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Topic: Is this Stealing?
Message: Posted by: Jerry (Dec 30, 2003 05:22PM)
I have seen this happen often with Mentalism products: there is a limited release book, video or gizmo, and then the product is no longer available.

Example: Seance. Only 1000 copies were printed. The publisher stated he would NEVER print this product again. I bought this book legally.

So if I were to loan this book to a friend, knowing he was going to scan the book into adobe acrobat format, is this stealing? What money would be lost? If the dealer no longer wants to sell his product does it have any value?

The reason behind this question is I have in the past a desire to purchase a product, only to find out it is no longer available and that the dealer has no intention EVER of selling the product again. So would it be wrong to make a copy for your own personal use and not to resale?

Your thoughts on this, please.

Jerry
Message: Posted by: RileyG (Dec 30, 2003 05:42PM)
It's called COPYRIGHT infringement... Illegal to do...
Message: Posted by: 0pus (Dec 30, 2003 05:53PM)
Simple answer: YES.
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Dec 30, 2003 06:13PM)
I would suggest that the original poster READ the copyright notice inside the book and then do a little search on what a copyright is and how it works.

The USPTO (United Stated Patent & Trademark Office) has a website that covers some of the fundamentals regarding the protection of such property.

However, there IS such a thing as "fair use copy" which means that you can copy an item for your own, personal use, but only if the tradepark or copyright does not, specifically prohibit such copying. And some hardcopy materials do exactly that.

I am NOT an attorney, but copyright infringement is a serious business and can lead to large fines ($10,000 per infringement and possible jail time, for example), so check WITH an attorney before you do anything of the kind.

Short answer - your friend would be infringing on the copyright holder's rights and you would probably be accountable as well if you loaned the book with the sure knowledge that it was going to be illegally copied.

They fine and sometimes jail people for that, too.

BAD idea. REALLY bad idea!

Happy New Year,

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
Message: Posted by: John LeBlanc (Dec 30, 2003 07:28PM)
[quote]
On 2003-12-30 18:22, Jerry wrote:
I have seen this happen often with Mentalism products, there is a limit release book; video or gizmo and then the product is no longer available. Example, Seance, only 1000 copies were printed. The publisher stated he would NEVER print this product again. I bought this book legally.
So if I were to loan this book to a friend, knowing he was going to scan the book into adobe acrobat format, is this stealing? What money would be lost? If the dealer no longer wants to sell his product does it have any vaule?[/quote]

You are mixing issues here. First, the least important: no money lost. This is a red herring. This aspect has no bearing on anything. It may be a handy excuse/rationalization, but it's irrelevant.

The bigger issues are whether or not you wish to abide by the law, and whether or not you wish to behave morally and ethically in regards to the rights holder.

It is illegal, immoral and unethical to do what you suggest.


[quote]The reason behind this question is I have in the past a desire to purchase a product, only to find out it is no longer available and that the dealer has no intention EVER of selling the product again. So would it be wrong to make a copy for your own personal use and not to resale? Your thoughts on this, please.[/quote]

Has it occurred to you that the value of the book or item in question was determined to be what it was based on the concept that only a very limited number would be made available?

I just ordered my second set of [i]The Pallbearers Review[/i] from my pal Martin Joyal. This set replaces the one that was damaged by a storm that decided to visit the inside of my townhouse in Houston. It also cost me $300, about twice what the original set cost me. Why? Because there are only a limited number of sets in existence.

You'd choke if you knew how much I paid for my hard copy of "STUNNERS!" and I had two of them at one time. Limited number of them available and the smart guys wouldn't trade away their copy for all the tea in China. Both of my copies became available, literally, because the previous owners passed away. (The copy I kept previously belonged to Bob Weill.)

Those two examples will likely not be turned into PDFs only because they are too big. That's the only reason.

Limited number doesn't always dictate original cost. Phil Goldstein's [i]Color Series[/i] booklets sold for a tiny fraction of what they would today if you were to be able to obtain a complete set of them (which is unlikely).

What happens if people continue to ignore the law, morals and ethics? I'll tell you what happens: you end up with a holdout that you lease, not own, for $1850. You have people writing books of unbelievable material that [i]you will likely never even know exists[/i] because it is sold within a quiet circle of performers who are known to respect the rights of inventors.

