Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.
Jon Racherbaumer
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Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby Jon Racherbaumer » August 27th, 2002, 12:11 pm

I'm accustomed to oppressive, mind-numbing, body-racking heat here in the Big Easy, but I'm truly enervated by this factoid-infested, nit-picking thread about a trick using a little ball and its dubious premise. Who really cares about a repetitious fifty-fifty divination, even if its method is fifty times better than the effect it produces?

Granted: It is a banal trick.
Granted: It is a quick-fix, high-yield, easy-to-knock-off, highly profitable dealer item.
Granted: Hard cash is at stake.
Granted: Its provenance is snarly, disputatious, and loaded with nervous pointing, defensive points, and ultimate pointlessness.
Granted: Egos are at the barricades.
Granted: Injured parties seldom recover.

In the meantime...

I hope that the ethicists involved in this issue will truly debate what may be important in this case.
I hope that the money-grubbers duke it out to the last dime.
I hope that the mini-me trick becomes part of every finger-licking, DeLite blinking, tip-scrounging stroller.

Finally, I hope that everyone in and out of this loopy "loop" resume happier pursuits and more relevant discussions...

Me?

I'm gonna sip a tall Sazerac!

Onward...

Guest

Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby Guest » August 27th, 2002, 12:42 pm

Hi Jon,

I must confess that I am dissapointed with your response to the current debate considering your great status in this business.

Regardless of how good or poor the effect is.

What is being debated is the "principle" and your lack of addressing this, leaves me stunned to say the least.

So Jon, I gather, that you would have absolutely no problem with me copying all your publications and flooding the market with cheap copies?

Your reply to my last question in particular would be greatly apprecited.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 27th, 2002, 1:04 pm

Charles, Jon's books are fully protected by copyright.
"Eye to Eye" does not enjoy the same sort of legal protection in this country.
You cannot copyright an idea and you cannot copyright a trick, only the written expression of the trick.
You might be able to patent your trick, but minor variations would allow copyists to market other versions anyway.
I'm not saying, by the way, that its morally right for anyone to copy "Eye to Eye" and sell it. Obviously it isn't. Whether you can do anything about it legally in the United States is another thing entirely.
Selling photocopies of someone's copyrighted books is clearly illegal.
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Doug Dyment
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Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby Doug Dyment » August 27th, 2002, 1:09 pm

What Richard observes is correct, of course, but Charles' point could be just as easily made not by copying Jon's writings, but merely his effects. He could use different language to describe the effects and not run afoul of copyright law. Nonetheless, I somehow expect Jon would not be as cavalier in his observations!

... Doug
... Doug :: Proprietor of The Deceptionary

opie
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Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby opie » August 27th, 2002, 1:27 pm

Gentlemen, do I detect a heat wave brewing? Let's not do that....The simple fact is that we would all like to know who came out with "Perfect Guess", so that we can determine whether or not he is a good buddy and whether or not he should be brought up on ethics charges by a couple of the big magic organizations.... :o )

Right is right, and wrong is wrong. Those are the only considerations that most of us need be concerned with.....But we do need the facts....

opie

opie

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Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby Guest » August 27th, 2002, 4:20 pm

Originally posted by ddyment:

re: patents
The typical time for issuance of a patent in the United States is 24-36 months. It's possible to do it yourself... the initial filing fee is $355 and the issuing fee (if the patent survives prosecution and is subsequently "allowed") is $685. Unless you have considerable experience with patent law, however, a patent acquired in this fashion is much less likely to be defensible if challenged. A typical (total) cost to have a patent attorney prepare everything for you is $10,000. And this is only for a U.S. patent... you'll need them for other countries as well, where the costs are often much higher. But costs aside, the time factors alone make this an impractical solution for the vast majority of magic effects.

... Doug[/QB]
Thank you for that info. I knew it was not as easy as some say it is, and like Mr. Kaufman mentioned, with minor variations pattens/copyrights means nothing. So in the end, Magic is still governed by the unspoken rule of Ethics.

