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Topic: Illusion plans and building your own illusions
Message: Posted by: havagrim (Nov 3, 2012 04:32AM)
Hi there people!

I am fairly new to this forum. I have been lurking it for quite some time, and recently decided to register. don't know why I havent done so until now. But oh well. Here I am.

Now, to my questions.

I have been contemplating to build myself some smaller illusions (dagger chest, metamorphis, sawing in half etc). Maybe not "small". But yeah, you get the idea.

I do mostly parlour magic at parties and a lot of close-up stuff. But I also do stage magic, and I really enjoy that. Now I am considering getting some tricks that show better on a stage. I am saving for a Losander floating table for instance.

BUT, now when it comes to say dagger chest. I saw on Abbot's magic website that they sell the illusion plans for that. If I buy that, I can build the illusion AND use it? What are the rules? What stuff can I use, and what cant I use. How do I know?

I mean most tricks have already been done. Today they are just improved versions of old ideas. I do firmly belive in not stealing other magicians ideas and improvements and I would never buy say a copy floating table for instance. But whats the deal if I buy illusion plans/dvd/books with blue prints etc. Can I build and USE the illusion just because I own the blue print? I guess talking to whoever has credit for it and asking for permision is the way to go. But what about when the creator is dead?

I am confused here! Help! :)

/Ronnie Kash
Message: Posted by: akschulz (Nov 3, 2012 05:28AM)
Hi Ronnie,

that's actually an interesting question...one I've not really ever considered. I always assumed that if you buy the plans for an illusion (or a pattern, say, for a suit or dress for example) then you can go and use that to make the end product. Selling the design/pattern/instructions/recipe seems like selling the license to produce the product to me.

Alec
Message: Posted by: havagrim (Nov 3, 2012 06:08AM)
Yes. That is what I have always thought aswell. I mean if the constructor sells or gives out his blue print in a book, I assume he wants me to both construct AND use it. But I want to be sure. don't want to step on anyones toes :)

Thanks for your reply

Ronnie
Message: Posted by: magicelam (Nov 3, 2012 06:24AM)
Ronnie,

Usually you're free to use ANYTHING you build. Unless it is copyrighted, trademarked, etc. etc. (You can read up on that here:
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use)

Selling is a different beast all together. I have an Osborne plan that actually states that rights to the illusion are not included, and it tells you who the "licensed" builder is.

All of that being said, I'd steer clear of trying to build anything on this list without permission:
http://www.magicauction.com/IllusionHotline/Illusion_Rights.htm

Also, if you have questions about a particular illusion, ask on here. This place is, right or wrong, full of answers.

Also, nothing seems to anger people more than knock-off origami, interlude, and kalin spikers, so don't even watch videos of those on youtube, or the Café WILL KNOW.

The three illusions you mentioned, build away. No one will care. That being said, be sure you have an original presentation. Or just do David Copperfield's presentation. That's a really popular option.
Message: Posted by: havagrim (Nov 3, 2012 07:34AM)
Thank you very much for an very helpful answer. I will read up on the links provided, and don't worry. I have some good routines in mind, and hopefully I will be atleast somewhat original.

Thank you and be well!

Time to go and chop some wood..

Ronnie
Message: Posted by: Matt Adams (Dec 10, 2012 05:36PM)
[quote]
On 2012-11-03 07:24, magicelam wrote:

All of that being said, I'd steer clear of trying to build anything on this list without permission:
http://www.magicauction.com/IllusionHotline/Illusion_Rights.htm
[/quote]

That list is very very old and many of those items aren't even around anymore. For a more up to date list that is still being worked on (the only one to my knowledge), check out the following:
http://www.illusionrepository.com

Hope that helps!
Message: Posted by: Higgenbottom (Dec 28, 2012 10:13AM)
If it's an Abbott's plan, ask Abbott's.
Message: Posted by: Matt Adams (Dec 31, 2012 10:54AM)
[quote]
On 2012-11-03 07:08, havagrim wrote:
Yes. That is what I have always thought aswell. I mean if the constructor sells or gives out his blue print in a book, I assume he wants me to both construct AND use it. But I want to be sure. don't want to step on anyones toes :)

Thanks for your reply

Ronnie
[/quote]

As long as the publisher is also the creator, you are fine (unless he otherwise specifies something like "TV Performance Rights withheld" or something similar - then you'd have to contact the creator to obtain those specific rights if you wanted to do it on TV).

However, Osborne put out a lot of plans for effects that weren't really his. So the blueprints alone aren't "rights" - you are correct in that the best thing to do is contact the creator (and most can easily be contacted and are more than happy to help).

If they are deceased, you will want to do a bit of research from sites such as http://www.illusionrepository.com to see if the illusion is public domain or still protected. Often members on the Café can help point you in the right direction as well (but sometimes not! But hey...if the creator is deceased then you don't have many other options other than to turn to the community.)

Good luck with your research!
Message: Posted by: maharajademagia (Mar 15, 2013 10:19AM)
[quote]
On 2012-11-03 07:24, magicelam wrote:
Ronnie,
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use)

[/quote]

This link does not show anything.

