What is Fearson doing?

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Tom Stone
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What is Fearson doing?

Postby Tom Stone » May 2nd, 2002, 5:50 pm

I just found this:
http://www.arvymagic.com/FoldingBill/index1.htm

Why is he selling Stefan Schutzer's effect, without Stefan's permission, and with no mention of Stefan's name?

steve
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Re: What is Fearson doing?

Postby steve » May 3rd, 2002, 6:11 pm

Good question. An additional question is why is he using a pyramid scheme to sell magic? Claiming people can make over $100,000 in a few months by selling his program.

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Re: What is Fearson doing?

Postby Dave Shepherd » May 3rd, 2002, 8:53 pm

I quite agree; this is outrageous.

I have wondered about this whole "download magic" thing ever since I first heard of it. A couple of the kids to whom I teach magic at my high school have come to regard any information on the Internet as fair game.

Fearson certainly doesn't do anything to counter this perception when he puts this kind of stuff online.

Guest

Re: What is Fearson doing?

Postby Guest » May 3rd, 2002, 10:23 pm

Oh, Man-- here's a quote from that Web Page:

"But wait! For that same $19.99 you'll also receive.."

Right outta a Ginsu Knives commercial...

Pretty Sad.....

Fearson
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Re: What is Fearson doing?

Postby Fearson » May 4th, 2002, 4:42 am

Thanks for posting that question again Tom.

I had a feeling I was wasting my time by answering you a couple weeks ago when you originally asked me the same exact question! Whose answer are you looking for if not mine?

In my first response to your accusations, I gave you a more than courteous and very sincere answer. I even helped you out with your question about using paypal to sell your magic on your own site.

Now that you've decided I need to be attacked publicly, I'll once again take time out to respond.

Last year I decided to create an online package for the self folding bill trick since one did not exist. I selected this particular trick because it is one of the best visual magic tricks I have seen, and also because it seemed to be in the public domain. In other words, everybody and their brother has their own package on the market for years now and none are credited as far as I could see. Not to tread on anyone's toes, I did my research to the best of my ability. I asked all the magicians I personally associate with and scanned the internet as well. I also made phone calls to some of the more knowledgeable magicians in Las Vegas. Most could not come up with anyone as far as an inventor was concerned. The only name that did come up was UF Grant, and I did not think that was correct.

So I compiled a nice ebook and used the trick as a promotion on my site over Christmas. And lo an behold.. someone contacted me with a credit. A very knowledgeable and experienced magician and dealer as a matter of fact. This person asked me if I knew that the inventor of the effect was a man named Al Faria from New York who never gets credited. I told him I did not, but was very pleased to finally be able to add the credit to the document, which I did. A while later I heard that there was a conflicting credit given in a version published in a rather recent edition of Magic magazine. I decided that I would look into it to be sure. I do not subscribe to Magic and as I have many projects going at any given time, I got distracted and didn't think of it again for a few months. I was in no rush anyway since the item was no longer on my website.

Cut to last month... I was chatting on MagicTalk for the first time in over a year when it occurred to me that I could poll the folks there and see if anyone had any info, which I did. A few people responded by saying that Mike Ammar credits Stephan Schutzer in his new videos, which had just come out. Then Tom emailed me personally and told me that Stephan was the inventor of the effect and was inspired to create the effect by something he had seen in an old sci-fi movie. Also, that he had marketed the effect in the 80's but it was quickly knocked off. He said Stephan had given the idea to Mike Ammar simply to associate his name with the effect and get the credit he deserved. I thanked Tom for the info and I asked where I could get a copy of the original instructions and why he no longer sells it. (No good answer to that)

Most importantly though, I clearly stated that I intended to update the instructions with credit to Stephan. If all Stephan wanted was credit, I said I hoped that this would help him because I could distribute a lot of them over the net.

Well Tom, I guess you decided that once the 10 working days allotted by magic law had passed and I still hadn't updated the instructions it was time to try to damage my reputation with a public attack in a forum. And of course you neglected to mention that I had already responded to you personally.

Here's what I think. I think since the effect has been marketed by so many people for so many years and nothing has been done about it, it's unjust for you to single me out now for an attack. Especially since you are already aware of how this came to pass. Your intention is obviously just to hurt my reputation. I don't appreciate your attitude and I will not be returning any more of your emails. So please stop harassing me.

