Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

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CraigMitchell
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Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby CraigMitchell » September 15th, 2015, 9:28 am

Very sad that this has now gone public ...

http://fullstory.co/68ipq5?ref=twt

And lots of posts all round on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/dannycoleLA with the one calling the other a liar :-(

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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby Brad Henderson » September 15th, 2015, 11:05 am

if magicians acted like adults and replied to each other when a concern was raised, they wouldn't need to go public in order to exert pressure to force a resolution

of course, that some people are desperate for fame that They would do anything, including steal someone else's ideas, in order to achieve it may be part of the problem. When you care only About yourself and not the art, you often find yourself accused of bad practices - because you are willing to engage in them!

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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby performer » September 15th, 2015, 12:29 pm

It has always been thus and will continue to be thus. I still remember reading magic magazines from 1910 and the exact same stuff was going on then.

I still remember years and years ago in Cardiff selling svengali decks and I saw a old man watching me carefully. He told me he used to be Dante's stage manager and he told me all sorts of tales about Dante. He told me that Dante's son was killed in a motor bike accident and his hair went white overnight with the shock of it.

However, relevant to this topic he also told me that Dante was fed up with Murray the escapologist coming in every night to watch him in order to steal his material! Having met Murray years later this doesn't surprise me in the least!


Mind you, Murray admired Dante tremendously. He once said to me, "I dreamed I was with Dante last night" I think they were actually very good friends.

However, the stealing part didn't surprise me. It has always gone on in the past and it will continue to go on in the future. It is the nature of the magic beast. You have to expect it in advance and have an ice cold reaction to it when it happens as it inevitably will. And you have to protect yourself against it as best as you can.

I once read Harry Stanley say in an editorial in the Gen something about dealers stealing from each other and the philosophy being "If you steal one of mine-I will steal ten of yours". Harry thought there was a better way but he never said what it was!

But no. This is nothing new but it gives us all something to gossip and pontificate about.

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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby Q. Kumber » September 15th, 2015, 2:14 pm

Mr Willman has replied on his Facebook page.

Whatever the ins and outs are, he makes one statement that I do not believe. He says that he only decided to share the video when he saw his father's reaction at the end of the dance (I'm assuming that's the man with his hands in the air). Considering this is a professionally shot video and the dance is obviously well rehearsed, I can't accept that he hadn't planned to get as much media coverage as possible.

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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 15th, 2015, 2:36 pm

I see no reply on his Facebook page.
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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby performer » September 15th, 2015, 2:37 pm

It is business. Some people get very nasty in business.

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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby erdnasephile » September 15th, 2015, 2:38 pm

Here's Cole's Chair Routine in the context of a music video:




Here is the performance in question:



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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby Q. Kumber » September 15th, 2015, 2:52 pm

My error Richard, Mr Willman replied on Danny Cole's page - my emphasis in bold. As it is addressed to ALL, I feel he is addressing all with an interest in the discussion.

Hi all, I’ve tried reaching out to Danny several times today to have a conversation privately about this with no success. Ethics and friendship are very important to me, so needless to say this has been a gut-wrenching day. This is not something I take lightly. As Danny says, the horizontal suspension effect from THEM (see photo below from 2003) is a creation of Rico and Chris', who gave me permission to use as a part of the first dance at my wedding. Danny and I were both a part of THEM and were both inspired by the same illusion. I worked hard to ensure that my effect didn’t replicate Danny’s invisible chair, or Cyril’s one-legged matrix. All similar in concept and methods, but distinctly different effects. And as Danny states, he has no problem with me replicating the horizontal lean as I did, and was given permission to do. Danny’s complaint is in regards to method. I think it’s important to clarify that I never saw the gimmick used in THEM. And I’ve never seen Danny’s gimmick nor do I know the specifics of his method, or Cyril’s etc. The fact that there even IS a gimmick is not something that should be discussed in a public forum like this to begin with. I approached Craig Dickens to build a method that would achieve the effect you see below, but would also allow me to move about freely. I think Danny’s screen grabs misrepresent similarities between his performance and mine. It’s disheartening that Danny didn’t give me a chance to discuss his concerns privately before posting such a damaging statement and subsequent comment thread. I understand that many of the people who commented above are unaware that Danny’s illusion was based on the THEM illusion seen below, but I think that the history behind the effect is very important here. Danny asked Rico’s permission to adapt the yoga lean for use in his act just as I asked Rico’s permission to adapt the yoga lean for use in my wedding first dance. I have no intention of doing this effect in my live show or in any professional capacity. My goal was to give my wedding guests a special treat and when I saw the video of my dad’s reaction I wanted to share it online. I’m eager to chat with Danny privately, but until then I hope this provides more clarity.

