We Remember The Magic Café We Remember
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Everything old is new again » » Magic Books and the Public Domain (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page [Previous]  1~2~3~4~5 [Next]
Bill Palmer
View Profile
Eternal Order
Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
24209 Posts

Profile of Bill Palmer
That link to Cornell is very useful. The real key is in the footnotes.

All you can protect in magic is specific expressions of these ideas that make magic work. You cannot possibly protect the classic pass, the classic palm, the finger palm, the back palm or any of the other common things we have unless you write a new description, film a new description or patent a new system. These items are firmly in the public domain.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
26933 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
We seem to be stuck on a "publishers" perspective on all this.

Magic, unlike most other fields of research and activity, is based upon secrets.

Secrets are data which contain both an idea and a context. That combination when applied in performance permits magicians to create the sense of magic in their audiences.

While inside our little craft we have literature and scripts, etc., we are ill advised to let those things get into the hands of the non-performer or idly curious as such knowledge would prevent our best efforts from having the desired and expected (by our audiences) results.

I suggest we look at the particular data which permits our craft as the equivalent of what other institutions call "intelligence" - that which we know and also that which "they" are not aware that we know.

And I also suggest we keep a watch for folks who have no respect for what permits our craft so we don't loose too much more of our precious "secrets" to the greed and indifference of those who are not mature enough to care about such things.

Shhhhhh
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Marshall Thornside
View Profile
Inner circle
chicago
2016 Posts

Profile of Marshall Thornside
You didn't Shhhh loud enough Jonathan.
you will remember my name

World's Youngest Illusionista
7th greatest pianist in the world
Go Red For Women and Stroke Ambassador
www.mai-ling.net
Bill Palmer
View Profile
Eternal Order
Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
24209 Posts

Profile of Bill Palmer
Jonathan. I don't understand why you don't understand that the ONLY protections we have are the law and total secrecy. The law applies only to publication. Once you have written something down, it is published. Once you share your work with someone else, it isn't a secret any longer. Your mistake with the three coins across was trusting someone who couldn't be trusted. Once that happened, it became publicly available. Note that I did not say "in the public domain."

When the material is available in books that are open to anyone, it's not really a secret any more is it?

You know my stance on exposure.

Regarding the Cornell link:

Check the footnotes. One of the most telling is this:
Foreign works published after 1923 are likely to be still under copyright in the US because of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA) modifying the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The URAA restored copyright in foreign works that as of 1 January 1996 had fallen into the public domain in the US because of a failure to comply with US formalities. One of the authors of the work had to be a non-US citizen or resident, the work could not have been published in the US within 30 days after its publication abroad, and the work needed to still be in copyright in the country of publication. Such works have a copyright term equivalent to that of an American work that had followed all of the formalities. For more information, see Library of Congress Copyright Office, Highlights of Copyright Amendments Contained in the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA). Circular 38b. [Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, Copyright Office, 2004].


Posted: Mar 20, 2007 4:52pm
-------------------------------------------
Maybe I can clarify why I keep referring to publication. It's a matter of protection. Here is a hypothetical example.

Magician A works out a method of making an elephant disappear. He doesn't show it to anyone, but he writes it up and files it in a filing cabinet. He even dates his copy.

Magician B lives across the country, does not know Magician A, and has no access to his filing cabinet. He comes up with a similar method for vanishing an elephant. He writes it up in a book and publishes it. Magician A gets angry and decides to sue Magician B. Does he have a case?

Probably not. If Magician B had no knowledge of Magician A, his work or access to his secret files, then he has no way of stealing anything from Magician A. The case would probably be thrown out of court.

Now, take a different view of it. Magician A figures out how to vanish an elephant. He sells the method to Magician C, who signs a non-disclosure agreement, but acquires sole performance rights. Magician C gets drunk one night and tells Magician B how it works. Magician B then publishes the method.

Does Magician A have grounds to sue Magician B? Again, it's doubtful. He would have to prove that Magician C gave away the secret. Since you can't patent or copyright ideas, this would be a very difficult case to prove. If Magician C 'fesses up, the chances are that Magician A could sue him for violating the NDA and for damages caused by the release of the unauthorized version. But he would have to prove damages.