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Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby Geno Munari » August 27th, 2002, 4:53 pm

Jon

? A tall Mint Julip in the Sazerac Lounge? Make it a Double.

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Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby opie » August 27th, 2002, 5:05 pm

Here is a post that could probably bring the whole matter to a close:

"The matter of 'Eye to Eye' and 'Perfect Guess' is at this point being resolved...We no longer will be selling either effect, and a token check has been sent to appropriate parties....This is not an admission of any guilt or miscouduct on anybody part but is our way of bringing this matter to a close, so that our customers can once again be assured that this company is a member of the magic community at large and will do our part to ensure that honest/ethical dealings and fair play are the standards for us all..."....or words to that effect...

Somebody needs to do what is right and/or honorable, whether or not there is any blame...

opie

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Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby Pete Biro » August 27th, 2002, 6:34 pm

Having now seen the trick done (at the Magic Castle bar) I can now say that IMHO this is one effect I could care less about.

It is so obvious and low in entertainment value (to me) that I shall now ignore this thread.

Sure I don't like ripoffs, but my interest in this one is zilch. :eek: :o :eek:
Stay tooned.

Guest

Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby Guest » August 27th, 2002, 7:47 pm

I guess I might as well get into the fray! First,
I have seen Charles Gauci perform "eye to eye"
numerous times. The first time I saw him perform
it was in Austin, Texas when he visited my home
during his Texas Lecture Tour. It was not how-
ever, the first time that he had mentioned the
trick to me. Several months before his visit to
the United States, Charles posted an email men-
tioning his new tricks for his U.S. tour.
In reading the long list of responses on this sub-
ject tonight I became weary. It seems that Charles has provided some documentation that the
trick was performed numerous times on his lecture
tour of the U.S. I have heard nothing from the
other side except that the inventor of the "other
product" hides behind a mask like Valentino. I
had heard the remark Gino made even before I joined this forum. Charles will be on a lecture
tour of the eastern and southern United States
during the next five or six weeks. It would
certainly be nice if he could visit our country
without feeling that he is going to be "ripped"
off every time he sets foot on our shore.
ron cartlidge

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Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby Geno Munari » August 27th, 2002, 8:07 pm

This issue is more than about this effect. The comments on the ethical side are very important. Yet when it comes time to seperate the men from the boys, who is there when the bell tolls? Many fence sitters out there.

This is typical and political.

I am disappointed.

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Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 27th, 2002, 8:17 pm

Well, what was the result of the very long thread here on the forum regarding Bazaar de Magia's trick "Watch and Wear"? It seems evident that Rob Stiff (you're telling me that's his real name?) is selling a copy. He has refused to respond in any way to any questions and evidentally could care less. Everyone is continuing to sell his copy of the trick because it costs less. It doesn't seem that, even because we appear to know that he's ripped the trick off, that much will happen because of it.
That's too bad.
The heightened vigilance regarding "Eye to Eye," may (may) make a difference because the only person distributing "Perfect Guess" is more ethical than Mr. Stiff (I really can't even type that guy's name with a ... pardon the expression ... straight face).
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Jon Racherbaumer
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Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby Jon Racherbaumer » August 27th, 2002, 8:33 pm

For Charles:

I'm not sure my status has any bearing and I've never been in the BUSINESS of magic. More important, I did say (without being facetitous) that I hoped ethicists would debate the important aspects of this issue, particularly the notion of intellectual property and unfair exploitation of those not legally protected.

As far as my writings are concerned, they are continually plundered, copied, and ripped-off. Anonomous people have sent me Xeroxed copies of certain books. Others have taken copyrighted material and sold them as instructions.

I'm fully aware that once the printed word goes into the Commons, it is almost part of a domain that cannot be protected or policed. As we speak, battle lines have been drawn between software producers and hardware producers and the stakes are much higher than those in the small world of magic marketing.

