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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Legality issue (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

espmagic
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To the astute membership(!) –

There has been a lot of talk recently about insurance and other legal issues regarding our work; here is another for your consideration –

What are the repercussions and restrictions (authorization-wise) of using another performer’s name in your own advertising? For example: “Here he is, the next David Copperfield…John Q. Public!”, or “Another mind-bending Derren Brown, our very own L. J. BeLittle!!”

And, never mind the snipes about advertising the other performer…<grin>
"Let it be simple and pure, because miracles are simple and pure." - Mind2Mind.ca
Lyndel
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Inner circle
wrote the theme to the TV show COPS!
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If this is used as a quote from a newspaper story or a piece done on television about you - you are merely utilizing the quote.

I do not see where legally, you could be held liable for any type of damages.

However; if you utilize a quote like, "The next David Copperfield," you probably should have a show that can back up such a claim or it might leave your clients with a bad taste in their mouth both for you and magic in general.

Lyndel
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Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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Or be so far from David Copperfield, it is humorous.
Dennis Michael
TroyRoark
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Springfield IL
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Here's a question. . .

Let's say you're using "If you liked David Copperfield, you'll LOVE so-and-so."

Is that any different?

Troy Roark
Thoughtreader
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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Do you really want to be known as the next-so-and-so, implying that there is someone else that does what you do or would you prefer to stand on your own-to appear to be "the only one that does what you do"? If you answer the latter (which I would hope that you do) your question is now moot.
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espmagic
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All valid points - my question was designed to find out if I label myself as the "next" so-and-so, whether Mr. so-and-so has any legal rights or concerns over the use of his name. Specifically, if I use the words "Remember Uri Geller?" without being specific to him or what he does, can he lay any concern towards me for use of his name?

Thanks for the replies! Keep 'em coming!
"Let it be simple and pure, because miracles are simple and pure." - Mind2Mind.ca
SpiffnikHopkins
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Washington DC
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Try asking whoever it is. Even if it's an e-mail to an account he gets tons of mail to. Odds are someone like Copperfield has a lawyer or someone reading all his e-mails to respond to things like that. Other names will have even fewer e-mails to look through.

~Spiff
Jon Gallagher
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Elmwood, Illinois
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About 20 years ago, I got a letter from a lawyer. He told me I couldn't use my name anymore when performing. It seems that some guy with the same last name and a passion for smashing watermellons was a little upset with anyone, namely his brother, who was using the name.

I went to my lawyer, told him this was the name I was born with, and would like to keep it. He fired back a letter to the mellonhead and his lawyer telling them that I'd be keeping my name, thank you very much, and if they didn't like it, well, he made some interesting suggestions that I don't think are humanly possible unless you're triple jointed.

We never heard anything back. Maybe it's because I never made the "big time."
www.jongallagher.com

Hey! I'm finally a Dot Com!
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