The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Right or Wrong? » » Hypothetical question (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page [Previous]  1~2
Nachtzehrer
View Profile
Veteran user
Portugal
308 Posts

Profile of Nachtzehrer
Good point. you opinions
Alex
Frank Tougas
View Profile
Inner circle
Minneapolis, MN
1712 Posts

Profile of Frank Tougas
This seems to be another reason that points out how ethics are not a matter of law but of conscience. I for one would agree with George Ledo and would have no compunction to turn a project over to someone who is competent to execute it for me.

Those who feel that way would be secure in their decision and it would be entirely based upon their view of ethical behavior. Those who don't agree will forever be telling us we are wrong and doing a lot of bluster and hand wringing.

People think there are no shades of gray in ethics, and as each person considers it, that is a true statement. The actual truth is a bit different. It is law that attempts (with varying degrees of success) to be black and white, it is ethics that handles the gray.

Frank Tougas
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
Tom Cutts
View Profile
Staff
Northern CA
5703 Posts

Profile of Tom Cutts
Actually, ethics does a poor job of handling the grey. Ethics merely helps one justify their actions. The law will handle both the black and white and the grey. "Ethics" are way too malleable to handle anything. They are only a matter of perspective. They are what creates the grey.

So lets ask why one would care if it is ethical. Do you care if you are doing unethical things or are you just looking for justification of your actions? Ethically one could claim they believe that copyright law is unjust and should be broken at every chance as a matter of civil disobedience. Ethically one might suggest that copyright law is the creator's vehicle to earn a fair profit from his work and that any err should be on the side of the creator to be respectful of him and his work. We live in an ever smaller world and getting the answers from those who intended to protect their work is easier every day.

If Tommy Wonder said, hypothetically of course, "No, you can not pay someone else to build these things because that is a commerce transaction. You can build them yourself but not hire another to do so."; what would your action be? Press on or respect the intention and wish of the author?

Is the inquiry into "ethical" one to see whether the possibility of a lawsuit is high or low? Once you hypothetically know that the author doesn't wish you enter into an act of commerce to get these props and will take action to defend that position, will that affect your actions?
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
26975 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
Folks, ethical remains "the good habits for living in a city-state", and in our polis of magicdom, in our capitalist society, that translates most simply to "that which gets rewarded".

Given our history here, someone marketting a "variation of" or something "inspired by" a Tommy Wonder item would not only have a large customer base, but probably make lots of money and be lauded for it. Look at what happened to Germain's items, Hofzinser's works... the list goes on.

If you want to bring the law into this, look at the law of supply and demand. If you want to treat this as a drug issue, then let's also notice that the "war on drugs" has hardly interfered with this generations explorations of 'creative biochemistry or group chemotherapy'. In direct reponse to the basic question of "what do we do" ie what do we tell others to do... I go with the advice: "shut up and take your Ritalin".

As to what YOU can do... that is a tough question. All I can suggest is that you put yourself in someone else's shoes for a moment and explore their perspective. Given that they too have a valid perspective, what do you see as appropriate for them to want? Knowing that, what do you choose to do? It's all up to you. You get to choose who you buy from, who you sell to, who you associate with and whose opinions or perspectives you find of value. YOU GET TO CHOOSE FOR YOURSELF. Others will make choices for themselves.

But what if everybody else is doing it? Again up to you. If everybody else is jumping in the river, will you?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
JackScratch
View Profile
Inner circle
2151 Posts

Profile of JackScratch
Tom - Bad laws should be changed. Civil disobedience is one method, but one must be careful one is not useing civil disobenience to do whatever they wish, and actualy be working toward the changeing of laws. Copyright laws have been purchased into a mess. Money has made them a way for money to make more money. This is true for our entire governmental system (I still can't imagine how lobbying is legal). Even the vote, statistics show us that in marketing, money equals consumers. The more money you invest into marketing, the more consumers you get. This translates nicely into votes. Therefore, the one with the most money wins the vote. We don't even pretend anymore, public office is now the domain of the uber wealthy only. But I digress, Law has nothing to do with ethics or morals. It is, none the less, law.

Jonathan - Your statement uses natural law and litigation interchangeably. They are not. If you want to make thatb arguement, you need to use an example that doesn't use natural law as an example of how litigational law works. (supply and demand is a natural law, no one wrote it into existance, it is simply the way thaings happen in nature)
Frank Tougas
View Profile
Inner circle
Minneapolis, MN
1712 Posts

Profile of Frank Tougas
Tom

I am saddened you have such a jaded view of ethics. An ethical person would agonize over a decision, an unethical person wouldn't give a care. To say it is used to justify bad behavior is just wrong. Why even have an ethics forum if it is so muddled and unable to handle the gray?