The best safeguard against thievery is secrecy, suppression, and censorship.

Guest

Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby Guest » August 27th, 2002, 8:58 pm

Please tell me I'm not the only one who gets no small degree of amusement out of the fact that, of all people, Geno Munari is up in arms over somebody else's lack of ethics. Something about a pot, a kettle, and the color black comes to mind...

Laughingly yours,
J.J.

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Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby Andy Hurst » August 27th, 2002, 9:07 pm

Originally posted by Geno Munari:
I am disappointed.
Boohoo. :rolleyes:

Guest

Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby Guest » August 27th, 2002, 9:26 pm

This is too funny. MATLOCK is on WGN right now. It's an episode about feuding magicians. I don't know if that's what the main epidode is about, but someone stole someone else's illusion and I guess Matlock is investigating. Should we hire Matlock?

Guest

Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby Guest » August 28th, 2002, 6:06 am

It appears to me that mister Stiff is not an up-right citizen.
Gibby

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Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby opie » August 28th, 2002, 7:55 am

Thank you Gibby....Your post illustrates just how far off topic this thread has gotten....

But, no amount of chaff is going to keep the magic fraternity from learning whether or not Charles has been ripped off....

The truth always comes out, and a few people really need to be careful and not lose their unimpeachable reputations....

opie

Guest

Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby Guest » August 28th, 2002, 7:59 am

Or their sense of humor.
Gibby

Guest

Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby Guest » August 28th, 2002, 1:17 pm

I want to buy it.
Where can I buy it?
Maxim

opie
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Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby opie » August 28th, 2002, 1:19 pm


Guest

Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby Guest » August 28th, 2002, 2:05 pm

Hanan,if you are referring to a sense of humor,you can't buy it.You either have it or you don't.
Gibby :)

Guest

Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby Guest » August 28th, 2002, 3:03 pm

Jon Racherbaumer ripped off Richard Kaufman
sense of humor
:)

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Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby Geno Munari » August 28th, 2002, 10:56 pm

John Josephs
Member
Member # 1677

No email address, no history, really nobody and typical of this generation of computermagiclumpkins....

opie
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Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby opie » August 29th, 2002, 8:28 am

Over at Magic Talk, Randy Wakeman, after failing to convince anybody that a transcript of the patent for a hearing aid was Charles' "Eye to Eye", kept searching until he found a little trick called Little Buddha wherein three cups are laid out on the table and a spectator hides a little buddha under one of them while the magician is not looking....Then, the magician announces which cup it is under....Duh! That is not Eye to Eye.....I am sure that next, Randy will be trying to convince everyone that the Matrix and Two-In-Hand, One-In-Pocket are the same trick.....opie

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 29th, 2002, 9:07 am

Vallerino's trick with the Budhha lacks the innovations that make Charles Gauci's "Eye to Eye" so unique and interesting: the performer's hands are not involved and can be shown completely empty (not so with the Buddha trick, where the gimmick is hidden in the performer's hand), and this leads to Gauci's real contribution to this ancient trick: the information is conveyed to the magician using a different one of the five senses than has ever been used in this trick before.
Anyone who can't see the difference between the Budhha trick and "Eye to Eye," doesn't know anything about magic.
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Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby Guest » August 29th, 2002, 11:15 am

you say that Randy Wakeman doesn't understand
magic?

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Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby Doug Dyment » August 29th, 2002, 12:08 pm

Thanks to Richard for an element of sanity.

There has been much heat, and precious little light, over this whole Gauci conflict. Many have posted rumors, or witticisms, or to let us know that their disinterest in a trick means they don't care to hear about ethical issues. Unfortunately, the importance of the matter, and its consequences to whichever party may be at fault, are significant concerns that sometimes seem lost in the fracas.

So here is a summary of what is currently known. Disclaimer: I consider Charles Gauci a friend and an honorable man, though I only met him a couple of months ago. Nonetheless, what follows is neither rumor nor opinion, but merely a recounting of facts that are at this point well documented, and available to all.

