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Posted: November 11th, 2010, 4:14 pm
by John Born
The initial launch of is now live. Feel free to check it out!

More to come...




Posted: November 11th, 2010, 8:14 pm
by David Britland
Checked out the website and was surprised to see videos of Steve Forte from Hidden Secrets of Magic and also Paul and Alex in a sequence from the BBC's The Real Hustle being embedded in the site and used to promote it.

To me it seems misleading to use other people's videos in this way.

I don't know where the other videos on the front page are from but I suspect they'll also be surprised to find them being used in this way.


Posted: November 11th, 2010, 8:45 pm
by John Born
All the videos shown are public youtube videos, which are public domain.

I am creating a one stop source for many publicly available videos that have to do with this subject, as well as a free original video series. Naturally anyone that doesn't want me to bring attention to their youtube videos I will happily remove. All front page videos are going to replaced shortly with original content that is being filmed at this time, yet will still be available for the public in the "public videos" section. All in all I am simply providing/developing a large (and free) educational and entertainment resource for people interested in this type of material.

John Born


Posted: November 11th, 2010, 8:54 pm
by John Lovick
The Real Hustle is a BBC TV Series (that is still in production) and Hidden Secrets of Magic was a U.S. Network TV Special. NEITHER of them are public domain.


Posted: November 11th, 2010, 9:19 pm
by John Born
I am simply embedding youtube videos on this topic that may be of interest. Is no problem if something needs removed. At this time anything that has a public setting on youtube is public domain, publicly accessible, and available for embedding. Any issues of what should or shouldn't be publicly available can be taken up with youtube. Am merely supplying a collection of topic-specific, publicly available content.



Posted: November 11th, 2010, 9:50 pm
by Bob Cunningham

If you are going to host a web site you need to get a better understanding what public domain means.

This link may help you:

I think what you are trying to do is great. But, not understanding the concept public domain does not relieve you of the moral or legal obligation to respect the rights of content creators.

Whether anyone sues you or not, I think that people who create content for a living will be less than enthusiastic about your site if you continue to violate the rights of other content creators.

Good luck with your site,



Posted: November 11th, 2010, 10:17 pm
by John Born
Not a problem at all! Think its pretty clear my intention is not to step on toes, but only provide a resource. It would be my pleasure to contact the site developers tomorrow to remove the forte and bbc.

With that said, exciting original content coming soon. For those of you that are interested in poker, I would expect you to find the new book an incredibly insightful resource as well.


John Born


Posted: November 12th, 2010, 8:56 am
by SteveP

I think the issue is really how the videos are embedded. For example on your public videos page, these videos are clearly from YouTube and function as YouTube videos, whereas the videos on the homepage are embedded differently. If they were taken from YouTube and transferred into a different format, then you may run into some issues.

The videos on the public videos page are fine. These videos are meant to be embedded on different sites. It's a setting in YouTube that can be changed when the video is uploaded. If the Forte & Real Hustle videos were in this format, then there wouldn't be an issue.


Posted: November 12th, 2010, 9:28 am
by mrgoat
Mr Pellegrino said: The videos on the public videos page are fine

Sir, with all due resect...I am not sure that what you say is accurate. ... 1828.shtml ... ube-clips/


Posted: November 12th, 2010, 9:42 am
by Ted M

John, if publicly accessible were the same as public domain, then pirated copies of your published works (Meant To Be..., etc) would be in the public domain. And others would be free to republish them to promote their own commercial endeavors.

Maybe that helps clarify the not-so-minor failure of logic here...


Posted: November 12th, 2010, 9:45 am
by SteveP
Can you provide a link to an article that is more current? The first article is 2 years old and starts out:

While we still need to wait for the end result of the YouTube/Viacom case to learn whether hosting infringing videos is infringement itself, there's another open question about whether or not linking to or embedding infringing videos is also infringing.

So, no resolution there.

And the second article is 3 years old.

This isn't a difficult issue. First of all, it's not up to us to determine if a video embedded on the site should or shouldn't be there. If you're the rights holder, then you can go to YouTube and have the video removed. I do this all the time for L&L Publishing, specifically for exposure clips.