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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby performer » September 15th, 2015, 4:58 pm

What a fuss about nothing!

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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby Joe Pecore » September 17th, 2015, 6:41 am

Share your knowledge on the MagicPedia wiki.

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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby erdnasephile » September 17th, 2015, 3:20 pm

I think Judge Stone (Tom, not Harry) would have a much different take...

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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby Ted M » September 17th, 2015, 5:00 pm

I'm wondering how consistent people's viewpoints are on these matters.

Do folks view Harry Kellar as the scum of the earth? He stole and stole and stole major works from other performers.

How about Billy Robinson/"Chung Ling Soo"? He stole everything about Ching Ling Fu -- his name, his tricks, his persona, his culture.

Mr Jerx's large-scope analysis sidesteps the question of who is right, and notes that Willman took the tools and created a genuinely magical performance that touched legions of laypeople.

History suggests that this field has no problem rewarding dishonest magicians IF their performance is transcendently magical.

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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby performer » September 17th, 2015, 5:54 pm

What about David Copperfield stealing the title of a rather famous book by Charles Dickens?

That has always irritated me. Furthermore in my capacity as a psychic reverend I have been in touch with Mr Dickens (an amateur conjurer) who expressed his irritation over the matter.
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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby erdnasephile » September 18th, 2015, 9:55 pm

Ted M wrote:I'm wondering how consistent people's viewpoints are on these matters.

Do folks view Harry Kellar as the scum of the earth? He stole and stole and stole major works from other performers.

How about Billy Robinson/"Chung Ling Soo"? He stole everything about Ching Ling Fu -- his name, his tricks, his persona, his culture.

Mr Jerx's large-scope analysis sidesteps the question of who is right, and notes that Willman took the tools and created a genuinely magical performance that touched legions of laypeople.

History suggests that this field has no problem rewarding dishonest magicians IF their performance is transcendently magical.


Perhaps.

However, according to Steinmeyer's fascinating book, Ching Ling Foo was none too happy with Robinson for stealing his stuff and aggressively challenged him publicly. The book also talks about other angry magicians who had no problem trashing each other over real and perceived thievery, which was certainly commonplace (then as now).

I suspect that few today look askance at these long dead historical figures because those figures didn't steal from any current magicians. Either that, or maybe the average magician is rather uninformed regarding magic history, so they are unfamiliar with the misdeeds of old.

In the case in question, it sounds like the two principals were on friendly terms at one point. I hope they can hash it out and be friends again.

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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby NCMarsh » September 19th, 2015, 12:32 am

Q. Kumber wrote:Mr Willman has replied on his Facebook page.

Whatever the ins and outs are, he makes one statement that I do not believe. He says that he only decided to share the video when he saw his father's reaction at the end of the dance (I'm assuming that's the man with his hands in the air). Considering this is a professionally shot video and the dance is obviously well rehearsed, I can't accept that he hadn't planned to get as much media coverage as possible.


The video was not professionally shot -- it was filmed by a friend on an iPhone.

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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby NCMarsh » September 19th, 2015, 1:13 am

Issues between other performers aside, this does reveal how different the world we are living in is.

In the past, for something to get in front of as many people as this did, someone with a big bank account was guarding the door between the act and the audience and had to let the performer in...a vaudeville circuit booker, Johnny Carson, a TV executive considering a pitch for a primetime special

Now, something cool happens at a wedding, a guest shoots it, it gets uploaded...next thing you know more people have seen this video than saw Houdini perform live in his entire career

That's exciting...we get direct contact to as big an audience as our work earns...we don't have to wait for Johnny Carson (who I love -- no knock on him) to anoint us

That also means that we have a higher degree of responsibility when it comes to doing work that we have permission to do -- because the world can watch at any moment (if we're good enough to earn its attention)

That's the other side:

This was a damn good performance...it earned every view it got..I'd hate for us to get so wrapped up in the drama around other people's business that we don't say "how cool is this opportunity, and how can I create something that's as cool"

It seems hard to imagine that the response against this would be as intense -- especially amongst people who have nothing to do with it -- if the video had gotten 10 views instead of 10,000,000 views. And in that, I see a sad underside to our community...there is a powerful undercurrent of petty jealousy that pulls hard on anyone who achieves mainstream success in magic...there are two ways to have the tallest building: build above the crowd, or try to knock down what everyone else has built...in the magic community, the reflex is all to often toward the latter

I have massive amounts of respect for both of these performers -- hope they're able to work it out

In unrelated news, congrats to Justin Willman! They look incredibly happy

Cheers,

N

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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby Q. Kumber » September 19th, 2015, 5:16 am

NCMarsh wrote:
Q. Kumber wrote:Mr Willman has replied on his Facebook page.

