Open for discussion, interpretation etc

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby Jonathan Townsend » 10/14/04 12:39 PM

Good afternoon folks,

Here is a situation I wrote up so folks could discuss methods, secrets, originality etc WITHOUT having to make an example of anyone in our community or any product. This is put out as food for thought and discussion.

Okay, let's look at a hypothetical situation and see how it works out.

Consider you have a buddy, Mike. Mike is a collector of very rare and expensive magic stuff. He just got a limited edition video, only 100 will ever be sold. He watched it and mentions to you that there is a card trick you might like. You say okay, and come over, and see the thing, performance only and say 'wow' I'm gonna buy that video. He tells you it costs 100 dollars. You ask him to show you the method section for that trick so you can see if you really want to spend all that on it. He shows you. and you go home to count your cash.

Okay, you decide to buy a video, and in the mean time you decide to play with the trick. No harm done right? And you work out something that looks almost as good and can use the same presentation. You try it out at a party. Goes over real well.

Another buddy, let's call him Tom is at the party, and is real good with cards. He sees the trick and tells you how good it is. You decide NOT to tell him how you did it. He goes home and reconstructs the effect using a method that you did not use... BUT IS THE SAME AS THE ONE ON THE TAPE.

Next year, at the convention, your buddy Tom is showing around a trick he saw and a method he invented for himself.

At the convention, the guy who made the tape is there, and sees this. He goes over the Tom and congratulates him on doing his trick so well. Tom denies it is anyone else's but his own trick. The guy asks what about the other tricks on the tape. Tom denies any knowledge of the tape. The guy is really puzzled. Long before making the video, the guy checked all the books, and with all the experts. He knows that his effect, his routine, and his method are all original.

At the convention, someone from who publishes a magic magazine is there, and asks Tom about the trick. Tom, seeing the opportunity to get published says 'okay' and lets the guy write it up. Three months later, Tom's trick is in print.

Okay folks. What happened? What does it mean to the guy who made that video, to Mike, to Tom? and to you?
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 10/14/04 12:59 PM

Tom is in the wrong, as is the publisher who published the effect in the magazine. Before publishing anything, it is prudent to check the literature for anything similar. Upon being alerted to the tape, Tom should have confirmed that the handling on the tape was the same as his own.

You did nothing wrong, with the possible exception of performing the thing before purchasing the tape. Considering your intention to purchase, though, and assuming you follow through with that intention, I see no problem here.

The guy who made the video likely feels ripped off, as his method, which was intended to be released in a limited form, is now available to the general magic public. Also, because he only released in a limited format, chances are good that folks who learn the effect later on will credit Tom with the creation of the effect. There are about 100 people who would obviously mention the guy's name when crediting it, but they may go relatively unheard.

-Jim
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Postby Pete Biro » 10/14/04 02:00 PM

Sadly this happens all the time. But what to do?

I really don't know of any way to enforce any of this. Or anything, really.

Reverse engineering, ripping off, it is all the same... in the OLDEN DAYS, Kellar and Houdini, et al, used to sneak around and measure illusions and rip them off.

Some of those we consider wonderful people and heroes in our minds were huge ripoff artists.

Even on TV you have a hit idea and the next week four other producers do the same thing. Movies too.

We are doomed... unless, unless, we just accept it, get on with life, pet our dogs, hug our wives and children and vote.

And don't forget to change your oil every 3,000 miles.

And buy my tricks before they are ripped off.

:D ;) :D
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Postby Bill Mullins » 10/14/04 02:06 PM

Were you thinking of Guy Hollingworth's T&R card when you wrote this?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/14/04 02:08 PM

Sounds like a story about Ed Marlo to me.
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Postby Guest » 10/14/04 02:25 PM

You have the right to sell your tape or even show it in your home to anyone you wishes. If the maker of the tape didn't want it re-sold he should have made it clear that he would buy back copies rather than have it re-sold.