[quote]

I have an Osborne plan that actually states that rights to the illusion are not included, and it tells you who the "licensed" builder is.

[/quote]

Which Osborne plan states that?
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Mar 15, 2013 10:41AM)
[quote]
On 2012-11-03 07:24, magicelam wrote:
Ronnie,

Usually you're free to use ANYTHING you build. Unless it is copyrighted, trademarked, etc. etc. (You can read up on that here:
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use)
[/quote]

If you remove the parenthesis you will get this site:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Mar 15, 2013 11:42AM)
Once you finally decide what you plan to build, come hang out in the Café's Workshop. Lots of folks in the know that can guide you if you need help.
Message: Posted by: RyanDicharry (Apr 20, 2013 08:53AM)
I understand your confusion. There has been several instances that I have heard you can purchase plans from someone like osborne ie: Mini Cube Zag and not be able to build or perform with out the proper rights. Its hard to understand how you can pay for blueprints and not use them. Do your homework before spending a bunch on money constructing something you cant legally use.

Ryan
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (Apr 20, 2013 09:35AM)
The site Matt Adams suggested in the best current source for what illusions folks can build and use.

http://www.illusionrepository.com
Message: Posted by: DavidThomas (Apr 26, 2013 08:12AM)
You might consider the "magic auction" They have a lot of used illusions and many seem to be reasonably priced. Purchasing an illusion from an established builder will help you understand the proper construction techniques for building yours in the future.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Apr 26, 2013 02:16PM)
I've been in magic all of my life and I still don't really understand how an illusion moves from "Protected" status to the Public Domain. The Zig Zag was definitely protected, in writing. But after a time everybody started to build them. And this has happened to most all of the better illusions. Origami, for example, has been pirated repeatedly.

It seems that if one person steals an illusion he's a thief. But if several people do, then the illusion is considered Public Domain.

Dennis "Denny" Loomis
Message: Posted by: john wills (Apr 26, 2013 02:48PM)
Dennis,

A M E N.
Message: Posted by: DavidThomas (May 1, 2013 08:35AM)
Yes, this really becomes mind boggling. Reality everything we magicians do was the created by someone, somewhere. Channing Polluck took the magic world by storm with his use of doves in a different way. Then copied immediately and became "public domain". Zig Zag? Twister? Cube Zag? And really going back, who invented the first "pick a card" trick. Do those rights go on forever?
Message: Posted by: harbour (May 6, 2013 12:02AM)
If you buy it, you can perform it.
If it is not for sale, it is not yours.
Message: Posted by: Frank Simpson (May 6, 2013 07:24AM)
Sorry, Harbour, this is NOT the litmus test. There are many knock-offs for sale, from disreputable dealers.
Message: Posted by: Luis Vega (May 7, 2013 08:33PM)
Thanks for the info so far!!
Message: Posted by: Andre Hagen (May 24, 2013 08:36PM)
[quote]
On 2013-04-26 15:16, Dennis Loomis wrote:
I've been in magic all of my life and I still don't really understand how an illusion moves from "Protected" status to the Public Domain. The Zig Zag was definitely protected, in writing. But after a time everybody started to build them. And this has happened to most all of the better illusions. Origami, for example, has been pirated repeatedly.

It seems that if one person steals an illusion he's a thief. But if several people do, then the illusion is considered Public Domain.

Dennis "Denny" Loomis
[/quote]

The last post by Dennis Loomis on the Café. Goodbye Dennis! You're in the public domain now and will be remembered!
Message: Posted by: socalmagic (May 25, 2013 10:15AM)
Actually, what Dennis said is very close to the truth. Coke and Xerox have to protect their trademarks or they lose them. If enough people call cola Coke, or a copy machine Xerox, then they lose their protected status.
Message: Posted by: ablanathanalba (Nov 26, 2013 11:52AM)
Does anyone know of a good book on how to construct smaller items out of wood, like the kinds of things Magic Wagon does? I've seen a couple of things (Color Blocks, Hippity Rabbits) but wondering if there's a book or pdf you can buy to make some of these things.
Message: Posted by: jimgerrish (Nov 26, 2013 01:14PM)
For small prop ideas, check out my Hardboard and Duct Tape Magic series on The Magic Nook. You don't actually have to build the props from hardboard and duct tape, but I recommend you at least build a prototype from inexpensive materials (even cardboard and cellophane tape) to use as a model for making a more permanent version from antique oak and solid gold hinges or whatever suits you.
Message: Posted by: magicelam (Nov 26, 2013 05:46PM)
Someone earlier asked which plan I bought that explained the rights were not included.

It was the Mini-Kub Zag. Dan Wolfe (who lives one city over from me), of Smokey Mountain Magic, is, from my understanding, the licensed builder of these things.

There is some dispute over who actually originated the illusion however. That being said, I had no intentions of building it, I just thought it might not last long on Osborne's site, so I gobbled it up. I just checked a few seconds ago, and it's still for sale.
Message: Posted by: MikeHolbrook (Nov 27, 2013 12:40PM)
To answer the question about resources for smaller illusions, The Magic Nook has some great stuff. There are even videos with some of it so you can see a demo before you order plans to build.

Mike