Perfect Levitation / Preview Magic DVDs

Post topics about the business side of magic.

Postby David Scollnik » 11/27/07 04:15 PM

I understand that the ad for the "Perfect Levitation" running in some magazines was a bit of a misrepresentation, and that this is in fact a stealth sort of ad for a new Magic DVD rental site.

(I'm told that this ad appeared in Genii, but I haven't seen the latest issue yet in order to check.)

I'm just curious whether this is something the magazines knew in advance, or were they deceived as to the true nature of the ad?

[I looked for a preexisting thread on this subject, but I could not find one. I'm surprised there is no discussion on this topic here.]
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Postby Guest » 11/27/07 05:40 PM

Yes it is in the new Genii and you are right it is a stealth site.....pretty CHEEZEE.....not my taste
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Postby Guest » 11/27/07 06:57 PM

Yeah, I was kinda shocked by this bad idea as well.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/27/07 07:14 PM

It's news to me! I don't check the products or websites of every advertiser--but I have just checked this website and it appears we have indeed been tricked.
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Postby Guest » 11/29/07 03:46 PM

I feel like the whole situation is sleezy. First you get suckered to go to a web site that has nothing to do with the advertisement. Then, you get insulted by the opportunity to "preview" dvd's before you buy them, although you never have to return the previewed one.

I'm sure that no one will merely preview 100 dvd's and never use of perform any of the material. I'm curious as to how Richard feels about this concept as well as the magic dealers and dvd producers.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/29/07 06:14 PM

We all got snookered--Genii, MAGIC, and M-U-M. Don't know about Linking Ring.

The notion of "previewing" or renting DVDs in magic will drive folks who make magic DVDs out of business. Anyone who rents a DVD is helping to create a situation where fewer and fewer DVDs will be produced until there are none.
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Postby Rick Ruhl » 11/30/07 02:08 PM

Is this the same site as mentioned in this thread?

http://geniimagazine.com/forum/cgi-bin/ ... 935#000000

If so, here's the guys name and number

Richard W Koch
317 E South Ave
Glenolden, PA 19036
(484) 494-3385
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Postby David Scollnik » 11/30/07 07:16 PM

Originally posted by Rick Ruhl:
Is this the same site as mentioned in this thread?
http://geniimagazine.com/forum/cgi-bin/ ... 935#000000
As a matter of fact it looks like IS the same people ( previewmagicdvds.com ). Interesting.

I guess they can keep using this ruse ( making up new website names and from there redirect people to the real website ) as long as they want to. I don't know how magazines can prevent this, so long as the redirecting starts after the ad appears in print.
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Postby Rick Ruhl » 11/30/07 08:17 PM

He's got a youtube ID , feel free to go to it and post some 'comments' about the video or send him an 'email' via that account. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drp2tg9GCqE

This is true unethical marketing on his part. I woudn't be suprised if next he tries to farm email address from the magic lists and spams them with commerical email.

The question is, has he done anything ileagal by putting fake ads in a magazine, or is that just ethics?

I tried looking up the domain via whois, and he's got it through private registration with godaddy. Only reason I have that info, is he had to have an address to send the dvd's back to, which is his one flaw in the cake.

Im sure he reads the Genii forum too, so he knows we talk about him, too bad his ethics wont let him discuss this with him in a professional manner.
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Postby Guest » 12/04/07 10:52 AM

im glad your not ok with this richard. i was very disheartened when i saw it in genii and magic and went to the website and found out what it really was
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Postby Guest » 12/04/07 11:00 AM

here is some information, lets find out who the site owner is domains by proxy is only to stop spammers. we can get his idenenty by a simple phone call for free

Domains by Proxy is an Internet company owned by Go Daddy CEO Bob Parsons, that offers private domain registration to its users. Ordinarily, the domain owner's contact information is listed in the WHOIS database. Using one of their partner registrars such as Go Daddy or Wild West Domains, Domains by Proxy leaves their information instead, guaranteeing some amount of privacy to the domain owner. This means that it is impossible for spammers to harvest your email address from the WHOIS database. It also means that domain owners have, in theory, a lot more privacy.

