E-books and Integrity

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E-books and Integrity

Postby Guest » May 9th, 2002, 1:49 pm

Lybrary.com is currently marketing an unauthorized version of S. H. Sharpes translation of J. N. Hofzinsers Card Conjuring. The rights to this work belong to the estate of S. H. Sharpe and Martin Breese of Breese Books Limited, which administers the copyrights to Magic Wand Publications. Copyright extends to 70 years beyond the authors death, in this case 2062.

While we are pleased by the magic community's continued interest in Sharpe's work, this version has been marketed without proper permission.

Unless the merchandiser removes the e-book or CDs from sale and makes some form of financial restitution to the family of S. H. Sharpe and Martin Breese (email: MBreese999@aol.com), Mr. Breese will not hesitate to take legal action against the merchant for copyright infringement.

Dover Inc. has recognized Sharpes copyright and ownership of the work and made proper payment to him for its paperbound edition of Hofzinsers Card Conjuring.

While the production of new versions of old books is admirable, it must be done with integrity. Oftentimes works that may seem to be public-domain material are actually the current property of the author and their descendants, and every effort must be made to seek out the legal owners of these creations so they may be properly compensated. Books invariably represent years of the authors work, time, energy, and creativity and the writers and their families, and those who administer and protect their interests, rightfully must see the material returns from their creations.

We will be sending a copy of this letter to library.com and hope for a quick and friendly resolution to this issue.

Sincerely,
Trevor Hamilton
Authorized representative for Breese Books Limited and the estate of S. H. Sharpe

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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » May 9th, 2002, 2:07 pm

Originally posted by Trevor Hamilton:
We will be sending a copy of this letter to library.com and hope for a quick and friendly resolution to this issue.
While it's great that you are enforcing this, I think it would have been better to contact Chris Wasshuber (www.lybrary.com) first. It's not necessary to bring this to the public unless he refused to take any action.

Just my opinion...

-Jim

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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 9th, 2002, 3:47 pm

I have just consulted an attorney who specializes in just such issues, and he says that there is no simple yes or no answer. He did say that the estate of S.H. Sharpe does probably have some rights that "cannot be ignored."
At the time Dover reprinted the book, it was assumed that such a work was in the public domain. That opinion has changed.
Any unauthorized reprinting of the book is now subject to question and potential prosecution.
As for Trevor Hamilton making a public statement about the issue rather than merely sending Chris Wasshuber a private letter, well, sometimes public opinion can be quite persuasive.
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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby Jim Riser » May 9th, 2002, 4:39 pm

Personally I feel that bringing this issue before the Genii Forum members is a good idea. This friendly reminder (believe me - this was friendly) is a good way to point out some of the problems involved with reprinting older works. There are many who might merely ignore the legal rights issues and just go ahead and reprint an older book not knowing that they were violating someone's rights. Everyone on the Genii Forum has now been alerted to rights issues involving previously published materials and will, hopefully, remember the importance of such things in the future.
Jim

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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » May 9th, 2002, 7:11 pm

Originally posted by Jim Riser:
Personally I feel that bringing this issue before the Genii Forum members is a good idea. This friendly reminder (believe me - this was friendly) is a good way to point out some of the problems involved with reprinting older works. There are many who might merely ignore the legal rights issues and just go ahead and reprint an older book not knowing that they were violating someone's rights. Everyone on the Genii Forum has now been alerted to rights issues involving previously published materials and will, hopefully, remember the importance of such things in the future.
Jim
I'm all for bringing to light any legal issues that may come up. However, this can be done without naming the particular offender. This post, while it may be friendly in nature, may cast a bad light on Chris. Chances are this was an honest mistake on his part, and a simple e-mail to him would probably clear up that problem. As I stated in my previous post, if Chris was informed and hadn't taken action, THEN I would fully support a post such as this.

That being said, I'm glad that this information has been posted here. People should be informed about things like this. It's just not necessary to name names when you haven't even given the "offender" the courtesy of informing them of the offense.

-Jim

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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby CHRIS » May 9th, 2002, 9:26 pm

Dear Mr. Hamilton,

I would have appreciated a more professional attitude by contacting me first to see what my opinion regarding this matter is. I think I am quite visible online and I can therefore not imagine that contacting me would have been any problem.

Also your email to me which was clearly sent after you have posted here on the Genii forum is very amateur like. It didn't have any subject. You are not even addressing me properly. It seems you have merely copied your Genii forum post and forwarded it to me. Anyway, I hope your amateurish approach will not hinder a professional resolution of this matter.

