Copyright Extended to Performance

Discuss general aspects of Genii.

Postby Guest » 02/08/03 05:54 AM

One last point (sorry to obsess here). My INTERPRETATION of what you said was:

1. Performance rights are not implicitly granted with a published work of magic.
2. You publish a work of magic,
3. therefore performance rights are not implicitly granted in the work of magic you publish,
4. therefore, if I wish to perform any of the works you publish, you would expect me to contact the author of the work (otherwise how would I get those rights) to obtain the right to perform the work in question or I would be in violation of your interpretation of copyright law.

Even now, I am unclear how any of this is inconsistent with what I interpreted to be your stated position. But obviously Im missing something and being an idiot since you state that Im misrepresenting your position. That being the case, one final time, I apologize.
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Postby Guest » 02/08/03 08:29 AM

Hmm... maybe I really am cracking up... but something smells around all these "Control Issues" people seem to have with "their ideas".

The dang Holdout B.S. has flarred tempers around the globe because some greed driven schmuck wants to have his cake and eat it too. Then I come in and find another individual informing us that we have to kiss booty with the authors of books and magazine articles before we have the "legal right" to use the material they put out in a public forum for building their name recognition and image.

Did I say something smells?

I grew up on a dairy farm and didn't smell anything this bad or rotten!

If you put something into a public forum the standard, the understood unwritten reality principle behind it all, has ALWAYS BEEN that it is there for the taking. YOU ARE "SHARING IT" with your peers.

If this greed based stupidity that seems to be breaking out all over our industry continues and the egomaniacs aren't told (possibly for the first time in their lives)NO F***ing Way! Then this kind of ABUSE is going to evolve and ultimately push away the would be supporters and hobbiest out of the picture. Magic will become a dead and lost art because we are allowing things to be carried to an extreme.

Weekly I get Emails from kids who are terrified to build an effect they found in a book or magazine they'd bought because of the up-roar and related persecution of people using/selilng "knock off" props. Originally and according to guys like Harbin, Stinemeyer, etc. if you own the book and you build it for yourself, there's not problem -- you have their blessings and the right to do it (and how many here have done the Zig Zag or other Harbin effects that don't own the book??? Insiders say he never gave anyone manufacturing rights. For that matter, Owens is the only source with the legal rights to the Thin Model Sawing...)

This whole "ethics" thing has been blown so far out of propertion that it has gotten rediculous and is creating a caste like system in magic that is more pronounced as well as damaging, then the auspices of former institutionally based influence around the craft e.g. based on this new thinking if I publish material and don't like you, I don't have to give you permission to use it... a handful of published performers will be able to control who does what and thus, control the careers and livlihood of most.

Sorry folks, that's wrong! It has been and will be abused at even a greater level if left unchecked and allowed to be "enforced" via those in the media element that exist in part, to protect our fellows of such scams and horse dung.

If you dont' want people doing your material DON'T PUBLISH IT! If you are going to put a leash on any of it, then use direct mail to key buyers and don't put it out on a general cattle call pitch. But don't take the public for being fools and these two issues prove to me (and numerous others that have been discussing it the past few days) that this is exactly what individuals with this narrow mindset are doing.

SCREW'M!

That's the general consensus I've seen posted... might be something to think about.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/08/03 08:42 AM

First, since each individual owns the copyright on anything he or she writes, whether it is on a piece of paper, spoken, or written on a website or discussion board, that material may not be reproduced without that person's permission.
For example, sending copies of a response to a private e-mail to everyone to others is illegal. I own the copyright on my written material, and I am the only person who has the authority to reproduce it and give or sell it to others.
So, the short answer is, you cannot just copy someone else's posts from another discussion board and post them here. There is something called "Fair Use," which allows you to use brief excerpts. How brief is always a matter for dicussion.
As far as marketed tricks go, and there has been some dicussion of illusions by Steinmeyer and Harbin, these are routinely ripped off and there is no question that it is illegal. But, the owner must take steps to protect his creations, and that means bringing a lawsuit. If that doesn't happen, then, over time, the owner will lose his ownership of the idea (and if you go to court, the first thing the judge will ask you is why you didn't sue years ago when the violation first occured).
As far as magic printed in books, and specifically close-up magic, you're free to perform whatever you want, wherever you want. If the guy who claims to have created it sues you, please let me know. My frozen head will have been stored in a cryogenic tube alongside Walt Disney's for 200 years by then.
People can make whatever claims they want: unless they are legally enforcable, they are to be ignored.
Finally, Craig: calm down!
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Postby John LeBlanc » 02/08/03 09:00 AM

The history of published magic, so far as I have witnessed, gives implicit performance permission to published trick methods.

