OWNERSHIP OF THE COPYRIGHT
OF THE WORD “PERMACULTURE” (P.C.)
The word Permaculture was defined and copyrighted by publications in the Organic
Gardening and Farming Society’s newsletter in Hobart, Tasmania in 1975. The word
itself was coined by Bill Mollison, as no succinct word or publication had previously been
applied to whole system design. In 1978, the publication of Permaculture One estab-
lished the first book on conscious design of whole landscapes, and again established the
word Permaculture as unique. Ownership of the copyright is equally invested (by Bill
Mollison) in the Permaculture Institutes and its graduates from a Certificated Permacul-
ture Course. It cannot be given away except to graduates.
Copyright was deliberately sought, and the unique name coined so that this system
of education could not be pre-empted by existing institutions or government agencies, but
belongs to certificated individuals and Permaculture Institutes (as corporate bodies). The
intention of the copyright is to keep the educational area (with its considerable goodwill)
to those who know what a Permaculture course consists of! No person who is not a course
graduate can use this name for profit; all normal uses for purposes of reviews, discussion,
news items and so on is permitted, and graduates (but only graduates) of courses can
register for-profit enterprises or corporations using this name.
Likewise, Permaculture graduates who are appointed to or who belong to other
teaching institutions can teach courses; that institution itself, however, cannot use the
name for profit, or for raising funds, if its directors are not graduates, nor should any such
directors be appointed to Permaculture Institutes or their boards.
Non profit Permaculture associations freely use the name, as can any association of
people with a common interest in Permaculture, but not for paid or certificated courses.
Where non certificated teachers offer paid courses on Permaculture they have been
successfully challenged by several graduates, but also invited to attend a full course and to
later continue their teaching. Such pirate courses have been found to be more akin to
organic farming or ‘new age’ mysticism than applied design, so that the necessity for
copyright has been validated. This publication also clearly delineates the controls we
must demand for higher degrees, and gives additional facilitation to our graduates by the
establishment of a College of Graduates; in effect, a professional association of