S.A.D. by Looch

Instead of mentally projecting your mentalism thoughts, type them here.

Postby Guest » 11/03/06 09:19 AM

I'm certain that several of you know the screen name LOOCH, that little rabble raiser of the green slime pit forum and other aspects of the netherlands who seems to have the guts to call a spade a spade and at times, much worse... well his new book S.A.D. (Simple and Direct Mentalism) is something everyone needs to take a look at. "Breakthrough" mentalism due to its simplicity and practicality more than anything else.

I'll be working out a more complete review of it soon (I'm still absorbing) but you can get the gory details by visiting Alakazam Magic
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Postby Guest » 11/05/06 07:37 AM

Simply amazing and devious concepts. Looch is a unique individual and his writing rejuvinates my belief in real mind reading done simple and direct. ;-)

Now where's my courtesy copy, LOL!
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Postby Guest » 11/06/06 03:08 PM

I for one think that this is a James Biss issue all over again. Much of what is in the book is STOLEN without credit. He has used ideas of Moshe Botwinick, Richard busch and others and while he does acknowledge some of their material, what he gives away is still theirs. Changing from the right hand to the left hand does not constitute a break through in techniques and when you add to the fact that he had no permission from the others to even mention their works in print, well he is a copyright lawsuit just waiting to happen. I for one will not support thieves.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
AB StageCraft
http://www.mindguy.com/store
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Postby Guest » 11/08/06 11:00 PM

I understand what you're saying Paul and I do agree but the kid does stress that what he offers is not earth shattering innovation, just his slant on existing stuff, much of which I feel is practical and better explained than certain others seem capable of doing... Looch is Simple & Direct with his explanations of mentalism where at least one person you mentioned insists on five pages of filler and ego-centered anticdotes before finally getting to the point (love his stuff but like Ann Rice, he needs to learn how to get to the point and stop wasting the Reader's time weaving horse puckey as a means of padding the books.)

I also know that another controversy exists around Looch's book... seems that he was about to do like many a young mage and sell it as a $20.00 eBook when another entity took the reigns, edited and published the tome in its current form and seriously inflated price. That being the case I don't believe the young'n is entirely at fault when it comes to certain issues; his "sponsor" has been around far long enough to know what's what and should have made the corrections in question before releasing the project.
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Postby Guest » 11/09/06 09:37 AM

Before anyone puts out a book they need to do their research into the origins of their effects. Particularly with the young'uns today, they do not bother to study and learn the history of magic, let alone all avenues of magic. I have said it many times that if they bothered to STUDY the Tarbell Course, lesson by lesson as it was intended to, and went from Volume one to Volume 8, and then moved on to Greater Magic, they would not only have a well rounded knowledge of ALL aspects of our art BUT this "reinventing of the wheel" would also be reduced.

It is very sad to see so many releasing works that are not only redone versions of better effects out there but many do not even bother to credit the sources of inspiration let alone blatant thievery.

I for one urge all members of the magic community to not bother with such works which in turn may help spur them to do their homework long before they feel they need to see it all in print, particularly with access to some of the greatest minds in magic with a simple click of the mouse and an e-mail.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
AB StageCraft
http://www.mindguy.com/store
Supplying unique mentalism supplies world-wide
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Postby Guest » 11/09/06 05:52 PM

I think Paul's right. It's easy enough to contact those who can give honest feedback. Back in the years when I was brainstorming mentalism ideas, I'd send them to Al Mann for feedback. Then he would tell me how I had reinvented the wheel. Over and over and over again. 99% of the stuff I sent him, other folks had trailblazed first. And the one thing he got excited about, that he thought was completely original with me, I later found out was an Anneman idea. Sure I was coming up with variations.... of stuff other people had originated. I had no idea of this until I asked.

The point being.... it's easy enough to ask.