Now, if a performer states he does not wish to relinquish the performance rights of a piece he is publishing, I believe I should honor that request. Like the entire issue with piracy, this is -- for me -- not a legal issue, but rather one of ethics.

How is it so many of us can be black-and-white clear on piracy, but discussions of performance of published material descends the murky waters of "it depends" or, worse, "legalities"?

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Postby David Alexander » 02/08/03 12:32 PM

I read the "agreement" one must sign to LEASE, not buy, the Fitch Kolher Holdout. I found it amusing. The whole thing smacks of hype and clever marketing, all towards supporting the mystique of an over-priced toy for magicians. Doubtless there will be a few people who will spring for it, if only for bragging rights that they have something the other club guys don't have. (Gee, sorry, but I can't show it to you, I'm legally bound.")

I've seen this happen before. Some years ago a well-known performer called me, offering something he said would be produced in extremely limited numbers. It would be around $300 and only a few would be made...perhaps 20 or so as his craftsman was complaining it was "hard to make." I asked questions which were only vaguely answered, requested a video tape (which never came) and without further information, I let the matter drop.

Six or eight weeks later I received an advert from a dealer, offering the same thing at the same price the performer had offered me. A few weeks beyond that I called the performer, who had forgotten what he'd first told me. He bragged that the dealer had sold 50 right away and had standing orders for 30 more. He expected to sell 150 or so.

I got curious and made exactly two phone calls, found someone who'd bought it, someone I didn't know, and had a complete stranger give me all details on the item over the phone. I quickly determined that the cleverest thing about the item was the dealer's description...certainly not the first time that's happened in magic.

That said, it is only a matter of time before the design of the FK Holdout circulates since magicians, like other humans, just can't control themselves. They can keep a secret...it's just the two or three people they tell who can't. ;)

Aside from the fact that you cannot own the item in spite of paying a huge price for it, the insane cost of litigation renders the lease agreement moot. That, plus the need for solid evidence that the lease has been breached before a suit can be brought. Then there's the determination of damages. There is never a guarantee that plaintiffs will prevail in a full jury trial, and even then, with a judgment, there's no guarantee of collecting.

And who, in their right mind, pays a huge fee and willingly places themselves in a position to be sued for years to come?

Tannen has been selling a serviceable gravity holdout for years and Marcello Contento in Argentina has an "improved" model of the Jack Miller design that he sells for around $50.

In the end, it's a weight with various attachments on it that can be moved up and down inside your jacket sleeve. It can be a positive aid if the performer is willing to spend the time learning how to use the device (no small feat in itself), but at $1,800 the Fitch Kohler model is 36 times more expensive that Contento's without evidence that it is 36 times "better."

It will be interesting to see how quickly this is knocked off and available in a cheaper form.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/08/03 12:42 PM

David, Marcelo Contento is from Massachusetts! BUT, there is someone from South America selling a holdout--I saw it on Joe Stevens' table at the Colubus Magi-Fest.
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Postby David Alexander » 02/08/03 12:47 PM

Craig Browning wrote:
"For that matter, Owens is the only source with the legal rights to the Thin Model Sawing."

As I understand it, the Thin Model Sawing was developed in Turkey by Zati Zungar, a Turkish magician and govt official. There is an article on him in an old Genii that has at least one small picture of him performing the trick back in the mid to late 50s.

Zungar gave drawings and/or pics to Bob Fenton or Bob Towner (I can't recall which...but I think Towner) who brought them back to the US and gave them to John Daniel, Kirk Kirkham, and a third party I cannot immediately recall.

John was the first to build the prop, debuting it at the PCAM Convention at the Disneyland Hotel in 1958 or thereabouts. I was in the audience and the effect was electrifying.

John had added the Queen Anne legs that Zungar's model lacked, as well as several other design features. It was a gorgeous prop as well as a fantastic effect.

Later, Kirkham and a friend built one that worked a bit differently, but still on the Zungar design, keeping Daniel's addition of Queen Anne legs.

While Owen is able to sell their own design, improved over the years, the idea was given to several people who developed their own interpretations of Zungar's original idea.
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Postby Guest » 02/08/03 02:21 PM

Im not one to spread rumors but my sources tell me that new prisons are being built to hold magicians for violations of lease agreements and performing magic from a magic book without written permission.