As a matter of fact, I don't appreciate the attitude of all who responded to this post. The fact is, my work on the net is none of your business. I don't belong to any of your organizations and I haven't infringed upon any copyrights. I am doing perfectly legal and in my opinion, quite ethical business.

To TheDoc: I am NOT marketing magic in a pyramid scheme. You need to brush up on the definition of what a pyramid, or Ponzi scheme is. I am simply applying a branding system to my ebooks. Pyramid schemes do not work and are illegal. Branding and affiliate systems do work, and are perfectly legal. Before you make those kind of accusations, you should know what you are talking about.

To Dave Shepard: Let me quote you first..

"...kids to whom I teach magic at my high school have come to regard any information on the Internet as fair game. Fearson certainly doesn't do anything to counter this perception when he puts this kind of stuff online. "

It's not my job to counter any high school kids perception of magic on the internet Dave. As their magic teacher I guess that would be your job.

To Steven Youell:

"But wait! For that same $19.99 you'll also receive..
Right outta a Ginsu Knives commercial..."

You are correct if you are implying that I know how to sell. If you are saying that giving away a bonus item to help close the sale is sad.. Well, what can I say to that? I disagree.

Just a thought I want to pass along to any would be inventors..

It doesn't matter what you invent.. if you don't do anything with it you're not going to be recognized for it. Generally, the guy who does the footwork will get the credit. That holds true for marketing as well as performing. And you'll be lucky indeed if you find a guy like Mike Ammar or myself, who is willing to give credit once you've let it slip away.

It was never my intention to rip anyone off. I wish I didn't sound so angry in this response, but I am.

I have been marketing magic for quite a long time now. In a business with virtually no ethics, I remain one of the most ethical guys around. I am currently the only person I know of exploring the true potential of magic and the internet through over half a dozen experimental websites. One deals with viral marketing and magic, another with branding and affiliate programs. Another just brings traffic to magic sites. Mostly, I'm just trying to share my knowledge and enable other magicians to get the most out of the internet. Just because you guys can't comprehend what I am doing doesn't give you the right to slam me.

If you think I'm breaking the law, sorry I'm not.

If you think there should be a law, run for office.

If you think I'm ruining magic on the net, get off your ass and build something better.

The fact is that unless you work harder than me, the future of magic and the net is in my hands.

So kick me out of your clubs and blow me out your magic circles. I'll keep working.

And if you absolutely must gossip about me, make sure you spell my name right.. and don't forget to mention my URL :)

Steve Fearson
http://DownloadMagic.com

PS.. This took me forever to write. I hope it gets read this time.

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Re: What is Fearson doing?

Postby Dave Shepherd » May 4th, 2002, 6:40 am

Steve wrote:
To Dave Shepard: It's not my job to counter any high school kids perception of magic on the internet Dave. As their magic teacher I guess that would be your job.
This sounds to me a bit like the tobacco companies arguing that because they sell a legal product, it doesn't really hurt people; i.e., that they aren't responsible for damage they might do.

Several times a week I preach to a talented group of young sleight-of-hand workers that they need to make sure they know where their material comes from, even if it takes a lot of time and effort.

Many of these guys also tend to be computer geeks who live online. (Whoops...wait a minute...what am I doing right now?) They are constantly picking up moves and effects online from sources I can't keep up with, and only much later finding out who created them--if indeed they ever find out. In the online magic world, crediting often seems to have a different value than it does in the print world.

Sponsoring the conjuring club is an extra-curricular activity for me (I don't get paid), and I'm not in a position to spend several hours a day running down the kids' credits. All I can do is to teach them the right thing to do--study, research, and find out proper crediting.

When, for example, a popular effect remains available on a very prominent magic website such as DownloadMagic.com for a couple weeks without proper credit, it does (I'll say it again) rather undermine my efforts.

Steve, with all due respect, it seems to me that as soon as you knew whom to credit for the folding bill trick, you might have changed the e-book immediately, or pulled it from the site until it was fixed. If rights are owned, they are owned.

Steve's post prompts me to ask all discussants in this thread when they believe an effect (routine, idea) goes into public domain. Steve seems to imply (and I am willing to be corrected) that because a lot of people knocked off Stefan Schutzer since the 1980s, his effect became somehow more available.

I do vaguely recall the credit discussion in Magic on a similar effect. I think it wasn't all THAT recent--the last two to three years or so--but Magic is not a difficult source to get hold of. I mean, it's published right there in Las Vegas.

