Copyrights and Patents?

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Postby jwalkmagic » 02/01/09 11:37 AM

I was wondering if there was any information as to who if any one owns the rights to the various gaffed decks on the market.

Many years ago I would make my own rough and smooth decks because back than it was difficult to find any thing but bridge size Aviator Gaff decks.

I still like to make my own on occasion because I can adjust the level of roughness to my own liking. I have been toying with the idea of marketing some of these but I was wondering if I might be running into a problem with royalties.

I am also curious about some of the non rough and smooth gaffed decks. Stacks, shot cards etc.

I like to give credit where credit is do but I also don't want to find out I have been bootlegging an item someone else holds the rights to.

Any information or source material would be greatly appreciated.

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Postby David Alexander » 02/02/09 01:46 AM

Many of the gaffed decks we are so familiar with have been in public domain for years - strippers of various types, Svengali, etc. Any that had copyrights and design patents expired years ago.

Some of the more modern decks, such as the Cassandra Deck by Docc Hilford, belong to their respective creators and remain their property.

A while back someone was selling a deck for an effect that Bob Farmer worked up. He sold instructions on how to make the deck and do the trick. Making your own deck for your own use was alright with Bob. Making lots of them to sell wasn't. As a lawyer he was in the position to defend his rights.

You are wise to proceed cautiously.
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Postby Ryan Matney » 02/02/09 01:59 AM

You would have to look at each deck/trick on an individual basis. Hard to know how to answer your question unless it is for a specific deck.
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Postby Tabman » 06/28/09 05:03 PM

Most of the "ownership" of props and effects in Magic is a respect for rights kind of thing. Very few effects are actually patented and a copyright doesn't apply to a prop or a deck of cards only to the written words of the instructions and any literature that surrponds or supports the trick.

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