Debate

Discuss general aspects of Genii.

Postby Guest » 05/29/02 09:15 PM

This is a topic that we debate all the time in the magic shop, and I would like to hear what you think. If you see a performer do an ORIGINAL trick, and you go home and back engineer it on your own, do you have the right to perform it? My feeling is that if you are shown the trick one on one, and you discuss the trick etc. and the person does not ask you not to perform it, then yes, you can do it. If on the other hand, you see a performer do a trick in a show, or on TV, then, no you may not perform it. What do y'all think?
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Postby Pete Biro » 05/29/02 10:03 PM

to me the method (back engineering?) means nothing... it is the effect.

if someone has a new concept, effect, it is theirs, period...

if they sell it, lecture it, give it away, fine... thier choice...

if you nick it off, shame on you...

the easiest way is to create your own material...

HOWEVER... personally, in addition to many of my own concepts, I love the classics and do rope, rings, cups/balls, egg bag, etc. all the time... but, with my own "arrangements" -- as in music, it is important to have your own arrangements.

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Postby Mike Powers » 05/30/02 06:03 AM

I agree with Pete. You must ASK if you can use it. It should be understood that the other magician's idea for an effect is not yours to use just because you can figure out the method. You need to ask permission to use it.

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Postby Pete Biro » 05/30/02 11:14 AM

Here is a great example. When I was on the committee producing the IBM Conventions (10+ years) Jim Stienmeyer called on us about a dealer selling a rip-off of his fantastic Origami Box illusion.

We went over to the dealer, who had one on display and told him he was in violation of a trick that belonged to someone else.

His response?

"Mine is different." We asked him what was different, and he answered, "I use a different kind of hinges."

Huh?

But it was the same effect.

Sadly, at that time, Stienmeyer had no LEGAL grounds, as he had not patented or protected his effect (I believe he now has).

Legally, there was nothing we could do, but we did pressure the guy to take it out.

Jim was upset with us because we let him in as a dealer. Unfortunately, when a dealer sends in his registration no one on the committee has any way of knowing what merchandise he/she is selling.

It ain't easy fun seekers...
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Postby Pete Biro » 05/30/02 11:17 AM

Every once in awhile I see something new that nails me... I usually talk to the performer and say something like, "Great item, I sure wish I had thought of it. By the way, if you ever market it, let me know.

Sometimes the answer will be, "Go ahead, you asked use it." Other times, "I'll let you know."

At the recent Castle award show Pavel had something absolutely new and I was beat... after the show I asked about it and he let me have it... the first (and only for now) in the US... will do it at Kramien's Konklave in Portland this weekend (it doesn't take a lot of practice)... and Pavel will soon market it.
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Postby Guest » 05/30/02 11:35 AM

David,

Here is a classic example of why these debates get heated. In your question, you did not differentiate between a legal obligation and a moral obligation. Legally, you can perform the material. The only protection performers have from people imitating them (which includes performing their act verbatim) is if someone tries to deceive the public into beliveing they are the performer in question. In other words, if I decide that I'm going to do Bill Malone's Close Up show-- I could legally do so. I could even use the same exact patter, mannerisms and even dress like Bill Malone. I can do all of this as long as I do not TELL PEOPLE OR ADVERTISE that I am Bill Malone. This was decided in a Supreme Court case in the last century when Charlie Chaplin sued an imitator that was doing Chaplain's act. The court decided that since the imitator was not billing himself as Charlie Chaplain that he was not deceiving the public into *believeing* that he was Charlie Chaplain.

In the oft mis-understood Bette Midler case, it was demonstrated to the jury that the ad agency's intent was to deceive the public into believing that Bette Midler was doing the singing on their commercial.

MORALLY, however, depends. Since the magic community as a whole has no real codified moral standards (such as the Bar Associatons have) then it always ends up as differences between personal opinions.

