Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.
Guest

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Guest » April 26th, 2006, 4:51 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.

Guest

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Guest » April 26th, 2006, 6:27 pm

Even if it quotes U.S. Government sources, Wikipedia is no more valid as a legal text than a Mickey Mouse comic book.

Geno Munari
Posts: 627
Joined: January 30th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Las Vegas/Del Mar, CA
Contact:

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Geno Munari » April 26th, 2006, 6:39 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.

Guest

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Guest » April 26th, 2006, 7:13 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

Guest

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Guest » April 27th, 2006, 7:21 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.

Guest

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Guest » April 27th, 2006, 8:10 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 .

Guest

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Guest » April 27th, 2006, 8:50 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?

Guest

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Guest » April 27th, 2006, 8:51 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

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 22908
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Richard Kaufman » April 27th, 2006, 9:26 am

I really don't understand this: are you claiming that David Blaine is selling your Raven gimmick?
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Guest

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Guest » April 27th, 2006, 9:37 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?

User avatar
Steve Bryant
Posts: 1767
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Ballantine
Location: Bloomington IN
Contact:

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Steve Bryant » April 27th, 2006, 9:48 am

It would be pretty funny if someone were suing David Blaine over his clever patter.

Guest

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Guest » April 27th, 2006, 9:53 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

Bob Farmer
Posts: 1911
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Short card above selection.

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Bob Farmer » April 27th, 2006, 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).

Geno Munari
Posts: 627
Joined: January 30th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Las Vegas/Del Mar, CA
Contact:

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Geno Munari » April 27th, 2006, 12:24 pm

Funny one Steve.

Guest

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Guest » April 27th, 2006, 5:11 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?

Brad Henderson
Posts: 3203
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: austin, tx

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Brad Henderson » April 27th, 2006, 5:17 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?

Brad

Guest

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Guest » April 27th, 2006, 5:36 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.

User avatar
Joe Pecore
Posts: 1863
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Paul Harris
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Joe Pecore » April 27th, 2006, 6:03 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".
Share your knowledge on the MagicPedia wiki.

Geno Munari
Posts: 627
Joined: January 30th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Las Vegas/Del Mar, CA
Contact:

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Geno Munari » April 27th, 2006, 6:11 pm

By the way, what is your attorney's name representing you or helping you investigate in this issue?

Guest

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Guest » April 27th, 2006, 6:31 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?

Guest

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Guest » April 27th, 2006, 6:57 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?

Guest

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Guest » April 27th, 2006, 7:12 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.

David Acer
Posts: 733
Joined: February 9th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Montreal, Canada
Contact:

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby David Acer » April 27th, 2006, 7:53 pm

If I buy an air conditioner, then operate it on television as per the instructions, can the manufacturer sue me for copyright infringement?
Now tweeting daily from @David_Acer

Guest

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Guest » April 27th, 2006, 7:57 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. :)

_________________________________________________________
www.conjurenation.com - 'Cards Only' Forums

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 22908
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Richard Kaufman » April 27th, 2006, 8:21 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.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Guest

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Guest » April 27th, 2006, 8:37 pm

The fact that the "flying" modus is actually patented probably helped DC in that case I'd think.

Guest

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Guest » April 27th, 2006, 9:20 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?


Best,
Mick

User avatar
Joe Pecore
Posts: 1863
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Paul Harris
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Joe Pecore » April 28th, 2006, 2:36 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.
Share your knowledge on the MagicPedia wiki.

User avatar
Joe Pecore
Posts: 1863
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Paul Harris
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Joe Pecore » April 28th, 2006, 3:01 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
Share your knowledge on the MagicPedia wiki.

Bob Farmer
Posts: 1911
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Short card above selection.

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Bob Farmer » April 28th, 2006, 4:12 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!"

Guest

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Guest » April 28th, 2006, 4:31 am

This IP thread is a fascinating discussion.

Chad - please do keep us informed as to the legal developments moving forward.

I am most intrigued as to which direction the law takes on this issue.

Guest

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Guest » April 28th, 2006, 5:28 am

Originally posted by Joe Pecore:
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.
Fair comment about music. I've always understood it to be as you describe - purchasing the notes does not confer public performance rights.

But the magic business isn't like that. I've always understood that when one buys a book, an effect, or some conjuring hardware, one is also buying performance rights unless explicitly stated to the contrary.

Many effects and props are advertised as being a must-have for the serious professional. Is that "serious professional" expected to ask the dealer "I've just paid you 100 for that effect - am I allowed to perform it in my professional act?"