Is that the magic future you want to live in? Because it's already starting to happen as a direct result of a growing plague that is a disrepect of intellectual property.

You can't have it all.

John LeBlanc
Houston, TX
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Dec 30, 2003 07:45PM)
I hate to say it, but the books and effects that are sold in a quiet, underground selection of performers that no one else knows about IS the history that we come from.

The Vernon $25 manuscript, in its day, was the equivalent of a $1,000 book today. Remember, back then a loaf of bread went for a nickle and gas was less than a dime a gallon.

Select Secrets, again Vernon, was sold ONLY by prospectus to a very select coterie of magi and those were screened thoroughly before even the prospecti were sent to them!

So this is really nothing new. Treasure Chest, where I used to work in Chicago, had, at one time, a pro shop which was open by invitation only and was manned by no less a personage than Okito himself.

Magicians had only a small selection of books generally available, and those were, for the time, extremely expensive, limited in production and, the underground stuff, was all but invisible to many practitioners of the Art. The creators kept things close to their chests because they knew that people will steal.

Back then, magicians didn't go and grab a DVD of a name and play it over and over and over, memorizing each little detail, nuance and move. Nor did name magi make a living solely lecturing to the brotherhood. In fact, in the 30's 40's and into the '50's and '60's, lecturers were rarely paid more than travel and board, if that!

We seem to forget that magic was once a VERY secretive art.

Nowadays, everyone wants instant access to everything, for free.

I'm not sure that such a trend is all that good a thing.

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
Message: Posted by: John LeBlanc (Dec 30, 2003 08:46PM)
[quote]
On 2003-12-30 20:45, Lee Darrow wrote:
Back then, magicians didn't go and grab a DVD of a name and play it over and over and over, memorizing each little detail, nuance and move.[/quote]

And they certainly didn't run up to one of their elders and say, "Hey, Dai, show me how you do that trick..." That's something that just blows my mind today; the illusion of familiarity DVDs and VHS tapes create.

Now, I have yet to run into a performer who behaved rudely in such a situation, but that's beside the point.


[quote]Nor did name magi make a living solely lecturing to the brotherhood. In fact, in the 30's 40's and into the '50's and '60's, lecturers were rarely paid more than travel and board, if that![/quote]

In other words, not much has changed. :rotf:


[quote]We seem to forget that magic was once a VERY secretive art.

Nowadays, everyone wants instant access to everything, for free.[/quote]

True on both counts. And going further, it's been my experience that not only do some people want access, they demand it as a birthright.

Somewhere down the line this fallacy of "information should be free" has taken hold like a virus. It's used as a passkey, a password, or a club to rationalize getting what the seeker desires and, I believe, truly is convinced they deserve to have. It's nuts, NVTS, nuts.


[quote]I'm not sure that such a trend is all that good a thing.[/quote]

I'm sure. Allow me to go on the record as saying it's a rotten thing in the long run. But only because of the attitude, not because the inventors hold a secret more important than people, but that some people not in possession of the secret hold it in more importance than the person inventing them.

I'm going to play with my grand daughter. This is getting me aggitated. :)

John LeBlanc
Houston, TX
Message: Posted by: John Smetana (Dec 30, 2003 10:05PM)
Lee Darrow wrote:
"We seem to forget that magic was once a VERY secretive art"

Ahhh Lee...I dream of the good old days..How sweet it was to be invited to partake of a new idea/move/etc. by the more knowledgeable member(s)of the craft.I could sometimes be on a high for days because of such an invite. Yeah...the good old days..wonderful memories..

Best thoughts,
John Smetana :kewl:

PS Perhaps...just perhaps history will start to repeat itself..one never knows
Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (Dec 30, 2003 10:13PM)
The value of the book is in its limited numbers, and how sought-after it is.
Message: Posted by: Kim (Dec 30, 2003 10:55PM)
[quote]
On 2003-12-30 23:05, John Smetana wrote:
Lee Darrow wrote:
"We seem to forget that magic was once a VERY secretive art"

Ahhh Lee...I dream of the good old days..How sweet it was to be invited to partake of a new idea/move/etc. by the more knowledgeable member(s)of the craft.I could sometimes be on a high for days because of such an invite. Yeah...the good old days..wonderful memories..

