Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

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Postby Guest » 04/26/06 07:47 AM

My attorney and I are conducting an investigation into the magic community to determine if David Blaine has sued, or threatened to sue a magic performance creator when the latter has approached Blaine about licensing his alledged misuse of copyright protected artistic expressions.

Does anyone know of any threats David Blaine has made to anyone in magic in this fashion? Direct or implied.

We contacted Mr. Blaine in early January 2006, with an offer to license his unauthorized use of my material that is protected by print and audio/visual copyrights. We alledge that Mr. Blaine is digitally duplicating and selling copies of my protected material, in direct violation of federal copyright laws.

Mr. Blaine ignored our letter, so we contacted ABC & Buena Vista with the same offer. April 19th, we received a response from Blaine's attorney, threatening us with a lawsuit for unrelated charges that go beyond frivolous.

This is apparently how Mr. Blaine deals with offers to license. The effect of such actions can have a chilling effect on the magic community. My opinion of Blaine's actions is this: 'Hey, I'm a millionaire. I can use your product any way I want and if you don't like it, I'll sue you and drain your bank accounts.' I would be shocked to see David Copperfield behave this way, or Lance Burton, or just about any magician with a little class and some concern for the well-being of the magic community.

The result of Mr. Blaine's attack is not all bad. It opened new investigations into his activity that has suggested a new, Register Trademark violation that has potential damages far beyond the original copyright violation. Thanks David!

I won't be backing down. For over a decade now I've been fighting the magician's fight for intellectual property rights for magic effects.

Canned food donations can be sent to my po box.
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Postby Guest » 04/26/06 10:27 AM

Since your post is vague about what specific effect you are talking about, we can only assume you're talking about The Raven.

Why are you bringing this up now? Does it have something to do with David's newest special coming up in about two weeks?

Your post brings up more questions. Did the effect specifically state that you reserve all TV rights? It may now, but did it when David bought it? I'm sure David's lawyers would want to know how many more sales you made as a result of David performing the effect.

But let's be honest here - can anyone blame David for wanting to protect his "millions". How much money is something like The Raven worth. What did it get, 1 minute of air time? What do you think that is worth? $1,000, $10,000, or more? Or do you feel you're also entitled to money on every rerun and every DVD sold?

Chuck, you are presenting a very skewed, one sided view of this and without more facts, I doubt you will find much support. I could be wrong.

Since you brought up Copperfield, I will give you some facts based on my experience working with him and having been part of a couple of these negotiations. In the past, a typical Copperfield negotiation gave you, the creator, two options:

1. Give him the effect and you will get his endorsement to use in your ad copy when you go to sell it and a national TV credit.

2. Sell him the effect outright, meaning it no longer belongs to you.

I can't think of a situation where someone was also offered money for repeated airings or DVD deals.

Guys like Blaine & Copperfield are always under attack from people who want to separate them from their hard earned millions. Honestly Chuck, this just sounds like another one of those attacks.

My advice to you is that you're better off having these guys on your side rather than against you in a lawsuit. It will be better for you creatively and financially.
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Postby Guest » 04/26/06 11:32 AM

I have to admit, I'm not sure what you mean by "licensing his alledged misuse of copyright protected artistic expressions."
Are you saying that "Blaine used a copyrited material and therefore should pay for it?"
Because if you are you may have quite the fight on your hands. If he used a trick, effect, gimmick of yours that you have allowed into the general public WITHOUT stipulating that it could not be used on television, then I'm pretty sure it's fair game.
Of course I could be wrong about that statement. Could you possibly clarify?

Gord

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Postby Guest » 04/26/06 11:51 AM

Originally posted by Gord Gardiner:
If he used a trick, effect, gimmick of yours that you have allowed into the general public WITHOUT stipulating that it could not be used on television, then I'm pretty sure it's fair game. Of course I could be wrong about that statement
You definitely are wrong. Ever heard of the Berne Convention, effective March 1989 for the US?

Educate yourself...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_rights_reserved
http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ38a.pdf
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Postby Joe Pecore » 04/26/06 12:38 PM

Some other related material:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intellectu ... ic_methods

http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ31.html

What Is Protected By Copyright

Copyright protection extends to a description, explanation, or illustration of an idea or system, assuming that the requirements of the copyright law are met. Copyright in such a case protects the particular literary or pictorial expression chosen by the author. However, it gives the copyright owner no exclusive rights in the idea, method, or system involved.