Like it or not ethics is a valuable concept. Ethics is not the law. Ethics is not designed to solve conflicts or used as a weapon to hit others over the head. Ethics is not static it is a difficult to grasp mushy thing.

It is a personal decision each individual makes about how they value honesty, right v. wrong, good v. evil and how they will live their lives. I know people hate to hear that because it takes all control away from the person who has been wronged, but that is the way it is.

Frank Tougas
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
Tom Cutts
View Profile
Staff
Northern CA
5703 Posts

Profile of Tom Cutts
Frank,

I'm surprized you are saddened, you know who one of the contributing factors to that jaded (but misplaced see below) sense is.

Quote:
To say it is used to justify bad behavior is just wrong.



Quote:
It is a personal decision each individual makes about how they value honesty, right v. wrong, good v. evil and how they will live their lives.

IE how they justify their behavior. Justifying good behavior is not so difficult. Justifying bad is more difficult (and necessary to the conscience).
Your ethic leads you to whatever behavior you have decided is "right", regardless if the entire rest of society disagrees. And yes, claiming "an ethic made me do it" is very misused in magic. When people come fishing for loopholes and/or redemption for actions here, that is exactly what is going on.

A truly ethical person wouldn't "agonize over a decision". They have an ethic which tells them their right and wrong. A person would possibly agonize over a decision which runs contrary to their ethic.

You are correct, however. I should have been more concise. Ethics are not to blame, but rather their misimplimentation is to blame.

How can this be so confusing, well take a look at the title of this forum; "Right or Wrong?" An ethic can only tell one if what they are doing is right or wrong for themselves. But then there is "professional ethic" which tries to establish a norm for a group, so yes it can get convoluted.

Why is there a separate section, probably because people got tired enough of reading about how someone has figured out another way to rip off an artist, call it ethical, and mean that in a good way. Smile Actually because it is a very serious topic which when people want to discuss it they want to get right to it, not search for it. And a little of the other thing I said. Smile

Happy New Year,

Tom
Frank Tougas
View Profile
Inner circle
Minneapolis, MN
1712 Posts

Profile of Frank Tougas
Tom,

Thanks for the response. But I am in a profession where ethical decisions are an almost daily occurance and yes some decisions do require agonizing. Such as working with an abused child who desperately needs some caring adult to talk to and knowing the law requires I report this even though it means the child will be yanked out of therapy he/she desperately needs and I will be hauled into court by a known abuser looking to get my license and livlihood yanked.

Or an adolecsent who is seventeen years old and has had unprotected sex and may have tested positive for HIV. A seventeen year old has some say over their medical records. Do I break the trust and possibly the law and tell the parents?

THIS is ethics my friend, the stuff that goes on in magic is for the most part stupid whineing, sorry to all my friends in magic, but it is. Maybe that is why you've never had to agonize over an ethical decision Tom. Maybe you've never had to sit in a courtroom and decide between following the letter of the law and risk the well being of a child or vunerable adult, or do the ethical thing and risk my career.

Of course how dumb of me not to realize how easy a decision that should be to make. If only I had read this fourm more dillegently.

In any case, I am moving away from the hypothetical and getting far too entangled in the real world. I apologize..now let's see, do someone's move without credit, how 'bout we kill them?

Frank Tougas

Disclaimer: For those who read this know that Tom and I have worked together in the past on this board and though we can be at times passionate and high spirited about our posts, I have no malice towards my compeer. Happy New year Tom. Smile
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
Al Schneider
View Profile
V.I.P.
A corn field in WI surrounded by
1063 Posts

Profile of Al Schneider
Gentlemen

I am not sure what all this is about but I read the following from Mr. Cutts post.

"Justifying good behavior is not so difficult. Justifying bad is more difficult (and necessary to the conscience). "

Whatever else has been said, I cannot think about it. This comment takes my breath away. I spend much of my life worrying about ethical things. I am concerned about offending and doing the right thing. Worrying about justifying some bad action never occured to me. If Mr. Cutts really uses his standard of ethics to justify bad behavior, I would not want to do business with him. He is essentially telling me I will get ripped off. And if he responds to this I will consider the above quote while reading his comments.
Al Schneider
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
George Ledo
View Profile
Magic Café Columnist
SF Bay Area
2860 Posts

Profile of George Ledo
Quote:
On 2005-12-30 12:43, JackScratch wrote:
Beutifully put George, though I would have to ask, what if his friend bought the "rights" and came to you as a referal?