About the only way any of these things could be decided in favor of Magician A would be if the other magicians were members of a magical organization. Then they could be suspended. But a magical organization does not have the power to fine a member. So, big deal. What is the punishment going to be?

There is none.

Here's the situation. The guys who actually earn their living doing magic generally don't particularly care what we think about exposure. If they feel like exposing, they will do it. Do you think Penn and Teller or Criss Angel would stop exposing if the IBM told them to? No. Why? Basically, when it comes to these guys, the IBM is irrelevant to what they do. They aren't members.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
26933 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
Bill, I argue that publication is no protection at all for a work or art. Really. To demonstrate, consider what would have happened if someone posted a YouTube clip with the fan of ***** painted in via CGI to show Gaughm/Copperfield's flying in detail. Or using CGI to properly show off the Asrah form ... after a little while folks could still enjoy a beautiful performance but the "magic" would be gone. What was breathtaking would have become "nice". Just by taking the ideas public via performance or public discussion the damage can be done. Add to this the current culture of internet downloads and publication seems more like a very short prelude to public exposure. ( <- my grouchy opinion at 7pm Tuesday )

Quote:
On 2007-03-20 12:51, Bill Palmer wrote:...When the material is available in books that are open to anyone, it's not really a secret any more is it?...

When speaking of ideas... this is exactly what I mean by public domain, <- even if not known by all, "common knowledge", the ideas are available to all.

Consider the contrast between our magic data and the availability military data ... we seem to have a true freedom of information act in our craft. Strange when what distinguishes our craft from almost all others is its dependence upon secrecy. Smile

This is about exploring options to protect others who may wish to show their works in progress to get some peer feedback. On a side note, you can get a new credit card number, a new car, even a new social security number... but you can't just get another idea you feel like spending years to explore.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Bill Palmer
View Profile
Eternal Order
Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
24209 Posts

Profile of Bill Palmer
Okay. Since you are still laboring under the misconception that you can protect ideas somehow, how do you propose to do it?

You can't protect your ideas without a record of some kind.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
26933 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
Tell you what, as long as that record is not publicly available... we are working on the same side.

Instead of working at cross purposes on this, let's work towards eachother.

** in my humble opinion ***

As artists we should already know that just because we have a legal right to copy the works of another person it is our self respect and the respect for our craft which makes such an act despicable.

So we don't waste too much more time on "publication" in the public sense, I posit that to publish in our current culture is the same as public exposure of magic secrets. What we offer is not the same sort of product as emmited by our major mass media outlets. If they have pretty much accepted the mass distribution of their works via unexpected (internet) channels... what can we do but treat this same phenomenon as reason to:

1) not in public
2) not in plaintext
3) not without cause

As to who keeps the "records" you mentioned Bill... grownups... folks who have gotten over themselves and hold the continuity of the art as more important (to them) than their own personal issues.

Imitation without express permission is not the most sincere form of flattery in art. It may well be an admission that one is less than trustworthy.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
DStachowiak
View Profile
Inner circle
Baltimore, MD
2158 Posts

Profile of DStachowiak
Quote:
On 2006-06-16 14:03, Pete Biro wrote:
Slightly off topic, but nowadays, to me, it seems like a HUGE number of the magicians are hungry for "what's new" and only do their tricks for the same small handful of family and/or friends.

Few build solid routines and work "in the biz."

I think there have always been far more amateurs in Magic than there were working "in the biz".

I think what has changed is the loss of the brick and mortar magic shops, most of which had their own "club", more or less loosely organized, that provided a larger, and more or less friendly, venue for the amateurs to perform for.

With the loss of these outlets, amateurs are now reduced to exactly what you describe, performing for a small group of friends and family.
Woke up.
Fell out of bed.
Dragged a comb across m' head.
Bill Palmer
View Profile
Eternal Order
Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
24209 Posts

Profile of Bill Palmer
Quote:
On 2007-03-21 06:49, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Tell you what, as long as that record is not publicly available... we are working on the same side.

Instead of working at cross purposes on this, let's work towards eachother.