Whatever the ins and outs are, he makes one statement that I do not believe. He says that he only decided to share the video when he saw his father's reaction at the end of the dance (I'm assuming that's the man with his hands in the air). Considering this is a professionally shot video and the dance is obviously well rehearsed, I can't accept that he hadn't planned to get as much media coverage as possible.


The video was not professionally shot -- it was filmed by a friend on an iPhone.


Then I must congratulate the friend for having hands so steady that it would put a tripod to shame.

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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby NCMarsh » September 19th, 2015, 4:38 pm

Q. Kumber wrote:
NCMarsh wrote:
Q. Kumber wrote:Mr Willman has replied on his Facebook page.

Whatever the ins and outs are, he makes one statement that I do not believe. He says that he only decided to share the video when he saw his father's reaction at the end of the dance (I'm assuming that's the man with his hands in the air). Considering this is a professionally shot video and the dance is obviously well rehearsed, I can't accept that he hadn't planned to get as much media coverage as possible.


The video was not professionally shot -- it was filmed by a friend on an iPhone.


Then I must congratulate the friend for having hands so steady that it would put a tripod to shame.


Indeed -- when I first saw this I assumed it was professionally done, but the person who shot it is a performer who is very much a part of our community and was there as a guest, filming on his phone.

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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby Q. Kumber » September 19th, 2015, 4:44 pm

NCMarsh wrote:
Indeed -- when I first saw this I assumed it was professionally done, but the person who shot it is a performer who is very much a part of our community and was there as a guest, filming on his phone.


And as I said: "Then I must congratulate the friend for having hands so steady that it would put a tripod to shame."

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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby Joe Mckay » September 19th, 2015, 6:15 pm

That wedding dance video is amazing.

I went and checked out more of Justin's work and he is a very talented performer.

Props to Justin for a great performance.

As for who is right in this argument? I think the only goal should be trying to make powerful magic for laypeople. And when a magician gets the ball over the line - it should be celebrated.

Unless you are doing a direct rip off of somebody else's act. And to me - the performances by Danny and Justin are different enough in this case. There are probably exceptions though. If I wanted to make the Statue of Liberty disappear, walk through the Great Wall of China or do a shadows effect involving the cutting of a rose - then you would be wondering into an area where the trick itself is now part of the persona/act of the magician yo are taking it from.

People like unique moments that just happen to be captured on camera. This is what lies behind most of the videos that go viral. And as such - a context like a first dance at a wedding is much more powerful than something you put together in a TV studio or on a stage.

Justin deserves credit for nailing this idea. He has a new fan over here in the UK.

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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby Brad Henderson » September 19th, 2015, 7:12 pm

when you know you will be using an idea someone else has done extensive work on and has proprietary interest, what excuse does one have for not asking permission first?

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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby JHostler » September 19th, 2015, 7:33 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:when you know you will be using an idea someone else has done extensive work on and has proprietary interest, what excuse does one have for not asking permission first?


So we need to ask permission before performing something for family and friends at a private gathering? I don't think so.
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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 19th, 2015, 8:59 pm

Doesn't this boil down to merely the issue of "video performance rights"? That's all.
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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby Brad Henderson » September 19th, 2015, 10:25 pm

JHostler wrote:
Brad Henderson wrote:when you know you will be using an idea someone else has done extensive work on and has proprietary interest, what excuse does one have for not asking permission first?


So we need to ask permission before performing something for family and friends at a private gathering? I don't think so.


if it's not your invention and the creator hasn't sold it to you or released it through a means you have ethically obtained , then you don't have any business performing it for anybody. There are plenty of tricks out there. You don't need to steal from people who don't want their material out there to satisfy your own selfishness

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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby Bill Mullins » September 19th, 2015, 11:10 pm

The biggest reason that performing for "family and friends" will often get a pass is that you usually won't get caught; not because it is any less ethically problematic.