Mike is really SOL because the now wide knowledge of the effect reduces the value of his investment. At least you got your money back and the creator got his money on the tape, poor ol' Mike will be selling it on eBay for $17.00 soon.

Tom is a lying scumbag. He wouldn't even admit he saw it performed and figured out how to do it himself. Also someone should have tried to find out if it was indeed original prior to publishing it in a magazine.

As for me it means that the truly good material, not the 90% of crap that is put out, will not be released because the creator would rather not make the few hundred dollars he would make on the video then deal with the rip offs w/out even giving him due credit. It may also mean that the material may be priced so high that those that do get them won't allow others to see the source in order to protect what they paid.

Tom is sticking it to me!

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Postby Guest » 10/14/04 03:02 PM

Mr. Biro makes a good point. A lot of the old guys were slimeballs too.

Not everyone's heroes....
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Postby Brad Jeffers » 10/14/04 03:09 PM

Like Pete says, there is nothing to be done. The fellow who put his effect out on video can only take solace in the ten thousand dollars he got from the sale of his limited release video. Of course that is assuming that he returned all the checks for $100 that he received after the first 100 were sold. :)
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Postby Brian Marks » 10/14/04 05:46 PM

I am going to put out an argument for argument's sake.

There are many who say entertainment is 90% of an act. Tricks are 10%. whats the big deal if tricks are back engineered and ripped off? We are the only thing different about our acts, right?
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 10/14/04 06:24 PM

Originally posted by Brian Marks:
I am going to put out an argument for argument's sake.

There are many who say entertainment is 90% of an act. Tricks are 10%. whats the big deal if tricks are back engineered and ripped off? We are the only thing different about our acts, right?
This discussion could just as well have been framed in terms of the aspects of a performance. The acting, the internal logic, the internal dialog and the external language of gesture and words spoken + intonation.

We could discuss how many Jerry Seinfeld imitators can fit in a comedy club. However, we are on the whole here, more familiar with the construction of magic and its secrets/products. Only for that reason do I ask that we stay with the situation as offered. I do look forward to the day when we can discuss the aspects of performance and what makes something special. For now, Mike and Tom are wondering why the guy who put out the tape is so unhappy. And what that means to the FEW others who bought the tape, and the rest of the folks who were considering buying the tape but now have doubts about it being worth the money.
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 10/14/04 07:05 PM

Originally posted by Brian Marks:
I am going to put out an argument for argument's sake.

There are many who say entertainment is 90% of an act. Tricks are 10%. whats the big deal if tricks are back engineered and ripped off? We are the only thing different about our acts, right?
I just finished reading Harry Anderson's "Wise Guy." He seems to take the same stance.

-Jim
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Postby Brian Marks » 10/14/04 09:47 PM

I dont see it meaning anything to Mike. Its his tape. He allowed a friend to watch it. Life goes on.

To you it means only slightly more. You came up with a variation to a published effect. Tom didn't credit you nor did he research where you got it from.

Tom is blatanly ripping it off. Tom is looking to become known in the magic community. God knows why anyone would want to do that. This is a common treand. Tom should re adjust his creativity to new plots instead of being known to 3000 people.

As for the magazine. I have never run a magazine. I don't know how much time there is for them to research but...I figure this wuld hurt some of their advertisers if they published effects like this. Since the people who made the tape probably used the mag to advertise, I would figure the creator would raise a little hell.
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Postby Frank Starsinic » 10/14/04 10:37 PM

What I'm reading is this...

"Everybody does it (ripping off) so end of discussion. It happens. Get over it."

While perhaps a valid statement, in a way, there are things the rest of us can do after finding out that this has occured.

1. Don't purchase the rip-off
2. Don't purchase any items from the maker of the rip-off.
3. Don't purchase any items from the seller of the rip-off.
4. Tell your friends.
5. If companies really change their ways, forgive.
6. Buy Pete Biro's stuff before it gets ripped off.
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Postby Guest » 10/15/04 06:51 AM

As a young magician, looking eagerly to my elders for guidance, I have to throw this latest bit back in your collective teeth, and hope not to break any.