Tim
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Postby Guest » 11/09/06 06:00 PM

Originally posted by Tim Furneaux:
...The point being.... it's easy enough to ask.
Got another point there... most worth asking have enough self respect to be happy for you when you do have something new AND they also keep secrets.
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Postby Guest » 11/09/06 07:59 PM

Paul and Jonathan:

Over my 50 years in magic, I have yet to publish anything because of originality considerations.
It is only recently that I have come up with original methods, as confirmed by Max Maven.

Nevertheless, the "young'uns" as you call them, do not hesitate to publish as their own without checking "the prior art" as patent, trademark and copyright lawyers call it. Perhaps sometimes it is because of their lack of ability to contact an expert.

I suggest that some heavies of magic and mentalism form an "International Board of Original Magic & Mentalism" or separate boards for each. Then the creative upcoming inventors will have a body of experts to whom they could submit their work for researching the prior art. It would be akin to prosecuting a new patent application, and would have a salutary effect on the development of new magic and mentalism, and respect for its contributors throughout the past. It would also raise the bar for new creators, and ensure that the buying magicians and mentalists would be able to rely on a "seal of approval" given by a bona fide board.

What do you think?
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Postby Guest » 11/09/06 08:59 PM

:p Arron, I love your idea but I fear Paul and I both (along with a few others around here) already get called on to come down form our Ivory Towers... :D I'm honestly amazed how many of these kids that have been doing magic for a whole five years swear they know more than I do... experience as well!

Yes, many valid points by all and with a hint of blush in my cheeks, I not only see and understand these points, I can sustain them. I guess I'm a bit guilty of being a bit blind myself in that my review of the material didn't center so much on how things are were done as much as the presentational ideas... nor was I all that concerned about the whole giving credit thing in that I've become very numb by said argument after dealing with it for so very long.

Yes, I believe today's young'uns need to learn how to study and EARN their chops in this business. Far too many of them mix up terms, names, etc. and then get ticked when one of we old guys say, "What do you mean?" then we proceed to explain to them what is what and why.

I also have to plea a hint of "ignorance" on my part... aside from not having access to a lot of the material you gents refer to that Looch "borrowed" from, my memory has become so poor that I can't remember my name half the time. I'm in the final stages of editing my latest book project and I honestly amaze myself when I see some of the fubars made...
:rolleyes: anyone got a cure for getting old and sinile?
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Postby Guest » 11/09/06 09:20 PM

Craig, it wouldn't be just for the young creators either. The Board would accept submissions from all creators, young and old, as it should be. The creators would have to pay an application fee in the hopes of getting approved. Credits would have to be properly given to prior originators. Creators who chose not to get approved would run the risk of losing sales because of it.

All in all, I think I've come up with a good, workable idea to solve this recurring problem of lack of giving credit and claiming others' effects as one's own original work.

Now, we need to get the big guns to go for it.
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Postby Guest » 11/10/06 03:10 AM

Originally posted by ArnonS:
Nevertheless, the "young'uns" as you call them, do not hesitate to publish as their own without checking "the prior art" as patent, trademark and copyright lawyers call it.
While that trait is probably more prevalent in the young, I know of instances of it in people who are old enough (and esteemed enough) to know better.

Dave
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Postby Guest » 11/10/06 04:44 AM

The only workable way today is through reviews. Anybody can realease into the open his own writings, particularly in magic where almost nothing is being patented or patentable for that matter.

The best and most effective way is to have solid reviews in various places to weed out the good from the bad, the quickly written from the thoroughly researched.

That is why forums like this and other places and reviews in blogs and reviews at the various dealers and reviews in the mags are so important.

Best,
Chris....
www.lybrary.com
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Postby Guest » 11/10/06 07:51 AM

Originally posted by Chris Wasshuber:
The only workable way today is through reviews. Anybody can realease into the open his own writings, particularly in magic where almost nothing is being patented or patentable for that matter.

The best and most effective way is to have solid reviews in various places to weed out the good from the bad, the quickly written from the thoroughly researched.

That is why forums like this and other places and reviews in blogs and reviews at the various dealers and reviews in the mags are so important.

