Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Talk about what is being written in other magic publications.
Chris Aguilar
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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Chris Aguilar » December 31st, 2011, 3:46 pm

Tom Stone wrote:A very large percentage of magicians are opposed to the idea that a creator should have any rights at all to his works, as they feel that they have some kind of collective ownership to the works of others.

And can become quite upset over any suggestion that might limit their free trade of "secrets" at conventions and club meetings.

Stereotype much Tom?

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Ted M » December 31st, 2011, 4:04 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:
Umpa Duze wrote: To my knowledge, nowhere beyond the world of magic is it required to get someones permission to present work that is already in the public domain.


Is this even a true premise? Ortiz's Annotated Erdnase and Giobbi's Card College both do exactly what I think Umpa is saying may not be done.


Umpa isn't saying it may not be done. Far from it.

He's observing that it doesn't happen very much in magic, in comparison to other fields.

He is asking why, in magic, it doesn't happen more often, in more places, with wider participation.

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Tom Stone » December 31st, 2011, 4:06 pm

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictiona ... c%20domain
What other definitions of "public domain" are there, that are more common than the supposedly narrow definition in the link above?

Oh well. This is not an academic endeavor, but an artistic one. If time was spent on "collectively analyze, publicly discuss, sift, winnow and build on the ideas expressed within them" with artists who have a very different artistic vision and expression than oneself, it would most likely result in a slower progress and developement in the field.

The kind of "community" we have in the magician culture is purely on a social level, not based on actually working together. Except in rare cases where we work in small groups with people who share the same (or similar) vision and whom we trust.

For example I admire and respect Max Maven's work. And I presume the feeling is mutual. But the only area in which we are working together, is the area of crediting when I've begun to ponder whether I should publish or not. (The crediting leg work is unfortunately pretty one-sided so far, but I'll hopefully be useful to Max some day). The reason being that our artistic visions are not the same. If I were to be influential in a piece that Max is creating, it would not feel like "his" anymore and he would drop it instantly and begin working on something else. I know I would, because I have experienced it. There are more than one piece that I have dropped soon after I've tried it out on an audience, because it has been too influenced by Max's work.

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Tom Stone
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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Tom Stone » December 31st, 2011, 4:14 pm

Chris Aguilar wrote:
Tom Stone wrote:A very large percentage of magicians are opposed to the idea that a creator should have any rights at all to his works,...

Stereotype much Tom?

Yes, you are right. Good catch.
I should not presume that the ones who are the most vocal are representative for those who are silent. Sorry.

A more reasonable estimate, based on internet discussions, club meeting discussions, the number of photocopies of my own work I've found when visiting "friends" etc. would be 40-60%.

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Q. Kumber » December 31st, 2011, 4:17 pm

Chris Aguilar wrote:
Tom Stone wrote:A very large percentage of magicians are opposed to the idea that a creator should have any rights at all to his works, as they feel that they have some kind of collective ownership to the works of others.

And can become quite upset over any suggestion that might limit their free trade of "secrets" at conventions and club meetings.

Stereotype much Tom?



A few years back I was the guest at a local magic club meeting in Orlando. The previous meeting had been a lecture by Alain Nu. During this lecture Alain had, I gather, demonstrated some of his original spoon bending effects but had not explained all of them.

One of the members was so incensed by Alain's lack of sharing one particular method that he went and tracked down a DVD by another performer who taught Alain's method (without credit or permission) and played this to all the members on the night I was present.

I was tempted to say something but felt that doing so would only draw more attention to the explanation. As it happened, I was right. The incensed magician only played the explanation and everyone appeared to have forgotten what the effect was in the first place.

However it does lend credence to Tom's point, stereotype or not.

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Chris Aguilar » December 31st, 2011, 4:18 pm

Tom Stone wrote:
Chris Aguilar wrote:
Tom Stone wrote:A very large percentage of magicians are opposed to the idea that a creator should have any rights at all to his works,...

Stereotype much Tom?

Yes, you are right. Good catch.
I should not presume that the ones who are the most vocal are representative for those who are silent. Sorry.

A more reasonable estimate, based on internet discussions, club meeting discussions, the number of photocopies of my own work I've found when visiting "friends" etc. would be 40-60%.