Best thoughts,
John Smetana :kewl:

PS Perhaps...just perhaps history will start to repeat itself..one never knows
[/quote]
I remember how awed I was the first time I was invited into the back of Al's magic Shop in Washington Dc. I had been going there for years before I got that invite. I probably looked like the kid that had just met his favorite movie star :readingbook:
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Dec 31, 2003 01:29AM)
[quote]
On 2003-12-30 20:28, John W. LeBlanc wrote:

Has it occurred to you that the value of the book or item in question was determined to be what it was based on the concept that only a very limited number would be made available?


John LeBlanc
Houston, TX
[/quote]
Can we also say, by that rationale, that re-issuing in quantity any book/lecture notes/manuscript that was previously billed as "limited edition" is likewise immoral/unethical? But...NOT illegal.
Message: Posted by: 7th_Son (Dec 31, 2003 02:18AM)
I wonder how public and private libraries get away with loaning copyrighted material?

I mean, they could buy any magic book that's available to the public, and offer it on loan.

Just a thought.
Message: Posted by: Nir Dahan (Dec 31, 2003 03:25AM)
As much as it would seem strange, in the long run I don't think it is so bad.

I am just waiting for magic to be more secretive... it is amazing - these days you meet people who are 1 year into magic and absorbed so much material by watching pirated videos/dvds they just miss the point of what magic is all about.

Moreover, each kid makes a DVD today, the quality of books have gone down significantly and everybody is looking for flashy stuff or want to be the next Blaine.
or is it just my impression????

to summerize it all - I just hope for people to publish LESS - I think it is better for our art.

Nir
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Dec 31, 2003 05:43AM)
Very interesting topic here and the subject is being explored on many talk shows.
Message: Posted by: John LeBlanc (Dec 31, 2003 11:31AM)
[quote]
On 2003-12-31 02:29, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Can we also say, by that rationale, that re-issuing in quantity any book/lecture notes/manuscript that was previously billed as "limited edition" is likewise immoral/unethical? But...NOT illegal.
[/quote]

If you can find an instance where it can be clearly established that an author did exactly that, I'd say you've made a good argument.

Do you have personal experience of this happening? If so, what are the details?

John LeBlanc
Houston, TX

[quote]
On 2003-12-31 03:18, 7th_Son wrote:
I wonder how public and private libraries get away with loaning copyrighted material?

I mean, they could buy any magic book that's available to the public, and offer it on loan.

Just a thought.[/quote]

I see you've never actually read the Copyright Act. It's very enlightening: http://www.copyright.gov/title17/

John LeBlanc
Houston, TX

[quote]
On 2003-12-31 04:25, Nir Dahan wrote:
I am just waiting for magic to be more secretive... it is amazing - these days you meet people who are 1 year into magic and absorbed so much material by watching pirated videos/dvds they just miss the point of what magic is all about.[/quote]

This is really nothing new. Not long after VHS usurped the superior Beta format and VCRs became nearly ubiquitous, magic videos, what was available anyway, were being copied.

One of the worst offenders, unfortunately, were some magic clubs.


[quote]Moreover, each kid makes a DVD today, the quality of books have gone down significantly and everybody is looking for flashy stuff or want to be the next Blaine.
or is it just my impression????[/quote]

Not everybody. But there is a corner of the magic world that mirrors its youthful contemporary world of entertainment (the current version of MTV which, I assure you, isn't [i]my[/i] MTV) where flash is presented as substance. Well, it's not substance, but it is viewed and apparently worshipped as such.

[quote]to summerize it all - I just hope for people to publish LESS - I think it is better for our art.[/quote]

I'd prefer people respect what is currently released rather than inventors publish less. Information has value. Unfortunately, it's going to take us being plunged right back into the Dark Ages of magic instruction for that to become evident again.

I'm sorry to see it happen, but considering the alternative, I support it.

John LeBlanc
Houston, TX
Message: Posted by: Erik Anderson (Jan 2, 2004 02:24PM)
There is something to be said for the days of closely guarded methods. I sometimes wonder if we do not undervalue what we do because we can so easily walk into a magic shop, or worse, log onto the internet and get anything we desire. A method no longer has to be "earned." Consequently, it has less value. Would you be as willing to tip something to the local club if it took you a year or more of networking and genuine hard work to get your hands on it?