My understanding is the Talk To The Dead people will be exempt from these new laws because they have received permission from past inventors.

It has not yet been determined exactly what to do with the escape artists.

Many professional magicians have openly stated that three meals a day will be better than one.

From what I hear serious offenders will be forced to watch masked magician reruns.

I suspect teaching other inmates the pass will earn you three cigs.

When you get here look me up, Im in cell block c for removing one of those little Do Not Remove tags from a pillow.

Tom Boleware

PS. You have my permission to read the above post.
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Postby Guest » 02/08/03 03:00 PM

David Alexander... you are right and shame on me, I forgot about the Turkey connection ( :o ) what makes this worse is I was Kirkham's right hand for quite a few years... that's where I got the story (a few dozen times) about him, John Daniel, etc. working on the 1st American version with Tijani and Jim Sommers... Sommers & Chuck built the thinner (and in my opinion "better") breakdown version over a nine month period after that... I'm not positive who did what where however but my mistake in crediting Owens was due to Carl's involvement.

Tom... you are really a sick puppy. However, I did call John Edward and he spoke to Sielbit for me... ;)

Richard... I'm slowly composing myself (and learning to laugh heartedly inside, at the fools who will undoubtedly volunteer to be raped, for reasons explained above.)

I really need to come up with my version of an Everylasting-gob-stopper to "Lease" to my fellow mage...
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Postby Guest » 02/08/03 03:56 PM

Wait, so you're telling me that if a creator wants to take assertive action towards making sure that his invention (that he and his co-creators have spent over ten years refining and perfecting) doesn't get ripped off, and isn't exposed or overexposed, suddenly he's being greedy? Maybe he just wants to actually do something about the common proclivity in the magic "world" to rip off anything and everything that's released, instead of just sitting at home bitching and moaning about it. And for that, I commend Bob.

How anybody who's had a creation or two or ten ripped off (and I know you've had at least a couple, Craig) can have a problem with Bob taking steps to make sure it doesn't happen to him, I don't understand.
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Postby opie » 02/08/03 04:01 PM

Imagine that! A mentalist forgetting a Turkey connection....tsk tsk....opie
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Postby Guest » 02/08/03 04:15 PM

Another point I'd forgotten to bring up. If Bob were being greedy, doesn't it seem a bit counter-productive to put such a restrictive agreement on the effect that, combined with the high price, the vast majority of people who are just curious won't even consider buying it? If he were being greedy, he'd sell it without the restrictive agreement (a huge turnoff for the mere curious) and at a lower price, to encourage more sales. Doing something that will discourage casual sales seems a pretty backwards way to be greedy.
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Postby Steve V » 02/08/03 05:30 PM

I believe Kohler is trying to maintain the integrity of his hold out and he doesn't restrict the resale beyond the buyer agreeing to maintain the secret etc..

I read the thread concerning performance rights and Tom Cutts comments. I think he's being taken out of context. The way I read it the 'presentation', as in scripting or patter, is what he is talking about not the effect. If you see an effect done you can reproduce the effect if you want w/out a problem other than personal from the person you took it from. The presentation is another story. First off, a professional should not be doing the same presentation as another magician. To do so is no more proper that taking another persons play, presenting in with the same script, and claiming you can do so because it was done publicly and is fair game. I took Tom's statement about going through him to contact the creators to be pretty decent. For example, if you read a presentation by Wesley James and want to do it the same way Wesley does or did then as a courtesy you should contact Wesley and attempt to receive his permission to do so. If you cannot make that effort or Wes doesn't want you to do so then create your own presentation.

I may be wrong but it looks like Tom was getting a raw deal on what he said and that he's mearly showing respect to the creators of the presentations he publishes. For those thinking the publication of the presentation means it's okay to do it that is true in most cases. In others the presentation is given as an example of how an effect can be presented.
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Postby Bob Coyne » 02/08/03 06:02 PM

David, Marcelo Contento is from Massachusetts! BUT, there is someone from South America selling a holdout--I saw it on Joe Stevens' table at the Colubus Magi-Fest.
It's probably Michel Clavello, from Argentina I think. He gave a lecture at Michael Canick's shop in New York last year featuring the gravity holdout.

http://www.canick.com/michel.html
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Postby Guest » 02/08/03 06:17 PM

Originally posted by David Alexander:
I read the "agreement" one must sign to LEASE, not buy, the Fitch Kolher Holdout. I found it amusing. The whole thing smacks of hype and clever marketing, all towards supporting the mystique of an over-priced toy for magicians. Doubtless there will be a few people who will spring for it, if only for bragging rights that they have something the other club guys don't have. (Gee, sorry, but I can't show it to you, I'm legally bound.")