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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby MagicbyAlfred » September 19th, 2015, 11:21 pm

Well Richard, as far as your query or maybe statement regarding whether it boils down to video performance rights, I think the issue might be even broader than that. As I see it, there are two issues, one ethical and one legal. It appears to me that Brad's point was an ethical one: whether one has the right to use another's creative material without permission, and whether doing so without obtaining permission is, as he characterizes it, "stealing." In the legal sense, it is not stealing, because there can be no criminal prosecution, unlike let's say, pilfering someone's watch. But the intellectual property issue is a bit more complex, and whether one has tortiously violated another's rights such that it would give rise to a civil action for damages. A copyright is something that arises when one embodies one's creation into a tangible medium, such as a video, a sound recording, a book, etc. That is what federal law says. Until such embodiment into fixed medium occurs, there is no copyright. For example, I could create a phenomenal song, sing it for someone, and they could then record it, have it go platinum, and make millions, and there is absolutely nothing I could do about it legally if I did not render the song to the written page, to a disc, a video, or in this day and age, maybe Mp4 or other technological format; in other words, a fixed medium.

But then, there is the moral or ethical issue. Is it the "right" thing to do morally or ethically? I don't know if there is a correct answer to that question because people can disagree. It is certainly fertile ground for a spirited debate. My own sense of ethics says one should first have the courtesy to seek and obtain permission before performing someone's creation. But even then, we are on murky ground. Virtually everyone performs Matrix, for example. Do I need to ask Al Schneider's permission and obtain it before performing it at the bar, or for friends and family at a private gathering, or having my performance videoed and posting the video on my website?
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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby JHostler » September 19th, 2015, 11:25 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:
JHostler wrote:
Brad Henderson wrote:when you know you will be using an idea someone else has done extensive work on and has proprietary interest, what excuse does one have for not asking permission first?


So we need to ask permission before performing something for family and friends at a private gathering? I don't think so.


if it's not your invention and the creator hasn't sold it to you or released it through a means you have ethically obtained , then you don't have any business performing it for anybody. There are plenty of tricks out there. You don't need to steal from people who don't want their material out there to satisfy your own selfishness


What you're suggesting is absurd. By that standard, I couldn't sing a tune in the shower without paying a royalty. To make matters more ridiculous (and your assertion even less relevant), the original dispute didn't involve the performance. It was the perceived method - something the audience doesn't see - that had everyone's undies in a bunch.

So let's recap: All this angst over an unseen, unknown method utilized at a private event for friends and family. Unbelievable.
"Explanations exist; they have existed for all time; there is always a well-known solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong." H.L. Mencken

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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby Brad Henderson » September 20th, 2015, 9:47 am

spoken like someone who has taken ideas from others all of his life. I suppose you believe it is ok to go to a magicians show and then copy their tricks and patter word for word, because, after all, to not do so would be absurd?

and you wonder why magicians chose to not share their best material with you at conventions and lectures.

Alfred, matrix is a good example as it illuatrates a misunderstanding of the issue. Al sold his trick years ago. You are free to buy it and if you do you are within your ethical rights to perform it.

this is different than, say, Al doing it on tv and you working put your own method - or use the same method. Everything is fair game in magic!

Our un creative friend who posted above sees no problem with taking your proprietary work and while he values your work, he doesn't care enough about you the creator to give you the courtesy of a phone call.

why is that do you think?

apparently He doesn't realize that the audience seeing the same thing leasens the value of the work you created. A magician is someone who does wondrous things. He or she is not a commodity who merely buys the same seven tricks from the magic shop everyone else has

well, that is, that's what a magician is IF your goal is to please your audience. You give them unique experiences. Our thieving forum member likely cares only about his own pleasure and satisfaction, which is why he is content to be a unwelcome parasite , living off the hard work and creativity he can lift from
others.

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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby JHostler » September 20th, 2015, 5:35 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:spoken like someone who has taken ideas from others all of his life. I suppose you believe it is ok to go to a magicians show and then copy their tricks and patter word for word, because, after all, to not do so would be absurd?


Well, as long as you've chosen to go ridiculously ad hominem... my published works are all heavily credited and include plenty of original material. Of course, you don't know me... nor have you read any of these books. If you did, you'd realize just how obnoxious the above statement is.