Since you have made your claim in public let me respond as well here in public.

According to US copyright law "Hofzinser's Card Conjuring" is in the public domain. I have to assume you are not aware of the details of the US copyright law, so let me give you some important information. Paragraph 405 of the US Copyright law states that if a proper copyright notice is missing from a publication distributed before the effective date of the Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1988 (which if my memory serves me correctly is March 1989), the publication is in the public domain. Dover reprinted in 1986, Fulves in 1973. They do not show a copyright notice and are therefore in the public domain in the US.

I am not familiar with the copyright situation in the UK. I will therefore suspend any CD shipments of "Hofzinser's Card Conjuring" to the UK until this matter is resolved.

Regardless of the current copyright situation in the US, I would be willing to come to a professional agreement with Mr. Breese and to resolve this matter to the satisfaction of both sides. Since you have acted here as Mr. Breese's spokes person please let him know to contact me with a concrete professional proposal.

With Respect,
Chris Wasshuber, Lybrary.com preserving magic one book at a time.

P. S. I just wanted to add for the readers of this thread that I spend about 20% of my time researching copyrights, contacting estates, contacting friends, visiting libraries, reading the law, ... to make sure that I am not using anything I have no right to. But sometimes interpretations of the law varii and sometimes uncovering all necessary information is not possible. It can therefore happen that I do someone wrong. I would never do this intentionally nor out of carelessness. If I did someone wrong please contact me immediately. I am sure we will find a solution which will satisfy all parties.

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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby Bob Farmer » May 10th, 2002, 4:18 am

Actually, it's not quite a simple as this--there were some copyright law amendments done called the "Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA).

It amends section 104A of the U.S. Copyright Act to provide for the automatic restoration of copyright in certain foreign works that are in the public domain in the U.S. but are protected by copyright in the source country.

You can read all about it in Circular 38b which is available on the Copyright Office's website.

There are two separate copyrights that have to be considered: first, there is Ottokar Fischer's copyright in the German works. He died in 1940, so it's possible that copyright is still in existence.

Sharpe based his translation on Fishcer's work, so in some sense Sharpe's copyright in the translation is subservient to Fischer's (though Sharpe and Fischer may have agreed that Sharpe could maintain and use his copyright without Fischer's control).

As to who is right -- I'd say the guy with the most money to prove his case.

Finally, just because there is no copyright registration doesn't automaticaslly mean there is no copyright or that the work is in the public domain.

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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby CHRIS » May 10th, 2002, 6:39 am

Bob,

in general you are correct with the Uruguay Amendment.

However, for the "Hofzinser" case it is far from clear if it applies. My judgment says it does not and here are some of the details I base my thinking on.

Sharpe did not translate Hofzinser from scratch. Sharpe took the translation from Sphinx, starting in 1922, and reworked it. The first question is did Sharpe have the permission to take the Sphinx translation? And second question, does his rework constitute a new copyright?

If either one of these questions has to be answered with No, Breese has no basis for his claims. If both are answered with Yes, then we have to go one more step further.

The Fulves edition from 1973 also made changes to the Sharpe edition. Does the Fulves edition constitute a new copyright? If yes, then again Breese has no basis for his claims. Fulves edition does not fall under the Uruguay protection and due to missing copyright notice and paragraph 405 would then be in the public domain. My ebook version is essentially based on the Fulves edition.

Assuming that Sharpe had the permission to use the Sphinx material (which is something Breese would have to proove) then I would think that Fulves had the same right to claim a separate copyright as much as Sharpe claims his own copyright. Both reworked an existing book. The level of rework can now be argued - court is in session.

This is my judgment, but the ultimate decision can only be found in court. However I would hope that Mr. Breese would be more interested in an off court agreement. In any case, I have the time, the money and the inclination to see this through several stages in the court of law.

With Respect,
Chris Wasshuber
Lybrary.com preserving magic one book at a time
http://www.lybrary.com/

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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby Bob Farmer » May 10th, 2002, 7:38 am

Chris:
You raise some very interesting factual issues.

I think it's unclear that Sharpe based his translation on the Sphinx material. In the Dover edition, Sharpe refers to the Sphinx articles as, "...Singleton's somewhat jumbled translation."

He then goes on to say that he, "set to work to clarify the existing texts with the help of a German-English dictionary; and correspondence with Ottokar Fischer...."