For the record, my morals would not allow me to perform the same effect even if I came up with a different methodology or presentation. One gray area-- sometimes the same effect with different presentations ARE different effects in the minds of an audience. My criteria here is this: If an audience saw me do this effect and then saw the other guy do his effect would they recognize them as the same? Nevertheless, I would have to be dead sure. And I always give the benefit of the doubt to the creator.

Of course--- you could always ask the guy.... :rolleyes:

Steven Youell
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Postby Guest » 05/30/02 11:39 AM

I think the point is being missed. MARKETING is not the issue here. I mean use in your own work. To me, if you do not want a fellow magician using a trick that you came up with say so before you ever show it, or do not show it to him or her AT ALL. That is kind of like showing a dog a T-bone steak, and expecting him not to want to eat it.
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Postby Guest » 05/30/02 12:12 PM

Originally posted by David Eldridge:
I think the point is being missed. MARKETING is not the issue here. I mean use in your own work. To me, if you do not want a fellow magician using a trick that you came up with say so before you ever show it, or do not show it to him or her AT ALL. That is kind of like showing a dog a T-bone steak, and expecting him not to want to eat it.
Yes, but such is the nature of an ego-driven artform.

Steven Youell
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Postby Guest » 05/30/02 12:28 PM

Aren't there some amateur/professional issues here as well?

I'm an amateur who's had some semi-pro moments in his life and may have some more. Last year, Simon Aronson posted an internet video of his ring-on-rubberband effect. The trick fried me. I clicked on the video again. And again. I couldn't stop. I experimented. I really couldn't stop. I kept watching and analyzing. Did I mention that I couldn't stop? And I eventually managed to back-engineer the effect. My fingering may vary slightly from Mr Aronson's, but the working I'm sure is identical.

I've had no compunctions about showing the trick to friends and acquaintances. My only tip of the hat to magic morality has been to practice it well, so it fools.

However, I have decided that if I ever find myself in a paid or even unpaid but professional-style venue, I would ask Mr Aronson's permission before performing this trick. If he requested, I would hold off on doing so until I purchased his book (which is otherwise predominantly given to card effects for which I'm not really in the market).

But I wonder if this is going overboard. As I since learned (on this forum), the Aronson routine itself has precedents, which he credits in his book. So I've back-engineered a trick that may be 50%? 30%? different from ITS predecessors. Am I being silly worrying about this? Where does it end? Must street mimes pay royalties to Marcel Marceau before pretending to be trapped in a box?

Baffled in Brooklyn
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Postby Guest » 05/30/02 12:50 PM

Piffed, paffed, poofed in Portland!

(Twice, no less~!)
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Postby Guest » 05/30/02 01:43 PM

There are a few things that pop into my head with this topic. If somebody comes to you and shows you a trick(which they claim is original with them) and you go home and try to re-create the method/effect, you are stealing period. Think of what the person is thinking after showing the effect. They definitly aren't wanting you to go home and re-create the effect. If they wanted you to know the workings of the effect they would show it to you. If they dont divulge the secret, then you take it upon yourself to ask how it is done. If the magician still insists on not showing you the method, that is where you back off and research for other possible methods, but not re-create the method just shown to you. Thats BS!
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Postby Guest » 05/30/02 01:56 PM

Originally posted by UGL:
If somebody comes to you and shows you a trick(which they claim is original with them) and you go home and try to re-create the method/effect, you are stealing period.
I disagree strongly with this. Simply trying to come up with a methodology for something does not make you a thief.

Steven Youell
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Postby Pete Biro » 05/30/02 02:06 PM

I had a concept I never followed up with... and that was to do an "Impression" of a magician... the one I wanted to do was Roy Benson... his look, voice, a few of the signature tricks.

Would, as an "IMPRESSION" be immoral?

Look what Danny Gans does... and I understand Darren Romeo is an impressionist as well... My guess is he does voices but not other people's tricks...

Off to Portland, will see those of you that are there... Ali Bongo, et al, George Olsen, Stan "the man" Kramien... stay tooned...

