Originally posted by Nathan Coe Marsh:
It is ironic that your hypothetical involves Denny's shop -- which has had a very broad and aggressive policy of not doing business with those who also do business with M.M. This has meant not carrying products that he would have liked to carry.
Again, let me say that I was using D&L _only_ as an example. I have no reason to doubt Denny's ethics, and the only reason I used his shop was because I knew he carried some (otherwise) limited distribution notes, which was the key to the point.
Nathan properly recognizes this as "hypothetical", but I just want to reiterate that I don't believe D&L is unethical in any way. (Although, if one wanted to carry Nathan's boycott strategy to its logical conclusion, I suppose that any shop which carried Ammar's Invisible Thread videos, which Joe Turner slammed in a Genii review for some of the very same reasons -- performance and explanation of another's material without permission -- is suspect, and should be boycotted. That being the case, should THIS
product, and shops which carry it, be avoide?)
The claim that the temporary loss of a single sale (keep in mind, the shopkeeper who is being boycotted can easily end the boycott at any time by no longer ordering M.M. products) in a tiny number of situations (if even a single one exists) is somehow a greater harm than the continued existence of Magic Makers is laughable.
You've changed the rules by comparing the loss associated with a single sale, to the continued existence of MM. That only makes sense if one assumes that a single customer's boycott will drive MM out of business -- and it won't. Which is exactly my point. My boycott of (insert a non-ironic shop here) won't affect MM one whit. It will cost the shop all of the legimate business which I am now skipping. It will cost all of the producers and creators of the material I was going to buy, at least, delayed sales (assuming I can recreate them later) or possibly, it will cost them the sale altogether, since most of my magic purchases are a confluence of opportunity, desire, and spare cash; and such circumstances won't likely recreate themselves. It is often a zero sum game in which I may be able to recreate the purchases later, but not always. Finally, it will cost me -- I'll have to make the purchases in a way that is only second-best in terms of convenience, price, etc. (if it were first best, I'd have done it that way originally).
Again, I don't believe my own boycott of anything other than the specific MM products affects the problem sufficiently, that it is worth the downsides of performing it. Others obviously disagree, and more power to them.
If I could stop the stolen material, I would. If I could stop those who share in your version of guilt by association, though, I don't think I would, because that would mean stopping every magic magazine, every convention dealer's room, and every big magic publisher.
Finally, let me say that I have no problem with boycotting MM products themselves, or magicians which are a party to their worst practices. I just don't think boycotting at secondary and tertiary levels is very effective. It is unfortunate, however, that there just aren't enough people who's sense of ethics is strong enough that it guides their purchases in MM's target market for any of these variation of a boycott to make any difference. (I don't think that Richard dropped MM as an advertiser because of cancelled subscriptions; I think it was more because he personally decided that MM wasn't an entity he wanted to do business with. Which matches my feelings pretty closely.)
And so you know that this isn't just an academic discussion for me:
I've known Michael Bairefoot for a number of years, and I like the guy on a personal level (to the extent we run into each other at conventions, etc.). But as our Ring considered various acts for the recent SEAM convention here in Huntsville, the situation with this DVD was a black mark against Michael. We closed one of Pete McCabe's doors.