I simply cannot accept the "it's been going on forever, and everyone does it" arguement as some sort of justification for forgetting about it.

Because if you begin to justify the situation in such ways, it won't be too far a stretch for many to find ample justification for Ripping of Mr. Biro's stuff before it gets bought.

If you cannot bring yourselves to do more, at least refrain from condoning it.
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Postby Guest » 10/15/04 07:17 AM

I never had the pleasure of meeting or purchasing anything from Ken Brooke but I can only imagine his comments regarding the above scenario.

Quite simply, the "you" in the scenario above is a theif. There are no whitewashes, euphimisms or spins that can apply.

Without knowledge of the effect (which he has not purchased) there would be no effect to emulate. Personally I would never have shown him the tape.

If he wants it badly enough he'll find the funds to buy it. Marketing 101: People don't buy what they need, they buy what they want.

In the words of Mr. Brooke "Play the game gentlemen".
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Postby Frank Starsinic » 10/15/04 10:10 AM

Originally posted by Stuart Hooper:
If you cannot bring yourselves to do more, at least refrain from condoning it.
'nuff said.
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Postby Guest » 10/16/04 10:57 AM

What confuses me, and most, is the hypocracy amongst the majority of the magic community. What I have constantly heard in my magical life is "don't copy MY material, but it's okay to copy everyone elses.

I would venture to guess that most of us involved in magic have been handed a copied video tape of either something out of print or not. I could only guess most of the people on this board have at least a single copy of something someone gave them for whatever reason.

Am I wrong? I've seen quite a few professional magicians openly copy and share tapes, or offer to send someone a copy of something out or print.

However, when it comes to their material, they don't want anyone copying it.

I see so many mixed messages in this business, and this is just another example. Before anyone can say "copying is wrong", they must first be able to say "I do not own a single copying thing".

Without knowing the exact passage, I believe the saying is something along "let he who is without sin cast the first stone".

What am I missing? I mean that seriously, and I'm not trying to wind people up. I'm just trying to understand how people who own copies can tell people copying is wrong.
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Postby Gary Freed » 10/16/04 11:57 AM

Taken in a slightly different direction. Magician A buys a tape from Original Source. Few seem to dispute the fact that he has the right to now sell this tape to someone else. Does this mean he cannot perform what he learned on this tape, since he no longer owns it?

If he may retain his knowledge and perform it, then so may the magician he sold it to. In theory this tape (or book) may be sold a hundred times with the Original Source receiving compensation only once.

And what of "borrowing" of books or tapes? Must we erase the knowledge when the item is no longer in our possession? When we lend or sell an item to someone else, are we not really making a "copy" at least in the sense that we have retained the information at no (or little) cost? I am not endorsing this strategy, just asking for the "ethical" answer.
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Postby Guest » 10/16/04 12:47 PM

Mr. Shepard, this hypocracy is something some of us are trying to fight.
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Postby Guest » 10/16/04 01:47 PM

Originally posted by Gary Freed:
Magician A buys a tape from Original Source. Few seem to dispute the fact that he has the right to now sell this tape to someone else. Does this mean he cannot perform what he learned on this tape, since he no longer owns it?

If he may retain his knowledge and perform it, then so may the magician he sold it to. In theory this tape (or book) may be sold a hundred times with the Original Source receiving compensation only once.

And what of "borrowing" of books or tapes? Must we erase the knowledge when the item is no longer in our possession? When we lend or sell an item to someone else, are we not really making a "copy" at least in the sense that we have retained the information at no (or little) cost? I am not endorsing this strategy, just asking for the "ethical" answer.
Should you perform professionally an effect that you don't own? There are some long-established and now unowned effects. But other than those effects, some would argue that a pro shouldn't perform an effect unless he owns the right to do so. So if he sells the manuscript or whatever, then he no longer owns that right.

