Originally posted by Scott:
Jim, what I was referring to was that it seems if you have a t.v. special, then you will inevitably be picked apart for performing someone elses trick. So, unless you spend 30 minutes of your 1 hour show rolling credits and paying off widows and orphans who's great grandpa invented something you used, you're seen to be a target.
While it's true that you have a greater chance of being picked apart when you perform on TV, there is no need to have 30 minutes of credits in an hour show (yes, I realize that was an exaggeration). The usual amount of time spent on credits is generally enough to cover all the people that you need to credit.
However, if you perform at the local pub for money and perform those same tricks, you're somehow above it all, or below it all.
No you're not. You have just as much an obligation to pay for perfomance rights & give credit no matter where you perform. You're just less likely to get caught if you slip up in a smaller venue.
So, every time you (rhetorically) do a spellbound change do you pay royalties? Each time you do a Marlo card routine (with your own patter and one slight modification so you can fool yourself into thinking you've created something), do you pay his widow? Perhaps you stop after each table and tell everyone who the credits go to on the tricks you just performed for money. What? You don't do that? Then why should anyone on t.v. be expected to?
First off, there is no royalty system set up in the magic world. It would be nice if there was -- creators would profit more from their ideas, hopefully. However, since there is not, there is no obligation to pay royalties. However, you ARE obligated (in my opinion) to pay for performance rights to that effect. In most cases, this is as simple as buying a book or video where it was explained with the permission of the creator. In other cases, you may need to work out a deal with the creator. If, as in your example, you use a Marlo routine from one of his books that you have purchased, then there is no reason to pay his widow. By buying the book, you have paid for the performance rights. (Some may disagree with that...my belief is that it was put in print for people to use, so they should use it.)
Secondly, there is no reason to rattle off credits after leaving a table. Credits are generally resevered for those people who have worked directly on whatever show was produced. I don't think if you pick up a book/video and learn an effect from it that you are obligated to credit that person during or after a performance. If, however, that person works with you personally to teach you that effect and perfect it for that show, then yes, you are obligated to credit them, I think.
It's no different, except for the sum of money being paid to the magician. But for some reason, it's taken to a new level when someone on t.v. does something before/after anyone else.
The other difference, as I have already mentioned, is that more people see the television performance (generally), and you are therefore more likely to be caught. A similar analogy would be if a well-known rock star performed another star's song and some guy in a local coffeehouse performing that same song. If neither have paid for the rights to the song, then they are both wrong -- it's just more likely that the rock star will get caught and be criticized then the local guy. I agree, though, that it can sometimes be blown out of proportion. Just like, as Paul Hallas mentioned, idle chat on a wed forum can be.
As Paul Zenon said, this was all discussed on another board and I take him at his word. If the knife throwing could stop long enough, perhaps Richard could get a heck of a story out of it for a future Genii article.
I've purposely refrained from commenting on this specific situation, as I don't know much about it. It would be interesting to find out the whole story, though.
Surely there is enough controversy in this one thread to write a 3 page article.