Pull statistics out of your nether portions much Tom?

Or (and I'd ask the same of Mr. Reynolds) assume that your limited, subjective personal experiences define universal truths?

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Tom Stone » December 31st, 2011, 4:28 pm

Chris Aguilar wrote:Pull statistics out of your nether portions much Tom?

Or (and I'd ask the same of Mr. Reynolds) assume that your subjective personal experiences define universal truths?

Good catch again!
Correction: ...40-60% of the magicians I have interacted with.

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Chris Aguilar » December 31st, 2011, 4:51 pm

Tom Stone wrote:
Chris Aguilar wrote:Pull statistics out of your nether portions much Tom?

Or (and I'd ask the same of Mr. Reynolds) assume that your subjective personal experiences define universal truths?

Good catch again!
Correction: ...40-60% of the magicians I have interacted with.

And from that we're supposed to assume what exactly?

Are you inferring that your personal experiences/stereotypes might not reflect universal truths?

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Q. Kumber » December 31st, 2011, 4:52 pm

Indeed it is a subjective personal experience and is nothing more than anecdotal evidence.

But let me ask this of you Chris, (assuming you are the member of a local magic club) and any other readers who are members of a local club, could you see my experience possibly happening at your club?

Some years back a magician won first prize at a British Ring convention doing Lance Burton's act, complete with music, stage persona and bows. I asked one of the judges how the prize could be awarded to someone so blatantly copying another's act and was told that the prize goes to the most entertaining act, and this was judged to be just that.

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Chris Aguilar » December 31st, 2011, 5:09 pm

"Q. Reynolds" wrote:But let me ask this of you Chris, (assuming you are the member of a local magic club) and any other readers who are members of a local club, could you see my experience possibly happening at your club?


I'm not sure why providing a few (or even more than a few) anecdotal, personally chosen examples (about magic clubs, acts, etc) would be persuasive here.

Well unless one can prove (on a factual basis) that such anecdotes are truly representative of the whole sample (good luck with that, or in even identifying all members of said sample.)

And no, I've never been a member of a magic club.

See what happens when one makes assumptions based on limited data? ;)

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Q. Kumber » December 31st, 2011, 5:23 pm

My experiences lend credence to Tom's point. It doesn't prove anything and I would prefer to be wrong. Sadly, I don't think I am.

But Chris, from your experience and observation, what is your gut feeling on the points raised by Tom? Would you tend to agree, disagree or find the discussion irrelevant?

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Chris Aguilar » December 31st, 2011, 5:34 pm

Q. Reynolds wrote:My experiences lend credence to Tom's point. It doesn't prove anything and I would prefer to be wrong. Sadly, I don't think I am.

Tom's stereotype was his subjective opinion, even though he tried (and tries) to make it sound more authoritative by trafficking in unsupportable generalities and made up statistics. Adding another equally subjective opinion(yours) or a few cherry picked anecdotes, doesn't make the original stereotype any more credible.

Are people actually discussing the original posters topic here?

With all the digressions and wanking around with semantics, I hadn't noticed too much of that.

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Tom Stone » December 31st, 2011, 6:35 pm

Chris Aguilar wrote:And from that we're supposed to assume what exactly?


I don't know - I guess you are supposed to assume whatever you think is suitable in the context. What does people in general assume about, for example, the Nielsen ratings? That is also a case where observations done in a smaller sample are extrapolated to encompass a larger group.

My point was to illustrate that a large number of people seem to have their own reasons for being opposed to the idea of copyright. For me, about 40-60% of the people I've interacted with is a large number. For you, it maybe is a small number?

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Chris Aguilar » December 31st, 2011, 7:20 pm

Tom Stone wrote:
Chris Aguilar wrote:And from that we're supposed to assume what exactly?


I don't know - I guess you are supposed to assume whatever you think is suitable in the context.

Good idea. From the context, I'll assume that you prefer to obfuscate, misinterpret, stereotype and generally throw out BS rather than admit that someone who disagrees with you might conceivably have a point.


Tom Stone wrote:My point was to illustrate that a large number of people seem to have their own reasons for being opposed to the idea of copyright.

