Magic Takers

Post topics about the business side of magic.

Postby Bob Farmer » 01/22/08 05:46 PM

This is a new topic for magic inventors who have been ripped off by some schlub. I hope you'll add your experiences here.

I'll start off:

Some guy over on the Magic Cafe has been manufacturing and selling the props for my marketed effect, "The Bammo Dekronomicon."

I posted a complaint, but it was deleted, so for the record here's my second try

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/view ... start=0#10

In case that gets deleted, here's what I had to say about J.S. Bloom aka as Mr Card Magic (yek!):

"My post on Mr. Bloom was deleted, so let me try again:

"Mr. Bloom has no right to manufacture and sell these decks. If a purchaser of my effect wishes to go to a magic shop and buy what he needs to make up the trick, he has the right to do that (and he should, just to support the magic shop).

"As far as I know, Bloom is not running a magic shop, he's just some guy out in cyberspace who's decided he can take my material and make some money from it.

"Frankly, I'm fed up with people like Mr. Bloom who have no problems with profiting from ideas that had nothing to do with.

"Mr. Bloom, have you ever had one, good creative idea in your entire life? Have you ever taken the time to work it through and make it into something valuable?

"If you had, you'd never even consider selling these decks. "
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Postby Jeff Eline » 01/22/08 06:09 PM

Post is already gone. That's a shame.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/22/08 06:24 PM

Bob,

Being pretty much ignorant of your product (except knowing that you do not include the props), is there any actual fabrication that must be done by me should I purchase your routine (and after I purchase anything else I need) or is everything I need readily available at my magic shop?

Dustin
(He asks, hoping the question makes sense.)
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/22/08 07:13 PM

While I wait for Bobs answer to my question, I will post my horror story in a way that will not bring up names because its water under the bridge and the name is a big one who I really like (along with everyone else).

Years ago (I was in high school) I got a crazy idea for something after seeing my brother participating in a favorite pastime of his. I created a thing that I used strictly as a gag, not a magic trick. That summer I showed my gag to Mr. Name at a convention. Less than a year later he created a trick around my gag and marketed it.

I was screwed.

Stuff happens.

Especially in magic.

Dustin
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Postby Roger M. » 01/22/08 07:36 PM

It would appear that ALL Mr. Bloom's posts offering to sell Bob Farmers props were deleted.

One could presume he was given a warning from the mods to not post this particular offering again.

Dustin, there is no fabrication.....and you could purchase the items required from your drugstore if need be.

There is a sizable amount of hand-work to be done though. It's pretty complicated in terms of assembly (not fabrication).

Mr. Bloom was offering what amounted to $8.00 worth of materials (minus Bob's actual routine presumably, which is where all the REAL value lay) for $30.00, which is about a 200% markup.

There's no doubt he had turned Bob's creation into his own little enterprise.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/22/08 07:45 PM

Thanks Blair. Fabrication was the key word for me. I can handle assembly, but I might want to subcontract out anything that needs fabricating. Im glad you picked up on what I was trying to say. And it sounds to me like Mr. Bloom is indeed a complete schmuck.

Dustin
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Postby Robert Newman » 01/22/08 10:35 PM

Originally posted by Blair M.:
It would appear that ALL Mr. Bloom's posts offering to sell Bob Farmers props were deleted.

One could presume he was given a warning from the mods to not post this particular offering again.

Dustin, there is no fabrication.....and you could purchase the items required from your drugstore if need be.

There is a sizable amount of hand-work to be done though. It's pretty complicated in terms of assembly (not fabrication).

Mr. Bloom was offering what amounted to $8.00 worth of materials (minus Bob's actual routine presumably, which is where all the REAL value lay) for $30.00, which is about a 200% markup.

There's no doubt he had turned Bob's creation into his own little enterprise.
Actually, Mr. Bloom is enjoying a 375% markup and a 0.7333 gross margin!
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Postby Matthew Field » 01/23/08 03:38 AM

I've got an interview with Angelo Carbone coming up in the March Magic Circular. He talks about how painfukl it is for a magic inventor to get ripped off, as was done with his great trick, "Out of Order", one of the most illicitly copied tricks ever.

The rip-off artists are not just slugs. They actively hurt magic.