One more thing... I intentionally refrain from making any specific comments about the precise time of origin of Mr. Gauci's effect (though I am aware of same). He has understandably chosen only to make this information public via a neutral party, as mentioned below.

-----

At least as early as January of this year, Gauci was publicly describing his new effect (then called "Hands Up", but subsequently renamed "Eye to Eye"). This is documented in correspondence with the secretaries of magic clubs across the U.S.

In early June of this year, during a lecture tour of America, Gauci performed and taught "Eye to Eye" in clubs and other venues around the U.S., culminating in a one-week engagement at the Magic Castle in Hollywood.

At the IBM convention (July 3-6) in San Diego, Gauci demonstrated and sold "Eye to Eye" at his dealer's table. He was approached by Tim Trono, of Murphy's Magic Supplies, with respect to their possibly distributing the item. Gauci claims to have declined, though we have only his word on this.

About a month later, Jerry Somerdin released an effect called "Devilish Deception", which, although not precisely the same as Gauci's, did use the same "invention" that distinguishes Charles' creation. The Somerdin effect was well made, and sold by a number of dealers. When the conflict between the two effects was drawn to Somerdin's attention, he immediately withdrew his effect from the market, an ethical response for which I believe he is to be much commended.

In August, Murphy's began advertising and selling an effect titled "Perfect Guess". This is essentially an exact duplicate of the Gauci effect, though it is made of cheaper materials (and as a consequence does not function as reliably, but this is only apparent to those who -- as have I -- directly compared the two products). Unlike the vast majority of other products supplied by Murphy's, "Perfect Guess" is completely devoid of any information that would suggest its source. Tim Trono (who is identified on the company's Website as their "Production Manager") claims that it comes from a third party, but chooses not to divulge same (this is a legitimate position -- assuming there actually is a third party -- though it is difficult not to see it as suggestive of something furtive).

At this point, Charles -- perhaps unwisely, though certainly understandably -- wrote a rather strong communication to Murphy's, even eluding to legal remedies which -- though arguably morally defensible -- were probably impractical to pursue. Consequently, a spate of very public postings to various magic bulletin boards generated much heat and only a modicum of light, as mentioned earlier.

To be inclusive, I also point out that there is an effect manufactured by magical craftsman Richard Gerlitz, entitled "Sea-Ling's Whispering Dragons". This limited-edition collectable is neither a direct copy of the Gauci effect, nor does it conflict with it in the marketplace, but it does use the Gauci methodology, and Gerlitz (again, quite admirably) asked Charles for permission to sell it, so no dispute is involved.

(Note also that Randy Wakeman, in an apparent attempt to refute Mr. Gauci's claim, has mentioned Jean-Pierre Vallarino's "Magic Buddha" effect. As Richard Kaufman and others have observed, this reference is disingenuous at best; Vallarino's effect does not use Gauci's invention in any way whatsoever. Gauci and Vallarino both perform widely on the French Riviera, and know one another; I would be surprised if Vallarino has ever made any claim to Gauci's creation.)

All the discussion notwithstanding, Murphy's continues to widely distribute and sell the "Perfect Guess" product. The average magician-in-the-street, unaware of claims of prior ownership, continues to buy it. Dealers continue to stock it (though some, to be fair, have refused). The more informed magic community, for the most part, seems to be adopting a "wait and see" attitude, though what they await is unclear.

Murphy's (still in the person of Tim Trono, as Mark Murphy has yet to make any public statement of which I am aware) has taken the position that Mr. Gauci must send all his documented evidence to them, and they will make a judgement. This makes as much sense as insisting that Murphy's send their information to Charles, to let him decide.

On August 26th, Gauci went on public record that he was perfectly willing to send all documentation relating to his claim to any credible, neutral third party for investigation, and was willing to abide by the adjudication of that person, or body. At least a couple of such disinterested adjudicators have subsequently been proposed: the IBM Ethics Committee, and Bruce Barnett, respected publisher of the "Electronic Grymoire". Subsequent to this offer by Gauci, I have seen no response from Trono or any other spokesperson for Murphy's, who continue to sell the questionable product, still without attribution.