I know you asked this last year, but better late than never... Smile

If the guy's friend bought the plans too and came over as a referral, I'd go back to my first answer. Sure, time and schedule and all that stuff permitting, I'd probably build it for him. No problem there. As far as I'm concerned, it's just like he were building it himself.

What I'm not going to do is become a cop wannabe and take it upon myself to "make sure" the second guy has a legitimate set of plans. I can always say no.

Now, if sixteen people (more or less, ok?) buy Acme's plans for the levitating and vanishing 42" flat-screen TV and come and line up at my door, I'd go "Wait a minute. Stop the presses. Time out." and either just say no or call up Acme and see what's going on.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
sleightly
View Profile
Elite user
New Hampshire
500 Posts

Profile of sleightly
When "manufacturing rights" are reserved, most often, they are actually referring to the rights to manufacture and MARKET the item (emphasis mine).

When a creator publishes an item that can be manufactured and appends a notice reserving "manufacturing rights", they are doing nothing to legally protect their idea. This notice is a request that no one else profit from their idea through the mass manufacture and SALE of the item in question. Copyright and patent law offers certain protections, but only to those willing to defend their product. A simple line of text such as this does not indicate due diligence.

Unless a builder is actively marketing (that means advertising) and actually selling the products to the public, it is unlikely that a court would have a problem with their efforts.

If a builder gets enough of a reputation through this type of work, it would behoove them to contact the originator and secure rights (through licensing or other means) should they be interested in advertising to the broader marketplace. Of course, the small builder may not be interested in mass marketing/producing items at all. It is likely to the benefit of the originator for a builder to develop such a reputation, as then they may have a manufacturing source for their "idea" that they can legitimize, and develop a relationship that they could possibly profit from.

If an originator believes enough in the item and really wants to protect it, they should approach a known manufacturer and try to come to an arrangement whereby the product *will* be made available and they can profit up-front from the sales before the "entrepreneurs" identify the opportunity and move on it.

Ultimately, unless an originator protects their property through appropriate legal channels, it is likely to be manufactured by those who traffic in such work, and they will have little recourse in the matter.

Should a small, cottage industry attempt to police its own actions and hold its participants up to some higher standard than the law simply because we don't want to believe that it is "worth" protecting our creations through appropriate channels? Is it feasible to believe that we can ever seriously affect someone's purchase through excessive vocal discourse? We can spend all day attempting to blackball individuals and companies for their efforts, or we can go out and make a real difference by supporting quality work and products through purchase and ultimately in practice THROUGH QUALITY PERFORMANCES FOR THE LAY PUBLIC.

All the "sturm und drang" about rights and behavior is ultimately nothing more than noise. People will act the way they do, and will justify their actions through whatever means necessary to make them "feel better." Ultimately, it is one's own actions that mean the most in the end. We are judged not by how much we talked about something, but rather through our actions and the impact we have had on the world around us.

ajp
Tom Cutts
View Profile
Staff
Northern CA
5703 Posts

Profile of Tom Cutts
Sleightly,

Do you believe the magic community would be a better place if magicians honored authors' and inventors' intentions or just stuck to the letter of the law and everything that affords them in our little cottage industry where the cost of legal protection would make most intentions to profit from one's ideas impossible?

Frank,

From what I can surmise from your rant you have one of two situations. Either you are working from an incompletely formed ethic, which may well be necessary to see each case as unique and on its own, but none the less is an under developed ethic for the making of such decisions as you have. OR, and I'm betting this is more likely, what you are agonizing over are the consequences of the decisions you already know you will make based on an ethic built through years of experience. Agonizing over the consequences is not the same as agonizing over the decision.

I do not, however, agree with your implication that those who make seemingly "heavy" decisions of ethic are entitled be cavalier in "lesser" decisions of ethic.
Frank Tougas
View Profile
Inner circle
Minneapolis, MN
1712 Posts

Profile of Frank Tougas
Rant? Cavalier decisions? "Heavy, Lesser" ethics?
Thank you Tom, your response and the attitude you've shown has proven my point.

Frank Tougas
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
26975 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
Folks, it is possible to disagree and argue vehemently without getting personal or discussing the insanity of otheres.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Tom Cutts
View Profile
Staff
Northern CA
5703 Posts

Profile of Tom Cutts
It's all right here, Frank.

Cavalier attitude toward these discussions of ethics in magic:
Quote:
the stuff that goes on in magic is for the most part stupid whineing


Making the decisions you face to be more important than these whining little lesser magic ethics.
Quote:
I am in a profession where ethical decisions are an almost daily occurance and yes some decisions do require agonizing. Such as working with an abused child who desperately needs some caring adult to talk to and knowing the law requires I report this even though it means the child will be yanked out of therapy he/she desperately needs and I will be hauled into court by a known abuser looking to get my license and livlihood yanked.