That actually sounds a bit better with the caveat that you seem to assume that those who don't subscribe to your narrow (and often quite subjective) views on copyright are "opposed to the idea of copyright". You still persist with the "large number" stereotype. Can you give us a concrete number here without resorting to unverifiable personal statistical percentages?


That being said, here is what you initially wrote (before attempting to soften it up now)

"Tom Stone" wrote:A very large percentage of magicians are opposed to the idea that a creator should have any rights at all to his works, as they feel that they have some kind of collective ownership to the works of others.

And can become quite upset over any suggestion that might limit their free trade of "secrets" at conventions and club meetings.


I know from experience (which I could quote you directly chapter and verse from elsewhere) that your views seem closer to this rather than the softer, yet still stereotypical, version you're now trying to sell us.

I'll note that it's quite possible for someone to support copyright and still disagree with you Tom.
As usual, you continue your love affair with poor analogies and the broad brush.

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Tom Stone » December 31st, 2011, 7:50 pm

Chris Aguilar wrote:I'll assume that you prefer to obfuscate, misinterpret, stereotype and generally throw out BS rather than admit that someone who disagrees with you might conceivably have a point.


I do not think that is a fair description.
You disagreed with things I said, and I admitted without reluctance that you had a point and amended the flawed statements I had made. I believe I even said "Good catch" at two different occasions.

Nice bit of re-writing history in your attempt to soften that up.

What kind of "double bind" argument is that?
You claim I rather obfuscate things than agree that someone has a point. But I did agree that you had a point, and quite naturally revised my statement and amended the flaw you had pointed out.
But now you seem to argue that is was wrong to agree with your point - since you now call it "re-writing history".
Double bind.
Who is obfuscating?

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Tom Stone » December 31st, 2011, 8:08 pm

Chris Aguilar wrote:You still persist with the "large number" stereotype. Can you give us a concrete number here without resorting to unverifiable personal statistical percentages?


I missed this one. Sorry.

Maybe. Which source would you consider to have verifiable data on the percentage, and might refute my observations?

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Chris Aguilar » December 31st, 2011, 8:12 pm

It's quite amazing to see you acknowledge your stereotypical view (which I've seen you espouse multiple times before here and elsewhere) and then turn around and then essentially restate it(!) using some silly analogy as to why we should still still lend it credence.

You must think we're quite unobservant. Or, as you're fond of saying, "wrong!"

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Chris Aguilar » December 31st, 2011, 8:31 pm

Tom Stone wrote:
Chris Aguilar wrote:You still persist with the "large number" stereotype. Can you give us a concrete number here without resorting to unverifiable personal statistical percentages?


I missed this one. Sorry.

Maybe. Which source would you consider to have verifiable data on the percentage, and might refute my observations?
The point of my post what that I don't think there's any practical or convincing way of verifying your chosen stereotype. Your "point" turns out to be an unsupportable bit of noise that you've tried to sell us via the use of fabricated and personal (though very authoritative sounding) statistics.

History suggests to me that pointing this out to you is no guarantee you won't fall back on this sort of stereotyping again (and again and again.)

It's part of the noise you make (often at great length) in lieu of actually admitting that someone might have a good point that runs counter to your own tightly held, loudly shared and often extremely subjective opinions.

I think it's great to share opinions. I think it's less great to continually (and rather authoritatively) call people "wrong" based on those subjective opinions.

I used to be that guy and have made a strong effort to get away from that (i.e. the need to constantly be "right on the internet") So perhaps I'm a bit more sensitive to seeing that sort of behavior in others these days.

But then again, I didn't listen very well (at all?) back then when people (rightly) called me out for posting like a jerk. I suspect that you'll (sadly) follow my rather poor lead in that respect.

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Tom Stone » December 31st, 2011, 9:17 pm

Chris Aguilar wrote:It's quite amazing to see you acknowledge your stereotypical view (which I've seen you espouse multiple times before here and elsewhere) and then turn around and then essentially restate it(!) using some silly analogy as to why we should still still lend it credence.

I concede that my estimations might not be as exact as they should be, since I'm not a math wiz. Which I've made no secret of, considering that the range of my estimation provided for a 20% margin of error. But it doesn't seem like that is what the problem is.

Rather, it seems that you regard all observations as false, unless they can be verified by a disinterested third party. Or is it just my observations you consider to be false (or misinterpreted or made-up)?