To me this means he ignored the Sphinx translation and started again with the German source material -- specifically with Fishcer's German book.

This view is confirmed because later Sharpe quotes a letter from Fischer where Fischer refers to "... (Sharpe's) ... offer of publishing my M.S. of Dr. Hofzinser's magical tricks in English ...."

Also, in the original "Editor's Preface" Sharpe makes it quite clear that he did not use the Sphinx translation. First he refers to Fischer's German book and the Singleton translation of it as, "... a literal one ... difficult to follow ... mere jargon in parts ...."

He then says he has tried to put, "the book" into understandable English without altering the original idiom." The only way he could have done that would have been to start with the Fischer German version.

So Sharpe and his heirs could make a very good argument for a U.K. copyright. Whether that copyright could be revived in the U.S. is another discussion.

Bob

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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby CHRIS » May 10th, 2002, 8:20 am

Bob,

one will have to read the Sphinx translation to see how far it really is from the Sharpe translation to get a better understanding if Sharpe started from scratch or if he took big parts from Sphinx.

I have not yet located a copy of the Sphinx original. If anybody could provide me with one, I would certainly be very interested to read it myself and very greatful for the help.

Chris Wasshuber
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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby Bob Farmer » May 10th, 2002, 8:38 am

Chris:

Let us assume that the Sharpe translation is compared to the Sphinx translation and it is found that 45% of the Sharpe translation is exactly the same. That doesn't affect Sharpe's copyright to the other 55%.

So, if any part of that 55% is used without Sharpe's permission, he has a copyright infringement claim.

Sharpe only loses a claim if he used 100% of the Sphinx translation -- but even here he might still have a copyright in the overall work if he compiled it differently.

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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby CHRIS » May 10th, 2002, 9:01 am

Bob,

with ~50% you are correct. But the law states that minor changes do not constitute a new copyright not even for the changes. At this point I have no idea if Sharpe only changed a few words to better match the German idiom, or if he translated it anew.
Sharpes own comments would suggest, as you said, that he either did a new translation or changed major parts. But these are his own comments and thus subjective. It should be fairly easy to look at both texts and see what went on.

Anyway, this is just one of the open questions. It will be interesting how the story develops.

Chris....
Lybrary.com preserving magic one book at a time
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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby Guest » May 10th, 2002, 1:32 pm

Sharpe left a widow and a disabled son who would certainly welcome the proceeds from sales of his book.

Chris writes in his letter and on his site that he wants to make arrangements with any rightful owners, but his real interest appears to be arguing technicalities about why he can sell his copies.

He seems to respect that someone owns the book in England but he won't honor those rights here. The law may side with Chris, but that doesn't make his actions right.

It's disappointing that while Chris claims to want to act honorably, he simultaneously claims to be ready to fight a court battle. This is not what I consider actively protecting the rights of the authors.

Worse, it's twisted that Chris is trying to negate Sharpe's rights to his own book by questioning the legitimacy of his authorship.

This is very dangerous ground. Chris seems to be trying to justify reprinting any book if in his judgment the author was merely the translator or editor of an existing work, or if Chris judges it to not be original. His stance is that unless the author proves to Chris that the work is original, Chris can go ahead and make copies until he gets taken to court.

This attitude is, to say the least, profoundly disrespectful to the authors and their heirs with whom Chris says he wants to cooperate.

If Fulves or Dover put out a revised edition without a copyright notice, that does not mean Sharpe no longer owns the book. It just means that a new edition was issued without the copyright notice. Chris is sidestepping his responsibility with his arguments.

On the other hand, Sharpe's well-documented translation of Hofzinser (it's been written many times how he taught himself German to do his version) is indeed an original and much-respected work. This is why Dover paid him a royalty.

I agree with Bob Farmer's statement about the revised copyright law wherein copyright is worldwide for works covered in their own countries. Everyone should respect this, if for no other reason than to honor the author's hard work.

Someone owns the Hofzinser book: Sharpe's family and Martin Breese.

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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby Bill Mullins » May 10th, 2002, 3:33 pm

Originally posted by Chris Wasshuber:
Bob,
But the law states that minor changes do not constitute a new copyright not even for the changes.
http://www.lybrary.com/
A translation from one language to another, even a literal word-for-word one, isn't a minor change. Ask Richard Hatch if his work on Card College is a minor change.