Hope George will post rave reviews -- ehheheheh :D
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Postby Mike Powers » 05/30/02 04:33 PM

Marketing is not the issue.
If someone does a trick you want to do, ask where the trick is from. Very likely it's in a book or on a video you can buy. You'll be doing the trick - no problem.

However, if the trick is a creation of the person you've seen do it, or possibly of someone who showed it to him/her, then you've got to ask permission before performing it. Here's why:

Suppose I show you one of my creations assuming that you won't be figuring it out and using it. However you do figure it out and use it in the restaurant in which you work.

What happens when people who saw you do it see me do it? They may say, "Oh that's the one so and so does at Fridays..." OUCH! You shouldn't be doing it at Fridays. It's mine unless I give you permission to use it.

The principle is simple. You've got to get permission from the creator unless it's already "out there" i.e. in print etc. It's not the responsibility of the creator to tell you not to take it.

Since the view that it's yours unless the creator asks you not to take it may be prevalent, it's common for a creator to take the initiative and request that someone not use a particular idea. This shouldn't be necessary but it probably is.

Just a thought.

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Postby Guest » 05/30/02 04:50 PM

Good call Mike. I totally agree with you on this one. By the way, I really enjoy your date book trick that I got from the Miller's a few years back. It was a hit at Tony's lecture in Vegas. Keep up the good work.
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Postby Guest » 05/30/02 05:11 PM

Mike, I think you're completely right. Just trying to apply your ethic to my situation. Would you say that since I figured out a trick that any magician could incorporate into his/her act, since it's in a book, I shouldn't worry about buying the book or obtaining permission before using the trick in performance?

(Heaven knows, I don't want to go to magic jail, since with my luck, I'll wind up cellmates with Steve Fearson.)
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Postby Guest » 05/30/02 06:16 PM

Originally posted by Steven Youell:
Originally posted by UGL:
[b]If somebody comes to you and shows you a trick(which they claim is original with them) and you go home and try to re-create the method/effect, you are stealing period.
I disagree strongly with this. Simply trying to come up with a methodology for something does not make you a thief.

Steven Youell[/b]
Yes Steven, you are very right. Coming up with a method for an effect you think of isnt stealing. But coming up with a method for an effect just shown to you by the creator is. Especially if the creator makes no attempt in revealing anything to you the spectator and you back engineer the exact method just shown. That was the term in the original post, "back engineering" which to me means, recreation of what was shown.
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Postby Guest » 05/30/02 06:21 PM

I think that magicians give their LAY audiences WAY TO MUCH CREDIT! If magi A does a trick, and then a week or two later magi B does the same trick for the same group, no one in that group will remember seeing it somewhere else. As long as they are entertained, lay people DO NOT CARE whose trick is whose! When you do card to wallet or ambitious card, how many people ask, "whose method is that?" NEVER has that happened to me. When I do Grey Elephants In Denmark (which is a GREAT trick, and one that I have done for over 15 years) I have never been told, "Oh, we saw Max Maven do that on World's Greatest Magic." (don't you dare tell me that I copied Max, because it is not his trick) I think that our concern should be more focused on entertaining our audiences rather than who is performing what. After all, for us working guys, who pays our bills? Our audiences, or other magicians? I am not excusing out right theft. We should strive to produce our own work. I have been ripped off many times, but it has not effected my income, or my act.

Remember to keep things in perspective. These are MAGIC TRICKS, and not national security secrets. Think about it. Pakistan and India are on the verge of nuclear war, and we are worried about who is performing what trick, or who originated what move! If you do not want other magicians performing your stuff, then don't show it to them. If they see it because the come to your show, or see you on TV and copy it, then they are a thief. If you show it directly to them, then that is the risk that you take. OK, end of rant. :)
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Postby Guest » 05/30/02 06:54 PM

Originally posted by David Eldridge:
After all, for us working guys, who pays our bills? Our audiences, or other magicians? I am not excusing out right theft. We should strive to produce our own work. I have been ripped off many times, but it has not effected my income, or my act.
Thats great! Nice one David! I recently saw your Gambling routine and boy are you a hypocrite.I am not trying to be mean or anything but you had absolutely nothing original on that tape. So in this case, other magicians ARE helping "pay your bills" because if it wasnt for THEIR material you wouldn't have a tape. Oh I also liked the fact of not crediting them either. Nice touch!