Also, John isn't the first person to do this. If you're pissed at him, then you can also go after Dodd Vickers, because he embeds videos on The Magic Newswire site all the time, among the tens of thousands of other websites that also do it.


Posted: November 12th, 2010, 9:51 am
by mrgoat
I was just pointing out there is precedent where people have been sued for embedding video clips.

I apologise that the precedent wasn't set recently enough to please you.


Posted: November 12th, 2010, 9:56 am
by SteveP
Next time you'll know better.


Posted: November 12th, 2010, 10:33 am
by John Born
Sure it all makes sense, and no harm done. My complete focus is on the original content that I bring to the table, and offer the public videos as an extra. Am contacting the web developers today to have the front page videos removed.

This is actually a great discussion, as most of the public links that I offer are ones that I initially saw on other websites, etc. Will be interesting to see how this develops as tv furthers its transition to be internet driven.


Posted: November 12th, 2010, 10:35 am
by Ian Kendall
Just for information; The Real Hustle crew are not allowed to endorse anything in the name of the Hustle (I found this out from Alex when I asked for a quote for my Cover the Spot lesson). I'm fairly sure that this would fall under the 'BBC gets upset' column.

As an aside, did you ask Alex or Paul if it was okay to put the video on the site?



Posted: November 12th, 2010, 10:48 am
by John Born
Actually your post contradicts itself. If they do not have permission to give an endorsement, how could they have permission to release video content? I think the point that is being made is that asking anyone other than the owner of the content is irrelevant. In that case, it is bbc.

When it comes to embedding videos on which the owner of the video posts it on youtube, no permission is necessary, as this is a youtube feature that can be controlled by the person posting the video.


Posted: November 12th, 2010, 11:09 am
by Jim Maloney
Re: Viacom vs. Youtube. The courts sided with Youtube, in a judgment just a few months ago. Details here.


Posted: November 12th, 2010, 11:31 am
by SteveP
Thanks Jim.

That ruling makes sense and is really common sense.

"The safe harbor provision in that Act is what protects YouTube and other Websites from being sued for the copyright infringement of their users as long as they take down infringing material."

My experience with YouTube has been positive. They've been responsive taking down explanation clips from DVDs. However they have also delayed me putting up some clips questioning the originality of the content.

So bringing this back to John's site. If a network like the BBC finds a YouTube embedded clip of one of their shows on John's site, they could ask him to remove it, but the bigger issue for the BBC is YouTube, because all John is doing is providing something that is really part of another site. So they would have to take it up with YouTube. Once it's removed from YouTube, any site embedding it wouldn't be able to show the clip.

If the BBC put the clip up themselves, they have control if the clip can be embedded on another site.

Working with those parameters, I don't see that John would have to ask anyone for permission to use the clips as they are displayed on his public video page.

(By the way John, the site looks great!)


Posted: November 12th, 2010, 12:28 pm
by Ian Kendall
The fact that the Beeb put up clips of the show is irrelevant. The important thing is endorsement (since the BBC is ad free, it's a no-no).

For example, years ago Alex used my lesson to learn the Spot game for the show. A couple of years later I made up sets with a DVD, and asked him if he would give me a quote - he explained that this would be seen as endorsement, and is against the rules (for example, 'This is great', Alexis from the Real Hustle is bad). In the end I settled for 'the lesson used by the Real Hustle', or somesuch.

The fact that you have a video of them cheating at poker, on a site about cheating at poker, may be construed that they are endorsing your book. That's all.



Posted: November 12th, 2010, 12:57 pm
by mrgoat
Please stop hijacking this thread to discuss copyright.

It will get at least 3 people REALLY annoyed.



Posted: November 12th, 2010, 2:39 pm
by Richard Kaufman
This is a great discussion and very important. It should be known that just because videos are on YouTube they're not public domain. That's true of anything on the internet--just because it's up here, it's not public domain.


Posted: November 13th, 2010, 9:19 am
by pduffie
When you upload a video to YouTube, among a host of privacy settings there is:

Yes, external sites may embed and play this video.

No, external sites may NOT embed and play this video.

Only by selecting the latter is the embedding code hidden. If you select the former, the wording is obvious.