Example:
I published "The Warpsmith's Toolbox" in 1992.
I'm an avid reader, and can't stop myself from checking out the bookshelves when visiting people.
7 times, when visiting other magicians, I've found my book on their shelves (I am confident that this number is correct).
18 times (the real number is higher, but it is 18 which I recall the time, person and place for), when visiting other magicians, I have found bound photocopies of my book on their shelves.
Considering that the copies wasn't hidden away, despite them knowing that I would visit - and that no apology ever has been given (at most, a slightly embarrassed smile)... Well to me it seems like a fair assumption that they thought that nothing really wrong had been done. The common answer they've given when asked, has been "some guy at the magic club gave it to me".

So, how should this observation be evaluated? Or should it be considered false, like I've made it up, or have misinterpreted what I've seen?

Example:
At five different occations I've been helping out with the estate after deceased magicians. The number of people assisting has been between 2 and 9. At every occasion we've found pirat-copied videos, DVDs and photocopies of books. Each time, the others have suggested "Let's bring it to the magic club for an auction, because we can not put these in an ad."

What reasonable conclusions can I possibly make after these two examples? And there are plenty more.

Not having a disinterested third party to confirm the my observations, does that mean that the observations never happened? That I imagined it?

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Chris Aguilar » December 31st, 2011, 9:31 pm

Time for some initial snark (because you've earned it) followed by a bit more serious commentary.
Tom Stone wrote:Rather, it seems that you regard all observations as false, unless they can be verified by a disinterested third party

Misrepresent? Check!

Tom Stone wrote:The rest of Tom's post

Obfuscate? Check!

I know (from personal experience) how tough it can be to notice when one is acting like an jerk on the web while succumbing to the need to "prove" one's opinions "right".

I'm a long time (and still occasional) sinner in that regard though I've been making a real effort to get away from all that.

After you were (quite rightly in my opinion) upbraided at another forum (not mine) for being really nasty, I sort of hoped that (unlike myself years ago)that you'd learn something from that.

Though I'm not seeing that yet, I'm certainly rooting for you.

In my personal view, the web is a lot more interesting/fun when one isn't always driven by an uncontrollable need to be "right on the internet".

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Richard Kaufman » December 31st, 2011, 9:33 pm

Please remain calm at all times.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Tom Stone » December 31st, 2011, 9:42 pm

Chris Aguilar wrote:
Tom Stone wrote:Rather, it seems that you regard all observations as false, unless they can be verified by a disinterested third party

Misrepresent? Check!

The quote continued: "Or is it just my observations you consider to be false (or misinterpreted or made-up)?"
The intention of what you call "misrepresent" was to keep a door open for the possibility that this isn't some kind of personal attack, but a non-hostile general approach to things.

So my observations are fabricated? Good to know.

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Chris Aguilar » December 31st, 2011, 10:03 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Please remain calm at all times.


Roger that.

It's much easier when (unlike Tom in this case) one makes no authoritative sounding (yet pretty much baseless) claims and is not trying to "prove" the subjective "rightness" of one's cause.

Tom's response speaks to the notion that listening/understanding on the web sometimes falls victim to one's pressing need to be "right" all the time.

Still rooting for Tom to figure that out one day.

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Tom Stone » December 31st, 2011, 11:02 pm

Chris Aguilar wrote:It's much easier when (unlike Tom in this case) one makes no authoritative sounding (yet pretty much baseless) claims

I don't think that things becomes baseless, just because you label them as such.
Please show me what is baseless in my main arguments.

For example, I claimed that sleight-of-hand creations are explicitly excluded from patent law, in response to a suggestion about the opposite. Many did not seem to know this, and it felt like an important piece of information in the context.
Is this claim baseless? If so, show me how.

Yes, I am a jerk when it comes to two areas, one personal and one professional.
The personal one involve groups dressing up in identical clothing, giving up their own identity and ceasing to take responsibility for their own personal actions. I see no shades of gray in this area, it is all bad.
The professional one involves any kind of suggestion or hint that other people than the creator have more rights to decide over a piece than the creator himself. I find that to be so detestable, that I don't hesitate to answer in kind. It's not solely emotional though. I've done a lot of research, and can be swayed with good arguments (as opposed to the other area).