Suppose, for example, that an author writes a book explaining a new system for food processing. The copyright in the book, which comes into effect at the moment the work is fixed in a tangible form, will prevent others from publishing the text and illustrations describing the authors ideas for machinery, processes, and merchandising methods. But it will not give the author any rights to prevent others from adopting the ideas for commercial purposes or from developing or using the machinery, processes, or methods described in the book.
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Postby Brad Henderson » 04/26/06 01:24 PM

Seems that being sued for using a utility device in one's television show, would be like being sued for using a gel for ones lighting in a televised production.
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Postby Guest » 04/26/06 01:48 PM

I think someone would need a patent, not a copyright, to protect a method. As Joe Pecore's quote indicates, copyright only protects the actual expression, not the idea or method itself. So I can't imagine how the use of any gimmick like the Raven (if that's what this is about) would fall under copyright protection.
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Postby NCMarsh » 04/26/06 01:53 PM

A question for the legal eagles onboard:

I buy the written text of a play in a bookstore. In order to perform that work, I must pay a royalty to the author and his representatives.

The script for a play provides content that is subsequently interpreted in performance. The directions for a magic trick provide content that is subsequently interpreted in performance. A play tells a story -- with a begining, middle, and end. A trick tells a story with a begining, middle, and end.

I take Bob Coyne's point about method not being protected by copywrite. I wonder, however, if what is being sold in every commercial magic trick is a method? Could a unique and novel plot be protected by royalty requirements? Could Arthur Trace legally protect the plot of elements of an abstract painting coming to life?

Is there any way for creators of magical content to take advantage of the laws that protect playwrights? Do provisions for royalties due on performances in particular venues (TV, trade show, etc.) have teeth? Theoretically? Practically?

The lease agreement used on the FK Holdout seems like a really innovative, but perhaps impractical, approach.

What are your thoughts?

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Postby Guest » 04/26/06 02:00 PM

No. No. No. Chuck is alleging that Blaine infringed his protected copyrights on the expression of his copyrighted printed and audio/visual work not that Blaine used his utility device without permission. Copyright only protects the expression of an idea, not the idea or device itself. E.g. Chuck made a video of the performance of the raven trick and that fixes his copyright rights. Later, Blaine did a similar performance of the same exact trick. Chuck is alleging that Blaines television performance infringes on how Chuck originally expressed his idea first. Read his post Chuck says copyright protected artistic expressions which ARE protected by copyright, but a court would have to determine whether there actually was infringement and what the remedies are.
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Postby Guest » 04/26/06 02:58 PM

This ought to be good.
You do realize that your suing the people who have pretty much written the book on current intellectual property, copyright and trademark law.
Copyright as it stands today was for all intents and purposes rewritten by Disney to keep Mickey Mouse from going into public domain.
I for one am making up some popcorn and just sitting back to watch the show.
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Postby Guest » 04/26/06 04:51 PM

Originally posted by payne:

I for one am making up some popcorn and just sitting back to watch the show.
Maybe they could put this on pay per view instead of that stupid Spirit of John Lennon tripe.
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Postby Guest » 04/26/06 06:27 PM

Even if it quotes U.S. Government sources, Wikipedia is no more valid as a legal text than a Mickey Mouse comic book.
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Postby Geno Munari » 04/26/06 06:39 PM

Leach also threatened me with a suit because we did a DVD with an old effect called Lethal Tender. One of the artists referred to his effect called the Raven, which we sell, and in the DVD we credit this effect and the artist says can be purchased from a dealer. In other words we promoted his item.

Our use is considered fair use and legal and we will continue. He has only been helped.

He even contacted vendors of mine stating I was in violation of the law.

Just another waste of time and energy even writing about this. There are much better things to do in the world.
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Postby Guest » 04/26/06 07:13 PM

.... Wikipedia is no more valid as a legal text than a Mickey Mouse comic book.
If some of the conjuring "facts" in Wikipedia are any indication, you're probably right, Bill. It's no OED, that's for sure. But it is a wonderful experiment in cooperation and I'm sure has some very accurate definitions in it - the problem is knowing which ones those are! :confused: :) :D

clay
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Postby Guest » 04/27/06 07:21 AM

"Leach also threatened me with a suit" - Geno Munari

That is false. He was using our registered Trademark on a product he was selling and, at the advice of my attorny, we requested he stop. No mention was made of a lawsuit. Same with our letters to Blaine.