Oh yeah, what exactly of yours has been ripped off? Kinda curious.
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Postby Guest » 05/30/02 07:32 PM

Watch the tape again. Do I claim originality. No. Most everything in that routine is uncredible, because it has been around for so long. The opening effect alone is in three books (that I know of) and is not credited in any of them. Who should be credited for the 2nd deal, or the Faro Shuffle? I have heard the Ten Card Poker Deal credited to many different people. When I teach a trick I will credit it if I know who to credit. Do I try to find out who came up with what? Yes. Do I break my back to find a tricks complete pedigree chart? No.

One example of where I have been ripped off is with my effect "David's ESP Trick". It is VERY easy to make, and is not hard for a magician to figure out. I have shown that trick in the shop as a demo to many magicians. Many of them have just made it themselves, instead of buying it from me. Does this bother me? Yes, but do I cry and lose sleep over it? No.
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Postby Guest » 05/30/02 08:00 PM

Originally posted by David Eldridge:
Watch the tape again.
No thanks.

Do I claim originality. No.
Thank God

Most everything in that routine is uncredible, because it has been around for so long.
AKA- "I am just too lazy to do research."

The opening effect alone is in three books (that I know of) and is not credited in any of them.
List them in the credits!

Who should be credited for the 2nd deal, or the Faro Shuffle?
I dont know, where did you learn them from? Or did you come up with those moves too? Hey I've got an idea. Plug your bosses video tapes on the Faro and Gambling Sleights. There are some credits!

I have heard the Ten Card Poker Deal credited to many different people.
Then put their names in the tape!

When I teach a trick I will credit it if I know who to credit. Do I try to find out who came up with what? Yes. Do I break my back to find a tricks complete pedigree chart? No.
I am not asking for you to "break your back". I am asking for some effort. Something is better than nothing.

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Postby Guest » 05/30/02 08:26 PM

Originally posted by David Eldridge:
I have heard the Ten Card Poker Deal credited to many different people. When I teach a trick I will credit it if I know who to credit. Do I try to find out who came up with what? Yes. Do I break my back to find a tricks complete pedigree chart? No.
David it took me all but 5 minutes to look up Darwin Ortiz's Mexican Poker (his version of the ten card deal). In it he credits many including Harry Lorayne and Buckley. I beleive it was originally in "Card Control" and later expaned upon in Phoenix issues 168 and 170.
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Postby Guest » 05/30/02 09:30 PM

Ok, let's see... The first effect is found in The Complete Illustrated Book of Card Magic, The Encyclopedia of Card Tricks, and I believe it is also in Scarne on Cards. The trick is uncredited in all three books. The Ace cutting is Marlo's and has seen print and video many times. The Ten Card Poker Deal has been credited to Lorayne, Trost, and many others (as you pointed out). The Second Deal's originator is unknown, however I learned it from Brad Burt and Martin Nash. The same goes for the Faro Shuffle, although I have read Marlo's work on the subject as well. The Zarrow Shuffle is the invention of Herb Zarrow, and is very well known. Brad Burt has a good tape on it. Martin Nash has taught it as well. There is also a good description of it in Card College. The final effect is an effect that was heavily inspired by an effect from Martin Nash. The Spectator Cuts the Aces effect in the appendix is credited to Frank Garcia, but is believed to be the invention of someone else who is unknown.