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Chris Aguilar » December 31st, 2011, 11:12 pm

I have faith that you'll manage to get past that whole "Gotta be right on the internet!" thing one day Tom.

I can only speak for myself here, but letting that go has certainly relieved some stress and made my visits to the web a lot more pleasant.

Hopefully, one day you'll give it a go too.

Happy New Year!

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Tom Stone » December 31st, 2011, 11:17 pm

Up for a new "Holmgang" next December?

Happy new year, Chris! :)

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Chris Aguilar » December 31st, 2011, 11:18 pm

Continued best of luck to you with your new book Tom. Even though I have no love for the awkward to hold landscape format, I'm betting I'm in the minority there.

I'm looking forward to the new year and hoping to hear some good conversation from you that doesn't included nastily tagging people as "wrong" simply because they don't agree with your rather narrowly held views.

I think you've got a lot of interesting things to say and it's disappointing to see you waylaid by your own (admitted) current inability to deal with certain issues in a civil manner.

Perhaps grist for a few New Year's resolutions eh?

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Tom Stone » December 31st, 2011, 11:31 pm

It's a choice, not an inability.
No matter, we've already said "Happy New Year", Chris.
A good spot to take a rest.

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Chris Aguilar » December 31st, 2011, 11:39 pm

Tom Stone wrote:It's a choice, not an inability.


Then I truly feel sorry for you.

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Tom Stone » December 31st, 2011, 11:48 pm

We've already said "Happy New Year", Chris. :)

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Chris Aguilar » December 31st, 2011, 11:51 pm

Tom Stone wrote:We've already said "Happy New Year", Chris. :)

And you're somehow the arbiter of when I can and cannot post?

Good to know. ;)

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Chris Aguilar » January 1st, 2012, 12:07 am

Umpa Duze.

My apologies for being complicit in derailing your topic.

While I think you shouldn't have used the legal term "public domain" (which sets off a certain rabid response in some) I believe I understand where you're coming from.

People will beat their chests over semantics and gray area legalities here and miss your point.

Your post reminded me that many published academic works have ideas in them that are used without recompense (beyond citation) to the original authors and there is generally no outcry at this. Of course one cannot publish that research and claim it as their own, but unless the paper claims some sort of extra legal protection, using that information and building on it is not wrong, indeed it is expected.

For instance, Pixar publishes many academic papers on various graphics and animation techniques. Many of these techniques are unique/novel, but very few (if any of them) do not build substantively on work that has gone before. Commercial (and non commercial) graphic rendering companies use the fruit of this knowledge to enhance their own products/services generally without recompense (beyond citation). And this is not illegal, nor is it a problem. It's the way things work and it benefits pretty much everyone. Is this sort of thing part of point you're making here?

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Tom Stone » January 1st, 2012, 12:14 am

Chris Aguilar wrote:And you're somehow the arbiter of when I can and cannot post?

Not when; what - if the "what" is something you know that I normally would bite. I don't want to bite now, Chris, because I enjoyed your best wishes for the new year, and I don't want that moment to be ruined. Is that silly?

I sincerely wish you a happy new year, Chris. It will be the best one ever. :)

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Chris Aguilar » January 1st, 2012, 12:24 am

Tom Stone wrote: It will be the best one ever. :)

Agreed.

And it'll be even nicer if you can find it within yourself to be a bit more respectful toward views that aren't 100% agreeable to you.

Fingers crossed. :)

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Tom Stone » January 1st, 2012, 12:29 am

Chris Aguilar wrote:And it'll be even nicer if you actually find it within yourself to be a bit more respectful toward views that aren't 100% agreeable to you.

I will still not bite. Not today. :)
Time for bed. Good night and happy new year!

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Chris Aguilar » January 1st, 2012, 12:34 am

Tom Stone wrote:
Chris Aguilar wrote:And it'll be even nicer if you actually find it within yourself to be a bit more respectful toward views that aren't 100% agreeable to you.

I will still not bite. Not today. :)
Time for bed. Good night and happy new year!


Does that mean you'll make no effort at all towards being a bit more civil then?

Disappointing.

