Ethics

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Ethics

Postby Guest » June 12th, 2003, 8:32 pm

Aaron Shields brought up, in esence the topic of ETHICS as well as courtesy and gentility in mutual intercourse. We need people to keep us awakened; ethics is notjust an item in civilized society; it is EVERYTHING .
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Geno Munari
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Re: Ethics

Postby Geno Munari » June 12th, 2003, 10:34 pm

I agree totally. But what about the publications who accept advertising, albeight, with or without their knowledge of violators of ethics issues. Shouldn't they also be responsible and not accept ads from obvious violators? Or does freedom of the press, in reverse uphold?

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Ethics

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 13th, 2003, 8:28 am

It is not a question of freedom of the press.
It is not the job of a publication to police its advertisers. Only when complaints are received from customers of a particular advertiser can we take action.
We cannot legally refuse to accept advertising from anyone. It is restraint of trade. It is the job of the originators of material that they believe is being stolen to use legal means (if they are available) to stop people from illegally reproducing their materials. It is their job, not our job, and it is a job we are unequipped to handle.
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Re: Ethics

Postby Chris Aguilar » June 13th, 2003, 10:48 am

Richard,
I totally understand that it's not your responsiblity to police your advertisers. But a quick question.

When you say:

We cannot legally refuse to accept advertising from anyone.
Does that also apply to non magic goods and services? Suppose someone wanted to advertise their "Personal Escort Services" or some other unlikely thing in Genii? Would you be compelled to run the ad?
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Re: Ethics

Postby Bill Mullins » June 13th, 2003, 11:24 am

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
We cannot legally refuse to accept advertising from anyone. It is restraint of trade.
I agree it is unfair to place the burden of determining the ethical suitableness of advertisers onto publishers.

However, I'm surprised that he can't pick and choose amongst them for legal reasons. Newspapers reject X-rated movie ads all over America.

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Re: Ethics

Postby Pete Biro » June 13th, 2003, 11:48 am

Personal Escort Services would never advertise in a magic magazine... magicians are too cheap! :D
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Re: Ethics

Postby Guest » June 13th, 2003, 11:51 am

Originally posted by Bill Mullins:
However, I'm surprised that he can't pick and choose amongst them for legal reasons. Newspapers reject X-rated movie ads all over America.
Absolutely. Cigarette ads, too. Richard, what law are you talking about?

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Pete Biro
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Re: Ethics

Postby Pete Biro » June 13th, 2003, 11:53 am

An example was a dealer at an IBM convention. He showed up (no one that runs a convention knows what a dealer will be bringing, right?) with rip-off of Steinmeyer's Origami box.

Jim complained to us.

We went to the guy and he said (get this!) "It is different than Jims." "How," we asked. "I use a different kind of hinge!"

Arghhhhhhhhh

Problem was, at the time, Jim didn't have a patent or copyright (I beleive he now does), and the dealer committee couldn't kick the guy out.

A lot of heat was put on the guy, and I can't remember if he had to put the Origami away or not.

But, the ethics chairman of the IBM at the time really screwed up.

Paul Daniels came up to me and said, "I just had dinner with the ethic chairman and guess what he said? He said 'I never go much out of the Professor's Nightmare until I used YOUR PATTER.'"

Next day I was lecturing and I told this story and nailed the ethics chairman in front of the attendees.

Just like the time a guy came on with his shirt tail sticking out of his fly.

I stood up in the audienc and shouted..."Hey you are stealing The Great Tomsoni's bit!"

I got a round of applause.

:genii: :genii: :genii:
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Re: Ethics

Postby Guest » June 13th, 2003, 12:50 pm

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
It is not a question of freedom of the press.
It is not the job of a publication to police its advertisers. Only when complaints are received from customers of a particular advertiser can we take action.
We cannot legally refuse to accept advertising from anyone. It is restraint of trade. It is the job of the originators of material that they believe is being stolen to use legal means (if they are available) to stop people from illegally reproducing their materials. It is their job, not our job, and it is a job we are unequipped to handle.
Richard,

According to my wife, who has been a publisher for over 20 years now, your assertion is not entirely correct, depending on certain circumstances.

A private business has the right to refuse to take advertising from anyone, at any time.

As a privately held corporation that is not (I assume) taking federal funds for operations, not even the mandates regarding equal representation should apply as your funding is private.

If, however, you are feeding from the Federal or State budget via business loans, grants or whathaveyou, the picture changes a bit.

The question would then be - is Genii partially funded by government loans or grants?

If yes, then certain standards apply as noted in the grant or loan agreement.

If no, a private business can always reserve the right to refuse service (including advertising space) to anyone they deem unsuitable.

Were this not the case, Mr. Busby could buy ad space from you and you would have to run his ads. Or so it would seem.