Posted: November 13th, 2010, 11:03 am
by Roger M.
It doesn't matter what setting you use if the material you're putting up (that others will eventually embed) doesn't belong to you in the first place.

That video you've embedded of Doc's cold deck work WAS NEVER meant to be seen by the public.
Doc's usual habit was to post videos for a day or two privately, then remove them completely. This one was stolen and re-posted publicly.
You'd have to be a total idiot to think Doc would post this video to the public portion of YouTube.

Embedding Doc's video is the work of a (in gamblers terms) "lame".........and doesn't give much hope for the contents of your book.

It's got Mickey MacDougall (the consummate "lame") written all over it.

In case you don't understand Mr Born, you would explain what cold-decking is to your reader/website visitor......but you DON'T show them a private video of one of the worlds best cold-deckers demoing his work privately, to a select few friends interested in not letting the move disappear into history without documenting it.


Posted: November 13th, 2010, 12:09 pm
by John Born
Ha! Roger, first of I am merely presenting YouTube clips, and personal attacks based on sharing a clearly basement quality expose is nonsense. There was no reason for me to ever even think this was " stolen" as I was first exposed to this at a public forum where Doc was clearly posting and sharing to everyone. Things that would cause you to get your panties in a bunch would be kept a little tighter - wouldn't you expect? Am happy to, as I've already shown, take down anything at an owners request.

If you do not like this cold deck expose accessible to the public, then you are simply going to hate how comprehensive and well put together Cheating At Texas Hold'em is. I cover everything in incredible detail, including innovative techniques that you, Roger, are unfamiliar with. That is the point - to expose cheating techniques to the public on a level that is actually educational, as well as to give magicians a couple things to chew on. If you find that lame, I don't have a problem with that. I just clearly disagree.


Posted: November 13th, 2010, 1:02 pm
by Roger M.
Nice try Mr. Born.

Although I have a serious issue with your link to Doc's video, I have no fear that your book will contain anything of value to all but the simplest of home-game players.

In order to establish the trust that is required to solicit accurate (and current) information from actual hustlers and author would have to display far more outstanding ethics than you have to date Mr. Born.
They would indeed be complex ethics considering the subject matter, but "honor among thieves" would exclude you from any new and important information on this topic.

Note that it's always somewhat risky on the internet to make assumptions about what somebody might, or might not know.

For example, some might make the mistake of thinking that you were an expert on the subject just because you authored a book on it.

Please clarify your experience in detail such that you're an authority on this subject.
Seeing as you're portraying yourself as a game protection expert, please detail what experience you've had offering professional game protection to casinos.

If you're portraying yourself as a "reformed cheater", please detail those experiences.

It's funny that a young guy like yourself, immersed in card and coin magic for many years suddenly manifests himself as an expert in game protection.
I don't think it's at all expecting too much to ask you quite bluntly:

What makes you an expert on this topic, and where did you get the experience you claim to have as the author of this book?

Please be detailed in your response.


Posted: November 13th, 2010, 2:45 pm
by erdnasephile
I'm confused about something.

I followed the YouTube link for Doc's video on Mr. Born's site. This video was posted on youtube by "Unknown 419" who identifies himself as "Doc" (the person in the video) in the posting section.

If this is true, then it appears he doesn't have a problem with this video being open to the public, right?


Posted: November 13th, 2010, 3:28 pm
by Roger M.
If I create a YouTube channel called "erdnasephile", steal a bunch of your videos (if you in fact made them) and then posted them to that channel.........would it make that channel "yours"?

DOC's habit of posting his videos has been discussed ad nauseum elsewhere.
Not everything DOC posted was his to post, and he often posted things that shouldn't have been posted regardless of who owned them.
The discussion is all on the Magic Cafe in multiple threads for those interested.........but it's not got anything to do with my questions asked above.
The point would simply be that DOC had never intended any of his videos to be embeded in a website such as they are, nor should they be.

Perhaps more importantly, linking to a bunch of YouTube videos, and offering them without any context whatsoever is absolutely pointless.
It offers nothing a simple YouTube search wouldn't offer.

