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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Performing that effect you read about, but didn't buy. » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Burt Yaroch
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This was a very interesting discussion that popped up in another thread. I cut and pasted the applicable posts and stuck them here so that we might continue this on track.

Quote:
On 2002-04-21 05:13, gilbreath76 wrote:
I have this ethics question....Sometimes I can watch demos and am able figure out the tricks. Is that bad? Is that my fault? I'm a purist, and I don't like to use gaffs. I figure as long as I don't use the tricks, I'm ok. But how many here, have figured out tricks because of demos and use them. And if so, is that wrong?


Quote:
On 2002-04-21 06:37, NickOShea wrote:
From a moral view, I believe that if you see a trick demonstrated, work it out and then perform it without buying it that is wrong. I seem to remember someone on many boards (including this one) asking about whether he needed to buy Kevin James' Floating Rose trick if he already knew how to do it. The general opinion across the internet was that he did have to buy it.

Thats not to say that i have not seen and then borrowed an idea or gained inspiration from working out online demos.


Quote:
On 2002-04-21 09:08, Paul Hallas wrote:
Trying to figure out how effects are done from dealer catalogues etc. can be a good exercise for the mind. Actually doing them when having come up with a solution is a bit naughty without buying the original, after all, you would be nowhere with it without having seen the advert that apealed to you.

It may be the marketed version IS different, it may be it is the same but that there are presentational points you have overlooked or other suggestions which come through repeated peformance (that is, if the effect HAS been repeatedly performed).

Some pro. entertainers purchase several versions of an effect to study if there is more than one version on the market, or study several versions in print to try and find the best, or combine the plus points of each.

I remember years back, to my embarrasment, publishing an effect in a magazine, I thought my solution to an effect could not possibly be the same as advertised. Turns out it was. Hey, we all make mistakes. Some of us recognize the fact! lol.

Buying the effect gives you the opportunity to study the effect fully. Providing the instructions are well written.

However, there may be an exception? Perhaps if you are reading really old catalogues and come up with a solution for something that is no longer on the market and the company has ceased trading. I see no problem in using such a routine in your own performance so long as you don't start manufacturing what you've got for retail, after all, the originator of the effect may still be alive even if the effect is not on the market and the company has ceased trading.

Interesting discussion, but we have wandered away from the original topic somewhat, this would be more relevant in Food for Thought?

Paul Hallas


I really like alot of what Paul mentioned above. Especially how by purchasing the original effect you many refine your own handling as well as gain valuable insight into the effects genesis.

Ethcially speaking, however, I'd like to bottom line the discussion with this. Let your conscience be your guide. There are as many varying ethical positions here as there are people. It doesn't matter if Paul Hallas or I tell you what we think about your decision. What do you think about it?

(Although if Scott Guinn tells you something, I'd go with that. Smile )
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Peter Marucci
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The concept of an effect is as much part of the trick as is the working.
Take the aforementioned floating rose, for example.
You may know how it works and you may be able to make it work without buying it.
But would you do it if you hadn't seen the ad or performance first?
That should be your guide.
Another bottom line:
If you have to ask yourself "is this wrong?", then it probably is.
cheers,
Peter Marucci
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Tom Cutts
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And if you have to ask yourself if Peter is right...He probably is. Smile
Garrett Nelson
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Hmmm. Interesting question and points. As I am more of a cardician than a magician in the grand scheme of things, there are other interesting questions that arise.

If I see an effect that I really like, and figure out....
I have the luxury of learning some original effects from the creators. If I really like the effect, I will tell them so and inform them that I am going to steal it from them. This is usually not a problem as long as I am not going to do it in front of other magicians, who might REALLY steal it from them. That right there proves a point. First, they are actually afraid of the effect being stolen. Second, since I figured it out, it is the concept and creativity I am using, not just the technique.

If I see something I really like, I will use it (unless I am asked not too, of course!). I can't say I would go right out and buy the book it is in becasue I do one effect. BUT, I would definately have a look at it. If there is one good thing, there may be more.

Cardmen are famous for roundtables and sharing ideas of themselves and others. I think this is understood by the community at large. And it is important for the growth of card magic. But if someone relies on pirating material, that is a whole different level. You have to decide when you are using vs. stealing (real stealing, not like I mentioned before)

I know this topic was likely not intended for a cardician's point of view, but it does raise an interesting question in this arena.

Any other cardicians on this topic??
Burt Yaroch
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What's a cardicians?




Some kinda sweater, right?
Yakworld.
Scott F. Guinn
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Here's what I do:

If I see a marketed effect that blows me away, I try to come up with a good method for it. Then I buy the trick. If I came up with the same method, I can perform it, because I paid for it. If my method is completely different, I can still do it and even publish my method--giving credit to the inspirational source, of course). If both my method and the marketed method are good, I can still do it, and I can take the strengths of both and make a good routine even better. And if the marketed version sucks, I can always sell it on eBay!
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Garrett Nelson
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Gotta love Ebay! I'll just have to remember to never buy anything Scott sells!
Mr. Ed
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I don't know if I should do this, (especially with who the respondants have been so far, I may be getting in over my head, but I'll play Devils Advocate because I haven't gotten into the mix in a while and am feeling a little devilish) what is the difference between taking a marketed effect, reverse engineering it, and using it, and attending a lecture, learning, and using the effect? After all for a once a year fee to join a local club you can have access to 4 or more lectures. In my case we have 8 this year alone. Kevin James was just last month. If there is something in the lecture that I find interesting, I buy the notes, video, book or effect. Not everyone does this. IS it consent to use ideas or effects learned during a lecture or is it implied that if you like, you buy?