[...]
That said, it is only a matter of time before the design of the FK Holdout circulates since magicians, [...]
[...]

It will be interesting to see how quickly this is knocked off and available in a cheaper form.
It's always fun to be present at the birth of a new level of ignorance. Here's a few FACTS for you:

Currently, the initial run of 50 Fitch/Kohler holdouts sets - which I am personally building - is sold out. The second run is filling up fast and will soon be sold out as well. I have not yet committed to delivery dates for a third run.

At the LVMI in Las Vegas, Bobs Fitch and Kohler and myself allowed small groups of insiders (about 50 guys total over 3 days) to come to Kohler's room and examine the system. These magicians signed confidentiality agreements and were then shown virtually EVERYTHING about the system. I mean every part and piece, how they worked, etc. They were allowed to handle all the components and they were shown every step in adjusting and using the set. After that they were entertained with some simple demonstrations by none other than Mr. Kohler himself. Nothing is more rewarding than to hear a hotel room full of knowledgeable magicians gasp...

Of those 50 or so previewers the order rate is currently just under 70%!

The infamous lease is not the only thing protecting the Fitch/Kohler Professional Holdout System. Most of the components are new and have never been used in magic before; many are distinct inventions and ALL are being protected through the U.S. Patent process, as well as several other I.P. security methods available to those serious about protecting their intellectual property.

Finally, all of the customers that I have spoken with intend to keep their holdout ownership a secret. So even though you think you have all the answers, it is FAR more likely that magicians YOU know will be fooling you badly in the near future.

Enjoy.

Regards,
Thomas Wayne
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Postby Guest » 02/08/03 06:39 PM

As to the Kohler thing, I think it's a good thing thing that you are contractually obligated to keep the working secret. Secret, or what we used to call "tight", doesn't seem to mean much anymore. That really, really is too bad. However, and it's a big however, the idea of limiting the venues in which you can perform something you've paid hard cash for (i.e., no national television -- I mean, come on, isn't that what most magicians are trying to get?) is B.S. Big, big, B.S.

If I pay 2,000 bucks for something, well, I don't know about you, but in my book, I own it. Period. And I ought to be able to use it in any show I get. That's why I'll never buy one of these things from him. As Ricky Ricardo used to say to Lucy, "It's Just Tooo Ridiculous!"

As far as publishing goes, though, if I publish a trick, I'm voluntarily giving it up to be performed. I'd rather have people use what I've published to inform their own work, (i.e., put the techniques and/or principles/approaches to good use in original effects of their own, that's the real point of publishing) but I really can't complain (and don't) if they use them as written. When I was starting out, I did plenty of tricks verbatim. The idea is to move on from that to the next level, i.e., your own stuff.

But I do object to identity theft. Many years ago, a well known coin man (Gallo, Kaufman and Swiss will know who I mean) appropriated not only moves and approaches, but my entire performing persona. I mean the guy started dressing like me, acting like me, started smoking cigarettes, etc. It was ridiculous. The pisser is, it seems to have worked for him. Go figure.

J. P. Donleavy once said "Virtue is doing the right thing, in the face of many shoddy and juicy alternatives." Unfortunately, many people seem to believe that virtue is its own reward. I.e., that's all you get.

Arrgh.

Best,

Geoff
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Postby Guest » 02/08/03 08:06 PM

Originally posted by Steve V:
I believe Kohler is trying to maintain the integrity of his hold out and he doesn't restrict the resale beyond the buyer agreeing to maintain the secret etc..
Incorrect. You are not purchasing the holdout, you are essentially leasing it indefinitely. As such, as was reported in the MAGIC article, which featured an FAQ on the license agreement, you cannot sell it, give it, loan it, or otherwise transfer possession of it, temporarily or permanently, without explicit written permission. If you pass away, your family has the option to return it, or to request permission to sell/transfer it.