Munari's claim of fair use has not be determined.

One thing people should understand is, that if you own a trademark, it is your responsibility to enforce it or loose it. The Olympic Committee came to Port Angeles, my hometown, and sued everyone with Olympic in their business name. They didn't want to win, and knew they wouldn't win, because the names reflected the Olympic Mountains. Nonetheless, the Oly. Comm. had to show they were inforcing their marks.

If Mr. Munari wants his closet door opened, he should start a new post attacking my ethics, so I can return the favor.
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Postby Guest » 04/27/06 08:10 AM

I'll attempt to respond to a few remarks, but others have done a pretty good job already.

The copyright is of the expression. Blaine's attorny said he might not have used a Raven (though later in their letter they claim to have a license to use it, which is really bad legal logic). All one has to do is watch the special and see it dangling outside his coat to confirm the use. But it does not matter if he used my prop. The copyright is for the artistic expression, not the hardware.

The main reason for pursing these issues is to try and establish some form of protection for magic creations, whether it is a magician writing his personal routines, or an inventor or manufacturer protecting his product. France has great copyright laws.

There has never been a US high court decision regarding magic effects. Most people who get into this position are smart enough to walk away, due to the expense and stress. All I have to do to keep going, is think of several friends in magic who have gotten screwed badly and can't afford to seek remedy.

One of the reasons there is a cloud over intellectual property protection for magic, is the nature of the beast. What is a magic trick? Past legal experts have stated it is simply a product, like a screw driver. Which, I guess, would make you all 'screw driver technicians.'

Others claim it is more an artistic expression, like a play. I suspect it is a hybrid, a combination of both that leans more toward the theatrical expression. There are many good comparisons between magic and a play. Both rely on blocking, dialogue, both have props, both have secrets the audience never sees (a play has backstage lighting, thunder, etc), and both rely on illusions.

A patent will not protect the expression of a magic effect, only the creation or importation of a similar product that infringes on your patent.

There are 3 types of trademarks. One will protect a word or phrase, like Raven, another protects an image (ex. Logo), and the last protects mechanics. A mechanical TM cannot be functional. The reason for that is because too many people were switching from patents to mechanical trademarks, which are cheaper and last longer.

That leaves copyrights. When I studied media law in college, I was taught that a commonlaw copyright was as good as a registered copyright. Since the Lanham act, a reg. CR is much better. Basically, one can claim greater damagess.

My suggestion to anyone creating expressions that will be seen by many, is to register your copyright, which is easy, and not expensive, even if you hire a lawyer.

The new Digital Copyright Bill that is currently before congress will change some things. A great change will be that someone with a commonlaw copyright, which is what you have as soon as you put pencil to paper, or type a word, will have a 90 day window to register once an infringement is discovered.

When one purchases a magic trick, they have the presumed right to perform the trick, even for profit. However, they do not have the presumed right to copy, duplicate and sell for profit CR protected matieral. There is a huge difference between performing, and copying.

All one has to do to understand this point is to imagine what would happen if you took a Monopoly Game, and created a Monopoly Game Show on TV. The game is copyrighted and for sale to the public. But they could not take that copyright protect material and use it in the manner described above, without a license from Parker Brothers.

Why doesn't magic have the same protection?

Legal experts have said that a magic trick needs to have disclaimers, about not using on TV without permission, non-exposure, etc. I disagree. I think there are many many examples of items that have full cr protection, without any disclaimers. The disclaimers are a given. If you buy sheet music, you can take it home and play the music, but you cannot perform on national TV without permission, even though you are performing your version of the expression, and there are NO disclaimers on the sheet music, just a .
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Postby Guest » 04/27/06 08:50 AM

Originally posted by Chuck Leach:
But it does not matter if he used my prop. The copyright is for the artistic expression, not the hardware.
I don't understand. What was your artistic expression? Making a coin disappear?
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Postby Guest » 04/27/06 08:51 AM

Originally posted by Chuck Leach:
I'll attempt to respond to a few remarks, but others have done a pretty good job already.

The copyright is of the expression. Blaine's attorney said he might not have used a Raven (though later in their letter they claim to have a license to use it, which is really bad legal logic). All one has to do is watch the special and see it dangling outside his coat to confirm the use. But it does not matter if he used my prop. The copyright is for the artistic expression, not the hardware.

