webb

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