Just a thought to ponder.
Message: Posted by: Neal Roter (Jan 5, 2004 01:04PM)
Yes, it is stealing.
Message: Posted by: Gianni (Jan 5, 2004 02:20PM)
I am intrigued by this topic. Overwhelmingly, the posters feel that information should be more tightly controlled. I feel this way. But those who feel this way and have some influence seem to do nothing. For instance, why isn't access to this board more difficult?

Gianni
Message: Posted by: truthteller (Jan 5, 2004 04:18PM)
As to John's question about limited release books being reissued by the author, I have issues with this. If something is limited then part of its value is that limitation and when one makes a purchasing decision that value is taken into consideration.

Though I have great respect for Larry Becker, Stunners was to be a limited edition. I have the original ads from Bascom Jones' Magick which state such. I paid dearly for the first edition and was rightfully peaved when it was reissued in paperback at a fraction of the cost. Now, had he reissued it with the same or less material at MORE of a cost, that I could understand. But Larry in that case brought down the value of that information as it was no longer exclusive.
Message: Posted by: Paul (Jan 5, 2004 04:58PM)
Re;
"What happens if people continue to ignore the law, morals and ethics? I'll tell you what happens: you end up with a holdout that you lease, not own, for $1850. You have people writing books of unbelievable material that you will likely never even know exists because it is sold within a quiet circle of performers who are known to respect the rights of inventors."

I think John has hit the nail on the head. We are already starting to see the return to the days of Vernon. Yes, many "names" have sold out to the mass commercialisation and production and recycling of secrets, but there is already a realization by others that things have gone too far. Interesting times for magic....

As someone else pointed out, many "clubs" don't even abide by their own rules. Major magazines may talk about ethics then take advertisements from pirates because they pay... Certainly there is too much hypocricy and hype in magic :fruity:
Message: Posted by: Neal Roter (Jan 6, 2004 12:03PM)
Words of wisdom, Paul...
Message: Posted by: Turk (Jan 25, 2004 04:37AM)
[quote]
On 2003-12-31 03:18, 7th_Son wrote:
I wonder how public and private libraries get away with loaning copyrighted material?

I mean, they could buy any magic book that's available to the public, and offer it on loan.

Just a thought.[/quote]

Although I don't know for certain, since all (most?) libraries do this, I would assume that the law has a specific exemption written into it for libraries. Libraries can't afford to get sued, so I'm fairly confident that they are not doing anything illegal...at least for them. (Possibly comes under a public "fair use" exception.)

Further "proof"? When it comes to audio books, tapes and CDs at least, libraries are sold special editions (usually the same tapes and CDs but heavier duty packaging which holds the material). And I think that a lot of books also come in "library editions", so I assume library "loaning" of such materials is legal.

Mike
Message: Posted by: John LeBlanc (Jan 25, 2004 11:06AM)
[quote]
On 2004-01-25 05:37, Turk wrote:
Although I don't know for certain, since all (most?) libraries do this, I would assume that the law has a specific exemption written into it for libraries.
[/quote]

There's no need to assume. On December 31, 2003, in this very thread, I posted a link to the actual Code that lays out Copyright Law: http://www.copyright.gov/title17/

This reminds me of a Mark Twain quote in reference to classic books: "...a book which people praise and don't read."

It's amazing what libraries can loan out. There's a library that has a copy of Stunners! available for loan. That's a stunner.

John LeBlanc
Houston, TX
Message: Posted by: chappy (Jan 25, 2004 04:55PM)
If still there remains any confusion as to the answer to the original post, please re-read the above posts until it becomes clear. YES, it is stealing, so please don't do it.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jan 25, 2004 06:05PM)
Getting to a core issue of our craft...

The 'secrets' are personal findings and usually not so useful to most other magicians.

For example: It is now 21 years after I put some things into a couple of private manuscripts. The edge grip work has become timely thanks to Kainoa Harbottle's enthusiasm for the subject. The card stuff found its time recently, too. And that little coins across I built back in the late S is now somewhat popular.

That's a twenty-five year lead/lag time on material. What good does it do to spend a small fortune to put such things into a market where they will sit for a generation before anyone else uses it?