Thank you for clearing that up. It answers my original question nicely.
If I may add something to the legal aspects. I am in the writing/rehearsing stage of a stage show. My good friend, who is a lawyer, suggested that for protection I should have a final draft written as if it were a stage play, that, he said, could protect my routines from unauthorised copy.
(This, by the way, is taking place in Canada, so the laws elsewhere may be different. As well, I would like to note that there is a lot more work involved in a copyright then just writing something a certain way, but I am giving the ten cent version.)

So it seems that while the device used in a magic trick cannot be protected, the words and staging you use can. (At least in Canada.)

Gord
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 04/27/06 09:26 AM

I really don't understand this: are you claiming that David Blaine is selling your Raven gimmick?
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Postby Guest » 04/27/06 09:37 AM

When one purchases a magic trick, they have the presumed right to perform the trick, even for profit.
All one has to do to understand this point is to imagine what would happen if you took a Monopoly Game, and created a Monopoly Game Show on TV. The game is copyrighted and for sale to the public. But they could not take that copyright protect material and use it in the manner described above, without a license from Parker Brothers.
So you're saying that Blaine has the right (license) to perform your trick, but not on TV without your permission (license)?

If that's the case, what makes TV special? If he decided to perform it for profit on stage, via a lecture, etc., would it be required for him (or anyone else for that matter) to obtain some sort of licence from Mr. Leach?
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Postby Steve Bryant » 04/27/06 09:48 AM

It would be pretty funny if someone were suing David Blaine over his clever patter.
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Postby Guest » 04/27/06 09:53 AM

Originally posted by Chris Aguilar:
When one purchases a magic trick, [b]they have the presumed right to perform the trick, even for profit.
All one has to do to understand this point is to imagine what would happen if you took a Monopoly Game, and created a Monopoly Game Show on TV. The game is copyrighted and for sale to the public. But they could not take that copyright protect material and use it in the manner described above, without a license from Parker Brothers.
So you're saying that Blaine has the right (license) to perform your trick, but not on TV without your permission (license)?

If that's the case, what makes TV special? If he decided to perform it for profit on stage, via a lecture, etc., would it be required for him (or anyone else for that matter) to obtain some sort of licence from Mr. Leach? [/b]
I believe he is saying that it's was fine for Blaine to use the trick on TV, but that how he performed it was in violation of copyright.

Gord
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Postby Bob Farmer » 04/27/06 10:43 AM

In the real world it works like this:

1. The law is irrelevant, money makes the case. There is no point in arguing about what the law is or is not, and what you can or can't do with a particular item. If you want to enforce whatever rights you might have, or think you have, you have to hire a lawyer and sue.

Intellectual property litigators are very expensive. Assume you'll drop at least $35,000 in the first few months and that probably won't even get you into court.

2. The law is relevant, if it's on your side. To get it on your side, you have to fit your situation into something that might work. If you want to make a copyright claim for a magic trick and that claim involves the performance of a copyrighted work on television, you have to fit your magic trick into a copyrighted work that has a performance right.

Different kinds of works subject to copyright have different rights. Some don't have a performance right (e.g., a photograph, because you can't "perform" a photograph).

If you can't do this, your case will be thrown out of court before you start.

3. Assuming, you can do 1 + 2, then you have to be prepared to answer all of the defences that a David Blaine could put forward (e.g., a purchase granted an implied license to perform, there is no performance right, there are no damages, it all happened more than 2 years ago, you don't own the copyright, etc., etc.).

This may sound discouraging, but that's how it really works.

If I was in this situation, rather than attacking, I'd use the fact that a famous magician used the trick as a promotional device. Perhaps even asking the guy if I could use his picture doing the trick.

Alternately, if the infringer was a real bonehead, rather than sue, I'd come up with some creative revenge. For example, when Klepto Kipper (Kenton Knepper to his acolytes) stole my trick, "Tsunami," and starting marketing an overpriced, inferior version, I started giving a superior version away for free (published in Genii and distributed widely as a pdf over the internet).
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Postby Geno Munari » 04/27/06 12:24 PM

Funny one Steve.
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Postby Guest » 04/27/06 05:11 PM

This is an interesting discussion, which leads me to more questions than answers. Intellectual property in magic seems to be a quandary all of its own. By its very nature, magic is the possession of secrets, not the disclosure of them. Yet, how can I assert my rights without disclosing my secrets? I believe I cannot.