On the other hand, it could mean a longer process to trace the activities back to the responsible owner if the domain is used for illegal or unwanted activities, such as spamming.

However, this is not true anonymity. Personal information is collected by these registrars to provide the service. By some accounts, registrars like Domains by Proxy take little persuasion to release so-called 'private' information to the world, requiring only a phone request or cease and desist letter.[
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Postby Rick Ruhl » 12/04/07 11:06 PM

uhhhh

I already posted his name, address and phone number... what else do you need?
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Postby Guest » 12/05/07 05:59 AM

Originally posted by Rick Ruhl:
uhhhh

I already posted his name, address and phone number... what else do you need?
Perhaps a lawyer in case they press charges?
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Postby Rick Ruhl » 12/05/07 06:56 AM

Originally posted by Jonathan Townsend:
Originally posted by Rick Ruhl:
[b] uhhhh

I already posted his name, address and phone number... what else do you need?
Perhaps a lawyer in case they press charges? [/b]
Press charges for what Jon? I put his address in over in the white pages online and that's what came up. It's in the public record, since he has a listed phone number.

You'd be amazed at the info that is in the public record about ANYONE, however I have this thing called ethics, and I dont use it for the 'dark side of the force'

As an example, you've had 3 Addresses in OSSINING, NY, 1 Address in WHITE PLAINS, NY and
1 Address in BRONX, NY. And of course, since your phone number is listed, I can get a map to your house, a satellite pic of it, your home value, etc. All of this is of the public record and anyone can find it out.

Same with me, if you just google me, you'll find me. Im not that hard to find ;)
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Postby Guest » 12/05/07 07:35 AM

Originally posted by Rick Ruhl:
...Press charges for what Jon? I put his address in over in the white pages online and that's what came up. It's in the public record, since he has a listed phone number....
There have been some issues with local police and officials being harassed. Posting that data here or anywhere could lead to accusations of complicity if any harassing behavior follows.

Some hold that the law and free speech is more important than magic secrets and the current schema of selling magic product. The lesser of two evils in this case - between open offering of product in a competing market and the restriction of another's legally sanctioned and precidented (netflix - etc) business.
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Postby Guest » 12/05/07 11:32 AM

Originally posted by Jonathan Townsend:
... Some hold that the law and free speech is more important than magic secrets and the current schema of selling magic product...
I would count myself in that group, but would probably replace the word "is" with "are incredibly" and put the words "the relatively puny little world of" just after the word "than".

CHS
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Postby Guest » 12/05/07 01:51 PM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
The notion of "previewing" or renting DVDs in magic will drive folks who make magic DVDs out of business. Anyone who rents a DVD is helping to create a situation where fewer and fewer DVDs will be produced until there are none.
This is a very interesting topic. Netflix has been in business for a few years now, and the movie studios are not out of business. In fact, the other day I received a DVD from Netflix, and it turned out to have been a duplicate, made by Netflix. I assume they're not doing this on the sly, so I'm thinking they must have an agreement with the studio to allow Netflix to burn replacements of disks that become damaged. This would not happen if the studios felt that Netflix was damaging their business.

Magic DVDs might prove different, of course, but I'm not sure they would. I can see a number of people just renting a disk to learn the secrets, and not feeling the need to own it. But I can also see people renting a DVD they wouldn't buy, and liking it, and buying a copy as a result. I know that if I wanted to use a trick from a DVD, I would definitely want to own a copy. I also know that not everyone is like me. How these factors balance will be decisive, aned impossible to predict.

The best case scenario, I think, is that people will rent all sorts of DVDs, buy the ones that are good, and avoid the ones that suck. In fact, the widespread existence of a magic-DVD-rental business might easily cause a lot of people to reconsider putting out a substandard product. The result might be to put any number of purveyors of crappy magic DVDs out of business, while strengthening those who make quality products. This would not be the worst thing in the world.
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Postby Guest » 12/05/07 03:07 PM

rick i missed that, my bad.

and as far as the rent then buy idea... thats a joke. i was a net flix member for a long time, guess how many movies i bought that i rented? zero, why would I?
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Postby Guest » 12/05/07 03:14 PM

Originally posted by Joshua Barrett:
... how many movies i bought that i rented? zero, why would I?
Then again you don't want to have performing rights or a "ticket" to talk to the director for that kind of movie - which kind of comes with the purchase of a legit copy of someone's magic offerings.
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Postby Guest » 12/05/07 04:24 PM

Originally posted by Joshua Barrett:
And as far as the rent then buy idea... thats a joke. i was a net flix member for a long time, guess how many movies i bought that i rented? zero, why would I?
You don't have any need to keep a copy of Titanic on hand to refer to it after watching it. But if you rent a magic DVD and learn a trick, and then find -- after you return it -- that you can't remember all the details of the trick, you might well want to own the DVD.

I still regularly refer to books and DVDs of tricks that I have learned and perform. As I improve, I am able to understand and use points in the instruction that I could not appreciate before.

Of course, if all you want is to know the secret, then sure, you wouldn't have any reason to buy it after watching it once.
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Postby Guest » 12/07/07 01:50 PM

im sorry pete but thats not true. its not a one time rental and everyone i know on netflix does this. if you need to see it again... you just rent it again. im talking from personal experience, with myself and others
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Postby Ian Kendall » 12/07/07 03:55 PM

Anyone who thinks the DVDs will not be ripped and burned within minutes of arriving through the door is in a frightening state of denial.

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Postby Guest » 12/07/07 04:23 PM

What's the difference between this and somebody simply buying a DVD, ripping it and reselling it?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/07/07 05:41 PM

You cannot compare the big business of the studios to the tiny business of magic. It's apples and oranges. The renting of magic DVDs will lead to fewer DVDs being made, and those will be of lesser quality because the profit to support a good production simply won't be there in our little marketplace.
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Postby Guest » 12/07/07 11:27 PM

I guess my question would be, does this video "renter" business have legal agreements with the artists, producers, owners of the video rentals in question... most of the video I have purchased have a very specific disclaimer saying that this video is NOT for rental... etc

IF they have such agreements... then that is between the producers, artists, owners and the video rental company, IF they do not, isnt there legal action that can be applied by said artists, producers, owners of the videos in question?

Just asking?

Thinking of YOU and your Success!

I am at your service and In HIS Service,
Deano (asking to understand) in Reno
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Postby Guest » 12/08/07 06:15 AM

Originally posted by TheDean:
I guess my question would be, does this video "renter" business have legal agreements with the artists, producers, owners of the video rentals in question...
What specifically leads you to believe such an agreement is required?
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Postby Guest » 12/08/07 06:48 AM

It would be quicker and cheaper to steal a DVD from any number of online places that to PAY MONEY to join this service in order to get the dvd in the post, rip it, shrink it to DVD size, get a blank, burn it.

Pirates dont like paying for things, so I cannot see them opting for a method of stealing that involves alot more work, ALOT more time, and - this is the kicker - money.

There are lots of instructional specialist interest DVDs on netfilx.

The sky isn't falling.
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Postby Guest » 12/08/07 05:51 PM

What specifically leads you to believe such an agreement is required?
Didn't say it is did I? If you READ, you will see again that I am ASKING a question. I am not a lawyer, nor do I play on here... hehehehe.

I just noticed that some of the DVDs I have say that their DVD is NOT to be used for rental, so THAT is what lead me to ASK the QUESTION.

So to be clear; nothing specifically lead me to believe such an agreement is required. Never said I did!

Do YOU have an answer to the question?
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Postby Guest » 12/12/07 07:05 PM

As far as Blockbuster and other Rental companies go, traditionally the price for the DVD's they rent are higher then if you bought it at a store, sometimes over $100.00. This was part of the agreements made for such activities. I was at Blockbuster within the past year, a women had rented and lost a movie, she was told she had to pay the replacement cost, which was about 5 times what they were selling used copies of the same DVD. I told her to just buy the used copy and stick the disk in the Blockbuster case. I have always thought it was crazy that the cost of the DVD's (or VHS) was ridiculous, but when you think about it it makes sense for the movie companies.
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Postby Guest » 12/13/07 05:00 AM

What is the difference between renting DVDs and borrowing a book (usually for free, but some libraries also have rental books or a fee system) from the public library. My first look at the complete set of Tarbell volumes many years ago was in a free public library, and I was able to take the books out for a month on my free library card. This has been going on for a very long time in one form or another. Are we concerned about magic exposure to "those others" or controling the publication of books and DVDs by anyone who can produce them (and today, that's just about everyone who wants to)? Keep in mind that at one time, we were "those others."
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Postby Joe Pecore » 12/13/07 05:07 AM

Spellbinder, I think the bigger issue is that it may lead to fewer good magic DVDs being produced.

Like Mr. Kaufman stated, the renting of magic DVDs may lead to fewer magic DVDs being made, and those that are will be of lesser quality because the profit to support a good production simply won't be there in our little marketplace.
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Postby Guest » 12/13/07 05:27 AM

Originally posted by TheDean:
...Do YOU have an answer to the question?
Your question was addressed directly earlier and in several place over the last few months. There is no such agreement required nor was one offered. What studios have done is offer early product exclusively to rental companies via trade shows and trade journals so the places like blockbuster could rent out the product for a while before it became available for purchase to customers. That is also why the replacement cost of those items was much higher than ordinary consumer retail.

IMHO the key to this issue is one of ethics - which usually includes a basic tact or civil tone when addressing ones peers.
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Postby Guest » 12/13/07 08:05 AM

What studios have done is offer early product exclusively to rental companies via trade shows and trade journals so the places like blockbuster could rent out the product for a while before it became available for purchase to customers. That is also why the replacement cost of those items was much higher than ordinary consumer retail.

I agree with you Jon. I was a manager at Blockbuster for several years and saw people get charged exorbitant amounts of money for products they lost. This was due mostly because they could get away with it. When I worked for them they were owned by Viacom which also owned Paramount, Tristar, Columbia Pictures and Sony Picture studios. It wasn't difficult to charge someone a huge fee on something the person couldn't rent somewhere else. They do not do this anymore because of splitting from Viacom giving them less control.

As far as ethics go on renting out magic videos, I can go either way. I am the type of person that will learn a trick in a dvd or a book and if I like it will want to keep the dvd or book. Tricks I don't end up keeping reference material on I get rid of and don't perform. If I do not like or am not comfortable with a trick, I don't do it. That doesn't mean I would be one to rent a dvd because frankly, it takes me several times to either watch a magic video or read a book before I understand a trick well enough to know if I like it. If I was to rent a dvd on magic, I would probably have it for at least a month before I knew whether or not I wanted to own it, and would still buy it if the trick was something that fit my style. Granted, not everyone is like me.

Anyone who rents a dvd to learn a trick for pennies on the dollar can take advantage of this, but how is that different from learning a trick on any exposure site for FREE? Don't you feel as though the low-lifes out there who are just looking to get something for nothing would just stick to getting their info from these sites, as opposed to paying anything including rental costs?
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Postby Guest » 12/13/07 12:40 PM

Whoa... sorry!

I was just asking a question in a civil tone. I wont do that again. My bad.

I am at your service and in HIS Service,
Deano (just asking a question) in Reno
<><
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Postby Guest » 12/13/07 12:54 PM

Originally posted by TheDean:
...Didn't say it is did I? If you READ, you will see again that I am ASKING a question. I am not a lawyer, nor do I play on here... hehehehe...
It's ALL in how we communicate. A wit suggested that a diplomat is a person who can tell someone to "go to he** and have them all excited about the trip and ready to pack.

:)
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Postby Guest » 12/13/07 12:54 PM

Originally posted by Joe Pecore:
Spellbinder, I think the bigger issue is that it may lead to fewer good magic DVDs being produced.

Like Mr. Kaufman stated, the renting of magic DVDs may lead to fewer magic DVDs being made, and those that are will be of lesser quality because the profit to support a good production simply won't be there in our little marketplace.
That is an excellent argument. Since the Tarbell Course and Greater Magic and The Royal Road to Card Magic appeared in public libraries in or around the 1950's, not a single new good book on magic has been published. Those that have been published since then are of lesser quality becauser the profit to support a good quality book publication simply isn't there in our little marketplace. Except, of course, for Jim Steinmeyer's books. Oh, yes, and one or two Kaufman and Company books. Maybe one or two Paul Osborne books. I might concede a Mickey Hades book here or there. But aside from that... well, maybe Mark Wilson's Course should be considered along with one or two others... I can't think of a single good book that has survived the mass exposure resulting from books appearing in free public libraries.
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Postby Guest » 12/14/07 10:34 AM

Originally posted by Spellbinder:
What is the difference between renting DVDs and borrowing a book (usually for free, but some libraries also have rental books or a fee system) from the public library. My first look at the complete set of Tarbell volumes many years ago was in a free public library, and I was able to take the books out for a month on my free library card. This has been going on for a very long time in one form or another. Are we concerned about magic exposure to "those others" or controling the publication of books and DVDs by anyone who can produce them (and today, that's just about everyone who wants to)? Keep in mind that at one time, we were "those others."
Spellbinder,

The thing is, it is MUCH easier to rip a DVD than it is to copy or scan an entire Magic book. With all due respect, I do not think that the comparison to libraries is accurate. Yes, ANY person outside the magic community can go online and purchase our secrets, but most do it thinking they will then know all the methods. What actually happens is that they come to the realisation that magic is not simple. Woe to the poor soul who thinks he can merely watch a Richard Turner video and "know" what is going on.

I have spoken to a few close dealer friends of mine who were unaware of this website. They confirmed what Mr. Kaufman said in his post about this. One dealer told me that Murphy's is rather upset about it too. The harm that could come from this they - and I - believe is that we may see fewer DVDs. I myself prefer books, but, I also do not wish to see great creators deciding to cease creating excellent DVDs. They are a great adjunct to a good magic library, so even a bibliophile like me has a vested interest in this. I predict that we will see a lot of DVD rips on Torrent sites, Usenet, and other places if this gets out to the folks who will most definitely rip these and post them.

Film studios and music publishers and big game publishers can withstand some of the loss that occurs when these things happen - not to say that it is ok that it is happens - but as Mr. Kaufman stated, magic is a tiny marketplace and I believe that this could be very harmful for US.

Please understand that I am not attacking your position in any way. I just perceive that the ramifications of this scheme could mushroom beyond the subscriber who just "previews" and then rips the DVD for his own collection. While that too is immoral, it is the rampant file sharing that will be the great danger IMO.

Thank you for your thought provoking post Spellbinder!

All the best,
Vlad
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Postby Guest » 12/14/07 09:39 PM

Even a tiny marketplace like ours has a way of correcting itself. Those who produce DVDs that are easily copied will come to realize that they got into the DVD business without thinking ahead to the future. At the very least, their DVDs should be licensed, not sold, and the terms of ownership should be very clearly spelled out in all the literature pertaining to the DVD, including having a copy of it embedded on the DVD itself. That gives them some legal standing when confronting perpetrators who violate the terms of the license agreement. It IS possible to embed in formation about the buyer on the DVD so that it can be identified if a copy is made. It IS possible to keep records on every sale of a DVD. Computers work for publishers as well as for thieves.

Another protection is to pair the DVD with a hard copy book or even an e-book- you need the book to understand the DVD because the DVD refers to information that is contained in the book. The book refers to the DVD to demonstrate complicated material that is difficult to describe in writing.

If magicians can't use their skills to figure out solutions to these problems, knowing what we know about scams and deceit and psychology, we don't deserve to be called magicians. My point is quit whining and take action.
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