I admire many of Steve's magical creations over the past years, but the issue of crediting is something I feel strongly about as a teacher. I speak not just as a magic teacher, but as a teacher in general. The most serious student offense that I have ever dealt with is plagiarism in its many forms.

Finally, Steve wrote:
And if you absolutely must gossip about me, make sure you spell my name right.
Right back at you.

Dave Shepherd (spelled like the common noun, not Shepard)

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Tom Stone
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Re: What is Fearson doing?

Postby Tom Stone » May 4th, 2002, 10:10 am

Originally posted by Steve Fearson:
[QB]Whose answer are you looking for if not mine?
Since I don't understand your behaviour, I thought I should ask if anyone else understood it.
I thanked Tom for the info and I asked where I could get a copy of the original instructions and why he no longer sells it. (No good answer to that)
The answer was, and still is, that it can be found in Magical Arts Journal (the Paul Harris issue). And the answer to why Stefan doesn't sell a lot of copies of his effect is still:
He is a performer first. It was never his intention that it would become the property of everyone, since he had use for it in his own performances. Any performer would consider that answer to be sufficient good.
If all Stephan wanted was credit, I said I hoped that this would help him because I could distribute a lot of them over the net.
And it was made rather clear to you that Stefan wasn't interested in having a lot of them distributed over the net.
Well Tom, I guess you decided that once the 10 working days allotted by magic law had passed and I still hadn't updated the instructions it was time to try to damage my reputation with a public attack in a forum.
I'm sorry, but I can't claim any credit for any potential damage to your reputation. In that department, all the credits belong to yourself.
It has been more than 10 days since you was first informed that the effect belongs to Stefan Schutzer. And I don't want you to update the instructions - I want you to stop selling it altogether.
it's unjust for you to single me out now for an attack.
I'm not singling you out. I've done the same thing a couple of times before with other people. Two of them stopped at once. The third time I had to fight with some kind of weird legal department for several weeks, before they removed it.
In your case, I haven't made any attacks, as I thought that your actions were caused by some simple misunderstandings. And I thought that a polite message would be enough to make things right.
I don't appreciate your attitude and I will not be returning any more of your emails. So please stop harassing me.
Oooh.. Nice gambit!
Defusing the impact of my words by implying that I have sent dozens of unsolicited emails where I nag about this. Smooth move!

Pity that it didn't work.
I am doing perfectly legal and in my opinion, quite ethical business.
What's ethical in ripping off Stefan Schutzer's effect? Why don't you sell your own material instead, like the Copperfield thing? You would make more money out of that item.
It was never my intention to rip anyone off.
Then stop selling Stefan's effect. You don't have his permission to sell it, and you will not be able to obtain it either.
Just because you guys can't comprehend what I am doing doesn't give you the right to slam me.
Oh, I do understand what you are doing. And I think that it is perfectly okey... as long as you limit yourself to your own ideas.

What YOU don't comprehend is that just because a person has invented something, then it doesn't automaticly means that that person want it to be the property of everyone.

Stefan belongs in that group, and so do I.
I made 250 copies of my first book back in 1993. That's all, and it will never get reprinted, even though I've got many requests for a reprint. And that is how I want it to be. Because I use that material in my performances, and it would be damaging to my performances if everyone else did the same material.
It's the same with Stefan. His creations is designed to be used in his performances, and he do not want anyone to sell it over the net. Not you. Not anyone. There is nothing personal in that. It is just how it is.

So, do your business in any way you want. I don't mind. Just stop selling Stefan's effect. Use your own material instead. Please.
If you think I'm ruining magic on the net, get off your ass and build something better.
If this refers to Stefan, then yes, he has already built something better.
He has about eleven smaller miracles, just as strong as the Self-folding Bill. Thanks to the danger of having people like you rip them off, those miracles will not be sold to anyone.

Does that advance the art of magic?

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Re: What is Fearson doing?

Postby Fearson » May 4th, 2002, 12:12 pm

Oh my.

I knew I was again wasting my time by responding to your dribble. I already made myself clear that the work I did was done in good faith.

I truly don't care what you think Tom. You are just a pain who would like to imagine you are somehow in charge of my actions and magic ethics in general. Sorry, but you are not.

What if I told you that my true intent is to destroy all of magic becasue I consider it a waste of everyone's time and nothing more than a useless and annoying distraction?

What if you found out that I feel that I have wasted the best years of my life developing illusions for a mostly thankless group of "performers" when I could have become a doctor or a teacher and used my mind to really help people, rather than arming magicians with more tools to annoy and distract?