Short of a citation of a legal decision stating otherwise, I (a non-lawyer who has tried to education himself on these issues) believe that a translation contains sufficient literary input to be a creation or expression in tangible format, which is what copyright law protects.

Bill Mullins

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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby CHRIS » May 10th, 2002, 9:34 pm

Bill,

of course a translation constitutes a new copyright. Nobody is arguing that. The question I raised was if Sharpe took an existing translation and made only minor changes to it. I don't know if this was the case with Sharpe's translation or not. At this point it is a hypothetical statement. But I have not seen any proove otherwise either. In any case it should be easy to find out and I will.

Simon,

you are very much misinterpreting me. I have stated that I would hope Mr. Breese will be open to an agreement without having to go through a court battle. On the other hand Mr. Breese also decided to drag this in the open without even trying to contact me and I am therefore less inclined to just hand over some money but rather see what legal claims he really has and then consider any moral claims he has. If Mr. Breese would have contacted me in a normal professional manner I would have been much more inclined to listen to his moral claims and compensate him accordingly. I think this is very normal. If somebody tries to be mean to you, you are not going to just bend over. At this point the legal matter is very much unclear. The moral matter is very clear.

Also, do you know how much Dover payed Mr. Sharpe compensation for a reprint he was not happy with? Mr. Sharpe got $250 from Dover. A one time payment.

My former posts were a legal discussion with Bob. These were just to discuss the legal claims Sharpe and Breese would or could have. They have nothing to do with any moral rights which I have honored in the past and will be honoring in the future as long as fairness is applied. You can ask the people at Abbott's or Mr. Lee Jacobs and you will find out that I have refrained from reprinting public domain material because these people have communicated their moral rights to me in an open honest and friendly climate. You will find that under such circumstances I am not pounding on my legal rights but consider personal and other circumstances.

However, Mr. Breese has chosen not to communicate in such an open honest and friendly climate but threatened legal action on a public forum without hearing my side first.

Chris Wasshuber
Lybrary.com preserving magic one book at a time.
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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby Guest » May 10th, 2002, 10:38 pm

The unprofessional act is marketing a copy of a someone else's book. Every legitimate magic publisher out there is extremely conscious of finding out who owns the rights to material.

As for Dover paying Sharpe $250, that's $250 more than his heirs have received from sales of pirated books.

I am glad to hear Chris decided to not reprint any publications owned by Abbott's or Lee Jacobs. While this shows commendable compassion, apparently you have to plead poverty to not have your material copied. If you simply state your rights, you're considered fair game until you prove you're protected by law.

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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby CHRIS » May 11th, 2002, 12:45 am

Simon,

I did research the copyright issue of Hofzinser and came to the conclusion that "Hofzinser's Card Conjuring" is in the public domain in the US. I didn't just republish without thought as I can demonstrate in several other cases where I decided not to republish.

However, I admit that I was unaware of Mr. Breese's ownership of Sharpe's copyrights. As you might find out when you do some copyright research yourself it is not trivial to find out who is the executor of a certain estate and how to locate him. My research didn't yield any leads for me to follow beside the ones I did. There were several people involved in my research. None knew that Mr. Breese has any rights to this work. I have therefore shown due dilligence.

In any case, believe what you want to believe. I have made Mr. Breese and the Sharpe estate an offer for compensation and am awaiting their response.

Chris Wasshuber
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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby Bob Farmer » May 11th, 2002, 5:17 am

There is more to printing rights than the issue of public domain. In order to reprint a book you have to look at least three issues: copyright, trademark and publicity rights.

Let's say the book is in the public domain (i.e., no copyright)-- if you use the name of the author on the book or in selling the book, you can nfringe trademark and publicity rights.

In New York state, there is a civil rights law that says you cannot use a person's name in commerce without their permission. In California there is a law for the famous: basically, if you're famous for something, you and your heirs can control the use of your name.

Then there is something called "publicity rights"--if you misappropriate someone's name, you can be sued for damages.

Then there are the nationwide trademark laws -- sure, Colonel Saunders and Elvis Presley are dead, but try and use their names to sell something and you're in trouble.

An author (or his heirs) could easily establish these rights.

"Public domain" is not the only issue.

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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby CHRIS » May 11th, 2002, 6:19 am

Final note.

I have reached with Mr. Breese a royalty agreement and will make a sizeable advance so that the Sharpe family has a meaningful profit early on.

