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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Right or Wrong? » » Just what are the rules? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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935 Posts

Profile of gimpy2
I just can't seem to find out what the rules are when you are trying to produce magic effects. Is there an agreed on list of do's and don't's?

Is there a time limit that someone holds exclusive rights on certain effects, or is it forever?

How do you go about owning the rights to an effect? Do you sign up somewhere?

How much different does a trick have to be from something else out there to be new?

I understand that it would be wrong to say... make a tape measure that you would be able to predict a random measurement, but can you improve say...a duck bucket?

Thanks for any help, Gimpy
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Inner circle
2586 Posts

Profile of truthteller

FIrst, if the idea is associated with someone, just ask permission. Get permission and you are fine.

Sometimes, in obtaining that permission, one works out a financial agreement. I bought the license to a trick some time ago. I knew the person who was making/selling it and we came to a figure we were both happy with.

If you create something that IS new, then we would hope others would respect that and seek out your permission should they desire to copy it. As far as being known as the official "right holder" (baring copyright issues) there really is no database for that information. But if enough people know it to be your idea, I think you will find yourself defended should any issue arise.

As to the difference argument - that is a tough one. Getting permission will always take care of that issue. But I think if you are in doubt, then perhaps it is too close. Is changing the method enough? In which case a new tape measure could be perfectly ethical. Or, do we grant rights to the creator of an "effect?"

Different people have different opinions here.

I would think, though, that duck buckets are free for tampering.

Brad Henderson
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Northern California
117 Posts

Profile of Cleverpaws
What if you wanted to recreate a magic effect from the late 1800s or early 1900s and the original creator has long since died (~1930) and the person that was making it with them died in ~1950?
How would you go about tracing the lineage of successors? Would it be ok to make this effect almost identical and sell it?
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The City of Angels
787 Posts

Profile of danaruns
You can't "own" methods.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
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Veteran user
302 Posts

Profile of longhaired1
Are you talking about rules to market effects or perform them, or both?
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Regular user
Northern California
117 Posts

Profile of Cleverpaws
Im curious about marketing an actual item that is no longer being made. I’m going to guess Gimpy is asking the same as he’s a maker also.
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Cherry Valley, CA
61 Posts

Profile of Deckstacker
Before discovering a current online source for the well-known "Pop Up Tie Gimmick" (having lost mine from years ago) I considered making one in my garage workshop for my own personal use. I'm guessing that would have been okay. (?) But what if I'd also made several more and offered them up on eBay or elsewhere? Would anybody have really cared? --I realize that this is probably a trivial example of a perhaps out-of-patent item, if indeed it was ever patented. It's the principle I'm more interested in here. Any thoughts---anybody?
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