Now, let's please get back to the REAL subject of this thread which, by the way, was only interupted because I let everyone know who I am.
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Postby Guest » 05/31/02 12:54 AM

Originally posted by David Eldridge:
Most everything in that routine is uncredible, because it has been around for so long.
Way to contradict yourself, but thank you for giving some credit where it was do.
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Postby Guest » 05/31/02 01:30 AM

Originally posted by David Eldridge:
If they see it because the come to your show, or see you on TV and copy it, then they are a thief. If you show it directly to them, then that is the risk that you take.
You later wrote

Originally posted by David Eldridge:
One example of where I have been ripped off is with my effect "David's ESP Trick". It is VERY easy to make, and is not hard for a magician to figure out. I have shown that trick in the shop as a demo to many magicians. Many of them have just made it themselves, instead of buying it from me. Does this bother me? Yes
This shouldnt bother you, because "that is the risk you take".

The End
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Postby Terry » 05/31/02 05:45 AM

Here is a great example. When I was on the committee producing the IBM Conventions (10+ years) Jim Stienmeyer called on us about a dealer selling a rip-off of his fantastic Origami Box illusion.
That was the Salt Lake IBM in 1996. I remember as I was working the Daytona Magic booth with Harry Allen. Jonathon Pendragon was livid with the guy.
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Postby Guest » 05/31/02 07:34 AM

UGL:

I want to make sure I understand you:

A magician shows me an effect without tipping the method. I go home and develop a methodology to do the effect. I never share this information and I never perform the effect. Are you saying that would make me a thief?

Steven Youell
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Postby Guest » 05/31/02 08:35 AM

To Pete Biro,
I have a question about the incident with the Origami Box at the Salt Lake City Convention.
I do not condone Jeff Davis for building Origami Boxes, but did you walk around the dealer's room and look over the merchandise of other dealers, and "pressure" them to remove from their inventory any item which they may have helped themselves too?
If you didn't, you were unfairly picking on just one dealer. If you did, I suspect you would be opening a very large can of worms. For example, how did Lubor Fiedler's effect where the coin penetrates a sheet of latex rubber get into the public domain? Many magic dealers "manufacturE" it by going to a dental supply house and buying large latex sheets and cutting them up into 4" squares. With a simple one page set of instructions, they sell Lubor's creation for $3 to $10 bucks and their cost is pennies.
Any of the dealers who carry the line of "Royal" magic tricks may have had a version of Abbott's "Squash" on their table.
Possibly one of the dealers had a Zig Zag in their display. (Abbott's and Owens now have them sitting in their showrooms.) This trick was the brain child of the late Robert Harbin. When he published The Robert Harbin Book of Magic, he tried very hard to limit the rights to build and perform the Zig Zag to purchasers of his book. (I was one, and perhaps you were too.) But my question is exactly how did this effect end up in the public domain? And why has the Origami box remained the property of Jim Steinmeyer? Jeff Davis is certainly not the only dealer who has built Origami Boxes.
Another example. Remember when Ralph MacAbee introduced the MacAbee Rings to the magic world? And how Bob Little began selling his version? He just went out and found bracelets that would work, gaffed one of them, and even Xeroxed Ralph's original instructions. Many thought they were buying an original set of Ralph's rings. As far as I know, Bob Little is still allowed to bring his booth to any convention he wants to.
How about Professor's Nightmare? Hen Fetsch created this in the late 50's, I believe, and sold the manufacturing rights to Gene Gordon. Gene Gordon sold them at his shop, at conventions, and through the mail. Today, many dealers manufacture the thing by just cutting up a few cents worth of rope and sticking it in an envelope along with a one page instruction sheet. I know that Hen and Gene are long gone, but exactly how and when did the trick pass into the magic world's public domain? I fear that if one dealer rips something off, they're a thief, but if many dealers do, then they're not because the item is now Public Domain. Doesn't seem right, does it?
I have set up a little booth at a couple of conventions myself, and traveled with Hank Morehouse and helped him run a booth a many magic conventions. I never saw the convention committee go through the dealer's room and look over anyone's merchandise for possible rip-offs. If they did, I know they could find many, many questionable items.
Again, Pete, I want to clarify that I am only asking questions. I am certainly not taking a stand on the side of Jeff Davis, but I have had the opportunity to hear his side of the story. It was no accident that he brought an Origami Box to that convention. He was actively seeking a confrontation in the hopes that it would lead to an open forum where the issues of proprietary rights could be discussed. He makes another point as well. And I'm NOT endorsing his position, just reporting his argument. When you "pressured" him to remove the Origami from his booth, if he was not in violation of any law, you might have been. There are fair trade laws which prohibit restraint of trade in situations where a business person is selling an item which is not legally protected. He considered a law suit over that issue, and went as far as consulting an attorney. I don't know why he didn't pursue it further.
Pete, I do believe that we all should act ethically. But, exactly what can or should the magic world at large do to enforce these ethics? These rip offs have been going on for hundreds of years. Discussions like this one have been going on as far back as I can remember. Is there anything we can do other than just talk? My fear is that there probably is not.
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Postby Guest » 05/31/02 12:13 PM