We both regret the unfortunate way the whole issue came here before the Genii forum. Mr. Breese has explained to me the circumstances that lead to the initiating public post rather than a private email and I accept his explanation. I apologize for some of the things I wrote in the heat of the battle.

At least we didn't make a few lawyers richer but provide some help for a magicians family. One little contribution from our fraternity.

I am happy how the whole thing came to a conclusion. Now it is up to you to decide which edition of "Hofzinser's Card Conjuring" to buy.

Chris Wasshuber
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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby Dustin Stinett » May 11th, 2002, 5:53 pm

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Chris Wasshuber:
[QB]Now it is up to you to decide which edition of "Hofzinser's Card Conjuring" to buy.

Chris,

I'm pleased to know (but not at all surprised) that you worked things out with Mr. Breese. As for which copy to purchase - no offense, but I'm waiting for the English translation of Non Plus Ultra!

Dustin

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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby Scott » May 11th, 2002, 6:26 pm

I would like to see the outrage that some of you have towards Chris directed to the magic shops who copy stuff and place it in a new plastic bag and sell it without ever regarding the owners rights as well.

People are quick to jump on Chris when he says anything, but will walk right into a magic shop, buy something that was copied or produced without the permission of the owner, drive home and act like nothing happened. Let's see that same outrage at what magic shops are doing to the owners rights.

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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 11th, 2002, 8:16 pm

Scott, it is not easy to spot a pirated manuscript for many people. They may think they're buying the real thing.
What magic shops are you talking about? I haven't been to any lately that are photocopying material and selling it illegally. Paul Diamond used to do that--his dealer table at a magic convention was filled with illegally photocopied manuscripts.
He's no longer in business.
I repeat: if you see an illegally copied item in a magic shop, then it is your duty to contact the copyright owner and alert him or her immediately.
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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby Scott » May 12th, 2002, 5:53 am

Richard, I've been in magic shops all over the US and it's not just one shop who does this. Take the effect of Ben Harris' that was copied and sold by so many magic dealers. Ben said that some of the dealers actually pay him when they sell an illegal copy of the trick, so he's making money off of the pirated material. He's only doing this because a handfull of dealers stepped up and tried to right a wrong. Simple matter is that that trick wouldn't have sold so many illegal copies if the dealers didn't buy and sell them. We don't buy 99.9% of our magic from some guy in a basement selling copies. We buy from well known dealers. So, where does all the pirating take place? At the dealer level. Without the dealers buying and/or making pirated copies of tricks and manuscripts, there would be little impact on the creators of the effects in regards to losing money from pirates.

How many times have you been in a magic shop and had someone say "Let me make you a copy of this?". Really think about that before you answer. Because I'm talking about lecture notes as well. Perhaps they don't offer them to everyone, but personally I have been offered copies of many things by many shops.

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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby EdAndres » May 12th, 2002, 8:20 am

what was the name of that shop again?

It is really easy... you just open your mouth and say the name.

If not ...the problem is unresolved and we bury our heads and move on like the blob rolling and churning in the mush.

and to my matie Chris ... aye you scallywagger... you raise that jolly roger and sail on buddie... the view is clear from here.....

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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby Jon Racherbaumer » May 12th, 2002, 9:51 am

Since this topic, issue, and brouhaha has generated many messages, may I recommend a book? The book is written by Lawrence Lessig, who is a professor of law (University of Chicago and Harvard). The book focuses on the impact of cyberspace on commerce and how the regulation of information, intellectual propery, and our very lives may ultimately be controlled by software architecture. He points out, among other eye-opening things, that cyberspace has NO "nature." It has only CODE--and software and hardware are what makes it what it is. Cyberspace, a supposed hive of "freedom" and "free stuff" will soon be as regulated as the rest of commerce.

Yes, there will always be "pirates" (especially in the lowlands of magicdom).

However, I do not think that Chris W. is a predatory, unethical guy. He is simply trying to use available technology to bring certain materials that are not always easy to find or access.

However, other marketers "out there" in magicdom ARE predatory and the number of rip-offs, especially since 1970, is too high to quantify.

Anyway, if you guys are REALLY INTERESTED in this topic, buy, borrow, steal, or find a "pirated copy" of CODE: AND OTHER LAWS OF CYBERSPACE by Lawrence Lessig.

BTW, I plan to give RK all rights to AVATAR, a short-run pub I put out several years ago. This is the same pub Jeff Busby put out without permission or legal rights. Of course, Busby also published my private correspondence without my permission, which he also had no legal right to do.