Now I'm not a pro, and so I have no right to dictate what pros should do. And I have no particular opinion on this ethical question, in respect to professionals.

But I see no reason why a hobbyist shouldn't perform any effect that he happens to know, regardless of why he knows it.

A parallel example would be that if someone performs someone else's music professionally, then one would expect that they've paid (or that they ought to have paid) for the right to do so. But if someone at a party chooses to sing or to play the piano, then they presumably shouldn't have to pay a royalty fee in order to do so.

Dave
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 10/16/04 04:37 PM

Originally posted by Steve Shepherd:
...What am I missing? I mean that seriously, and I'm not trying to wind people up. I'm just trying to understand how people who own copies can tell people copying is wrong.
Yes Steve, that form of statement gets people wound up.

What is your perspective on the situation as posted at the top of the thread?

I don't know what to say about the position that it is okay to copy the work of magician X but not magician Y, whether Y is you and X is another, or not. There was a nice idea posited by John Rawls in his "New Theory of Justice" that seems applicable here. It closely parallels the "golden rule" in that the notion of "just" involves a position where someone would feel equally satisfied from either of the two opposing sides presented in the case.
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Postby Guest » 10/18/04 11:17 AM

Doesn't this apply to other things as well? For instance, if I buy a Robin Williams DVD and watch it, and he says something very funny about kids using the phone, by the logic used in the magic world, I can't create my own joke about a kid using the phone.

If I thought he was funny, but I thought my take on the topic was funnier, can I not perform the joke I created? I didn't invent the topic, and I was influenced on the subject matter, but my presentation and the details are different than Robin Williams.

Am I stealing from Robin Williams if I do my routine? We all have to be inspired from something. People don't just "invent" without having some inspiration of how things work or work better together, do they?

Seems to me if people don't share magic, it will die as an art. In the hypothetical situation, if only 100 videos were made and no one could share the material at any level, when the 100 people are dead, the effect will be lost forever, or at least end up in the hands of relatives settling estates.

Video tape doesn't have the best track record for lasting a long time, so are we saying once the video's are gone, then the effect is lost forever?

Seems to me people make and sell videos/tricks/routines to share their material with the magic community so their legacy can live on and they contributions to the art be publically noted.

Surely there can't be much left in the comedy world that someone hasn't already joked about, but they seem to keep on going and going. In magic, we seem to get hung up on who the first person to tell the joke was and then be mad at everyone else who told the joke in any variation. Look how many people used Richard Pryor's material, or Bill Cosby's material. Yet they still packed the house when performing, even though every comedy club in the country had someone doing some form of their jokes.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 10/18/04 02:49 PM

Originally posted by Steve Shepherd:
Doesn't this apply to other things as well? For instance, if I buy a Robin Williams DVD and watch it, and he says something very funny about kids using the phone, by the logic used in the magic world, I can't create my own joke about a kid using the phone.
Steve, since a joke for a non-performing amateur comic is NOT a part of an economy of secrets, the example is a distraction and the argument is off topic. When one uses an argument out of context, one can easily get absurd conclusions. Let's stay on topic.
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Postby Guest » 10/18/04 02:55 PM

I agree with Mr. Townsend. I think Mr. Shepherd is useing an unparalleled analogy.

It's quite fascinating how byzantine and convoluted an ethical question can become.

It's asimple thing to me...

Pete
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 10/18/04 03:46 PM

Originally posted by Pete Mills:
It's quite fascinating how byzantine and convoluted an ethical question can become.
It's in exploring the labyrinth of our ethos that we can find where we are and design the place we wish to be.
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Postby Guest » 10/18/04 03:59 PM

Do you really think it's off topic? Consider, if you will, that a working comic is paid for their creativity and new material. Developing new material is secretive in the comic world. Someone could easily steal your material and go do a better job and take that material away from you.