Or an adolecsent who is seventeen years old and has had unprotected sex and may have tested positive for HIV. A seventeen year old has some say over their medical records. Do I break the trust and possibly the law and tell the parents?

THIS is ethics my friend, the stuff that goes on in magic is for the most part stupid whineing, sorry to all my friends in magic, but it is. Maybe that is why you've never had to agonize over an ethical decision Tom. Maybe you've never had to sit in a courtroom and decide between following the letter of the law and risk the well being of a child or vunerable adult, or do the ethical thing and risk my career.

Of course how dumb of me not to realize how easy a decision that should be to make. If only I had read this fourm more dillegently.

In any case, I am moving away from the hypothetical and getting far too entangled in the real world. I apologize..now let's see, do someone's move without credit, how 'bout we kill them?


From where I sit it all adds up to "rant"... complete with that somewhat bombastic last line above. But hey, that's just my opinion. I wish you no malice. We must both like at least a little something in our little rows or we'd just avoid them.

Cheers to the New Year,

Tom
Dan LeFay
View Profile
Inner circle
Holland
1371 Posts

Profile of Dan LeFay
Heavy stuff here. I talked with Tommy Wonder about the initial question just hours ago and asked for his opinion. I'll try to vocalize his respons (on the ORIGINAL hypothetical question, not on the ethics-discussion that followed.)

He feels that it is ok to make something for yourself if you bought the book. Also to have someone make one for you should be possible. But if that same person would make several, for different people, that would be different. It would reduce the costs for the manufacturer (building something in series) and become a commercial manufacturing. He said to me that, in that case, it would be only fair if the manufacturer would contact the originator (Tommy) to discuss manufacturing-rights.
Tommy was a little cynical about the approach of the question. He asked if a creator should be (financially) punished because he shared his ideas with the magic community?

I know Tommy does manufacture his own products for other magicians. It takes a lot of work for someone with a tight schedule. Not anyone who wants something will be able to get it from him. It looks like this very thought (not be able to own something you want) is unbearable for some people. So if we can not get it from him, then anyone else who has the technical skills...
One of the most sensible comments given in this thread was "Why not contact the originator?" There have been no responses to this suggestion, even though it is so simple to do.
Do we have to conclude from this that the ones who questioned have already made up their minds? Do you really want the answers from the ones who are personally involved, the originators themselves? Or are you afraid for a "no" or an investment in price and time that does not fit your needs?

Contact the originators for these questions and if they do not reply immediately do not automatically take their silence for approval. If that does not make sense to you there are two words that come to mind...cognitive dissonance.

Everyone makes mistakes because of ignorance. So be it. But now that the questions are asked and answers are given we can not plead ignorance anymore.
"Things need not have happened to be true.
Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths,
that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes,
and forgot."
Neil Gaiman
Dan LeFay
View Profile
Inner circle
Holland
1371 Posts

Profile of Dan LeFay
Just to make things clear, these are thoughts Tommy discussed with me and are phrased by me. Please address me for further comments on my post. Not Tommy.
"Things need not have happened to be true.
Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths,
that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes,
and forgot."
Neil Gaiman
sleightly
View Profile
Elite user
New Hampshire
500 Posts

Profile of sleightly
First, to respond to Tom's question:

"Do you believe the magic community would be a better place if magicians honored authors' and inventors' intentions or just stuck to the letter of the law and everything that affords them in our little cottage industry where the cost of legal protection would make most intentions to profit from one's ideas impossible?"

Yes, I do.

Second. Dan, thanks for taking the time to speak with Tommy about this.

For the most part, I agree with what you have written. On one point only do I have anything to really contribute and that is the issue of one builder making one item for multiple clients. I certainly would have problems with a builder who deliberately set up production with the intent to mass produce (even on a small scale) without contacting the originator, but have no problem with the small shop that bangs them out one at a time for the occasional customer who asks (and produces "the book"). Again, if a builder develops a reputation as a good provider of custom building for magicians has several people (who own "the book") approach him over time to build a specific prop, no financial penalty is being assayed the originator. In this instance, they made their money from the sale of "the book". The consumer has every right to build--or cause to be built--any item within "the book".

Financial damages occur when a builder ramps up production and markets the items direct to the consumer (who may, or may not, have "the book") without remuneration due the originator. Most would agree that this is an ethical no, no. (Although perhaps legally copacetic.)

The question is a matter of scale and intent.

ajp
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Right or Wrong? » » Hypothetical question (0 Likes)
 Go to page [Previous]  1~2
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2019 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.24 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL