I long for a future where everyone's personal artistic integrity prevents them from using other people's lines.
I know several fulltime professional entertainer/magicians who use other peoples line and have no qualms about other people using theirs.
Heres the MAJOR difference that makes what they do okay: Permission was asked and granted.
In many cases, material was traded (value for value).
These guys and gals know very well they will likely never work for the same audiences, so its not an issue at all for them.
This kind of thing has been going on in show-biz since there was a thing called show-biz. Sadly, so has just straight theft, so when we see a performer doing, say, a Jay Marshall line, some might think Thief! when in fact Jay gave that performer permission to do the bit. And theres no way for us to know the truth (unless we know the performer).
A sad result of this is that some of the younger guys, so worried about being labeled a thief, dont recognize a gift horse when its staring them in the face.
Im going to tell a story using no names, but the principals (at least one of them) should know that I am talking about them. (And I hope I dont get in trouble for telling it!)
A very experienced performer offered up to a young up and comer an unpublished, but tried and true, routine that maybe five guys in the world do. This is a routine that I, if I were a working pro, would have tripped over myself to get permission to use. The newbie passed for reasons that he felt were about artistic integrity. He wanted to be true to himself and build his on routine from scratch.
This sounds great, except this guy just blew a golden opportunityan opportunity that might not come his way again.
What he failed to realize is that he could have received the piece, adding four or five solid minutes to his act, with the only work he needed to do being the application of his personality to the lines. Over time, with performance experience, he would have added his own lines to the piece, allowing him to remove those that dont work and so forth, working the piece until finally making it his.
There is no loss of integrity in doing that. In fact, its smart. Andto my way of thinkingif you have workers coming to you willing to hand over material, its a sign you are trusted, respected, and you have arrived. That is the height of integrity.