Best,
Chris....
www.lybrary.com
Though a great idea, just as is Aron's we are faced with one glarring problem -- magic is an exceptionally political beast e.g. there will be those that get great reviews and quick approval simply because of who they are and who they know... I'll not name names but at least one or two authors comes to mind right off the bat when it comes to this kind of thing.

The other problem is very similar to what I've mentioned; I had no clue as to who or what Looch was modling after in that I'd not seen the material in question. To find an unbiased panel that could KNOW such things readily wouldn't be the easiest thing on earth. Especially when you look at the plethora of CRAP that's been produced in the past decade alone... most all of it claiming "originality".

I think these two ideas have some merit but how do we remove "the human factor" from the scenario in order to permit genuine fairness in what is brought in for review and "regestration"?

After all there are those institutions that have major awards programs in which the award winning trophies are already engraved with the name of the recipients long before the ballots go out to the public for voiting... such things would have to be avoided. ;)
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Postby Guest » 11/10/06 08:12 AM

Originally posted by Craig Browning:
...I think these two ideas have some merit but how do we remove "the human factor" from the scenario in order to permit genuine fairness in what is brought in for review and "regestration"?

...
We live IN a world OF people. Rather than try to remove the human factor, how about we revel in it? By this I mean to suggest that any offerings with claims of novelty would include a full disclosure of the provenance of the work.

Under such an ethos our history would be preserved, our better source books and their authors would be recognized and the very political nature of our craft could be celebrated.
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Postby Guest » 11/10/06 01:19 PM

I agree, there is no way to remove the human factor. The best chance one has is to have as many humans commenting on products and writings and then let the customer form his own opinion.

I would strongly be against committees and organizations which should give a 'blessing' or 'approval'. This has in the past never worked because the power of such committees will eventually be misused by the human factor.

The Internet and open communication is the only hope. There is no absolute truth, right or wrong, particularly in an art form like magic. So let many voices speak. The bloggers blog, the magazines print reviews, the dealers write their side, the forum posters write about their thoughts and any customer can then form their own opinion using these resources and others. Two cutomers can come to a very different conclusion reading the same reviews. That's life and I think it would be boring if it would be any other way.

Best,
Chris....
www.lybrary.com
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Postby Guest » 11/10/06 02:24 PM

I can see where the two of you are coming from and both angles make for some "viable" thinking when it comes to a way by which to document and protect things. I know that this was one reason behind the creation of the Castle's library; to preserve things for posterity as it were. Then again there was/is the digital library idea I believe Stephan Minch and Mr. Berglas were working on that would add to such an agenda... but I still ponder the fairness and politics points -- someone that isn't exactly a star-child in the mind of "the establishment" may not gain the same sense of support, preservation, and "protection" as the current pretty-boy dynamo that's making other folks money.

It is this variant that disturbs me most in that I've seen it abused far too much in our world when it comes to competitions and community honors. It is this that I refer to when I talk about "the human element" or bias as it were.
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Postby Guest » 11/11/06 12:49 AM

Gentlemen, I beg to differ:

There are men like Max Maven who love the art and have a healthy respect for the history and lineage of magic and mentalism. T.A. Waters was another like that, as was my old friend, now deceased, Max Abrams (lawyer, author, mentalist).
They don't sell out, they are true scholars, and they have intellectual integrity and honesty when giving credit to others who made prior breakthroughs in our fields.

The endorsements, on the other hand, like quotes of praise that are traded like baseball cards, are just the opposite. One hand washes the other - you scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours. Or they are given as words of encouragement for the developing creator, without a thought as to the consequences for the buyers.

There can be objective truth in the opinions of a Board, which would be charged with the responsibility of making a scholarly investigation and thoroughly researching effects. That good work would be open to comment, and could be funded, in part, by application fees, as I mentioned before. Additional funding could come from magic institutions and philanthropists interested in the preservation of our heritage of magical innovations.

Doesn't anyone consider those ends worthwhile?
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Postby Guest » 11/11/06 03:38 AM

Firstly, I'd like to apologise to you Arnon for calling you Aron... I wasn't seeing your name right... comes with old age I guess...