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Postby Bob Farmer » 01/23/08 04:20 AM

Actually this is the second time the Magic Cafe nhas deleted one of my posts about some goof ripping me off. The first time, it was a guy suggesting no one should buy my Bammo Card Walloper -- they should should just get a photocopy of the instructions and make it themselves.

A picture of the dolt was posted beside his post, so I suggested that given the ill-fitting suit he was wearing, it was obvious that besides making my trick he had also made hs own clothes.

The post was deleted because the Magic Cafe has a rule: you can't insult the other posters. Advocating theft is okay, but insulting thieves isn't.

Dustin: there is no "fabrication" (and that's no fabrication) -- you easily assemble the props required. If any skill in "fabrication" or "assembly" was required -- I couldn't have invented the trick.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 01/23/08 07:59 AM

Originally posted by Bob Farmer:
..."Frankly, I'm fed up with people like Mr. Bloom who have no problems with profiting from ideas that had nothing to do with.

"Mr. Bloom, have you ever had one, good creative idea in your entire life? Have you ever taken the time to work it through and make it into something valuable?

"If you had, you'd never even consider selling these decks. "
Bob... how many folks have - versus those who simply want to enjoy playing with the latest trick?

[sarcasm]
BTW how would you feel about someone offering something "inspired by" your work but lauded as something new because they use a different colored deck or maybe using uno cards and and a slightly different presentation theme?

Maybe your trick has evolved and that's good for magic?

Maybe you should be flattered folks want to enjoy your trick?
[/sarcasm]

IMHO it's part of the process when our community set up a hungry and price sensitive market for glamorized commodities.
Mundus vult decipi
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Postby Bob Farmer » 01/23/08 03:56 PM

Jonathan, it's my trick and I make the rules -- they may not be legally enforceable but they are fair and equitable. Purchasers of the Bammo Dekronomicon can make up their own props for their own use. I don't accept that I have to put up with the boneheads who want to make a few bucks (their real intention).

Ethical and intelligent magicians play the game and I always return the favour with others' effects.

But then you have the dolt who decides he's going to manufacture my trick and sell it. This really baffles me: does this guy not have a shred of decency or even a modicum of respect for the creative process?

Magic would be so much better off if we could convince people like this to take up another hobby (say, clinging by their fingernails to the tail assembly of high-flying airplanes).
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Postby Pete McCabe » 01/23/08 04:06 PM

Originally posted by Jonathan Townsend:
IMHO it's part of the process when our community set up a hungry and price sensitive market for glamorized commodities.
This is a pretty good description of the entire world.
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Postby Bob Brown » 01/23/08 04:27 PM

Someone, I think maybe it was Mr. Ash, had a great story about a Chicago Magician who had "invented" a variation of a trick marketed by Ken Brooke. The Chicago guy showed it to Bob Read then asked," Do you think thats too similar to the Ken Brooke trick?" Bob said, " Similar ? No. Fookin identical!
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 01/23/08 05:12 PM

It's sad hear the staff at the magic cafe acted in a way which enables some to sell what is not theirs to offer.

Originally posted by Bob Farmer:
...it's my trick and I make the rules -- they may not be legally enforceable but they are fair and equitable. ...I don't accept that I have to put up with the boneheads who want to make a few bucks (their real intention).

Ethical and intelligent magicians play the game and [snip to parse -jt] I always return the favour with others' effects....
Those rules may or may not be a part of an agreement to purhase your work - or on a more formal level - to use your work.

IMHO at the root of that ethos you describe is a basic self respect that is applied to respecting the works of others. Would that be the principle you apply when "returning the favour" as regards other folks material?

When selling an item as product/property one loses control over what the owner does though can seek recourse if there's an agreement in place to enforce.

There's no reason to be "extra special nice and considerate" to the folks who do that stuff though...
Mundus vult decipi
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Postby Bob Farmer » 01/24/08 04:33 AM

Jonathan, my point is that there is an "arrangement" when you buy a trick. It's not a legal principle, it's not a contract, it's just part of the club rules. Unfortunately, some of the club members are scum and ignore their obligations.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 01/24/08 06:51 AM

Originally posted by Bob Farmer:
... Unfortunately, some of the club members ... ignore their obligations.
What obligations did you have in mind?

Their obligations to make money seem intact.

Also - what distinguishes a club member from any other person buying a commodity item?
Mundus vult decipi
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Postby The Magic Apple » 01/24/08 07:05 PM

by the way, that trick is INCREDIBLE and Brilliant! With some work, it is the BEST ACAAN type of effect!!

Good job bob!
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Postby Bob Farmer » 01/25/08 06:45 AM

JS Bloom sent me a private message over at the Magic Cafe. It's a bit difficult to decipher since he seems unable to express himself clearly within the rules established for creating sentences, however, his defence seems to be it's okay to sell my trick since he's also selling the "Radar Deck" (without, I assume Richard Osterlind's knowedge or permission). Here's my reply:

"The lumpenmagus always falls back on what is legal and illegal (as if you really knew anyway), and ignores the ethical, the moral and the fair.

"You are a lumpenmagus and magic would be so much better served if you had nothing to do with it.

"Your smug reference to Richard Osterlind's "Radar Deck," reveals, to anyone knowledgeable in this area, just how ignorant you really are.

Arguing with a fool could make me a fool, so I'm done discussing this with you. Why not find a hobby more conducive to your abilities -- like collecting lint from the belly buttons of dead water buffalo in the wilds of India.
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Postby Gordolini » 01/26/08 08:22 AM

Or what Sonny Corleone might say today to sum up: "Bada Bing BAMMO!"
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Postby Bob Farmer » 02/06/08 07:15 PM

Mr. Magic is bakc. Check this out, he even uses my own ad copy:

eBay link

I will file an intellectual property infringement complaint through Ebay's Vero program, something I'm familiar with through my work with bootleggers of unauthorized Rush merchandise.

What's really depressing is how many people have ordered from this guy.
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Postby castawaydave » 02/06/08 08:30 PM

I just sent him an email asking by what right was he ripping off Bob Farmer...perhaps if enough people hassle him?...

Unfortunately rip-off artists don't have a conscience at all, or they wouldn't be doing what they're doing.

Fair-play, loyalty, & bon homie (the "club") have been replaced in this day and age with craven weasel-eyed, back-stabbing greed (the "gang" mentality?).
"Rules" are for saps. Nice guys get a swift kick in the willy. If you AREN'T actively trying to rip people off, well, you're just hopeless.

Magic's traditional problem with piracy has gone digital/worldwide/instantaneous...it's no longer "xeroxing some lecture notes", it's rip someone else's dvd, make 100s of copies for pennies*, "buy it now" on ebay, paypal, post others' work on youtube...and keep going until (if ever) you get a cease and decist notice...

[*By the way, who's manufacturing the things for this guy?]

Jonathan, I think, is playing at being the (charmingly stubborn, certainly not obtuse) Devil's advocate, in pretending not to get the difference between the "word" of law, the "spirit" of law, and the further level of basic human morality that nowdays seems to be as quaint as an icecream social at the bandstand in the main square, across from city hall, in front of which is tied up our town's horse...(and neither grafitti nor gang activity! Now THAT is quaint).

Sure one might be able to "get away with 'something' legally", but SHOULD one even be doing "it" in the 1st place?
You MIGHT have some judge and 3/4 of a jury in your pocket, and you might get away with it...but are you still going to fry in hell for it? Hmmm...(O.J. anyone?)

What's "right" or "wrong"? --Ha! Who cares as long as I eventually have enough benjamins to get me some serious front grills. OH Yeah!
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 02/06/08 08:47 PM

Originally posted by Bob Farmer:
Mr. Magic is bakc. Check this out, he even uses my own ad copy:

eBay link

I will file an intellectual property infringement complaint through Ebay's Vero program, something I'm familiar with through my work with bootleggers of unauthorized Rush merchandise.

What's really depressing is how many people have ordered from this guy.
Yikes: "Don't worry. even if you do not have the notes, the decks should reveal to you how to do the effect."

-Jim
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 02/07/08 06:04 AM

Originally posted by Bob Farmer:
Jonathan, my point is that there is an "arrangement" when you buy a trick. ...
Yes, someone sold them some property (IP and props) with which they are free to do as they please.

The right of disposal is part of the definition of property. As Richard Kaufman has stated earlier - there is no legal protection for magic "secrets" in the open market. Since when has "all rights reserved" stopped derivitive works from appearing in the magic market - or the open market for that matter?

A pragmatist would notice that there is also little interest in setting up an enforced policy to protect magic secrets in this market as such would restrict trade and diminish the profit potential needed to get things produced in the first place.

Bob, just because you and I happen to agree over the sentimental issue here and we choose to restrict our actions in order to maintain a social compact which furthers that sentimental perspective does not mean it's appropriate to blindly expect anyone else to share that sentimental position.

Quaint? Okay - I can live with that.

Now back to that ice cream social over by the Willoughby bandstand.
Mundus vult decipi
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Postby Bob Farmer » 02/07/08 07:58 AM

Jonathan:

As Groucho Marx once said to his client (Groucho was playing a lawyer):

"I have a deal with the flies -- they don't practice law, and I don't walk on the ceiling."

There are substantive legal as well as ethical issues here, but there is no point in going into detail. You're simply wrong.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 02/07/08 08:07 AM

Originally posted by Bob Farmer:
Jonathan:... but there is no point in going into detail. You're simply wrong.
You might want to seriously consider what brought you to write that.

Perhaps also a change in phraseology if the inferred sentiment which it communicates is what you wish to put across. :eek:

Writing from experience - it's not so nice to see one's work used and propigated without permission. Trying to hide ones feelings behind the monetary side of the issue and waving around legalities is not so likely to solve the basic problem here.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 02/07/08 08:22 AM

Someone who does know better but is angry wrote: There are substantive legal as well as ethical issues here, but there is no point in...

By missing that point - the basic presumption of a working ethos / applicable body of law is pretty much mooted as well here.

This further erodes the foundation of ethics and law which are presumed in the community by dismissing the position of a peer who happens to share the moral side of the position proffered.

And so the cookie continues to crumble.

:(

I wish you the best with VERO on the ebaY item. The copyright protected text should suffice to have that auction pulled.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 02/07/08 01:30 PM

Jonathan:

This isn't a philosophy discussion -- this guy is stealing from me and from all of the people who bought this trick.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 02/07/08 01:58 PM

At 3:30PM EST the auction is over - and one "magicpastor" needs a talking to - and the seller does not appear to have more of that item up for sale (at least under that ID).

As one of the folks who bought your item complete (and the other goodies like mutantz) I'm especially annoyed that someone took it on themselves to offer the props for your item. So much for exclusivity. The remark at the bottom of the auction text was especially disrespectful to your work - never mind lifting your ad copy which alone should have gotten the auction closed fast.

Hey, maybe the buyer will give the guy negative feedback and help rid ebaY of a problem seller?

Bob - some of us respect IP in magic - and sadly some just respect USD.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 02/07/08 03:11 PM

Jonathan:

I filed a Vero complaint with E-Bay this morning. These take a few days to process, but I have requested that not only the listing be deleted, but that seller be banned from E-Bay permanently. I will report the results as they become apparent.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 02/08/08 08:03 AM

E-Bay sent me the following email this morning:


Thank you for contacting us.

We are pleased to inform you that the following listing(s) you reported have been removed from eBay in response to the Notice of Claimed Infringement you recently sent:

mr.cardmagic
130194733829


We have notified the seller and all participating bidders that the listing(s) has been removed due to your request.

If the Notice of Claimed Infringement contained items that are not listed above you will receive a separate email communication about those items. These notices may arrive at different times (over a period of up to several hours) as items for different sellers are processed separately.

If you should have any questions or concerns regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us again.

VeRO Program
eBay Trust & Safety
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Postby NCMarsh » 02/29/08 11:04 AM

A picture of the dolt was posted beside his post, so I suggested that given the ill-fitting suit he was wearing, it was obvious that besides making my trick he had also made his own clothes.
Magic would be so much better off if we could convince people like this to take up another hobby (say, clinging by their fingernails to the tail assembly of high-flying airplanes).
Why not find a hobby more conducive to your abilities -- like collecting lint from the belly buttons of dead water buffalo in the wilds of India
Speaking of money; I would drop a nice hunk of my own for the "Bob Farmer Book of Insults"....these are gems...
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/29/08 11:40 AM

And those are the insults that can be printed here. You should hear the ones that we can't print! :)
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Postby Bob Farmer » 02/29/08 01:22 PM

I actually have a personal philosophy about insults. I call it, Creative Revenge. Normally, responding to the actions or comments of someone who has harmed you in some way, usually makes you feel worse: a negative response to a negative attack, results in heaping a negative on top of another negative.

So, in working out how to get through life, I decided a long time ago that creative revenge worked so much better. Creative revenge is a response, preferably humorous, always legal, that makes you feel good and usually either flies completely over the head of the person it's aimed at (if he's an idiot, like this guy Bloom), or affects the person in an enjoyable (to you) way.

For example, my company was once ripped off by a telemarketer who convinced an unknowing receptionist that we'd ordered a couple of thousand dollars worth of vastly overpriced office supplies. By the time I returned from holidays, all this stuff had arrived and been paid for.

Did I complain? Nah. I found out who the owner of the telemarketing firm was and where he lived and then I waited for the return call I knew would be coming. When it did, I knew I was talking to some guy in a boilerroom of phones who had no idea who his real boss was or where his real boss lived. So I ordered tons of stuff and asked to have it delivered that day to the boss's real address.

Never heard from them again.

If you're interested in the theory of insults, check out Maledicta, The International Journal of Verbal Aggression http://sonic.net/maledicta/
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Postby Bob Farmer » 03/01/08 05:19 AM

Over at the Magic Cafe, JS Bloom, the guy was selling unauthorized copies of my trick, The Bammo Dekronomicon, is still claiming he has the right to do so. At a certain point, further response to lumpenmagi like this is a waste of time, since they just hop from one goofy defence to another, but I did post the following which has a more general application.

Let me repeat my point: this is my trick and I decide who can sell it and manufacture it. It's as simple as that. This is not a matter of money -- I don't need the money from the sale of a few magic tricks. It's not a legal argument, though there is a legal argument that can be made.

This is about morality, fairness and ethics in magic. The magic inventors (like me) want to advance the progression of magic. The magic takers just want to take, always things they have no right to take. Can I stop Bloom from manufacturing something he has no rights to, no claim to and spent not a second inventing? No, as a practical matter, I cannot -- but you can, by simply refusing to support people like this.

Need some cards to make up my trick: why not go to your magic dealer. After all, he was smart enough to stock my trick and you were smart enough to buy it. He has a business that needs your support. Spend a few hours assembling the trick as I did when I invented it. If you can't put an evening's work into the effect, then maybe it's not for you.

As to the tiresome argument that I didn't invent anything, that everything is in the public domain, that there's nothing new under the sun -- I've heard this before when some of my other tricks have been ripped of (e.g., Tsunami). The argument is always put forward by the magic takers and their defenders who, though they've never invented a thing in their lives, are suddenly qualified to decide when someone else has or has not (they always decide nothing's been invented).

Here's the bottom line: I have and will continue to invent tricks you've never seen before that will fool audiences badly. The magic takers will not. And that's how you tell who you should support and who you should ignore.
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Postby Jim Martin » 03/01/08 08:48 PM

I, for one, Bob, am glad that I own an original Bammo Dekronomicon - it's great.

Illegitimi non carborundum, eh?

Or, another way of putting it:

One attorney is so incensed with the piggish actions of another that he fires off the following telegram:

'Dear Mr. Bloom,

F*** you. Strong letter will follow.

Mr. Farmer"
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Postby Bob Farmer » 03/02/08 05:15 AM

Jim, the problem with a lumpenmagus like Bloom is that nothing you can say will ever change his mind. The best thing that can be done is to put these people on a blacklist and shun them in the magic community.
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Postby Jim Martin » 03/02/08 08:31 AM

I agree, Bob. There is 'ethical disconnect' in his world view.

Shunning is the best idea ....... also public flogging. (Get your elves working on a new release: 'The Bammo Flog-o-micon'?)
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Postby 000 » 07/02/08 11:02 AM

The Magic Cafe deleting your post whilst the taker is allowed to display the wares? Sounds wrong and not the attitude condoned by Steve. Did you deal with a lackey or with Steve?
Id be interested to know.
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Postby Jim Riser » 07/02/08 11:37 AM

000 wrote:The Magic Cafe deleting your post whilst the taker is allowed to display the wares? Sounds wrong ...

Sounds pretty typical to me.
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Postby mai-ling » 07/02/08 12:57 PM

it doesn't take much for someone to flag a reply
for no reason just get something deleted.
you will remember my name
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