What does it take to resolve this issue in a fair manner?

(A final comment must be a positive mention of the Genii forum, which -- unlike some other message boards -- has allowed this discussion to continue, and not selectively deleted postings in pursuit of some agenda. This is not a comfortable issue for many of us to confront and discuss, but only a frank, open, and uncensored discussion is likely to yield any results. At this point, it is too late to undo much of the financial damage that may have been done, but it sure would be nice to set the ethical record straight, for those of us to whom it is an important part of our art, and likely to influence our future purchases.)

... Doug
... Doug :: Proprietor of The Deceptionary

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Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby Geno Munari » August 29th, 2002, 12:13 pm

Hear! Hear!

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Ben Harris
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Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby Ben Harris » August 29th, 2002, 4:13 pm

With due respect, the method is pre-dated by Uri Geller.

Cheers

Ben Harris
Creator of the famous "Floating Match On Card" illusion.
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Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby opie » August 29th, 2002, 5:02 pm

Actually, Geller does not use trickery; he is truely psychic and all that.....Ask Randi...opie

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Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby Guest » August 29th, 2002, 5:09 pm

I think Kreskin would disagree with you on that one.
Gibby

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Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby opie » August 29th, 2002, 5:18 pm

Giblet, are you talking to me?????

opie

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Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby Guest » August 29th, 2002, 5:21 pm

Don't make me come over there Dopie
Gibby

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Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby opie » August 29th, 2002, 5:31 pm

Hey Ben, just ignore the Gipper and tell us where Geller has published an effect that is identical to Eye to Eye.....

BTW, I love your work and your books.....opie

Guest

Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby Guest » August 29th, 2002, 5:36 pm

Hey! go wipe your nose. Look out Ben,he wants something and he won't stop till he gets it.
Gibby

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Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby Andy Hurst » August 29th, 2002, 10:45 pm

Originally posted by Ben Harris:
With due respect, the method is pre-dated by Uri Geller.

Cheers

Ben Harris
So everyone's wasted a week discussing a sad puzzle and it's don't belong to Charles or the mystery man? Uggg.

Guest

Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby Guest » August 29th, 2002, 10:55 pm

Andy, you're doing the same thing that's made this thread carry on for so long. One person, Ben, posted something without any info. to back it up, and because it's somebody we highly respect, you're taking it at face value without bothering to investigate. Doing things like that will only cause issues like this to spiral even more out of control.

--Andy L.

Guest

Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby Guest » August 30th, 2002, 1:03 am

Doug wrote:
Murphy's (still in the person of Tim Trono, as Mark Murphy has yet to make any public statement of which I am aware) has taken the position that Mr. Gauci must send all his documented evidence to them, and they will make a judgement. This makes as much sense as insisting that Murphy's send their information to Charles, to let him decide.
I'm sorry but I can't really understant this (maybe because I'm a foreigner) How come this doesn't make sense? If you're in a business and invest on something you don't blow it up just like that. You need the evidence. In the begin with wouldn't it been better if Gauci would have sent all the documents to Murphy and they would have stopped delling the rip-off? This is of course if both of them would have acted differently.

When we are talking about business there are different set of rules involved. Would Kaufman withdraw an already printed book if I would send him an angry email stating that the book uses one of my tricks? Would he do it with out evidence from my part? I should provide evidence and then if they are ignored take another course of action.

But hey, maybe I should create some tricks before sueing anyone, right? :-)

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Re: Has Charles Gauci Been Ripped Off? Your Input Please!

Postby opie » August 30th, 2002, 5:50 am

Charles created "Eye to Eye".....What we do not know, and what is being withheld from the magic fraternity is who created "Perfect Guess".....All other chit chat is evasive chaff....opie


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