And we both know that that's not going to happen. Right? ;)

Not a flame, just my comments. I could be wrong. It wouldn't be a first! :D

With resepct and admiration for your ongoing efforts on all of our behalfs,

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
http://www.leedarrow.com

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Re: Ethics

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 13th, 2003, 2:30 pm

I have to have a reason to refuse someone's ad. Obviously I can refuse an ad from someone who is entirely outside the magic field because the ads are inappropriate and in no way align with the interests of the readers of my magazine.
However, in the case of magic suppliers, I still need a reason, a legally defensible reason, that doesn't leave me open for a lawsuit. I cannot say to someone who wants to advertise, "You are illegally reproducing products that are not yours." The reason is that the law recognizes very little of magic as something that is protectable, therefore I cannot call the advertiser a thief because the law doesn't recognize thievery of something that isn't legally recognized as something that can be protected.
Here is an example of an ad I could turn down: someone comes to me selling illegally made copies of books and DVDs. This is a simple one because the copyright law protects these items from reproduction. There is no ambiguity here. If Rabbi Sam Gringras of Magico came to me with an ad for his pirate versions of Pabular, I would turn down his ads because Martin Breese has provided a signed contract with the owner of Pabular, Nick Bolton, while the Rabbi has not. Until the Rabbi comes up with a contract, and it would have to predate the one Breese has, that story is over.
If someone copies, for example, the Paul Fox cups and wants to sell them, I will accept the ad because the law does not recognize the design of the Fox cups as something that is "ownable."
If Jeff Busby wanted to advertise in Genii I could refuse his ads because I have proof, legally viable proof, that he took money from many customers and did not deliver the merchandise they paid for.
I will repeat: magazine publishers are not policemen--we cannot accept the responsibility to screen every ad we get to decide whether it is in line with our moral standards (whatever the heck those may be) for orignal magic that we would allow to be sold. It's an impossible task. It is the responsibility of the person who feels he is being ripped off to take whatever legal action is at his or her disposal to stop the person who is selling what they feel is material that they somehow own the rights to.
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Re: Ethics

Postby Pete Biro » June 13th, 2003, 3:02 pm

As a former publisher of a car magazine, I can tell you of a nother factor.

An advertiser will buy a page ad, send the payment and NOT the ad... saying "our art department is running late, can we ship the file direct to the printer?" "Sure," you say... so, the ad runs in the magazine without the publisher knowing what the ad is all about.

This can, and does happen. Not often, but it can.

And, in today's market it is pretty hard to turn down any ads that bring in revenue.

The magazine I worked for ceased publication as the paper costs went up 15% every quarter and finally got so high it was impossible to continue.
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Re: Ethics

Postby Jeffrey Cowan » June 13th, 2003, 3:14 pm

This is too complicated an issue to address fully here, but Lee Darrow and Richard Kaufman have incorrectly stated the grounds on which a publisher can legally decline advertisements. Suffice it to say that in most jurisdictions in the U.S., persons generally can decline to do business with others so long as they do not act on an invidious basis prohibited by law (e.g., race, gender, religion, etc).

Of course, one can always be sued despite having acted lawfully, but that's a different problem. . .

- Jeffrey Cowan
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Re: Ethics

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 13th, 2003, 9:26 pm

And every lawyer will give you a different opinion regarding that. That's what they are paid to do.

However, that's not even the real point.
The real point is that I am not going to be put in the position of being a policeman. I can't be put in that position since there's no way I make judgements in these matters. It's not my job.
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Re: Ethics

Postby Guest » June 14th, 2003, 5:24 am

From Magic New Zealand Issue # 180 Walter Blaney of WAM writes...."WAM has just spent a good bit of money to get a legal ruling from a
top "intellectual property" law firm in the USA. The ruling simply says a magazine or magic society can individually make a decision on
its own (not in concert, or banding together with others) to refuse ads from those who break our code of ethics. If such a dealer complains, he can agree to drop his handling of rip-off props, as per our stated Code of Ethics. He then would have the privilege of advertising again in that magazine."

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Re: Ethics

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 14th, 2003, 9:22 am

The WAM legal opinion read like gibberish to me.
But you're still not getting my point: I will not be put in the position of having to make decisions on what tricks belong to who. It's not my job, and it is a path laden with mistakes and misery for anyone who attempts it.
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Re: Ethics

Postby Larry Horayne » June 14th, 2003, 2:15 pm

Here is the pathetic problem -- we live in a world that doesn't know, or care, what is right or wrong.

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Re: Ethics

Postby Jonathan Townsend » June 14th, 2003, 2:29 pm

I share the sentiment, though perhaps not the analysis as Sandy above.

We seem to celebrate the notion of victim's rights yet not take much interest in the roots of the circumstances and attitudes that create both abuser and abused.

We claim to respect intellectual property yet teach each other to 'watch and learn' as opposed to 'discuss and trade'.

We seem to desire the moral high ground of the righthous yet effect policies of pragmatism.

It's a good thing some people remember 'dialectical materialsm' and 'double think' so we can discuss these issues.

Or we could envy the rabbit hiding in a hat waiting for its moment of glory onstage.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: Ethics

Postby Guest » June 16th, 2003, 7:00 am

Originally posted by Jeffrey Cowan:
This is too complicated an issue to address fully here, but Lee Darrow and Richard Kaufman have incorrectly stated the grounds on which a publisher can legally decline advertisements. Suffice it to say that in most jurisdictions in the U.S., persons generally can decline to do business with others so long as they do not act on an invidious basis prohibited by law (e.g., race, gender, religion, etc).

Of course, one can always be sued despite having acted lawfully, but that's a different problem. . .

- Jeffrey Cowan
Jeffrey,

That's pretty much what I stated. :)

In the case of a firm that is partially funded by federal grants, however, there are slightly more stringent rules regarding the refusal of service.

Forinstance, under federal regulations, discrimination based on gender, race, age, religion, sexual orientation or nationality are not allowed and are actionable from what I have seen of the paperwork that goes with such funding programs.

This is not true for privately funded firms, as you note, in most jurisdictions.

As to refusing an ad from anyone, all that needs be said is something like, "we are sorry, but your advertisement has been refused and your payment returned."

No reason has to be given at all, AFAIK and have been able to ascertain.

Kind regards,

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
http://www.leedarrow.com


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