So, to protect my rights, I must disclose my secrets through some means. I can think of three such means:
  • I just tell the secret (for free)
  • I sell the secret
  • I perform it and others "knowledgeable in the art" are able to discover the secret.
In the first case, I doubt whether I have a very strong case for financial remedies. I think the second case is the one we're talking about here, so, for now, I'll watch and learn. The third case raises issues about the value of the secret.

If another magician can determine the method by viewing a performance of an effect, does it mean that the new effect is trivial? I suggest that it may not. The application of an old slight with a new twist to an entirely different effect, is new. The fact that once it's done, it's obvious to fellow magicians does not take away from the value added to the field of magic. Before the new effect was created, it was just as impossible as the old effect was, before someone first worked out a method. On the other hand, does a slight reworking of an old effect qualify as new? Where do we draw the line? What is important part, the effect or the method?

Further, what about someone re-inventing an effect and/or method? When talking about Patents, we talk about searching "Prior Art". Is there any such notion in magic? How do I know that the fantastic, new (to me) slight I just worked out is not, in fact, more than 100 years old? Considering the volume of knowledge that exists, I can be fairly certain that I have not "seen it all".

For the record, I do think David Blaine is, overall, good for magic. Yes, he's done some old standards, but he's driving interest in the art, and that's a good thing.

By the way, although I have been watching these forums for some time, this is my first post. Is there a "get-to-know-me" thing I should be posting somewhere?
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Postby Brad Henderson » 04/27/06 05:17 PM

Bob,

Maybe CHuck can afford that kind of dough since his Raven sales went up after Blaine did it on TV. Talk about biting the hand that feeds. How many Raven's were sold after Blaine allegedly used one?

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Postby Guest » 04/27/06 05:36 PM

We alledge that Mr. Blaine is digitally duplicating and selling copies of my protected material, in direct violation of federal copyright laws.
Where is he doing that? Are you simply referring to use of the Raven as a tool to achieve an effect on his show? If so, I don't see how that is duplicating and selling copies of the Raven.
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Postby Joe Pecore » 04/27/06 06:03 PM

I think I understand Mr. Leach's argument now. (Hopfully he will let me know)

If you consider the copyrighted Raven Instructions as a play or script, then any performance (other then "fair use") may be protected under current copyright laws.

Take a look around the internet about the copyright law concerning plays and the theater, it's quite fascinating.

So, if it can be proven in court that the instuctions or script for performing "Raven" is considered a play, then:

1) If someone "performs" the "Raven play" on TV, without permission, he may be under violation of copyright laws.

2) If someone records the "performance" of the "Raven play" on a CD and then dupclicates and sells it, he may be under violation of copyright laws.


If there becomes a precedent that "magic instructions" are similar to a play or script, lots of magicians could be in trouble.

The problem for Mr. Leach is probably going to be proving that his "Raven script" is unique enough to be considered a "play".
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Postby Geno Munari » 04/27/06 06:11 PM

By the way, what is your attorney's name representing you or helping you investigate in this issue?
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Postby Guest » 04/27/06 06:31 PM

Originally posted by Joe Pecore:
If there becomes a precedent that "magic instructions" are similar to a play or script, lots of magicians could be in trouble.
Yeah, the magicians selling them. Who the hell's going to buy a magic trick he doesn't have the rights to perform?
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Postby Guest » 04/27/06 06:57 PM

Could the real issue here be that Blaine contacted some people (ie: Anders Moden) and paid for the rights to use 'Healed & Sealed', but in the case of other effects (ie: Folding Coin, Raven etc) he simply purchased them from a magic shop and used them.

In other words, Chuck Leach feels left out?
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Postby Guest » 04/27/06 07:12 PM

I'm willing to bet that if this actually gets to trial (highly unlikely) the decision will be that Blaine used the apparatus exactly as was described/instructed by the manufacturer. The instructions and/or video examples included with the apparatus constitute an implied consent to perform the "artistic expression" as demonstrated/instructed by the creator of the prop/gimmick, otherwise, props and gimmicks and magic tricks would be sold without instructions, presentations, patter, etc.