And by the way, that's a real suggestion on my part. I'm not attempting to wind you up at all. Just being blunt with you as I have been the past (albeit more privately) when you've gone a bit around the bend.

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Umpa Duze » January 1st, 2012, 5:36 am

OK Tom, I have not responded to your prior analysis because it did not seem worth the effort. However, as you are now showing the same disagreeable traits towards others participating in this conversation let me take a look at this last post directed to me.

You write:
No, it does not leave us back where we started. Have you not read anything in this thread?

-Your assumption that material in all fields is considered public domain the instant it is published has been refuted.

Had you carefully read my original use of the term public domain it would be clear to you that much of what you have written is irrelevant to the point I was making. It was a poor choice of terms on my part. My meaning, apparently not as clear as intended, was in line with the case cited wherein it is written If the discoverer writes and publishes a book on the subject (as regular physicians generally do), he gains no exclusive right to the manufacture and sale of the medicine; he gives that to the public.


-It has been shown that you misunderstood a revelation in Steinmeyer's book. The revelation wasn't that the third sawing in Greater Magic doesn't work, but that the author of the pipedream was Walter Gibson.

The revelation as you put it, is my own, not Steinmeyers which I have made clear multiple times in describing that This is what startled me in Steinmeyers book or Maybe my whole thesis is wrong. Reading Jim's book just made me wonder.

-It has been suggested that slight of hand creations are covered by patent law, which has been shown wrong since it is expressly stated in patent law that slight of hand is excluded.

(Both copyright and patent law include lists of things that are not covered by those two I.P. systems. Sleight of hand is excluded from patent but not from copyright).

Had you read the references I provided, you would have found that it is unlikely that a sleight is so unique that it could be awarded a copyright. This is made clear by the exclusion of a variety of dance related examples of equally original and identifiable movements. While you may cling to the concept of copyright for the mechanics of your actions, the material here makes it fairly clear that you are either completely in error or, that this is a very grey area, neither of which support your arrogance.


I'm still curious over what you mean with "the community", what your definition of that group is. Who are they?



I wonder, because I can not remember that anyone from "the community" was present when I created any of my work. I can't recall that "the community" financed, was present or contributed to my development work. I've even looked under the bed for them. Therefore I got surprised over your suggestion that "the community" has some kind of automatic right (surpassing my own) to works that they have had no part in conceiving.

To suggest that you arrived at your material fresh from the womb, and owe nothing to those that came before, is again an embarrassing omission on your part. Perhaps you invented the Professors Nightmare, or the dramatic pose you use to indicate the importance of the effectno wait, I have seen all that before. You perform the Misers dream, with a wine glass and finger palmed coinsI did that when I was fifteen (you do it better). Now, perhaps you think that the way you bring the coin to your fingertips is uniquely your own and owes no debt to those who taught you, shared their ideas with you in books, on TV and in live shows. Just like most self-made men you appear to have selective amnesia. They may not be under your bed, but you can bet that you owe the magic community for every opportunity to perform magic you get in this world.

This is my last post on this matter as I am not one to bicker which appears to be your need. So please have at it and go to bed with the hollow victory of being absolutely convinced that you alone see the truth and if others differ it is only due to their ignorance. Sweet dreams.
Cheers,
Umpa Duze

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 1st, 2012, 11:54 am

I truthfully haven't had the energy to read all the posts in this thread in detail. However, part of the gap which seems to separate Tom's view of things from Chris and Umpa is that the laws pertaining to the ownership of published and marketed materials are different in Europe than the United States. Things which are public domain here are not public domain there. Artists, creators, and even magicians in Europe have much deeper ownership rights than their counterparts in the United States.
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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Tom Stone » January 1st, 2012, 12:14 pm

Umpa Duze wrote:Had you carefully read my original use of the term public domain it would be clear to you that much of what you have written is irrelevant to the point I was making. It was a poor choice of terms on my part.

Yes, the choice of terms made your initial post rather disagreeable and somewhat offensive.
My meaning, apparently not as clear as intended, was in line with the case cited wherein it is written If the discoverer writes and publishes a book on the subject (as regular physicians generally do), he gains no exclusive right to the manufacture and sale of the medicine; he gives that to the public.