Originally posted by Steven Youell:
UGL:

I want to make sure I understand you:

A magician shows me an effect without tipping the method. I go home and develop a methodology to do the effect. I never share this information and I never perform the effect. Are you saying that would make me a thief?

Steven Youell
You obviously do not understand this thread. This thread is asking if it is ok to back engineer an original effect (after seeing it from the creator) and then use it in your performances.

Originally posted by David Eldridge:
If you see a performer do an ORIGINAL trick, and you go home and back engineer it on your own, do you have the right to perform it?
I am saying that is wrong without permission. You are saying that you will come up with a method but never share it or perform it! What is the point then if you come up with a method and never use it?!
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Postby Guest » 05/31/02 12:31 PM

UGL (IF that is your REAL name):

I understood the thread. My question was not about
the original post, it was about something you wrote:

"If somebody comes to you and shows you a trick(which they claim is original with them) and you go home and try to re-create the method/effect, you are stealing period."

This quote says nothing about performing it. It specifically says that the simple act of re-creating the effect or method makes you a thief.

I take offense at the way you address people here. I believe that others have as well. It's disrespectful, condescending and in general, very immature. Therefore I choose to leave the converstation. I will not respond to any further posts from you until you learn some manners.

Steven Youell
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Postby Guest » 05/31/02 12:37 PM

To UGL,
Many threads take new directions as the conversation develops. Just as in face to face conversation. New thoughts are often quite interesting, even if they are not exactly about the original post.

So, I wouldn't criticise David Eldridge so harshly for not sticking with the original topic.

Secondly, I will defend your right to use any handle or pseydonym you like on line, but understand that many of us will listen much more attentively to posts that come from people who stand up and identify themselves. When I read a post from Richard Kaufman, Max Maven, George Olson, Stan Kramien, David Eldridge, I know these guys personally or by reputation.

UGL is a totally unknown commodity to me.

Dennis Loomis
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Postby Guest » 05/31/02 01:00 PM

Steven, I see where you are coming from. My first reply was an answer to the original post by David Eldridge. I answered HIS question if it was ok to PERFORM somebody elses creation just because you back engineered it. I didnt think many magicians came up with methods/effects for the mirror only. But I was proven wrong by you. I am sorry that I didnt put the word "perform" in my original post. I thought it would have been self explanatory. As for being rude and condescending, I feel that i wasnt. Yes at some points it seemed like that, and i apologize, but for the most I was simply stating facts. If you want to see some real rude behaivor, check out the other thread "Re Seal or Re Pop". They bring up wives and lawyers!

As for Dennis, yes i do have the right to pick a psedonym or abbrieviation. I could also put a name there which really isnt my name at all. Facts are facts and opinions are opinions.
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Postby Guest » 05/31/02 01:35 PM

To UGL,

Fine, you are within your rights. Just remember that most reasonable people (in my opinion) will give far more credence to opinions which come from someone who is willing to stand up and identify themself.

And, if I may, just a word of advice about what you post on the Forum. More light and less heat will be appreciated by all.
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Postby Ruben Padilla » 05/31/02 10:42 PM

I think UGL doesn't want to give out his real name because somebody might steal it.

