[sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Richard Kaufman
4200 Wisconsin Ave.
Washington, D.C. 20016
Re: "Genii Speaks", Genii Magazine, Vol 68, Number 4, April 2005
This is in response to your column "Genii Speaks" in the above referenced issue concerning the IBM's ethics policy and procedure. I am concerned that your column may be misleading as to exactly what our policy provides. I would summarize my comments as follows:
1. This is an ethics issue, not a legal issue. Whether a person could litigate and recover damages in a court of law in today's legal environment is not the standard for enforcing a moral and/or ethical issue by a private organization in restricting advertising in it's in-house publication distributed to that organization's membership.
2. The Joint Ethics Statement of the IBM/SAM provides in part:
" The International Brotherhood of Magicians and the Society of American Magicians join in recommending that all magicians adhere to the following code of ethical conduct:
3. Recognize and respect for rights of the creators, inventors, authors, and owners of magic concepts, presentations, effects and literature, and their rights to have exclusive use of, or grant permission for the use by others of such creations."
Our actions, as outlined herein, are designed to implement the above ethics statement as it relates to the advertising placed by unethical advertisers in the Linking Ring.
3. You imply that it's "best left to the parties involved to work it out[.]" I agree. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. By the time the issue is brought to our attention, the parties have usually tried but have failed to "work it out". We act only upon a written complaint made by the party alleging that his/her/its proprietary interest is being used without permission. If the originator doesn't object to us in writing in respect of the sale and/or manufacture of product over which he/she/it allegedly has a proprietary interest, then no action is taken.
4. That complaint is investigated by the Ethics Committee to determine whether such complaint has merit. If the evidence supports the complaint, the alleged offender is contacted.
5. The alleged offender is then given the opportunity to remove the product from his/her/its advertising, website and/or catalog, or respond with evidence of his/her/its own as to whether the alleged offender either has the rights to sell and /or manufacture such product, or has been given permission to do so by the party making the complaint.
6. To date, we have had two cases in which we have denied advertising access to the Linking Ring upon the failure of the alleged offender to respond or offer proof of permission. We have had one other case that was solved with a phone call. We have also investigated cases where the evidence of proprietary interest was questionable and no action was taken.
In conclusion, we act only upon a written complaint and take action only after an investigation has been made and the alleged offender has been given the opportunity to respond. We are enforcing our own ethics statement and we are taking this action independently and not in concert with any other publisher. It is up to each of us to take whatever action we deem advisable. The IBM has decided that a stance against unethical conduct in magic is the proper course of action for the organization.
Thank you for the opportunity to clarify our position.
William E. Evans
International Brotherhood of Magicians