And the omitted part of that quote says that new medicinal compounds are eligible for patent. Hence, it is a poor comparison, since sleight-of-hand compositions are expressly excluded from patents. A better comparison would be something from more related fields than medicin; like any of the dramatic arts.
The revelation as you put it, is my own, not Steinmeyers which I have made clear multiple times in describing that This is what startled me in Steinmeyers book or Maybe my whole thesis is wrong. Reading Jim's book just made me wonder.

Getting things wrong happen to us all. No problems with that.
However, if your thesis was based on a specific example, and that example is shown to be flawed, it isn't very academic to persist with the thesis unless you show that there are other examples that supports it. Have you found any other examples where the "same [flawed] method was republished again and again without any magic scholar raising the issue for generations."?
Had you read the references I provided, you would have found that it is unlikely that a sleight is so unique that it could be awarded a copyright. This is made clear by the exclusion of a variety of dance related examples of equally original and identifiable movements.

Yes, I noted some of the examples you provided, which seemed to consist of breaking down works to separate building blocks, and then evaluate the work as a whole from the vantage point of each individual component.
Or, if we translate it to fields we are more familiar with, to look at the separate words and letters in a book, point out that none of those individual components can be copyrighted, and therefore the work as a whole is excluded from copyright.
The other examples seemed to consist of a notion that basically says; Here is a specific love story. The basic theme of a love story can't be copyrighted. This specific love story is therefore excluded from copyright.
At least, that is what my eyes tell me. If you meant anything else, then I am afraid that your post was a tad unclear.
To suggest that you arrived at your material fresh from the womb, and owe nothing to those that came before, is again an embarrassing omission on your part. Perhaps you invented the Professors Nightmare, or the dramatic pose you use to indicate the importance of the effectno wait, I have seen all that before. You perform the Misers dream, with a wine glass and finger palmed coinsI did that when I was fifteen (you do it better). Now, perhaps you think that the way you bring the coin to your fingertips is uniquely your own and owes no debt to those who taught you, shared their ideas with you in books, on TV and in live shows. Just like most self-made men you appear to have selective amnesia. They may not be under your bed, but you can bet that you owe the magic community for every opportunity to perform magic you get in this world.

If this was supposed to give your definition of what the group "the magic community" consist of, then I'm afraid that you still are unclear. And it seems like you are claiming that this undefined group has a collective ownership to the works of others.

You seem personally offended. I must have selective amnesia, because I do not remember that you have been involved in my work, and I can't remember any reason why I owe you gratitude from my work.

The coin routine you refer to is derived from the works of Dai Vernon and Bob Read. In opposition to the approach you promote, I sought out Bob Read and the Estate of Dai Vernon, asked for and was granted explicit permission to include parts of their work into my own.
And this is where I can't follow your reasoning at all.

This is just interpretations, but by your tone here, it seems that you think that my approach to contact the actual creators of the work I've derived my work from and ask for permission is inherently wrong and ungrateful...
...and it seems you are suggesting that I should have ignored the actual creators, and instead given my work and gratitude to a faceless undefined group of people who have had nothing to do with the conception of neither my work nor the works of those individuals that I've derived my piece from.

Once again, it seems you are acting out of a belief that the faceless "magic community" has a collective ownership to the works of others, and more rights to those works than the creators themselves. If that is what you mean, I find that to be very disagreeable, and something that need to be confronted.

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Re: Something troubling in Steinmeyer's new book

Postby Tom Stone » January 1st, 2012, 12:30 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:I truthfully haven't had the energy to read all the posts in this thread in detail. However, part of the gap which seems to separate Tom's view of things from Chris and Umpa is that the laws pertaining to the ownership of published and marketed materials are different in Europe than the United States. Things which are public domain here are not public domain there. Artists, creators, and even magicians in Europe have much deeper ownership rights than their counterparts in the United States.

Yes, the legal framework here has provided a deeper ownership.
And since the 1980's, the same framework has slowly been adapted and implemented in the US as well. This process is far from complete, but things are changing.
Had this been pre-1980's, there would have been no doubt that both Chris and Umpa would have been 100% correct.
Today, however, it is reasonable for even the most skeptical person to change opinion from "no magic routine can be copyrighted" to "some magic routines might possibly be protected by copyright".


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