I don't think it's that far of a stretch. I'm not talking about me telling a joke at a water cooler. I'm talking about working pro's.

No one answered my question in reference to those 100 copies. What happens to them if they aren't shared? If you think the comic reference is out of place, okay, but what happens to the material that's been released?

Originally posted by Pete Mills:
byzantine
Is that the stuff Mom used to spray on my scrapes when I wrecked my bike as a kid? :D
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 10/18/04 04:12 PM

Originally posted by Steve Shepherd:
... No one answered my question in reference to those 100 copies. What happens to them if they aren't shared? If you think the comic reference is out of place, okay, but what happens to the material that's been released?
Right, let's say 50 of them sold. 49 customers are miffed, and the guy who made the tapes is pondering what to do with the other 50. Open to suggestions.

As to legacy issues, perhaps the 100 copies were intended to allow 100 others who would keep the secret to pass it along when they see fit. Like a limited edition to be passed on from master to chosen student.

Not all of us who invent care to see our works known by the general population.
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Postby Guest » 10/18/04 04:33 PM

Originally posted by Jonathan Townsend:

As to legacy issues, perhaps the 100 copies were intended to allow 100 others who would keep the secret to pass it along when they see fit. Like a limited edition to be passed on from master to chosen student.
Mathematically, I have an issue with this. Not everyone who owns one of the 100 originals will ever have a student to pass it on to. Therefore, over time the number of owners will go from 100 to 90, to 50, to 25 to zero. It's a diminishing effect. It will take a while, but there will be a point in time where it's completely gone. Should magic, especially cutting edge magic, be allowed to completely disappear over generations without anyone attempting to preserve it?
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Postby Andy Hurst » 10/18/04 04:57 PM

Here's my take on the original question.

Tom should have come back to you and shown you his trick and enquired more about how you learnt or came up with your version. Upon seeing Toms trick you would probably be able to tell him that he's reinvented the trick you based yours on.

You could prove this to Tom and he wouldn't accidentally publish a re-invention.

Anyone who publishes should take 'reasonable care' in checking credits. Sure it's not easy and 'reasonable care' won't ever cover all avenues. I had a mentalism idea a few years ago, and asked around some very knowlegable guys, including some big names (who I emailed out of the blue and asked nicely for help - and btw, its amazing that in the magic community how many of the bigger names will help with stuff like that), no one had come across it, and I was an inch from submitting it to a magazine when I stumbled across something almost identical in an old issue of a Magigram that I purchased from ebay! In that case, if I hadn't lucked out and stumbled over the magazine, I'd have published it and maybe found out later, and would have had to do the right thing and retract my trick, etc.

I think its important not to muddy magic history. But it's not easy. The bigger measure isn't so much whether you accidentally or inadvertantly re-invent, its how you fix it if you do.

Best wishes,

Andy.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 10/18/04 06:37 PM

Originally posted by Andy Hurst:
Tom should have come back to you and shown you his trick and enquired more about how you learnt or came up with your version. ...
That sounds good. How do you think the conversation might go? What if you told Tom it's a private limited release effect?
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Postby Guest » 10/18/04 07:15 PM

Interesting...

"You ask him to show you the method section for that trick so you can see if you really want to spend all that on it. He shows you. and you go home to count your cash. "

There it is...right there.

In this specific discussion (with the "You" being "me"), it seems that it was my intent to steal the work all along. I had no intention whatsoever of getting the material honorably. I counted my cash.

Chances are...Mike (the original owner of the tape) is not a bit of a dope...instead, he's a lot of a dope. He should have never taken my bait...that of "wanting to see if it was any good..." Perfect trap. Played right into it. So sorry, Mike, I hope we're still friends. You still have a lot of tapes I haven't seen, and would just love to see.

The rest is SNAFU. Nobody did their homework. Nobody checked. Nobody did anything. Just run and release. Situation normal...all fined up. A real rat's nest.