I think we're all more or less on the same page here as far as the goal. Like everything in life, it will require a bit of on-going fine-tuning along side checks & balances to insure against some of the favoritism issues I've mentioned. Too, as you have pointed out, the "Review" thing does become a bit of a mutual admiration society sort of game... just recently we had this conversation with one of my publishers who was noticing that the same group of people were praising and endorsing all of his products... kind of takes away a bit of the umph they are supposed to bring to the pitch :p

I really do think that we've come to a point in time in which the magic community needs to take the next step so to speak, in creating a more formal sense of "resource" via which a kind of litmus test can be applied to newly published materials; a means by which to rank that material when it comes to originality, authority, accuracy of credit, etc. I believe that such an embodiment would prove to be a powerful tool to aspiring writers and contributors in that it would lend to us a phenomenal data-base to work with and a kind of extended "team" that can help double-check and cross reference things making certain that all the t' are cross and i's dotted.

It's very much an interesting idea but how to impliment it... just how to design and staff such a thing and make it viable... that's the big question. I personally believe that it is the kind of thing that would have to set-up as a kind of cooperative between the major Magic Institutions like the Castle and Magic Circle in the UK, etc.

(He, he) we're looking at a system similar to that medical information network they talk about in the TV commercials that allow doctors anywhere on earth to pull up a patient's records or look at medical data on a particular person except we're looking at techniques, effects and history... could get rather interesting. ;)
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Postby Guest » 11/11/06 06:49 AM

Even somebody like Max Maven, who is one of the most knowledgable people in magic, can and will have a personal bias and not be knowledgable about all fields and niches in magic. That is not to say that people like him do contribute a lot to putting records straight.

My main message here is that a plurality of efforts is the best to assure a balanced view. A committe or group who decides to record magic's history and who invented and created what, would be great, as long as it is not the only effort and the only voice heard. I tried something like it with my MLP (magic lineage project) www.lybrary.com/mlp/ The experience was that very few really care about these things. And I think this is the biggest problem here. Most only want the next best trick and don't care about the history behind the trick.

Best,
Chris....
www.lybrary.com
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Postby Guest » 11/11/06 08:21 AM

Chris is right. While other positions make valid and interesting points, they are unlikely to work in the real world which for us is the magic marketplace.

You generally find that people who bring out products with little added to them, may sell a lot the first time out, but once the word gets around have a hard time selling anything afterwards.
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Postby Guest » 11/11/06 09:29 AM

ArnonS, an attorney, proposes a solution of an overarching board to pass judgment on proposed new effects. While appealing at first glance, I see a number of problems with this idea.

Regardless of the protocol developed, it would always be voluntary and have nothing more than moral authority unless the client agreed to some sort of binding arbitration, agreeing to adhere to the boards results regardless of what they are. Presumably, the boards imprimatur would be seen as something of value, but that would be a long time coming and the board would have to be rigorously diligent in its research for its stamp to have any value.

The cost of having the research done and to what extent that research would go has yet to be articulated. A great deal (most) of magic and mentalism is derivative. There are very few original concepts. There would have to be a clear definition of what constituted new. How much would an old effect have to be changed in order for it to be considered new? Once that was determined, participants would have to agree on it. Thus, much of what the board would do would be subjective opinion instead of determiners of facts.

Then theres what I would call the arcane factor. It is one thing for someone to re-invent an idea of Annemann, Fogel, Koran, and other notable mentalists as their material is readily available, but what about something created by someone and published in a set of lecture notes years ago? This info might only exist in a handful of private collections. Is someone to be punished or publicly embarrassed because they reinvented something they had no way of researching? Would this turn into an oversized game of Gotcha, that some enjoy playing?