Perhaps it's time to publish THE SKELETON KEY TO THE BRAUE NOTEBOOKS: ANNOTATIONS AND FULMINATIONS, which Busby DOES NOT have the rights to...?

In the meantime, I still have some "free stuff" (a tad) on MY website; I'm adding GOOD TURNS 2.0 next week, another expanded manuscript-as-software experiment.

http://www.JonRacherbaumer.com

Onward...

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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby Scott » May 12th, 2002, 10:34 am

It is not that easy Ed. "Just say the name". As I said, it's not "one" shop, it's many. Am I stupid enough to come on a public site, bad mouth dealers and then try to buy from them? No.

No way I'm getting my name on the blacklist of the magic community by naming names. They know who they are, and those who buy the ripped off tricks and copied lecture notes know who they are. Me naming them will not change anything.

Guest

Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby Guest » May 12th, 2002, 12:48 pm

I am very pleased Chris has promised to send money to the Sharpe family. Chris, you did the right thing.

One issue remains for me to question. Chris states he did extensive research to find the rightful owners of Hofzinser before he finally gave up and published his version.

He hasn't named the various people he contacted. I suspect they do not include the Sharpe family. If you go to AOL White Pages and enter "Robin Sharpe" in the United Kingdom, Sharpe's son's phone number and address appear. Same with Sharpe's wife June. To know their names, you could probably ask anyone that knew or corresponded with Sharpe or check the front of "Neo-Magic Artistry."

Other obvious possibilities that Chris seems to have overlooked include Sharpe's publishers, such as Mike Caveney, Micky Hades, The Miracle Factory, Tannen's, and Magic Inc. The authors of the prefaces in his recent books would probably have contact information for the family. I also imagine he did not contact the two major Hofzinser historians, Richard Hatch and Magic Christian.

Hopefully he will try similarly likely sources of information next time.

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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby CHRIS » May 12th, 2002, 8:08 pm

Simon,

ultimately it was of course my own shortfall not having found out all the people, connections and their claims. I had contact in the recent past with Martin Breese. If I would have known it would have been a matter if a simple email. But I didn't.

Looking back, it is true that it might look just as a matter of an email to the right person. But let me tell you, that even if you know a person who should know, let's say the contact address of a certain estate, one does not always receive that information. Stated differently, I have tried in the past to ask for information from certain highly visible authorities in magic, and have not received any help whatsoever. On the other hand there are some who are extremely nice and helpful. I would like to name their names but on the other hand I don't even want to cast one tiny bit of shadow on their person regarding this "Hofzinser" matter. I hope you will understand.

Certainly, I have no right to information. It is up to each one to decide to help me out or not. This is just to show that even if you know who should know it does not mean that you will get to know. So it is not just a matter of some emails as you like to make it look.

To give you a concrete example. I am trying to find out the contact address of the Carl W. Jones Estate since several months without success. As you might know Bobo's "Modern Coin Magic" is in the public domain. I am currently selling an ebook version of it. However, I would like to pay the Jones Estate a royalty because I think they still have a moral right to the contents of this book. I can't even gauge how many emails and letters I have sent out to find out this piece of information, without success. Well, perhaps the publicity of this thread can help. If anybody knows the contact address of the Carl W. Jones estate please let me know.

Chris Wasshuber
Lybrary.com preserving magic one book at a time.
http://www.lybrary.com/

Bill Mullins
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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby Bill Mullins » May 13th, 2002, 11:46 am

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
Scott, it is not easy to spot a pirated manuscript for many people. They may think they're buying the real thing.
Boy, you got that right. When Allan Hayden lectured here in 1997, the lecture notes he was selling appeared to be 4th or 5th generation copy of a copy of a copy . . .
No way to tell if it was pirated or real, except that the author was the seller.

I've seen other notes that were just as bad. A member of our club asked Doc Eason to sign some notes that he had bought in good faith from a reputable store, and that looked professionally done. Doc informed him that they were in fact pirated notes -- that the original format of Doc's release was different, and explained the differences. Fortunatley, they worked out the problem (my friend bought a legit copy, at a discounted price, as I recall).

Bill Mullins

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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby Bill Mullins » May 13th, 2002, 11:50 am

Kudos to Chris W. for resolving this. It's easy to make a mistake (particularly when you've got the whole Genii Forum willing to pick you apart), but one measure of a man is what he is willing to do fix the problem, and it looks like Chris has done all that's required by law, and then some.

