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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Right or Wrong? » » Protocols and the Ethics of Secrecy (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Max Maven
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Okay, I have kept silent up to now, and am only surfacing to address a statement impugning my integrity.

Lee Darrow writes, "I seem to recall Max saying the SAME THING about the Color Series on Mentalism - that there would NEVER be a re-print. Ever. In fact, he said that to my fact at one of the Chicago lectures in response to a direct question about them."

What you seem to recall is incorrect. Over the years, when asked about reprinting the Color Series, my standard answer was, truthfully, that I had no plans to do so. That is not the same as saying that it would never happen.

As for JoeyJoJo's comment about a "quick buck," it took about thirteen years to complete the work on The Protocols. Not that the motive was profit, but if it had been, that's hardly "quick."
Frank Tougas
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Quote:
On 2005-12-29 05:54, Max Maven wrote:
Okay, I have kept silent up to now, and am only surfacing to address a statement impugning my integrity.

Lee Darrow writes, "I seem to recall Max saying the SAME THING about the Color Series on Mentalism - that there would NEVER be a re-print.
What you seem to recall is incorrect. Over the years, when asked about reprinting the Color Series, my standard answer was, truthfully, that I had no plans to do so. That is not the same as saying that it would never happen.
This is a distinction without a difference. The meaning of Lee's question is clear and I am reading it years later.

Frank Tougas
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
jimtron
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I think there's a big difference between "I don't have plans to reprint" and "there would NEVER be a reprint." The latter indicates that the author has thought about it and made a definitive decision never to reprint. The former simply means that plans have not been made. Perhaps when Maven was asked before he hadn't decided one way or the other, so "I don't have no plans" would be a truthful answer.
joeyjojo
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uruguay
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Quote:
On 2005-12-29 05:54, Max Maven wrote:
Okay, I have kept silent up to now, and am only surfacing to address a statement impugning my integrity.

As for JoeyJoJo's comment about a "quick buck," it took about thirteen years to complete the work on The Protocols. Not that the motive was profit, but if it had been, that's hardly "quick."


Mr. Maven, I was actually referring to the Prism/Color Series complaint that others made. It reminded me of what Larry Becker did with 'Stunners' (made it clear that the first run would be the last run and then reprinted it subsequently). As things turn out, my impression that you did the same with Prism may be based on misinformation. The confusion concerns your alleged promise not to republish the Color Series. You insist that you only said you had 'no plans' to do so. I assume that such linguistic gymnastics do better in a mentalism routine than in an impartial court of law (or of your peers). It can be persuasively argued that saying 'I have no plans to do x' means 'I will not do x', just like saying "Over my dead body" doesn't suggest that there are corpses involved. "A million times" usually means "a lot". There are many topoi of this sort. The fact that your "no plans" was interpreted by someone to mean "will not" is not quite a topos in the traditional sense but it is a figure of speech that we clearly interpreted as such by many people.

adios,

joey
JackScratch
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I realy realy love "What you said""What I actualy said" arguements. It doesn't matter if Mr. Maven did say "Will not publish", he has a right to change his mind, and he has a right to not publish, and his right to not publish doesn't give you the right to break cpywrite laws, so what is the point?
Frank Tougas
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It is funny how many have run to the rescue of Mr. Maven in this discussion. I don't know how it is in other parts of the world but in the U.S.A. we tend to forgive the famous, I can live with that. The annoying part is the famous have come to expect it.

Believe it or not I have a great deal of professional respect for Mr. Maven - I think he was wrong in this, but that is my opinion. (I believe I am entitled to one). He is an obviously educated man, a capable writer and wordsmith, and knowledgeable about things other than magic (always a plus point). But I have to tell Jimtron that the day Max Maven would utter the words, "I don't have no plans" would surely mean Armageddon was near.

Frank Tougas
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
joeyjojo
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Quote:
On 2005-12-30 08:41, JackScratch wrote:
I realy realy love "What you said""What I actualy said" arguements. It doesn't matter if Mr. Maven did say "Will not publish", he has a right to change his mind, and he has a right to not publish, and his right to not publish doesn't give you the right to break cpywrite laws, so what is the point?


This may be true but my hunch is that people spent gazillions of dollars on ebay buying individual pamphlets in the Color Series precisely because they were under the impression that MM would not republish them. I suppose the issue is not about 'rights' (as you must surely be correct that the author retains all such rights in this case) and what MM said in a casual coversation is hardly legally-binding, but it is about 'honesty' and - by extension - 'reputation'.
JackScratch
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Actualy, I think you get into some trade laws here. Though I would advise against makeing purchases based on casual statements. Likewise, it is hardly dishonest, or even wrong to change ones plans, public or not. I have some issues with copyright laws, I may start a thread on the subject, though I suspect several writers in this forum will pray for my ruination afterwards. There are some issues with Copyrightlaws and publishing stratagies that are a real problem in our society, I call it "the mouse effect".
jimtron
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Quote:
He is an obviously educated man, a capable writer and wordsmith, and knowledgeable about things other than magic (always a plus point). But I have to tell Jimtron that the day Max Maven would utter the words, "I don't have no plans" would surely mean Armageddon was near.


I meant to type, "I don't have plans" or "I have no plans." I agree that it's unlikely Maven would speak using a double negative.