I am not working at cross purposes with you. I'm trying to inject a dose of reality into your way of thinking. Even though we would like for magic to have some kind of special protection, no such protection exists under the law. As long as people can create, no group of other people can force them to distribute their creations according to their dictates.

Quote:

** in my humble opinion ***

As artists we should already know that just because we have a legal right to copy the works of another person it is our self respect and the respect for our craft which makes such an act despicable.



We don't necessarily have a legal right to copy the works of another person. The legality of this depends on how the work is protected.

Quote:

So we don't waste too much more time on "publication" in the public sense, I posit that to publish in our current culture is the same as public exposure of magic secrets. What we offer is not the same sort of product as emmited by our major mass media outlets. If they have pretty much accepted the mass distribution of their works via unexpected (internet) channels... what can we do but treat this same phenomenon as reason to:


There seems to be a verb missing here.
Quote:
1) not in public
2) not in plaintext
3) not without cause

As to who keeps the "records" you mentioned Bill... grownups... folks who have gotten over themselves and hold the continuity of the art as more important (to them) than their own personal issues.

Imitation without express permission is not the most sincere form of flattery in art. It may well be an admission that one is less than trustworthy.



Okay, you have set up an interesting idea here. So, here's what I have gleaned from this. You are proposing to set up some group of people who will create magic for themselves.

This magic will not be performed in public.

It will not be written down.

It will not be distributed.

So, what happens when someone independently produces one of the ideas in the "Invisible Magic Non-Databank"?

There will be no recourse.

Let me give you a dose of reality.

In 1998, WAM sued Fox over a broadcast that was supposedly going to expose the Spiker. This was an original illusion of Andre Kole's that was familiar to most illusionists, but it hadn't been widely distributed in publicly available texts. WAM decided to sue for damages. All they could see was one method for performing the illusion.

The judge threw the case out of court. One reason was that WAM could not prove that the method revealed on the show was the same one that Andre Kole used. (It wasn't. It was actually simpler!) Fox refused to preview the show, and the judge didn't feel that the allegations merited a warrant. Second, there were no damages at the time of the trial. You can't sue for damages that have not occurred.

Who was at fault here? Several people. Certainly Fox was at fault for doing the show. Valentino was at fault for participating in it. WAM's lawyer was at fault for not doing his homework. This was basic "Perry Mason 101." The end result was an incredible amount of free publicity for the Fox show and a complete loss for WAM.

The amount of damages the magicians in WAM suffered? Probably none.

So, if I have misinterpreted the way that you plan to share information with your peers, then enlighten me.

Are you proposing a two-level distribution system for magic -- one that has all of the secrets that have been published up until now and another level that is private? Are you proposing that some cabal will determine who has access to what?

If so, how are you going to select your members?

And what punishment will there be for people who violate your trust?

How do you plan to share information?

What if nobody else wants to play? What if some really creative person says, "I don't create magic for people like you, I create it to sell to other people." ?

Are you going to boycott all the magic dealers and publishers in the world?
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
26933 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
Quote:
On 2007-03-21 18:24, Bill Palmer wrote:...
There seems to be a verb missing here.
Quote:
earlier jon T wrote
1) not in public
2) not in plaintext
3) not without cause...


Those are some suggestions about communicating magic data (secrets).

Please do perform.

As to what sort of consequence is there for betraying a trust? Perhaps being shunned and having one's trusted data let loose would work. Hopefully not leaked out into the muggle world via open publication but still...
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Bill Palmer
View Profile
Eternal Order
Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
24209 Posts

Profile of Bill Palmer
The only way you can get anyone to adhere to any set of rules is to have a set of consequences that cause more distress than the pleasure derived from breaking those rules.

The only way I can see getting any of the magical creators to join the cause is to make it somehow worth their while.

So meanwhile, what do we do with the really creative guys like John Cornelius and John Kennedy, whose livelihood is based on distributing relatively large quantities of magic props?
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
jstone
View Profile
Inner circle
Someday I'll have
1452 Posts

Profile of jstone
I hope I'm not Off Topic here with this question... I'm curious about things like the relatively recent release of some of the classic books (e.g. Royal Road to Card Magic) on video. Is this:
a) Legal?
b) Ethical?
c) Acceptable behavior in the magic community?

I'm not looking for a fight here; I really don't know the answer and would greatly appreciate any feedback (especially from Bill).

Thanks in advance!
Bill Palmer
View Profile
Eternal Order
Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
24209 Posts

Profile of Bill Palmer
Legal -- yes, Royal Road, Expert Card Techinque and Erdnase are in the public domain. There may be some kind of problem with the restoration of copyright act on Royal Road and ECT, except that both of the authors were US residents or citizens when they wrote the book. Even though it was printed in England and published in England and the US, American laws probably apply here. It also depends on what happened after the original copyright expired. Even then, if they did not quote the text exactly, there probably isn't a problem. Since both books have appeared as Dover reprints, that indicates that the Dover copyright experts have given the books a good look. Erdnase is not a problem, because it is well past any conceivable copyright date and has been available as a reprint for many years. Same is true of Bobo.

Ethical -- yes.

Acceptable behavior in the magic community -- borderline. It depends on how they are marketed. The MM products seem to be geared more to internet sales than anything else. I don't think the Magic Circle has set a minimum price on a mass market DVD yet. That should be submitted to the council.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
erlandish
View Profile
Inner circle
Vancouver, Canada
1254 Posts

Profile of erlandish
Question: An author is writing a book on presentation and showmanship, and the idea is to take a single card sleight as a baseline example and show how different routines can be built up around it, as well as how applying certain concepts of magic theory can improve upon the original trick.

Although the focus is on presentation and theory, it's assumed that a certain amount of methodology will need to be covered, however rudimentary it may be. The mechanics of the sleight are covered more than adequately in Royal Road to Card Magic. Can the relevant passages be quoted from that source, either verbatim or with annotations? The author plans to credit appropriately.

(By the way, that question is based on Bill's statement that RRTCM is now in the public domain)
The Jester Extraordinaire : bderland.com
Ye Olde Magick Blogge : erlandish.blogspot.com
Bill Palmer
View Profile
Eternal Order
Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
24209 Posts

Profile of Bill Palmer
There should be no problem at all with that, even if you quote RRTCM verbatim.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
26933 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
It might be a good idea to follow academic form and simply quote from the book directly and leave the student to follow up and get the original if they wish to explore the book directly.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
erlandish
View Profile
Inner circle
Vancouver, Canada
1254 Posts

Profile of erlandish
Ok, that's actually the way I'd like to go about it, referring to RRTCM as one might quote or reference a research text (footnotes and bibliographies and such). I don't want to pass off the work as my own, just give the basic information necessary to perform the stuff needed so that the rest of the book can focus on showmanship and theory ideas.

Thanks very much for taking the time.
The Jester Extraordinaire : bderland.com
Ye Olde Magick Blogge : erlandish.blogspot.com
Bill Palmer
View Profile
Eternal Order
Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
24209 Posts

Profile of Bill Palmer
The proper way to do this, academically speaking, is one of two ways:

1) State in the text: In Royal Road to Card Magic, on page xxx, the Doofus Move is described as follows:
Quote:
Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.


Then, in the bibliography, name the source. You can also add what part of the book provided the source material.

2) Here's how to do the Doofus Move:
Quote:
Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. 1


Then, at the bottom of the page, the end of the chapter or the back of the book, add the footnote,

Hugard, Jean and Fred Braue: Royal Road to Card Magic, (publication information) p xxx.

The next footnote, if it concerns RRTCM would say ibid. If not, you give the next footnote in the correct form. Subsequent references to RRTCM would be indicated by op cit.

You can get the proper form of this from the MLA style sheet.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
landmark
View Profile
Inner circle
within a triangle
4712 Posts

Profile of landmark
There you go again. Exposing the Doofus Move.
Bill Palmer
View Profile
Eternal Order
Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
24209 Posts

Profile of Bill Palmer
Wait until you see it on the DVD's.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Everything old is new again » » Magic Books and the Public Domain (4 Likes)
 Go to page [Previous]  1~2~3~4~5 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2019 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.29 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