This is nonsense.
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Postby David Acer » 04/27/06 07:53 PM

If I buy an air conditioner, then operate it on television as per the instructions, can the manufacturer sue me for copyright infringement?
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Postby Guest » 04/27/06 07:57 PM

Originally posted by David Acer:
If I buy an air conditioner, then operate it on television as per the instructions, can the manufacturer sue me for copyright infringement?
Only if you operate it in the artistic manner described in the manual. :)

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 04/27/06 08:21 PM

I believe Houdini copyrighted his performance of The Water Torture Cell as a play in an effort to thwart copyists. I believe that's why the Edison cylinder recording of his voice was made.
There could be certain magical performances that might be legally construed as a play for purposes of copyright, but that wouldn't prevent someone from copying and performing the trick or tricks, it would merely prevent him from using the same presentation you do. Copperfield was able to successfully sue a guy in, I think, France, who was doing his flying routine. He wasn't just flying, but he had copied David's clothing, hairstyle, manner of performance, use of music, etc., and I think it was on these grounds that he won.
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Postby Guest » 04/27/06 08:37 PM

The fact that the "flying" modus is actually patented probably helped DC in that case I'd think.
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Postby Guest » 04/27/06 09:20 PM

I'm out of my depth when discussing legal delicacies, but I do have an observation about Mr. Leach's position:

Back in the 70's when I demonstrated for Ripley's museums, we sold Royal Magic's "Magical Block" by the gazillions (a penny is placed on a the back of a spectator's hand and a red plastic block is waved, causing it to disappear or change into a dime).

To my view, Mr. Leach added an elastic band to the magnet and 'created' the Raven. To a jury of laymen, I bet they'd see plenty of similarity between both effects.

So, couldn't the original creator of the Magical Block (whoever that is) justifiably claim that Mr. Leach is copying his 'artistic expression' as well?


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Postby Joe Pecore » 04/28/06 02:36 AM

The instructions and/or video examples included with the apparatus constitute an implied consent to perform the "artistic expression" as demonstrated/instructed by the creator ...
I would have thought the same about a play or sheet music until I started researching about it.

If I buy a script or a piece of music, you would think that I would have an implied consesnt to perform it. But, that is not true. If you give a performance (other then for family and friends I believe) you could be in violation of copyright laws.

I don't yet agree with the premise that all magic effecs are the same as a play, I'm just trying to understand the different points of view.

Tim Ellis also brings up a good point about paying for the rights to perform one effect ("Healed and Sealed") but not others. Why would that be? What made "Healed and Sealed" differenet then "Raven"?

I'm sure that will be a powerful argument in court. If they payed someone for one copyrighted effect, they can't say "I didn't know" I had to get rights for all effects.
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Postby Joe Pecore » 04/28/06 03:01 AM

Originally posted by David Acer:
If I buy an air conditioner, then operate it on television as per the instructions, can the manufacturer sue me for copyright infringement?
It might actually depend. To copyright something, it has to be creative (that's a tough one for lawyers to define sometimes), which means it can't just be factual data.

If the instructions contained any original "ideas" (not just "facts"), then the manufacturer might have a case (if they cared). I would think this is related to this magic effect copyright discussion here. The manufacturer would probably see it as a good thing to have it performed (i.e. free advertising) and would not care, but that still does not mean they might not have a case.

An author of a copyrighted work has the following exclusive rights (if their work meets the standard for a copyright):
1. to reproduce the work (e.g., to make copies)
2. to prepare derivative works (e.g., translation, abridgment, condensation, adaptation)
3. to distribute copies to the public (e.g., publish, sell, rental, lease, or lending)
4. to perform the work publicly
5. to display the work publicly
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Postby Bob Farmer » 04/28/06 04:12 AM

To David Acer:

David, you are absolutely right: air conditioners do qualify for copyright protection under Title 17, U.S.C., section 15.01, which says (forgive the legalese):

"...and also air conditioners qualify for copyright protection."

This means that if you use a (really big) Raven to vanish an air conditioner, you could be in trouble, not only with the Raven guy, but also Derek Dingle's estate (Dingle was, as you know, an air conditioning engineer).

So, as your legal advisor, and friend, I say, do not do this. It would be less risky for you to go to the east end of Montreal, find a really hard core separatist social club filled with drunken, unemployed Frenchman, and scream, "Speak English or Die!"
Bob Farmer
 
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