Again, I'd like details of the authors experience such that he became enough of an authority on this topic to write a book about it.

This is hardly difficult, and is often detailed on the book jacket, and/or in the books preface.


Posted: November 13th, 2010, 3:35 pm
by Tom Frame
As an avid poker player I look forward to John's response to Roger's questions.

John, who is your target audience for this book and the website?

I cant see the book appealing to seasoned players because theyve never heard of you and most of them are already hip to cheating methods, live and online.

Newbie players may be interested. Their play is weak and their R.O.I. is solidly negative. Theyre reluctant to honestly examine their game and plug the leaks. They deny responsibility for their losses and attribute them to external agents or circumstances. They may be quite happy to blame their failings on being cheated and your book will reinforce their delusion. Thats good for me because their play wont improve and Ill continue to take their money.

If youre attempting to attract the attention of non-players in hopes of getting them to learn the game and start playing, seducing them with warnings of larceny may not be your best opening pitch.

Just curious.


Posted: November 13th, 2010, 5:03 pm
by SteveP
If the videos are on YouTube and they are set to be embedded on an external site, then there is no reason they shouldn't be.

If the person who put up the videos doesn't want them embedded on external sites, they can easily change that setting.

If the videos are unauthorized and never should have been placed on YouTube in the first place, it's up to the rights holder of the video to have it taken down.


Posted: November 13th, 2010, 7:51 pm
by mrgoat
Mr Pellegrino graced us with : "If the videos are on YouTube and they are set to be embedded on an external site, then there is no reason they shouldn't be."

Um, how about they are stolen clips and no one has snitched to YT about them yet?

Of course, you know how the digital fingerprinting works, so you will be more than aware of the huge flaws in the system. Namely that unless you have had your copyrighted material scanned and uploaded to the fingerprinting software server , they cannot automagically know if you are uploading infringing material and so they publish. The DCMA take downs are acted on when received. So they are protected under the safe habour that affords them.

So yes, you can embed a clip on YT if they have the embed option enabled. Does that mean they are legal? No. Does that mean you run no risk of being taken to court? Not according to the past precedents set.

Unless I am missing something? Which I may well be. You seem more up to speed with this than I.


Posted: November 13th, 2010, 8:45 pm
by SteveP
Jeez Damien. Get off the "taken to court BS" you want to keep shoving down everyone's throat.

It's NOT up to a web site owner to verify every clip they link to is "legal". Didn't you read the court ruling that Jim Maloney linked to? (Which was much more current than the out of date articles you linked to).

If the content owners are concerned about their content being shown on YouTube, it becomes an issue between the content owner and YouTube. All a website owner, such as John is doing is adding a bit of code provided by YouTube. Once that video is removed from YouTube, it will not show on an external site. This is a simple matter that is being blown out of proportion.

Posted: November 13th, 2010, 9:15 pm
by Roger M.
This is a simple matter that is being blown out of proportion.

Not so simple is the unanswered questions relating to the authors credentials and experience in this least to the extent that he would declare himself expert on the subject.

Mr. Born?


Posted: November 13th, 2010, 10:02 pm
by NCMarsh
How much do we know of Erdnase's credentials and experience?

Perhaps it is worth judging the worth by its own merits once it is published


Posted: November 13th, 2010, 10:09 pm
by Ted M
Re: Viacom vs. Youtube

I followed the link and read what was there.

This judgment applies to a general hosting provider who lacks subject-specific knowledge which would make it aware of facts or circumstances from which infringing activity is apparent.

As an expert in the subject at hand, Mr Born has plenty of domain-specific knowledge with which to evaluate the videos he has chosen to display on his site. Moreover, unlike YouTube, where lots of other people post videos to YouTube's site, nobody else has posted these to John Born's site -- he's picked those videos himself.

And he's displaying them for commercial advantage, to aid sales of his product.

John, you look pretty vulnerable to me. Youtube would be shielded by this judgment, but from what I read there I don't believe you would be.

The site reeks of lawsuit bait. Just to cherry-pick an obvious one, that long (7:45) clip of Steve Forte is posted by some guy named Leprosina from Brazil -- given your expert domain knowledge, that should be pretty apparent to you that it's not posted by the copyright holder.