Then theres the question of the boards findings. Are they public or the property of the person who pays for the service to be used or ignored at the clients whim? Some years back a very famous person hired a friend of mine, then teaching at USC, to review of manuscript hed written on philosophy and religion. My friend turned it over to one of his advanced grad students who proceeded to shred the amateurishly written book. The criticism was handed over and a check passed back for the service, the checks memo line assigning it to the Hubris File. A few years later, the criticism notwithstanding, the book was published anyway. Hubris often wins over common sense.

The point being, the board could make findings and produce a report, but if the buyer of the service chose to ignore what he paid for, would he be under any obligation to follow or use the boards recommendations? Would the board be free to publicize their findings if the client decided to ignore them?

Then there is the published record that is not necessarily accurate as to who did what, when. In some cases it merely reflects who published first, not who invented or developed something. Too often, the thieves win. A good example being the Floating Light Bulb, widely believed to have been invented by Burling Hull. The truth was buried in the June, 1931 Sphinx:

Dr. William Endlich reports that at the Philadelphia Assembly No 4 of the SAM there had been a discussion of the theft of tricks. Case in point: Frank Hall who presented to this SAM group, at his home in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania about 18 months earlier, his own creation: The Floating Light Bulb. Hall had marketed several to a few professionals and suddenly finds a well-known dealer [Burling Hull was then running prominent ads for Dunningers Miracle Floating Light], selling the trick as his.

Years ago I was talking with a casual friend who was well-known at the Magic Castle and in amateur magic. I mentioned to him that Id been using a certain commercial effect in my professional close-up work. He smiled and said that it was his, that hed shown it to a friend at an East Coast convention with, unfortunately, another guy in the room. Within a few months the effect was being sold by Tannens with the other guys name attached. Thousands were sold. Since it was an adaptation of a well-known gimmick for a different effect, my friend decided not to bother making a stink over it. The point being, if you didnt know him and hadnt heard the story, the other guy would have the credit for the invention. I cant believe this is an isolated incident.

For these and other reasons, I dont think a board is a workable solution. I think peer pressure and honest reviews will help push those who need it towards getting an education in the history and fundamentals of the Craft. That and Bill Kalushs project to put every thing published into an accessible database are, I think, more practical answers without creating a magic bureaucracy of dubious value.
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Postby Guest » 11/11/06 11:31 AM

it is a great book! It is available at The MAgic apple! AMazing effects and some mind blowing mentalism!!
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Postby Guest » 11/11/06 06:17 PM

Originally posted by TheMagicApple:
it is a great book! It is available at The MAgic apple! AMazing effects and some mind blowing mentalism!!
Oh Please.

I read this book today. I agree with Paul 100%.
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Postby Guest » 11/11/06 07:16 PM

Originally posted by Quentin Reynolds:
... but once the word gets around have a hard time selling anything afterwards.
Just how quickly and far can word get out?
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Postby Guest » 11/15/06 08:09 AM

I've read Looch's book and find the criticism of theft to be unwarranted. He gives credit where it is due, and the useage and presentations of the ideas in his book are novel and his own.

While he does reference some methodologies invented by others, he does so with credit. In any technical publication, when building upon another published idea to create something new it is acceptable to reference and explain the prior work, with credit to the original. As I see it, that is what Looch has done.

Regarding crediting, I don't believe that it's necessary to credit things in a routine or effect if the move or idea has become common use, and has been used multiple times in multiple ways by others, both in print and in marketed effects. Were you to use a double lift in an effect, would you credit the originator?

I know for a fact that he did send the book out to several knowledgeable professional Mentalists for their comments prior to publication (I wasn't one of them). None expressed concerns re: his crediting, and all were unanimous in their praise and support for the book.

Looch is a clever and inventive young mind in Mentalism. We should support his efforts.

- entity
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Postby Guest » 11/15/06 09:47 AM

Originally posted by entity:
... I don't believe that it's necessary to credit things in a routine or effect if the move or idea has become common use...- entity
We seem to have lost the original citation to the double lift, and I would prefer not to credit Ted Lesley with the spittle version.

Consider how a work would be viewed if discovered long after all of its contents and ruses had fallen into disuse. What would the student learn from studying the work?