If something is advertised as "this will bring in big tips" or "this will guarantee repeat bookings", surely that implies that public performing rights are included?

If a seller wishes to withhold some category of performing rights (all, public, professional, or televised), that has to made clear from the outset, since it isn't the norm. (I've absolutely no objection to someone selling an effect with the proviso that it cannot be performed in Manchester or when there's an "R" in the month, provided that they make that clear from the outset.)

And what happens when the purchaser resells the item?.....

Dave

Guest

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Guest » April 28th, 2006, 7:15 am

Again, Mr. Farmer has cut right to the heart of the matter; though I'm curious as to where to anchor the elastic for my air conditoner Raven (copyright, service mark registered, trade mark protected, all rights belong to their respective holders). Mr. Acer - any ideas?

Guest

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Guest » April 28th, 2006, 7:47 am

Dave Le Fevre writes:
But the magic business isn't like that. I've always understood that when one buys a book, an effect, or some conjuring hardware, one is also buying performance rights unless explicitly stated to the contrary.
You can't implicitly buy performance rights unless there are rights that can be sold in the first place. Unless the gimmick is patented (which it isn't in this case), the only rights that could apply are copyrights which only has to do with the written or pictorial instructions themselves.

So copyrights would prevent you from copying the book and selling it yourself. But the ideas/methods described in the book are not copyrightable or protected in any way. It's only the description that's copyrighted, not what's described.

It sounds like Chuck Leach is trying to extend the meaning of copyright protection beyond this to the magic effect itself (and to slight variations as influenced by the method -- i.e. using the Raven to vanish a coin versus some other method). I would think the chances of succeeding in that are fairly low.

Guest

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Guest » April 28th, 2006, 7:50 am

I am curious to find out if the production of an instructional video to accompany an effect makes any difference to the outcome of this issue.
Presumably video footage runs the risk of influencing an individuals performance style, in that stance, vocal inflections, and gestures, can be picked up.
As an example, I often take people to task over the Taberay rope routine. Why? Because almost everyone does it with a French accent.

User avatar
Joe Pecore
Posts: 1863
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Paul Harris
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Joe Pecore » April 28th, 2006, 8:01 am

Originally posted by Bob Coyne:
So copyrights would prevent you from copying the book and selling it yourself. But the ideas/methods described in the book are not copyrightable or protected in any way. It's only the description that's copyrighted, not what's described.
But the description of how to present the effect as described in the book would be copy protected. And if that presentation is afforded the same protection as a play, then copyright laws would give the author exclusive rights "to perform the work publicly".
Share your knowledge on the MagicPedia wiki.

User avatar
Joe Pecore
Posts: 1863
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Paul Harris
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Joe Pecore » April 28th, 2006, 8:14 am

Originally posted by Dale Shrimpton:
I am curious to find out if the production of an instructional video to accompany an effect makes any difference to the outcome of this issue.
If I create an instructional video describing how I think someone should perform a play that I wrote, does that give up my copyright protection for "public performances"? Probably not.

I think the key to all this wil be how the courts will view the written desciption of the "presentation" of a magic effect in terms of copyright.
Share your knowledge on the MagicPedia wiki.

Guest

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Guest » April 28th, 2006, 8:16 am

Leach has invented a method. It sounds like he is claiming rights to an effect.

Guest

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Guest » April 28th, 2006, 8:22 am

But the description of how to present the effect as described in the book would be copy protected. And if that presentation is afforded the same protection as a play, then copyright laws would give the author exclusive rights "to perform the work publicly".
In case of a play it's the actual text of the play that's copyrighted. So it makes sense that performing the play would fall under copyright law. But unless the magic effect has copyrightable patter, I don't see how it could be protected.

Bob Farmer
Posts: 1911
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Short card above selection.

Re: Is David Blaine Suing Magicians?

Postby Bob Farmer » April 28th, 2006, 8:22 am

Arguing about what is and what is not protected by intellectual property law is a dead end here because any good intellectual property lawyer can argue the case any way you want.

Don't assume the law is clear and unequivocal. If it was, we wouldn't need lawyers, all we'd need would be librarians to look it up.

It doesn't matter if the Raven is protected by some sort of intellectual property right.

Is it not fair that the Raven be treated the same as the music and the writing that went into the television show?

I think so. The composers got paid. The writers got paid. The magical inventors should get paid. The only argument should be as to how much.


Return to “Buzz”