I have been reading for forum, and it appears that a lot of misinformation is floating regarding permaculture and copyright. I hope the following clarifies the situation. Permaculture was a word "coined" by Bill Mollison. It also describes his permaculture curriculum. He quite rightly claimed copyright to it. Bill allows any one who has completed a permaculture course that teaches the knowledge contained in his curriculum to use the same knowledge in his curriculum and pass it on provided it is taught as an intensive 72 hour minimum course. There is no obligation for any teacher to be registered with Bills Permaculture Institute to use the word or teach that particular curriculum. If you do register with Bill he will issue you with his own printed certificates for your students. You may also print your own certificates, and then students may in the future continue to teach Bills curriculum. He does not charge any fee for this right which has been vested to his students. If he withdraws this right, then those affected may rightly claim compensation. However, once a word becomes part of the common language it is no longer protected by copyright or trademark rights, so we have today teachers choosing to offer all different types of permaculture curriculums, some known as APT or "approved permaculture training". It is interesting to note that any claim that "approved permaculture training" is a trademark is false, because these words are part of the common language. APT may be a trademark, only if it distinctive in design. Only minor variations in destinctive design are allowed under appropriate legislation. People offering such courses may also be in breach of the trade practices act, because if you do offer such a product, as I understand it must be correct in its description. In other words it must be permaculture, which is a method of design. The above information is the opinion of Leo Mahon, Director Permaculture Design Institute Pty Ltd. I am sending a copy direct to Bill Mollison to confirm or clarify my opinion. I shall keep you posted.