Folks, there are a lot of accusations and half-truths flying around here. More importantly, there is only one side of the story being told and people are jumping to conclusions prematurely.
The truth (as admitted by Franz Harary in his court pleadings filed against Steve Wyrick in the public records of Clark County, Nevada) is that Mr. Harary SOLD Steve Wyrick the rights to the Water Tank illusion in exchange for Wyrick's old airplane appearance illusion that was previously used by Wyrick for 3 yrs at Planet Hollywood. The unfounded accusation that Mr. Wyrick ripped off the Water Tank illusion from Mr. Harary is wholly inconsistent with Mr. Hararys judicial pleadings filed with the court, where he admits that he gave performance rights to Mr. Wyrick as part of a negotiated business deal. For those that would like the truth rather than rumor and speculation, here is the real story (based on the public records in Case No. 08-A-561018, Harary v. Wyrick, filed in Clark County District Court):
In 2006, Mr. Harary and Mr. Wyrick negotiated a deal whereby Mr. Wyrick would receive rights to the Water Illusion and Mr. Harary would acquire the airplane appearance prop. As agreed, Mr. Harary acquired the airplane appearance illusion from Mr. Wyrick on an "as is" basis and he had ample opportunity to inspect the prop prior to consummating the transaction. When the deal was completed, Mr. Harary received possession to Wyrick's airplane illusion and Mr. Wyrick acquired the rights to build and perform Mr. Harary's Water Tank illusion. For about two years, Mr. Wyrick performed the Water Tank illusion in his show at Planet Hollywood (and he previously performed the Water Tank 3 yrs ago on VH1's Celebracadabra without incident). Then, on April 14, 2008, (about 2 years AFTER the business deal was completed), Mr. Harary experienced buyer's remorse with the airplane illusion and tried to renege on the deal. When Wyrick refused to "undo" their transaction and stop using the Water Tank illusion in his shows, Mr. Harary filed suit against Wyrick in Las Vegas (Clark County District Court) to rescind their transaction. Mr. Harary claimed the airplane illusion was in bad condition and that he had to spend a lot of money to repair it, even though he knew the condition of the prop before taking possession back in 2006. As part of the judicial proceedings, Mr. Harary could have asked the court to enjoin Mr. Wyrick from performing the Water Tank illusion, but he elected not to seek such relief from the court.
Accordingly, Mr. Wyrick is wholly within his rights to continue performing the Water Tank illusion pursuant to the parties contractual agreement.
Mr. Hararys lawsuit against Mr. Wyrick was temporarily stayed on June 7, 2010, due to Mr. Wyricks bankruptcy filing. However, Mr. Hararys case has not been dismissed and is still pending. In other words, this legal dispute is FAR from over and will, eventually, be determined in a court of law by a judge or jury. In the interim, I hope that the magic community will reserve judgment on this issue without pointing fingers at either Mr. Wyrick or Mr. Harary. Jumping to unfounded conclusions does nothing to further this discussion. Finally, although this is a civil dispute rather than a criminal matter, the idea that someone is innocent until proven guilty should still be respected. Thousands of lawsuits are filed every day, and just because a claim or accusation is made does not mean it has any legal or factual merit. Only time will tell in this case
Ultimately, Mr. Wyrick did nothing illegal or unethical in performing the Water Tank illusion on Ellen, just as he did for more than 2 yrs in his live show in Las Vegas. Mr. Harary made a deal with Mr. Wyrick and voluntarily SOLD the rights to one of his trademark illusions, a fact that is undisputed in Mr. Hararys court filings. Unless and until a court of law orders rescission of the transaction or enters an injunction, Mr. Wyrick is free to continue to perform the Water Tank illusion.