This is a superb exercise. Illustrative examples such as these give everyone concerned a chance to think these issues out completely. Too bad there's still a difference between thinking and acting for some people. I'd like to see more with varying circumstances. Variations will lead down different paths.

Well done, Jonathan...well done indeed!

Patrick Differ
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 10/19/04 06:59 AM

Originally posted by MRD Friday:
In this specific discussion (with the "You" being "me"), it seems that it was my intent to steal the work all along. I had no intention whatsoever of getting the material honorably. I counted my cash.
You should have continued reading:

You ask him to show you the method section for that trick so you can see if you really want to spend all that on it. He shows you. and you go home to count your cash.

Okay, you decide to buy a video, and in the mean time you decide to play with the trick.


(Again, 'you' being 'me') The counting the cash was merely to make sure I had enough to be able to purchase the video, because I wanted to own it -- I was not seeing how much I saved. The words in bold are important: I decided to buy the video.

-Jim
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Postby Guest » 10/19/04 10:44 AM

Here's a crazy idea, WRITE YOUR OWN STUFF.

There's enough in the old literature to keep you busy, and employed, forever. (Teller and his big, honkin' M-G, for example.) Read the books you alread have. Then write your own modern script for your wondershow. Korn did that with the Annemann trick on Mondo Magic a couple of weeks back, and the woman he was working with SCREAMED. (That trick, and many, many more are in "Practical", which you can pick up for a fraction of your mythical $100 video.)

READ.

Then learn to write.

Then write faster than anyone can steal.

~H
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Postby Glenn Bishop » 10/19/04 10:59 AM

The story that Jon mentions in this thread reminds me of one of the the stories I heard about Expert Card Tech and how it was written

How about another story

A magician who is a performer and invents and performs for vaudeville theaters, night clubs and magic conventions for years and television. Has an effect that is a trademark effect in his act. This act is his bread and butter - the act that puts food on the table.

He performs this act for 60 years including this trademark trick that he invented. All the time it is being copied and performed by magicians. Published by magicians in several books without credit given to him.

And at the end of his life other magicians have no idea where this effect started His attitude was that if he published this idea long ago more magicians would have copied his trademark trick

My personal point of view that if it is good - magicians will copy the idea if it is published or not. And if it isnt published others will publish it and take credit for it Because this happened!

The magician in the story is Billy Bishop and the effect I am talking about is his world famous rope tie that can be seen at my web site.

www.mrhypnotist.org
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Postby Pete Biro » 10/19/04 11:09 AM

You hit it my man... for years and years I wanted to do the rope tie, but it was not mine to do and I knew it.

One of the true things about creators, tho, is that SELDOM does the copyist get much out of it. Because the copyist does not understand the reasoning, the soul, the why of said effect.

They are just parrots, in a way. :eek:
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Postby Guest » 10/19/04 11:56 AM

One of the true things about creators, tho, is that SELDOM does the copyist get much out of it. Because the copyist does not understand the reasoning, the soul, the why of said effect. >>>

Precisely! Anyone with half a brain can pretty much copy the 'how' of damn-near anything. And those who do will forever remain bottom-feeders, subsisting on the stuff that trickles down from the top. It's always been that way, and always will.

~H
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Postby Glenn Bishop » 10/19/04 12:35 PM

Pete your a great guy and a great magician and his friend my fathers rope tie is a moot point now because my father has passed on and I know he would be honored if you did it...

My feeling is like the movie fame - remember his name!

Story two... A magician that is local well known has been performing in restaurants and demoed magic at conventions and behind the counter of a magic shop. Works out a routine with a standard trick with a punch ending...

At this time the trick isn't performed much at this date. In fact he is one of the only magicians in town doing it at this time.

Does it on television, shows, at conventions, restaurants all over the mid west.