I can only offer you my answers...

0) Read material to find what 'speaks' to you.
1) Find the primary sources for material.
2) Discuss material with those who perform it.
3) Get ready to seek out some of those sources who don't live nearby.

And of course LISTEN TO YOUR AUDIENCES.
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Jan 25, 2004 10:33PM)
We can argue about ethics and moral until we are blue in the face, and no one will agree on the ethical course of action.

However, LEGALLY it is against the laws of most countries to copy another person's book and sell it.

I know that in Australia you can photocopy up to 10% of a book and redistribute it as you please. (Many universities create textbooks made up of different chapters of different books to create a set text for a course, which they then sell to the students.)
Message: Posted by: Rob Johnston (Jan 26, 2004 01:00PM)
Keep in mind that A LOT of people make money on Ebay selling tricks that they did not invent or develop. I feel this is the same type of thing that we are discussing here.

It is to be a secret art, and I rue the day that mainstream magic stores (that will be unnamed) made magic somewhat popular and secrets were exposed.
Message: Posted by: Christian (Jan 27, 2004 10:14AM)
>Keep in mind that A LOT of people make money on Ebay >selling tricks that they did not invent or develop. I >feel this is the same type of thing that we are >discussing here.

Well, yes and no...

Morally, the issue is very similar, i.e., taking another one's ideas and duplicating it.

Legally, however, there is a difference. Copyright does not apply to the idea but to the form the idea comes in. This is the reason why people who take a clever idea of another one and sell it with their own instructions might not infringe the copyright while others copying books, do so.
If I rewrote the plot of a Stephen King novel in my own words, I would not be liable for copyright infringement.

To protect original tricks, it is sometimes possible to patent a device if it fulfills the requirements of patentability. Then, the idea itself is protected and not only the form it comes in.

I know that this difference may be hard to grasp for those of you who do not happen to be intellectual property attorneys.

For those of you who did not read the copyright act via the link provided, I might add that copyright expires (generally 70 years after the author's death, but there are exceptions).

Obviously, different countries have different copyright laws, but international treaties (such as the Berne Convention or TRIPS) ensure a certain minimal protection.

Take care.

Christian
Message: Posted by: braddevant (Mar 13, 2004 08:52AM)
It's stealing! I am a book collector and every time a rare book gets copied illegally the value of the original decreases. A book's value is tied directly to it's difficulty to obtain. If you want a book that is out of print, search for it at collectable book vendors like the rest of us who obtain them honorably.
You will pay more for them, but magic will be better for it.
Message: Posted by: matthu (Mar 13, 2004 10:10AM)
And now I'll probably stir up a hornet's nest...

Do we think there may be a case made for copying your OWN media from one format to another e.g. VHS to DVD because VHS is going to become obsolete?

I feel that with the rapid change in technology, people are expected to replace all of their tapes etc. far sooner than they might ordinarily be expected to wear out. When you purchase an item, you might expect to be able to enjoy revisiting that item (in much the same way as you might re-read a book) without having to keep specific old technology available to do so.

What do others think?
Message: Posted by: Christian (Oct 18, 2004 08:57AM)
I do not know all of the world's intellectual property law, but in most jurisdictions it is legal to make a private copy of legally obtained video tapes. The same is true for converting VSH into DVD standard as long as you bought the video legally in the first place. However, you can not sell the VHS and keep the DVD as a copy is only allowed for backup.

I hope I shed some light upon the issue.

Best regards
Christian
Message: Posted by: Mark Timon (Oct 18, 2004 11:34AM)
Hi Jerry

Of course you can make a copy for your personal use, as long as you don't try to sell it.
It happens everyday, for example if I buy an original music cd, and want to listen it in my car but also at home, I'd make a copy.
I don't try to sell it and I'm sure that no one could jail you for that.

Regards.
Message: Posted by: Greg Owen (Oct 19, 2004 10:25AM)
The original post was about copying...which may be covered by the copyright law. Keep in mind this in an international community, so U.S. law is NOT the law of the planet (oh dear, I hear a political debate coming on...).

Be that as it may, and there are international agreements against copying also, but what about the loan of material without copying? A few posts back, the question was asked about libraries...and certainly magic clubs have lending libraries...

- Greg Owen