If I may, allow me to state once and for all, to all those who read this post, now and forever, please do not steal any magic (effect or method)that I perform for you or in your presence without my explicit verbal or written permission.

There. That'll solve the problem, right?
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Postby TheDean. » 06/01/02 01:23 PM

Dennis, my brother!

The voice of intelligent reason... gotta' love it!

Thanks my friend for bringing "what's RIGHT" to light!

I am, as always, at your service,
TheDean - Rev Deano

Edited to take my name OFF the mailing list...
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Postby Pete Biro » 06/03/02 10:11 PM

Just back from Kramien's in Portland area and had a ball... great place, great audiences, ambience, and fun fun fun...

Anyway, Dennis Loomis... the reason the Origami box guy (I forget his name) was "called" was because Steinmeyer ASKED someone to call the dealer on it.

I agree about the ripoff guys getting away with it, that's whay I don't buy from Bob Little, Tannen, etc...

Matter of fact, we threw Little out of Terry Seabrooke's lecture because he had ripped off Ken Brook's material.

Sadly, it is such small potatoes (the amount of money many tricks command) that it is not worth the cost of real litigation.

I had always hoped the MDA would have policed things.

Look at the millions of tricks sold that were ripped... Brain Wave Decks, Rope routines, you name it.

Anyway, am tired, flights were nice but after any convention, little sleep, etc. it takes a few days to get back into the swing...

Hope all is good with you.
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Postby Guest » 06/03/02 10:18 PM

Originally posted by Pete Biro:
I had always hoped the MDA would have policed things.
You mean when they're not busy with the Jerry Lewis Telethon?
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Postby TheDean. » 06/04/02 01:32 PM

HA! HeHeHehe!

Gotta' love that humor thing!
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Postby Guest » 06/04/02 01:58 PM

"Anyway, Dennis Loomis... the reason the Origami box guy (I forget his name) was "called" was because Steinmeyer ASKED someone to call the dealer on it." Pete Biro

I understand, Pete. And you also had Jonathon Pendragon wanting something to be done.

However, my point still stands unaddressed. You "pressured" (your own word) Jeff Davis to remove the Origami box from his display. He says that he was told that if he wouldn't remove it the convention "honcho's" said he would have to take down his entire display.

While I agree that what Jeff was doing was almost certainly unethical, there are serious LEGAL issues here. He maintains, and I can at least see his point, that what was done constituted unfair trade practice and was in violation of Restraint of Trade regulations. The concept is quite simple: In our open market economy, if someone is selling something which is not legally protected, another individual or corporation may not intefer with the unfettered practice of commerce. If they do, a law suit can be brought and damages awarded if the suit prevails.

What I had hoped to hear you say, was that there was something in the contracts that dealers signed at that convention that gave the convention organizers the right to restrict or ban sales of any merchandise which is considered to be the property of the creator in the opinion of the officers of the I.B.M.

Pete, we are in agreement that the rip offs are not right. But I truly wish that you guys had made a pass around the dealers room and taken a look at other merchandise which might have violated proprietary rights. If would have been fair, of course, and would have helped in court if Jeff had filed that suit.

This is all "history" of course. But the problems remain. I bring it up in the hopes that convention planners and producers will think a bit about whether or not they want to try to back up proprietary rights claims. The Origami Box is kind of a no-brainer. We all know the Jim S. created it. But there are far murkier waters out there.

I'm still concerned about how the world of magic in general decides what is and what is not in the public domain.
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Postby Guest » 06/04/02 05:16 PM

I don't know about anyone else, but I feel that if a person can walk into Barnes & Noble or Borders, and buy a book on magic, the tricks in that book are public domain. After all the public does have access to those tricks. This does not include books bought in a MAGIC SHOP, however. I am refering only to books that can be found in main stream book stores. The difference is that the books in main stream book stores are , and have been around for many years. The books in a magic shop are usually the work of individuals. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, and I don't want to hear any nit-picking. This is a GENERAL rule.
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