The magic shop he works in closes and this magician vanishes for a while. Meanwhile over this time of 25 or 30 years magicians have worked out his routine and the effect a standard trick becomes popular.

One magician copies the effect and routine and the ending and says he invented the routine and goes west to CA and performs it as his own in the magic venues and shops in CA...

The magician in the story that came up with a routine is me - And my shell game routine... And it is true. Like my Dads rope tie and several other effects. It has been copied by magicians because we do shows!

Because I left Chicago a Chicago magician took my shell game routine west. But he was not the only one others did this too...

To help I put the routine on my web site. As a performance video. Not a teaching video at the time. People liked it and started to do it.

I feel that magicians that invent and perform magic should be able to do it without magicians copying what we use to put food on the table...

Ricky Jay with his four queen effect that he has done on TV and things that Don Alan did (when Don was alive) were they copied? These are performers that perform for people that do shows. Not lecture magicians that try to come up with products to sell to the magician sub culture.

But since we don't live in a perfect world and I know that people will copy a good idea... I have published many of the effects.

My Fathers rope tie is now in a book published by David Charvet. And my shell game and other routines including several pet card effects are on DVD.

The copy magicians seem to have always been with us and they are never going away.

I know for a fact my Dad didn't want to publish his stuff because in his day you didn't give away your act - or your bread and butter.

I really don't want to publish as well but I feel the pressure or I loose credit for what I come up with and use in my act. My personal goal was never to become a big name in magic and perform at conventions.

My only goal is to do my show and perform for people...

I know Don Alan also didn't want to publish his act as well because it was his eating money.

Most of the performers I have known were like Paul LePaul. You performed and at the end you retire and write a book and include your act and the book was the climax of your performing life. The book was great because it has tips and bits of business that you learn from a life in magic...

What sort of rubs me about it isn't the fact that magicians copy it is that some claim that they invented the idea to other magicians. When they have not.
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Postby Andy Hurst » 10/20/04 12:36 AM

Originally posted by Jonathan Townsend:
That sounds good. How do you think the conversation might go? What if you told Tom it's a private limited release effect?
I think Tom would come along and ask about the trick, I'd tell him it was based on a limited release effect, he would probably at that point show me what he has, and since I know the original effect I'd be pretty sure he'd recreated the original.

To be sure I could ask him...

"Are you using two elmsley counts, a double turnover, a double face card, some tape, a length of elastic, two mirrors and a midget in your top jacket pocket?"

Tom would say "Why, yes I am", and I could confirm for him that he had reinvented. At that point I'd probably show him that one trick on the original video since at that point he'd worked it out.

Andy.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 10/20/04 05:26 AM

Originally posted by Andy Hurst:
...I think Tom would come along and ask about the trick, I'd tell him it was based on a limited release effect, he would probably at that point show me what he has, and since I know the original effect I'd be pretty sure he'd recreated the original.
Some people take the tact that if they are changing the presentation a bit, it becomes a legitimate variation and as such, open game for publishing.

What do you feel about Tom's position that he invented a method to do a trick, and has every right to publish?
Mundus vult decipi
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 10/20/04 06:53 AM

Originally posted by Jonathan Townsend:
Some people take the tact that if they are changing the presentation a bit, it becomes a legitimate variation and as such, open game for publishing.
If the presentation is new, then sure, THAT could be published. Just avoid explaning the workings of the effect. I believe both Eugene Burger and Wesley James have done this with Card Warp. Both have interesting presentations, but have not made many significant changes to the basic methodolgy. When publishing their presentations, they both made a point of NOT explaining the preparation, but gave enough info so that those who knew the preparation could follow along.

What do you feel about Tom's position that he invented a method to do a trick, and has every right to publish?
Merely inventing a method for an effect is not reason enough to publish. There is also a responsibility to research the history of the effect and magic in general to determine originality. If you invent a method and can determine with reasonable certainty that your method is original to you, then by all means feel free to publish.

-Jim
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