I disagree with joeyjojo that saying, "I have no plans to do so" is linguistic gymnastics. It's very straightforward and direct, and not misleading in my view. Do you think Maven was planning on republishing the series, and was lying?
JackScratch
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Oh, and by the way, I wasn't defending Max Maven, I was defending me. If I ever publish anything, I want it clear that I have the right to do exactly what I posted. Max Maven's fame has exactly no chance of ever bringing me to his defence. Max Maven haveing a right to do something just like anyone else in this country will always bring me to his defence.
Jonathan Townsend
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Lee, what quote are you citing?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Lee Darrow
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I made a comment in here, which I have since deleted, regarding the republication of the Color Series of Mentalism. I evidently misquoted Mr. Maven's statements at a Chicago lecture from some years ago and misremembered what he said, for which misunderstanding, I hereby apologize to both Mr. Maven and to the forum, at large.

My sincere apologies to all concerned and especially to Mr. Maven, for whom I have nothing but the highest respect and admiration.

Lee Darrow, C.H.
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
Chance
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Marketing ploy, people, marketing ploy. The respect Max has shown to his fans by now, is about on par with the carney who gets the mark's money before allowing them to see What's Inside The Box.

To publish any work under any genre under comparible conditions, is nothing more than a publicity stunt. Like writing a book about the Clintons under the name Anonymous (Primary Colors was on TV recently; comes to mind). Max and his publisher only wish this furor had taken place well BEFORE the release date. As far as I'm concerned the limited edition was a sign of insecurity, not exclusivity -- although I'm sure the MM faithful would argue the point.

Ethically, yes, Max can obviously stipulate, and his fans can capitulate, until the cows come home. And then there are others that will think for themselves, a bit less blindly perhaps; not all of us are under the MM spell, as it were. For the disillusioned and newly critical MM fans, there is always Ebay.
truthteller
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I have been following the OTHER thread on this, but find the same confusion here.

Chance, do you know anything about publishing in the magic world? Any idea how many books usually sell in this business?

The reality is, most book runs are between 100-500 and take several years to move. Selling 1,000 books is the equivalent of going platinum. Only major publishing houses, in magic, with guaranteed hot titles print more than 1,000.

So, 500 is a LARGER number of books for our community. A knowledgeable magic purchaser would know that.

Now, is letting people know the volume of a print run taking advantage of someone?

Well, I saw a DVD on automata on the HP site I REALLY wanted. But I decided to wait until later to buy it. It disappeared from the site. Why? There was only 1 available.

Now, had HP written "1 available" would I as a potential purchaser been better off or worse, happier or sad? OR would I have had more information to know that maybe I should make a smart buying decision which would have included two elements 1) acting in a timely manner and 2) insuring that this DVD was something I wanted.

So the statement of limitation is anything but marketing coercion. A knowledgeable buyer would know that there were A LOT of books printed, but still only about half of what one would expect from a major house like Hermetic.

People overlook 2 further considerations. One, ANYONE, even you CHance, could have emailed Stephen and asked questions about the book. While he may not have tipped the contents specifically, you would have been given enough information to know if this was a wise purchasing decision for you. I know this to be true, because I know people who emailed Minch.

But why should we helpless magicians be responsible and informed buyers when we can just blame publishers instead? Putting it that way, it seems a little silly, no?

The second point, every purchaser has the option of returning the book to Minch for a wull refund. So even if one felt taken advantage of, where were damages done? How much were you out from buying your copy from Minch, Chance?

How much was anybody who is complaining out?

As pointed out on the other thread, where are the complaints coming from. If you bought the book and liked it, no complaints. If you bought the book and didn't, you got a refund - no complaints. If you didn't buy the book, you are out nothing - no complaints.

Why the furor?

I have a theory. Maybe we will get to it later.

As for the "secret nature of books" this is not the only magic book to be sold without the contents being tipped. However, this may be the first sold to such a wide community. Perhaps that was part of the problem?

Brad
0pus
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Quote:
On 2006-01-16 10:57, truthteller wrote:

But why should we helpless magicians be responsible and informed buyers when we can just blame publishers instead?



It seems to me that magicians can not be responsible or informed buyers when sellers hide behind the old "the secret is what you are purchasing." A magic consumer is precluded from being informed because no information is forthcoming (except in very rare circumstances -- tip of the hat to Larry Becker).

And generally asking the seller to exercise his judgment on your behalf is laughable. It is the seller who has intentionally misled the prospective purchaser in the first place. The magic consumer harbors great distrust of the magic supplier. In fact, the consumer generally only has reputation to rely on. And the Protocols stands for the clear proposition that a consumer who relies on reputation does so at his peril; that is that the one standard a consumer thought was reliable is not.
truthteller
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Is this not a two way street?

There are dozens of threads where people on the Café admit that they think that if they can figure out how a trick is done - or if someone tells them - they feel it is perfectly ok to make it for themselves.

And, sadly, there are people (and I was one of them) who think that if you see a demo and figure out the trick, it is not worth buying. A stupid, stupid attitide and one I had driven home most effectively in my teen years.

So, can the seller's trust the buyers? In the ideal world, if a magician learned the secret of a marketed effect and benefitted in any way from that information, they would drop a check to the creator.

How many times does that happen?

So, have not we as a consumer community created this situation you find so deplorable?

But to the Protocols specifically, I know that Minch was very upfront about what the book was not to purchasers and suggested to some that it was most likely not going to be to their liking. Further, he offered a buy back guarantee to those who were unhappy.

So, can you really lump him into the web of distrust? Is that a fair accusation?

(False advertising should never be tolerated. Let me say that clearly. But do you believe the Protocols was advertised falsley, if so in what way? If not, then it should be clear that the "false advertising" issue is seperate from the Protocols issue, per se.)

Brad
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