I don't have the URL offhand, but the entire agreement is online at Kohler's site, and you can check it out for all the details.
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Postby Steve V » 02/08/03 09:09 PM

Andy, go read what I said and what it states at Kohlers site. You can sell (transfer the lease) as long as the buyer agrees to the original lease agreement and you can sell it for what ever the market will allow. My statement was that you can sell it as long as the buyer agrees to the terms, which is true. I didn't go into all the verbage but the idea is correct.
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 02/08/03 09:38 PM

Originally posted by Steve V:
My statement was that you can sell it as long as the buyer agrees to the terms, which is true. I didn't go into all the verbage but the idea is correct.
Steve V
Very True.

Here's a snippet with the exact verbiage for those interested.

Yes, you can sell (assign) your license to another magician (but magicians only) pursuant to certain conditions and with our approval. You can charge whatever the market will bear, but you MUST get the new magician licensee to sign an assignment and release agreement (available from us) and send us a notarized copy before releasing The Fitch Kohler Professional Holdout System to him/her. Its important for you to know that the original licensee (you) is still bound by the confidentiality agreement.

The Fitch-Kohler Professional Holdout System is a valuable commodity that you have paid for. Even though its a lease you own, it has value just like a common stock. You can even put it in your will or trust.
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Postby Pete Biro » 02/08/03 10:43 PM

Look at tall the people that signed an agreement with Robert Harbin when he published his book, and look how many ripped off material from the book! Pathetic. :mad:
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Postby Guest » 02/09/03 12:06 AM

Steve and Wert, look at what it says in the part of the agreement Wert quoted above, as I've highlighted below:

Yes, you can sell (assign) your license to another magician (but magicians only) pursuant to certain conditions and with our approval.
As I said, you cannot transfer it or sell it only if the buyer agrees to the contract; you must have Kohler, etc.'s approval for the assignation (to use their term for it).

--A
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 02/09/03 12:10 AM

Originally posted by Andy Leviss:
[QB]Steve and Wert, look at what it says in the part of the agreement Wert quoted above, as I've highlighted below:
Yes, you and Steve are essentially in agreement.

That's why I posted the exact verbiage from the contract.
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Postby Guest » 02/09/03 12:15 AM

Not quite. Just because the buyer is willing to sign the agreement doesn't mean that Kohler and Co. will agree to allow the transfer; Steve seems to clearly be saying that as long as the buyer is willing to sign it, they can buy it.

To quote from the FAQ printed in the MAGIC article, as written by Kohler's lawyer/partner Jeffrey Cowan:

The license is a binding contract and contains no right of assignment. On a case by case basis, we would consider requests to assign the license to someone else, but--as the agreement says--there's no guarantee we will do this.
Other details of the agreement are explained in that FAQ sidebar as well, including further details on the term of the license and what happens to it after the purchaser passes away. Check out the magazine for details, along with lots of other interesting info about both the holdout and Kohler in general (after reading the latest Genii, of course!).
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Postby Steve V » 02/09/03 12:18 AM

Don't go to the effort for me....I'm not buying one so I shant be selling one.
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 02/09/03 02:11 AM

Originally posted by Andy Leviss:
Check out the magazine for details, along with lots of other interesting info about both the holdout and Kohler in general (after reading the latest Genii, of course!).
Hey, here's an idea.

Rather than picking nits over interpetation of the contract, why not let everyone read it in it's entirety (and from it's primary source) and decide for themselves?

It's written in pretty clear language can be found at the following URL.

http://www.bobkohlermagic.com/products/holdout.html

And the confidentiality agreement is linked from here.

http://www.bobkohlermagic.com/products/ ... ement.html

Directly from Kohlers site. No interpetation needed. :)
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Postby Guest » 02/09/03 05:30 AM

Well, that's a good start, but presumably there are questions that are left unclear by the agreement--that was the point of the FAQ in the MAGIC article. After reading the agreement, the gang at MAGIC had some questions that they still weren't clear on, so they asked Kohler, and they got the answers straight from the lawyer who wrote the agreement.

That's why I posted that clarification, written in "everyday language" as opposed to legalese, excerpted from the article.

But yes, it's important to read the agreement itself, rather than just relying on excerpts and summaries here.
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Postby Guest » 02/09/03 10:29 AM

Originally posted by Steve V:
Andy, go read what I said and what it states at Kohlers site. You can sell (transfer the lease) as long as the buyer agrees to the original lease agreement and you can sell it for what ever the market will allow. My statement was that you can sell it as long as the buyer agrees to the terms, which is true. I didn't go into all the verbage but the idea is correct.
Steve V
Steve (and others) THANK YOU!

You have cleared up what was being misrepresented (?) in other debates on this issue elsewhere and what sparked my hot Irish blood into rampage around this issue.

It was presented to me in a PM two day or so ago, that you had to return the Hold Out to the originator and not get a single dime back, but he/they had the right to recondition it and resell it at the original or greater price... you, the original buyer, were SOL for your time and investment around said item e.g. Bob & Co. got to see income from the items time and again because you were obligated to send them back when you were through using them. I'm certain most agree that's pure B.S.!

Reselling an item that is somewhat "exclusive" under the same conditions as the orignal release, I have no problems with. But, based on Tom Wayne's statement above, that sense of "exclusivity" seems to be rather fleeting, given the anticipation of product sale (which tends to support my original statements on Greed... I believe something along that note was mentioned earlier on another product that was supposed to be of limited release.)

I have no problems we protecting secrets as well as "advantage" when it comes to certain technologies. I don't think promoting the thing via a widely distributed source sustains the exclusivity concept -- a direct mail "invitation" would probably prove better and has worked on other key items, like the Medium's chairs sold by Ronn Brashear.

Let's just say I'm willing to let the jury look at this issue a bit longer... I'm not as "against" the concept as I was originally. But I still believe it smells a bit.
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Postby Guest » 02/09/03 02:12 PM

Originally posted by Craig Browning:
[...] But, based on Tom Wayne's statement above, that sense of "exclusivity" seems to be rather fleeting, given the anticipation of product sale [...][/QB]
Don't worry Craig, we anticiapte selling perhaps 150 - 200 units at the most. Given that there are thousands upon tens of thousands of magicians in the world the chances are good you'll only be constantly fooled by one or two guys that you know.

Regards,
Thomas Wayne
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Postby Guest » 02/09/03 02:25 PM

Originally posted by Thomas Wayne:
Originally posted by Craig Browning:
[...] But, based on Tom Wayne's statement above, that sense of "exclusivity" seems to be rather fleeting, given the anticipation of product sale [...]
Don't worry Craig, we anticiapte selling perhaps 150 - 200 units at the most. Given that there are thousands upon tens of thousands of magicians in the world the chances are good you'll only be constantly fooled by one or two guys that you know.

Regards,
Thomas Wayne[/QB]
There was a time when only one or two of the guys I knew could fool me... now days, as my last five brain cells burn out, it's so much easier... but that's what happens when you raise kids instead of trying to salvage a career...

Long ago I drove poor Ed Marlo nuts doing a six card repeat. He knew I didn't do slights worth a darn but this was so clean and beautiful... it was also $2,000.00 version of the trick e.g. two Keplinger Holdouts :D

I've got to be careful now or I'll be tempted... I'm a mentalist, I don't need such a device... I really don't need this device... :rolleyes:
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Postby Brad Jeffers » 02/09/03 02:26 PM

I have fond memories of my third grade teacher reading stories aloud to the class. Thinking back on it now, I realise that she was reading from the published works of others - and verbatium, no less! She added not one original word of her own to the presentation! And I am begining to suspect that she did not have written permission from the actual creators of these stories. I now wonder ... have any third grade teachers ever been sued for such behavior. I'll leave it up to the lawyer that Richard hires to write the article on copyright laws, to answer that question.
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Postby David Alexander » 02/09/03 03:06 PM

A couple of points....

It doesn't matter a whit what Andy Leviss or anyone else says the contract says in "everyday language." What matters is what the contract says.

Further, it doesn't matter what verbal interpretations or representations the lawyer who wrote it may put forward. If he needed to clarify the language verbally, then he should have clarified it in the contract itself so there were no ambiguities. Verbal representations means nothing. All that matters is what the contract says when you sign it.

The only way to protect yourself is to have your own lawyer read it over and answer questions. Period.

For Thomas Wayne....

I have no doubt that the device is well-made and that you will sell a number, but I also know people. So you think the first batch of fifty who bought the device (those insiders) will keep it a secret? How 'bout the second batch...or the third?

My observation, bolstered by Pete Biro's memory of what happened with the Harbin book can be expanded on. Within weeks of the book's publication a certain well-known guy in Southern California was selling photocopies to "friends" for $35. He did this with impunity...even though Al Mann caught hell some years later for producing a slightly larger copy. No one ever said a word to this guy and he died respected by his peers.

And if you think the price (investment) will keep people quiet, think again. A friend walked into a magic shop in his home town two years ago and found a local semi-pro had set up a new prop, something he'd just bought for over $5,000, a custom-made illusion that he wanted to show off to the local club guys. They dutifully ooed and ahed and learned the secret without paying a dime.

Magicians are people and sooner or later several will be talking, bragging, showing off. It's just a matter of time.
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Postby opie » 02/09/03 04:19 PM

I have the same little problem with this gimmick....a fish line and sinker in a tube...Wow! I doubt if I could reproduce that for less than $1800.....

Just read Ed Mishell's Hold-Out Miracles and chuckled the whole time about somebody dumb enough to spend so much money on something that inconvenient to use and then sign some sort of agreement not to pass it on except to somebody dumb enough to sign the same kind of agreement....Fat chance there will be very many second or third party signers of that contract....Duh!

This topic isn't even worthy of this forum.

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Postby Guest » 02/09/03 06:14 PM

Originally posted by David Alexander:
[...]
For Thomas Wayne....

I have no doubt that the device is well-made and that you will sell a number, but I also know people. So you think the first batch of fifty who bought the device (those insiders) will keep it a secret? How 'bout the second batch...or the third?
[...]
Not surprisingly, you miss my point entirely. Your suggestion in your intial post (and subsequent ones) is that you believe the "secret" of the Fitch/Kohler holdout will soon be freely circulating among magicians and that, presumably, they will no longer be interested in buying it. Nothing could be further from the truth, as evidenced by the many magicians who HAVE seen everything there is to see about the system and are still lined up to buy a set. THAT was my point.

As for someone building their own bootleg copies, they'll need some rather sophisticated machinery to duplicate the most important parts of the system, and if [somehow] they do, they'll need to keep me from finding out 'cause they're my inventions and I'll take any such piracy VERY personally.

Regards,
Thomas Wayne
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Postby Guest » 02/09/03 06:20 PM

Originally posted by opie:
I have the same little problem with this gimmick....a fish line and sinker in a tube...Wow! I doubt if I could reproduce that for less than $1800.....

Just read Ed Mishell's Hold-Out Miracles and chuckled the whole time about somebody dumb enough to spend so much money on something that inconvenient to use and then sign some sort of agreement not to pass it on except to somebody dumb enough to sign the same kind of agreement....Fat chance there will be very many second or third party signers of that contract....Duh![...]
I KNOW you couldn't produce the sets I'm building for less than $1800.

And I also know what you mean about chuckling; I personally laugh right out loud about somebody dumb enough to think what we're producing is "a fish line and sinker in a tube". I mean, how stupid can some people be, right "opie"?

Regards,
Thomas Wayne
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Postby opie » 02/09/03 06:32 PM

Well, shut my mouth!!!!! You mean it is even simpler than a fish line and sinker in a tube? Wow, then, since I couldn't make it, could you give us a drawing of it? I sure would like to see the genius that went into something simpler than that which costs more than $1800 to make.....Your Mom must be proud!

Is your lawyer a cousin? In Arkansas and Texas, we all have a cousin who is a lawyer and a sheriff deputy....

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Postby David Alexander » 02/09/03 06:37 PM

Thomas Wayne said:
Not surprisingly, you miss my point entirely. Your suggestion in your intial post (and subsequent ones) is that you believe the "secret" of the Fitch/Kohler holdout will soon be freely circulating among magicians and that, presumably, they will no longer be interested in buying it. Nothing could be further from the truth, as evidenced by the many magicians who HAVE seen everything there is to see about the system and are still lined up to buy a set. THAT was my point.

As for someone building their own bootleg copies, they'll need some rather sophisticated machinery to duplicate the most important parts of the system, and if [somehow] they do, they'll need to keep me from finding out 'cause they're my inventions and I'll take any such piracy VERY personally.
_____________________

Ah me... a little snot along with a response and an incorrect interpretation of what I said as well.