One has only to try seeking out Aristotle's work on comedy to find the tragedy in this matter.
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Postby Guest » 11/15/06 10:58 AM

I'd suggest that, other than works specifically focused on the historical lineage of a given effect, very few published routines include historical credits for every move or concept in the routine.

This includes classic routines published by Vernon, Miller, Sachs, Gaultier, and others. Some works are created with the expectation of a certain amount of prior scholarship by the reader. To endlessly trace the roots for every move or concept in each new work would be impractical, un-readable, and in my view, not necessary.

That being said, when a published effect uses an idea that was invented by someone else, but in an original way, and the new writer is claiming ownership of his variation, it's always the right thing to credit the originator, when possible. I think Looch has done that.

To answer your question, Jonathan... Someone finding such a work would learn what is in that work. That is the purpose of the work. While a double lift might not be credited, it will be described or illustrated. If other books were found, and the interest were sufficient, the finder could search for an earliest source for the concept.

Have you read Looch's book, Jonathan? If not, I'm surprised at your rush to join the lynch mob.

- entity
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Postby Guest » 11/15/06 11:24 AM

Entity,

I am afraid that you miss the point. When you include reference to someone else's work, the usual etiquette is to request permission from the originator to include the said work within their own when it goes to print or in the new genre, to DVD. This was NOT done in almost every instance in this book. No one was asked and no permission was given. That does sit on the fence but still leans towards theft and since no permission was given by the originators and since their works are in fact under copyright, both Looch and his publisher have opened themselves up to lawsuits.

In their haste to get their names in print, these new guys do not bother to do the background work that you do in fact see done in GOOD publications. A good author will usually try to explain not only what their motivation was in devloping the effect but also provide the sources of inspiration. Footnotes (you should remember these from High School and University papers we had to write)are usually provided in such works to reference these sources and will usually include a bibliography at the end of the book to provide the information as to where to locate it.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
AB StageCraft
http://www.mindguy.com/store
Mentalism books and effects supplied world-wide
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Postby Guest » 11/15/06 11:25 AM

Originally posted by entity:
...Have you read Looch's book, Jonathan? If not, I'm surprised at your rush to join the lynch mob.
I'm not taking any position on the Looch book yet. My concern was the notion of "standard". I have read many old trick descriptions where the "standard" bits are long gone. From the material in "Discoverie" and Ponsin's book I see lots of great performance items glanced over as if the reader would remember having seen them in action. And that loss is what I'm pointing to as a tragedy.

BTW, I held up getting something out the door for a few weeks getting some "standard" items cited at least down to accessible sources. Each of those "standards" everyone knows is/was somebody's pride and joy.
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Postby Guest » 11/15/06 11:56 AM

Paul: My understanding is that once something is in print, it is fair game to reference and to express those ideas (with credit) if they are being used in a new way by a new writer. Once a person has published an idea, it is out there for others to use, if they've come upon the publication legally.

As you know, an idea cannot be copywrited. Only the expression of that idea. If someone takes a published idea and writes up their own description, with credit to the originator, no laws have been broken.

Your assertion that Looch has done anything actionable is just plain nonsense. As far as I can see, he hasn't copied passages from the books of others, nor has he reproduced their illustrations, photos or videos. Hence, no copywrite laws have been broken.

With regard to footnotes, etc., I'd agree that some works are more scholarly than others (including classic works by many of the Giants in Magic), but Looch does indeed state his inspirations and gives credit to those who have inspired his ideas.

While I'm sure that a young, first-time author such as Looch will benefit and learn from some of your criticism, I think that calling him a thief is unjustified.

- entity
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Postby Guest » 11/16/06 06:52 PM

Dear Entity,

If I were to paraphrase the works of Charles Dickens and put a note at the front saying that my inspiration for my writing was Dickens, it is STILL DICKENS. Intentional or not, a theft is a theft, a thief is a thief.