Posted: November 13th, 2010, 11:11 pm
by SteveP

Worst case scenario - a lawyer connected with the Forte video will ask that the video be taken down from the site. Chances are they will go after YouTube first because that is where the money is. Typically lawyers go after the money.

Has anyone else, aside from me, been sued because of something they posted on the internet? Anyone?

Ok, well I have some experience here. Prior to being sued, I was asked by a lawyer to remove the content I posted on my former blog. I was stupid and refused. I was sued, settled out of court for far less than the almost $1,000,000 in damages they were asking. John Born is not going to be sued for adding code from a site that has beaten a major media company. To think he is, is being naive.


Posted: November 13th, 2010, 11:42 pm
by John Born
Hello Gentlemen

My apologies for the delay in response. Crazy busy Saturday, but nonetheless made some time so that hopefully some things are cleared up. It would be my pleasure to tell you more about this project and how it came about.

I began writing Cheating At Texas Holdem over 8 years ago. I was heavily involved in the private gaming community, and got the idea to write this as I turned down the invite to join a tightly knit collusion team that was taking down private games in the Midwest. At that time I was very familiar with what had been published regarding cheating, and felt like there was a large void when it came to the real issues that poker players should be aware of when at the modern Texas Holdem table. At this time Holdem was experiencing a major rise in popularity. As I was personally spreading my wings to play at higher levels, I was constantly surprised and shocked about how ignorant even most high end players were about gaming procedures and what illicit ventures were possible to create an edge. Many of the private games were very sloppy in format. Some of the games that featured hired dealers were clearly taking part in collusion arrangements and/or killing the game by taking far more than the required rake. Not a bad angle when a large amount of the players at that time had money to burn, were eager, and were absolutely uneducated. I was not only fascinated with the how to the techniques being used, but also in the psychology (and, as mentioned before, ignorance) taking place.

So I began writing, as I tend to do (even before I started another project some of you may be familiar withMeant To Be). At that time there was not a specific goal of the writing in mind, other than creating a collection of thoughts, methods, and motivations within the cheating genre. Perhaps I would send it into magazines or newspapers. Perhaps it would become a book. This was all a long time ago. As time passed I got heavily involved in casino and online play, and put countless amounts of hours into both environments. Throughout this entire time, one of my main passions/fascinations was the development and study of methods used to create an illicit edge at the card table.

About three years into my writing, Steve Forte published Poker Protection. It did a lot to fill that void that was part of my inspiration for writing in the first place. Clearly it is a first class production, and Forte has my highest respect for his contributions.

However, with that much time invested in this side project, I kept it going. It was, after all, not a product of work. It was a project of passion. On top of that, it was clear that what and how I was writing had a different flavor than Fortes contribution.

Years later, there is no question that I have created and/or tweaked many truly cunning methods, insights, and motivated movements that could be applied to the modern day game. This gave an innovative edge to the project that I thought was interesting, and would perhaps appeal to magicians as well. A few of these techniques have been shared with others, such as Forte, Piacente, and many other very knowledgeable gentlemen in the gaming and sleight-of-hand fields, affirming the originality. Elements of this are scattered throughout the book.

So who is my audience? It is absolutely poker players. Magicians that are interested in this will also walk away with A LOT to think about (while also likely being entertained in the process). Yes - I do go in-depth into what you are likely to find in the modern game. However, I did not limit it. Rather, I covered everything from 15th century publication, to modern day, to many techniques and insights that have never seen print. The focus includes the private, casino and online environments. With a strong foundation in poker and sleight-of-hand, I wrote the book that would have interested and entertained me. Therefore, you will find a truly comprehensive book full of techniques, approaches, and motivations (many of them Holdem specific) that can be used to cheat at the poker table. Many are examples of the real work (I really hate that term). Some are appealing for the thought behind it. Some are even outdated, or based in urban legend, but are still recognized because they are possible and interesting. Others are incredibly devious/diabolical. When it is all said and done, the amount of information that you will encounter will undoubtedly enhance any poker players and/or magicians knowledge and level of awareness.