I did not suggest that people wouldn't be interested in buying your device once information was circulating. That is your presumption (or projection). What I've said, and rather clearly I thought, was that just because your buyers have signed an agreement doesn't mean they will adhere to it.
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Postby opie » 02/09/03 06:49 PM

Watch it David....He's got a cousin who is a lawyer....opie
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Postby Steve V » 02/09/03 08:56 PM

(as a side note, Opie's name is Opie)

This thread has taken a direction that surprises me. As for the Kohler etc. hold out I think some are implying it may not be worth the price or the lease agreement is a bit much. First thing is that Thomas Wayne is one of the worlds greatest craftsmen, this isn't hyperbole, this is a fact based on his position in the wood working and machining world. His character does not lead to the production of anything that is below excellent. He spent a lot of time on the hold out (and no I've never seen one and doubt I will) and created some of the components based on idea's. He came up with new ways of working the holdout. Someone said $2000 was expensive? Go try to find just a basic Thomas Wayne pool cue, in fact do a google search and see what you find. You'll pay more for the cue than for the holdout.

Another thing, do any of you think that Bob Kohler, Bob Fitch, and Thomas Wayne would try to rip anyone off or put out a product that they wouldn't stand behind with their reputations on the line? Come on. These three are the real deal, Kohler knows how to do magic for an audience, Fitch knows about presentation, Wayne a technical artist, and the others who assisted them as well.

I don't hear one peep of complaint from those that purchased the holdout. I think they appreciate the effort Kohler has put into protecting not only themselves but their customers. I think that Kohler and company are doing what they need to do.

You don't like the idea of the lease or the cost? Don't buy it then. I just wouldn't advise going after any of these gents in the manner I see it going.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/09/03 09:20 PM

I think the personal issues here should be kept to a minimum.
I take the word of anyone who cares to offer it that Thomas Wayne is a world-class craftsman and that the holdout system being offered is the best of its kind in the world.
The makers and manufacturers of this holdout system seem to be, in my opinion, poor judges of human nature. Further, it doesn't matter a whit what the document you sign has written in it, it only matters what is RECOGNIZED BY THE LAW. And, you can always get a lawyer to agree with your point of view. They look for work, like anyone else.
Frankly, and entirely from an outsider's view, the people who are making and marketing this holdout system are asking for trouble (and creating the very paradox that will cause trouble later) by making the expensive selling price and legal "contract" an issue. They are inviting people to violate the contract and, as David Alexander observes, someone is bound to do just that sooner or later. The thought that the makers will bring a successful lawsuit against this eventual violator seems, shall we say, remote.
The people who are manufacturing and marketing this item want to sell as many as possible: not five, and not ten or twenty. If they could sell 500 they'd be extremely happy. They are in business to make money, not to divulge their wonderful secret to a select few. (This is not a criticism--it is capitalism.) However, the very notion that they want to sell more than ten or twenty virutally guarantees that the "contract" will be violated and at that point they MUST bring a lawsuit or lose the ability to enforce ANY of the other contracts. I shall ponder the look on the face of an attorney, or a judge, when faced with a lawsuit over something that cost $1800. Not something, mind you, that the manufacturer supplied to a client who didn't pay--but to a client who DID pay. And not something that is a complete and dark secret in the magic world, but something most of us know and understand, albeit in a more primitive version, but in a basic form nevertheless.
The idea that the seller has infinite and indefinite approval over who the purchaser might sell or give it to, and that purchaser's potential re-purchaser, and that potential re-purchaser's potential re-purchaser ... well you can see the absurdity of it. I am not an attorney, but I think you'll find as many or more attorneys who think the idea is not legally defensible as those who do. Remember, it doesn't matter what the signed agreement says, it only matters if the law recognizes agreements of that type.
A much simpler and less troublesome solution would have been to simply make the holdout system $5000 and forget the lease/contract. That way you would be certain that anyone who paid that huge amount of money would keep his or her trap shut.
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Postby opie » 02/09/03 09:47 PM

Steve, nobody is going after anybody that I know of....Some of us have expressed our opinion about the cost and wondered about its construction....

The "going after" is being done by some "wayney" who may be protesting a bit too much, especially if he has a product worth all that money....

A friend of my dad's, a professional gambler, showed me one of those things when I was about seven. (I saw several others while working as a dealer at Town House Magic in St. Louis). He showed me how it worked and all that...I remember asking what would happen if he got caught with it, but do not remember his answer, but I recall it was not something nice.

I do remember thinking that, if I were going to be a professional gambler, I sure would not use one and would get good enough so that I did not need one.....

Personally, I have a phobia against gimmicks or anything other than sleight of hand for my magic....and I really have a dislike for anybody telling me I cannot express myself, regarding my opinion about anything. I spent 26 years in the military preserving that right....

.....I guess this little outburst of my opinion will probably cause him not to send me a copy of his plans, huh?

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