James Biss did this with his last book (using things of others without permission) and is why it was received by most established performers in a negative way as I suspect that this will be treated in a similar manner.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
AB StageCraft
http://www.mindguy.com/store
Supplying mentalism effects sand books world-wide
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 11/17/06 01:03 AM

I can feel Paul's laudable sense of deference and respect for originators of even "standard" methods and moves. I wish other magicians felt likewise.

But even if one is not up to Paul's ethical level, credit (if not permission) from the originator of a "non-standard" move or method is a must if the author is to be intellectually honest.

And we are NOT talking about being liable to suit - it is not a question of using others' ideas as being "actionable."

Nor was I talking about a Board that would have any legal effect - only persuasive effect in the world of magical ideas. Hopefully, the Board's impact would be effective enough to prevent immoral (not illegal) out-and-out appropriation of another's ideas, and would discourage those who have not truly advanced an effect sufficiently to be considered "novel" or "useful." The analogy to the patent, trademark and copyright (not "copywrite") office is compelling.

Also, there is a concept of "independent discovery" which does not fault the later innocent but unknowing creator for claiming the invention as his own. A Board could clarify this, and set history straight for future magical inventors. It would create a rigorous body of "prior magical art" which could be amplified by submissions of others who may have originated an idea first and could document it. The purpose would be more to give proper credit where it was due, rather than to punish the newcomer for his unintentional stepping on an originator's toes. Hopefully, it would also discourage or eliminate newcomers who intentionally rip off others' ideas.
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Postby Guest » 11/17/06 07:44 AM

Paul: In the case of the Biss book my understanding is that he was accused of taking UNPUBLISHED ideas of others and using them in his book -- some, without crediting the originators.

That is a far different thing, and if that were the case with Looch's book, I'd agree with you completely.

In the case of Looch's book, from what I can see, he has credited his sources and inspirations, and he has only referenced previously published works.

I'm sure that in the future he will seek permission from the originators, where possible, as a courtesy, but he has broken no laws nor has he done anything that would legitimize a law suit or warrant accusations of theft.

Reliable sources tell me, however, that calling someone a thief in print, when there is no evidence of any theft in the legal sense, is definitely actionable. Perhaps you should tone down the rhetoric.

As I said, he's a young, first-time author. I'm sure he'll do things differently next time out, now that he has had the benefit of your guidance.

By the way, in your Dickens example, If someone were to write a book and say at the beginning: "This is my take on Dickens' David Copperfield", and then re-write the story with his own insights,wordage and ideas, then no, I don't think any theft would have occurred.

- entity
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Postby Guest » 11/17/06 08:16 AM

Originally posted by entity:
... If someone were to write a book and say at the beginning: "This is my take on Dickens' David Copperfield", and then re-write the story with his own insights,wordage and ideas, then no, I don't think any theft would have occurred.
Isn't that pretty much what the guy who wrote Wicked did? Or how about the guy who took the story of Pyramus and Thisbe and called his version 'Romeo and Juliet'?
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Postby Guest » 11/17/06 09:44 AM

Originally posted by Chris Wasshuber:
The only workable way today is through reviews. Anybody can realease into the open his own writings, particularly in magic where almost nothing is being patented or patentable for that matter.

The best and most effective way is to have solid reviews in various places to weed out the good from the bad, the quickly written from the thoroughly researched.

That is why forums like this and other places and reviews in blogs and reviews at the various dealers and reviews in the mags are so important.

Best,
Chris....
www.lybrary.com
An interesting idea, but it's important to remember , reviews are just opinions And opinions are like noses We all have them, they all smell
The best idea is to mind a reviewer who mirrors your opinions Who is looking for the same things you are
from
Ford
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 11/17/06 09:56 AM

It's cute to say "look what I came up with". Though after the age of five or six, such is not usually acceptable behavior in polite company. As adults most of us learned to keep such things between ourselves and our significant other(s).