And now the website. Many share my interest in the study of cheating (the techniques, etc.) so I thought it would be enjoyable to create a free resource for anyone interested in this topic. This includes a free, original series that I am currently working on to 1) compliment the book, 2) demonstrate some of the techniques and motivations to show just how deceptive they can be, 3) share interviews with people that have interesting experiences/stories/knowledge to share, and 4) invite anyone to take part in contests or provide content as a source of feedback and learning. I also plan to continue building the collection of publicly available videos on this topic (while absolutely respecting ownership rights). I have a letter to bbc and to 60 minutes right now regarding the footage in the public videos section. Who knows. I may decide to just away with the public section altogether, being that several people are clearly just beyond themselves over it. Not worth my time to bother, and is just a small extra collection of things I have found on youtube.

A comment was made about consulting credits. I have not consulted for a casino poker room, nor do I have intentions to make a move towards that sort of career. I have plenty of amazing things on my plate. On top of that, if you know much about casino consulting, it is an extremely rare case that a casino would need to bring in an outside source to consult for their poker room, especially in comparison to the lengths they go through to protect their gaming tables where it is actually their money at stake. Most of my interactions with consultants have shown that in the cases they have studied, the techniques used were overall not that sophisticated, nor interesting (to me, at least). I have also talked to many pitt bosses and dealers. They, in most cases, arent that knowledgeable. Often a few minutes into the conversation I am talking about something and they are giving me that lost gaze, much like the one I get when I mention the words memorized deck in a local club lecture. Though there are many guys that do consulting and are great resources for the gambling community, the necessity for this as a qualification to create an incredible resource for poker players is negligible. This can be further recognized as you look through the literary past. Many experts of their time left us with resources that were far less than par.

A mention was made of my age. I turn 30 in April. Absolutely I expected initial skepticism from some as I did little to publicly share the fact that this has been a main focus/passion for nearly my whole life (outside of performing cheating demonstrations in my professional work). The truth is that my whole life has been based around gambling, magic, and mentalism, and the unbelievable amount of work I have put into each continues to create fantastic and incredibly original results. This should be embraced, given that I can prove it (which I can and have). So as quick as a few are ready to discredit my contributions, the fact is that I can sit down with literally anyone in the world, talk with them on the subject, and leave them with intelligent techniques and insights that bring something new to the table.

The bottom line is that I have produced an exceptionally comprehensive, innovative, and enjoyable project brought together in a first class presentation. I think this covers the inquiries I saw. From there, the book speaks for itself as a quality product, as well as a testament to some of the insights I have to offer. Thanks again for your consideration.

John Born


Posted: November 14th, 2010, 5:25 am
by mrgoat
Mr P wrote:

"Has anyone else, aside from me, been sued because of something they posted on the internet? Anyone?"

Top three google hits. ... 0634.shtml ... bsite.html ... are-dying/

Loads of people have been sued for posting something on the internet Steve.

And, FYI, the way DMCA works is it provides a safe harbour AS LONG AS YOU HAVE NO EDITORIAL CONTROL over what is uploaded. That is the KEY. It is the only thing that stops them being sued. No control, and the ability to remove infringing material WHEN THEY ARE NOTIFIED.

But carry on accusing me of lying saying you can be sued for posting links to copyrighted material if it makes you feel good.


Posted: November 14th, 2010, 6:20 am
by mrgoat
Came back to edit and remove the above post but it is too late. I honestly don't care enough about Mr P's opinion on the DMCA to engage anymore. Please will a mod be kind enough to delete it. Life is too short and I hadn't had my second cup of coffee. And heaven forfend my fanclub accuse me of threadjacking again!



Posted: November 14th, 2010, 6:44 am
by John McDonald
Not sure if this adds to the discussion or not but it sure is interesting...if you are interested have a look at how You tube thinks about copyright.


Posted: November 14th, 2010, 9:05 am
by SteveP

What I meant in my previous post was 'has anyone here, participating in this discussion, aside from me, been sued for something they posted on the internet'.

The rest of my previous post stands.

John McDonald - thanks for the link to that video. It verifies what I posted earlier, that this becomes an issue between the content owner and YouTube.