It must be difficult to figure out the claims to ownership of old books; it's surprising he's done as well as he has.

Bill

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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby Guest » May 13th, 2002, 5:29 pm

Here we go again. Chris states that he has already been marketing Modern Coin Magic, but now after the fact he is trying to get approval. How about contacting the Bobo family and asking them? Or Jay Marshall, who published the revised edition? Or Milton Kort, who contributed a huge amount of his techniques to the book? You might want to see how they react to a CD version.

Here is some additional information on copyright law, courtesy of the United States Copyright Office:

The Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, signed into law on October 27, 1998, amends the provisions concerning duration of copyright protection. Effective immediately, the terms of copyright are generally extended for an additional 20 years. Specific provisions are as follows:

* For works created after January 1, 1978, copyright protection will endure for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. In the case of a joint work, the term lasts for 70 years after the last surviving authors death. For anonymous and pseudonymous works and works made for hire, the term will be 95 years from the year of first publication or 120 years from the year of creation, whichever expires first;

* For works created but not published or registered before January 1, 1978, the term endures for life of the author plus 70 years, but in no case will expire earlier than December 31, 2002. If the work is published before December 31, 2002, the term will not expire before December 31, 2047;

* For pre-1978 works still in their original or renewal term of copyright, the total term is extended to 95 years from the date that copyright was originally secured. For further information see Circular 15a.

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Scott
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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby Scott » May 13th, 2002, 6:19 pm

Simon, apparently you have a major problem with Chris. There are loads of threads on this board that you could use "your" logic on, but you seem to stick to this one. I don't see you all over the Steve Fearson thread, where Fearson allegedly is selling Stephan's self folding bill. You seem to want to pick on Chris. If you plan to be fair, let's see you condemn all other posts, no matter who they are from that use items without credit or payment to the creator of his/her family.

Fact is, he's trying to contact them and has made deals with the people he had contacted.

Let's see you treat others the same way you are treating Chris.

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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby CHRIS » May 13th, 2002, 7:57 pm

Simon,

I am not quite sure what I should think about you. It is very nice that you cite little parts from the US copyright law. Don't you think I have read the law several times? I am not a lawyer but I think I have a reasonable good understanding of the law.

Now let's come to "Modern Coin Magic". This one I can tell you with 100% certainty is in the public domain. Because I looked up the copyright records. And the fact of the matter is that it was never renewed making it public domain. This was obviously a screw up of Carl W. Jones or whoever handled the renewals. That was also the reason why "New Modern Card Magic" was written to create some incentive for people to by the new edition rather than the old one.

Before you cast stones think about Dover who is reprinting without any compensation to the Jones family and Marko who is giving it away for free on his TLPP website. I, on the other hand, am willing to pay a royalty. You accuse me of not checking the facts. I would like to ask you yourself to find out more about these issues before you try to condemn me.

Why do you have a problem if I try to go beyond the coverage the law provides and offer royalties even if a book is public domain? I would not be required to do so. And any good business men wouldn't. Actually thinking about this matter more deeply, I must be a real idiot paying for something I don't need to. Dover and Marko must be laughing their pants off.

But Simon, I think you simply don't get what I try to achieve with Lybrary.com. I try to improve the access to magical knowledge by republishing old books of which many are very hard to find or would cost you a small fortune to acquire second hand. And I try to offer these to an extremely affordable price in a format which is in my opinion superior to printed books, simply because of the fact that they can be searched automatically by a computer (your milage may vary). And secondly, I also work to bring new material to the interested student with the intent to further improve the way magic is taught - see my efforts with Card College and embedded video clips.

Today I offer 106 ebooks. Soon it will be 200, 300 perhaps 1000. There will be books among them you haven't heard of. Books you would never know existed. Magician's will regularly search hundreds of reference ebooks and will achieve a new level of understanding and knowledge. Their efficiency of research will rise to new heights. The combination of video clips, text, illustrations and animations will provide a deeper and accellerated learning. If you stumble in your research upon some strange reference of some old and rare book, you will just turn to your electronic library, or stop by at Lybrary.com and there it is for $2.00 and for immediate download. You will satisfy your curiosity instantly, read and absorb this largely unknown little gem. You just became more knowledgable, more skilled, a more informed and better magician.

Get it?