Our thieving forum member likely cares only about his own pleasure and satisfaction, which is why he is content to be a unwelcome parasite , living off the hard work and creativity he can lift from
others.


Seriously? Are you addressing this to me? For drawing a distinction between professional theft and utilizing what may or may not be a preexisting method for a quickie at someone's own wedding? There *is* a distinction. Get a life, Brad. (BTW - Five Card Monte isn't yours - yet you performed it sans permission in your silly little promotional video. Best take that down...)
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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby Brad Henderson » September 20th, 2015, 5:54 pm

BUT five card Monte is a published item and is ethically available for use. I pay Kipp Sherry who had the brilliant idea to make them into ones business cards.

if you can't see the difference between performing a decade old trick and something copied from another person's act I would dare say I have done well to avoid "your" published material.

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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby P.T.Widdle » September 20th, 2015, 6:05 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:...something copied from another person's act...


Just to be clear, based on the two videos, there is nothing presentational copied, so as was mentioned above, it is a matter of method (as opposed to the Teller case, for example).

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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby Brad Henderson » September 20th, 2015, 6:29 pm

he replicates the same look as Danny's illusion. Not possible with other methods. he leasens the value of Danny's illusion by diluting it's uniqueness.

he should have asked first

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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby P.T.Widdle » September 20th, 2015, 6:36 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:he replicates the same look as Danny's illusion. Not possible with other methods.


Do you mean walking around before and after?

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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 20th, 2015, 7:37 pm

I don't remember seeing a lot of this before the first Matrix movie.
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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 20th, 2015, 10:15 pm

Tim, you missed the fact that "Pen Thru Anything" was taken from Hideo Kato's "Wandering Hole" with no credit, just as "Thought Transmitter" was taken from Hideo Kato's "Mindscanner" with no credit.
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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby Tim Ellis » September 20th, 2015, 11:42 pm

From the MagicFakers blog

ALSO, many people ask about the origins of John Cornelius' original Pen Through Anything, often suggesting he got the idea from Tenyo's Wandering Hole (1979).


Here is the story direct from John himself:


"The Tenyo Wandering Hole was a piece of plastic with a movable hole. Sure it included a pen with magnets but I doubt you could do the pen through anything with that pen. If you could, Tenyo had about ten years to put the trick out.The inspiration for the pen through anything came from John Kennedy's cigarette through coin.Before I marketed the pen through anything I asked John Kennedy if this would bother him. He told me it would not bother him at all, because it was two different effects using two different objects."


As for MINDSCANNER vs THOUGHT TRANSMITTER, you may be right, I don't have any information on that at this point.



However, the example of Pen Thru Anything was merely an example that we should all strive to learn who the real inventors are at least of the tricks we perform.

Your point reinforces that. Even when we think we know the full story, sometimes more is revealed.

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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby Bill Mullins » September 21st, 2015, 12:01 am

Tim -- in your linked blog post, you say "Does the creator of a work have the right to restrict it’s use? In the world of music – absolutely!"

Not to take anything away from your overarching point, but music is the creative field in which this may be the least true, because (at least in America) compulsory licensing exists. Once a song is published, anyone may make a new recording without the permission of the writer (although royalties must still be paid).

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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby Ted M » September 21st, 2015, 1:05 am

I'm still having trouble wrapping my brain around the cognitive dissonance here.

Why are Billy Robinson's acts of appropriation praised -- by a prominent magic historian and illusion inventor who is frequently ripped off himself -- as The Glorious Deception?

Why is Kellar not a giant villain?

They're celebrated. Why?

My earnest hypothesis above was that great performance seems to trump ethics. Is that why?

If not, why are they celebrated?

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Tim Ellis
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Re: Justin Willman vs Danny Cole

Postby Tim Ellis » September 21st, 2015, 2:33 am

Hi Bill,

I'm sure the situation is the same in the USA. Here in Australia, if I wish to perform to music I need to submit my song choices to APRA, they will make sure the correct royalties go to the correct people. They will also let me know if I am allowed to use the songs I request.

http://apraamcos.com.au/music-customers/licence-types/theatre/

For example, if I want to use EVERYBODY HURTS by REM, I can use it if I perform my magic in "concert" style, but if I wish to perform my magic as a "play" REM will not allow me to use that song.

Certain artists allow certain songs to be used, others will restrict the use by imposing specific royalties (The Beatles, for example) that are so high no smaller companies will be able to afford them.


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