The latter statement is actually the truth Tom.

If I had presented myself as an angry jerk like you have, would you have bothered me so much?

Life is much too short to waste it on talking to a Stone. I'm out of here.

Steve Fearson
http://DownloadMagic.com

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Tom Stone
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Re: What is Fearson doing?

Postby Tom Stone » May 4th, 2002, 3:21 pm

Originally posted by Steve Fearson:
What if you found out that I feel that I have wasted the best years of my life developing illusions for a mostly thankless group of "performers" when I could have become a doctor or a teacher and used my mind to really help people, rather than arming magicians with more tools to annoy and distract?

The latter statement is actually the truth Tom.
I'm sorry to hear that. I really am.

But why take that out on Stefan? He has not prevented you from getting a more joyful occupation. He has not forced you to remain in this business.
That you are not a teacher or a doctor is something that Stefan has no control over.

Nobody can stop you from starting studying to become something else, and I sincerely wish you a happier life within whatever occupation you finally decide on. It is never too late to change direction.

But until then, please remove Stefan's effect from the net.

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Re: What is Fearson doing?

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 4th, 2002, 8:18 pm

All right: I am locking this topic.
The effect belongs to Stefan Schutzer and Steve Fearson has no business selling it. That's pretty simple. It's also fairly obvious from his rude responses that Steve Fearson doesn't give a crap about the fact that he's selling someone else's invention without permission solely for the purpose of making money.
I've looked at Fearson's website and it's shameful exploitation.
This topic is closed.
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Richard Kaufman
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Re: What is Fearson doing?

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 5th, 2002, 3:30 pm

At Lee Asher's request, I am reopening this topic. I assume he will post a message here shortly on his opinion regarding this matter.
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Tim Ellis
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Re: What is Fearson doing?

Postby Tim Ellis » May 31st, 2002, 11:22 pm

Steve Fearson on the Self Folding Bill Trick: "So I compiled a nice ebook and used the trick as a promotion on my site over Christmas." "I was in no rush anyway since the item was no longer on my website."

No? It's still on arvymagic.com and http://magic.bubbygifts.com/ and I'm sure it's on many other Fearson websites (part of his empire of anonymously owned magic sites). Not only for $19.99 do get the ebook instructions of the Self Folding Bill, but permission to sell them as many times as you want over and over again.

So what was Lee Asher going to say...?

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Re: What is Fearson doing?

Postby Mr. Stickley » June 3rd, 2002, 10:20 pm

Hmmm.

Do any of you ever buy generic soda? You know the kind.. the Von's or Kroger, or Piggly Wiggly house brands? Hmm... same basic stuff... though I don't believe I have seen Coca-Cola credited... Have you? Since the Coca-Cola corporation's founder (and the inventor of Coke) John Pemberton developed the recipe, and the generics don't pay him royalties, should we avoid the "lesser" products? Hell-for that matter, Pemberton stole the idea and basic essence of Coca-Cola from Vin Mariani. Should he stop selling his product and re-inburse the Vin Mariani? I can hear all the brains in your head whirring right now... "Well magic is an art form, and its not the same as a soft drink...yadayada". Until Magi's decide that they will play by the same rules the rest of the business world runs by, then magi's will continue to be parodied and made fun of by the general populous as egocentric goofy dorks who think they are funny and entertaining (pathetic emphasis on THINK). Mr. Fearson has decided to try a few new avenues of marketing magic. He has some of the most innovated and up-to-date web marketing sites, and on top of that... delivers a QUALITY product that basically surpasses about 99.9% of all the store bought and re-marketed crap that every other magic schmo markets. I admire your quest for ethics and such... and yes it does have its place...however you guys are on a witch hunt that leads nowhere. Do you think Mr. Fearson is a crooked*beep*hole who is selling bad stuff? Good for you. Don't buy it, and tell your friends. Looking for interesting things marketed well and published with QUALITY, I suggest you check it out. Personally I would not use any of the Fearson stuff. Just not my game... But I wish there were more in our industry that put the time and effort into delivering a quality product.

Keith Stickley

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Re: What is Fearson doing?

Postby TheDean. » June 4th, 2002, 2:10 pm

Very well spoke...

Both you and Dennis Loomis are a refreshing voice of reason here.

THANK-YOU!

I am at your service,
TheDean - Rev Deano


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