Perhaps we are better putting the burden of proof that such has original components upon the writer and publisher.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 11/17/06 10:43 AM

Originally posted by Jonathan Townsend:
Originally posted by entity:
[b]... If someone were to write a book and say at the beginning: "This is my take on Dickens' David Copperfield", and then re-write the story with his own insights,wordage and ideas, then no, I don't think any theft would have occurred.
Isn't that pretty much what the guy who wrote Wicked did? Or how about the guy who took the story of Pyramus and Thisbe and called his version 'Romeo and Juliet'? [/b]
Plots and situations have always been a subject of discussion between writers.

Saying this is really this and that is really that is an excercise in futility, as most writers of fiction already know. Plots are plots and situations are situations, only the characters and their dialogue vary.

Robert Heinlein once observed that there were only two plots: The Little Tailor and Boy Meets Girl. A pre-Scientology Ron Hubbard, then a SF writer, told Heinlein that there was a third: The Man Who Learned Better, a point that Heinlein accepted.

Others have expanded on the idea of plot and tried to standardize/formulate them. George Polti, a 19th Century French writer, formulated The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations as an aid to writers. It was published in English in the early 1920s. It is quite well-known, readily available and well-studied.

Less well-known, but also out in the 1920s, is William Wallace Cook's master work: Plotto, a literary device that, in Cook's own words, "merely suggests the situations for the plot, explains what is to be done through Purpose and Obstacle and even offers suggestions as to the way in which it should be done."

Plotto sold for the amazing price of $25. An early buyer was Earle Stanley Gardner who drove to Long Beach from Ventura to buy the book directly from the author. He absorbed the methodology and later developed his own protocol for working up plots and situations, kept in a binder that was well-guarded and never far from his side during his lifetime. It's contents were not revealed to the public until more than a decade after Gardner's death.

Then there are the seven volumes of Wycliffe Hill's Plot Genie that promised a "complete plotplot framework every five minutes, and I can show any author where it could have developed the plot structure of any story he ever wrote.

Then there's Lord Raglan's essay,The Hero and Joseph Campbell's Hero with A Thousand Faces.

And with regard to great borrowing, my favorite version of The Tempest is called Forbidden Planet.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 11/17/06 10:54 AM

Originally posted by Jonathan Townsend:
I'm not taking any position on the Looch book yet. My concern was the notion of "standard". I have read many old trick descriptions where the "standard" bits are long gone. From the material in "Discoverie" and Ponsin's book I see lots of great performance items glanced over as if the reader would remember having seen them in action. And that loss is what I'm pointing to as a tragedy. [/QB]
I have always thought that the further one had to reach to find an example to support a point, the weaker the argument. In this case, Jon is reaching back over 400 years to the beginnings of published magic, to support his argument.
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Postby Guest » 11/17/06 11:16 AM

Originally posted by David Alexander:
...I have always thought that the further one had to reach to find an example to support a point, the weaker the argument. In this case, Jon is reaching back over 400 years to the beginnings of published magic, to support his argument.
Gee, I just wanted to be sure that even our members of Pete Biro's generation would not be able to chime in with "oh yes, here's how we did the bit with the millet".

The discussion we were having about why the handkerchief seems to jump into the performer's pocket in the middle of some "silk in egg" routines pretty much serves to prove my point. As would the use of the Ace of Spades as the "Master Ace" serve as a negative example. BTW no diss to the homies on that one, the line is older than "I Love Lucy".
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Postby Guest » 11/17/06 11:19 AM

Originally posted by David Alexander:
...with regard to great borrowing, my favorite version of The Tempest is called Forbidden Planet.
Hmmm an interesting retelling at that with Caliban portrayed as an animated demon of the unconscious. This telling retelling gets even more interesting with the part of Ariel played by a robot. This version of the story ends with Prospero broken upon his staff abjured by his found magics with the "island" destroyed losing millions of years of technological advancement in the name of vanity, lust and greed.

Certainly a wondrous film to watch with many interesting features to look at and listen to.

I prefer the version where the island is left intact and the Prince of Milan returns to claim his kingdom.

But there's no disputing matters of taste.
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