With Respect,
Chris Wasshuber
Lybrary.com preserving magic one book at a time
http://www.lybrary.com/

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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby Bob Farmer » May 14th, 2002, 4:11 am

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Chris Wasshuber:
"... 'Modern Coin Magic' ... This one I can tell you with 100% certainty is in the public domain. Because I looked up the copyright records. And the fact of the matter is that it was never renewed making it public domain."

As I said above, public domain status in the U.S. does not mean the book is in the public domain anywhere else. Also, Chris is right to seek a deal with the families, because of the trademark, personality and other rights related to the use of the author's name and the title of the book.

Incidentally, the Jones family will be tough to deal with -- ask Richard Kaufman about "Greater Magic."

Citing what Dover has done and not done is not that persuasive -- because of the small amount of money involved, nobody is going to sue Dover to put any wrong right.

Chris is taking the right approach: do what's right, not what's legal (his approach has to be contrasted with Randy Wakeman's -- Wakeman has apparently reprinted several Marlo books he claims are in the public domain and hasn't paid Marlo's widow a dime).

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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby Steve Bryant » May 14th, 2002, 6:17 am

It's my understanding that Jay Marshall was quite unhappy when Dover began publishing Modern Coin Magic, and I doubt that he is any happier at someone's publishing it as an e-book. If anyone wants to do "what's right not what's legal" he would simply stop publishing something that is effectively costing Jay money. And offering someone money "because I can legally get away with screwing you anyway" doesn't strike me as the most magnanimous of gestures. As for Randy Wakeman, at least he isn't getting thousands of words of free advertising without paying Richard Kaufman a dime. I'm all for occasional mentions of what we might have to offer, but to stick such mentions in EVERY post gets old. Your name will automatically appear at the left of each message. You needn't sign the message nor add a link to whatever you are selling.

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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby Bob Farmer » May 14th, 2002, 9:19 am

Steve said:

"If anyone wants to do "what's right not what's legal" he would simply stop publishing something that is effectively costing Jay money."

Implicit in doing what's right is to abide by Jay Marshall's decision. I wasn't suggesting that by making a payment for a public domain work, you could thereby ignore the equities.

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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby CHRIS » May 14th, 2002, 10:10 am

Steve, so what you are saying is, it is better to screw a widow by not paying here royalties than to post on a public forum.

That means you suggest that I should shut up and not pay anyone a dime. Doesn't sound right to me, but you are the man.

Chris Wasshuber
Lybrary.com preserving magic one book at a time
http://www.lybrary.com/

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Steve Bryant
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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby Steve Bryant » May 14th, 2002, 10:35 am

No, just do what Bob said: Work out something to the satisfaction of the ethical if not legal owner of the material, who has put either effort or money into the project. I assume that in most cases this is what you try to do, and I appreciate that it can be difficult. It's when the widow (or, in the case I cited, an active and much-revered magician/dealer) doesn't want you to publish period that you have to make the tough choice.

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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby Dustin Stinett » May 14th, 2002, 12:31 pm

Originally posted by Bob Farmer:
Wakeman has apparently reprinted several Marlo books he claims are in the public domain and hasn't paid Marlo's widow a dime.
I do not recall Randy Wakeman ever claiming the Marlo books & magazines he reprinted were in the public domain. It also seems to me that he was working with Mrs. Marlo, not against her. I believe that there was a third party that was claiming “rights” to Marlo's works and this is the basis of that controversy. I could be wrong - but this is my recollection.

Dustin
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Re: E-books and Integrity

Postby Anthony Brahams » May 14th, 2002, 12:43 pm

Bob Farmer wrote that Randy W hadn't paid Muriel Marlo a dime. Randy told that that hehad paid her. Of course I cannot confirm or deny. matter arose because Roger Crosthwaite told me tht Muriel Marlo had given him the OK to work on, where/if necessary some material including The Unexpected Card Book. I was to publish as The Cairn Press.

I saw an ad for the book, new version etc. on the web and eventually found out that Randy was the publisher. In e-mail corespondence with him, and phone calls with Roger I learned that Randy had contract and had paid consideration, Roger had received a letter he did not have to hand but had a phone call with Muriel when he understood she agreed. I immediately told Randy that Roger and I were dropping out and that was the end of the matter as far as I was concerned. So now I ma very interested to know if Randy DID have kegal rights from Marlo's widow. Naturally I will not republish Unexpected (!) but Roger does have rights to another item.
Anthony


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