Also what if Kevin James Floating rose "Inspires" you to do a similar effect, but using a bird. You work out all the mechanics on your own, are you still obligated to purchase KJ routine? With that said does that mean you can not create from paper, float, and change an item with out paying royalties. I do not mean to say that creators of effects are not due their repects, and money. I think those creative enough and generous enough to share their talents deserve their due, I'm just asking, Where is the line?
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Peter Marucci
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As one who has been lecturing for the past seven or eight years, the point of a lecture is to teach certain effects/routines that the lecturer has come up with.
The sale of notes afterwards is a handy mnemonic device, to help jog your memory about what the lecturer did and how he did it.
The sale of props/tricks afterwards -- in my case at least -- is to save the purchaser the trouble of making it up him/herself.
If someone wants to go to a lecture, learn a couple of routines, and not buy the notes or tricks, then that's fine.
Because the lecturer is being paid by the club (not a lot, but something).
But it shouldn't be even implied that if you like it, you buy it.
That's partly a courtesy on the part of the members/audience.
And remember, the lecturer is passing along only certain things; not everything he has ever done is fair game!
cheers,
Peter Marucci
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DarryltheWizard
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I agree Peter about buying as a courtesy to the lecturer. I attended a wonderful lecture by the cardworker, Boris Wild from Paris, France. I bought one of his tapes and decks of cards just to help him defray his travel expenses. I'll probably never get the time to make a complete deck of marked cards unless the weather takes a turn for the worse...well I guess I'll be marking the cards sooner than I thought!
Darryl the Wizard Smile
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Garrett Nelson
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I have never felt obligated to buy lecture notes after a lecture. If I pay for a lecture, I feel I can use the material in it. However, I wish I had bought the notes from every GOOD lecture, just to help me remember the little things. And, as Peter eloquently stated, as a courtesy to the lecturer.
Paul
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regarding Mr. Ed's comment;
what is the difference between taking a marketed effect, reverse engineering it, and using it, and attending a lecture, learning, and using the effect?

I think that has been clarified by others. In a lecture you are being shown the effect for you to go out and use should you wish. That is the point of the lecture. There is no obligation to buy notes. Lecturers with tons of notes books and tricks is really a phenomenon of the past 20 years.

Sometimes when I lecture I don't have any notes at all, so if you ever see one of my lectures it might be worth taking a pen and paper with you. That was a familiar sight in the old days, pens and paper and audio cassette recorders.

Lecture Notes are a plus if you are too lazy to record. Plus they might mention finer points in handling you forgot to write down. In the old days if there were notes they were roughly produced, stapled, and more like memory joggers. Today they are very well produced booklets.

You shouldn't feel obliged to buy lecture notes or do it as a courtesy. But if you have seen a lot of stuff you could use it makes sense to have a record of it.

I am booked to lecture, that's it. If anyone buys anything after that is nice, if they don't I've still accomplished what I came to do, lecture. It is certainly not implied if you like, you buy. But of course, I'm speaking for myself, not all lecturers.I've seen some lecturers make remarks at people taking notes.Smile

Paul Hallas.
p.s. Devils Advocate? Good movie Smile
Scott F. Guinn
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I agree completely with Paul. I start all my lectures explaining that I do have notes, but I feel if you paid to get in the lecture, you shouldn't have to pay for anything else, and I am happy to go over anything with anyone afterwards.

If the club is paying me well, I have been known to give everyone the notes for free.
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Rcitgo
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You guy's are lucky. I've never been to a lecture before. Smile
Ray Haddad
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Good comments, all.

Personally, I buy any effect that I am going to use commercially. That is, when I get paid for showing it either in money or prestige, I pay for any effect I use no matter if the effect has had its copyright expire or not. That's just me and my system of ethics.

I have been known to wait 10 years for a book to become available so that I could perform one single effect from that book. I have also bought books that cost over $1000.00(US) just for one effect. Fortunately, that book provided me with several effects but I only knew of the one when I purchased it.

Ethics is something that becomes synonymous with your name if you are consistant. As an example, my favorite magic dealer always waits on me personally when I come into his shop. He shows me all the latest items both in performance and working. The reason? Because he knows beyond a doubt that I will not knock off a commercial effect nor perform it without owning it. My ethical system is so clearly defined that he feels it's far more important that I not buy something unsuitable from him than to make a sale.

He's the one who helped me to find that book I sought for 10 years. I'll be forever in his debt.

I'd advise anyone still following this thread to carefully study the words of those giving advice here and note how much has to do with the ethics of deeds. There's not one word of mention regarding the legality. Among professionals, ethics ranks far higher.

Best Always,
Ray
Alan Wheeler
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On a practical note, I have purchased the following effects, hoping to arrive at the best bill switch for me at this time:

1. Quad Bill
2. Mismade Bill
3. Sanky's Ultimate Bill Switch
4. Michael Ammard TT Bill Switch
5. Himber Wallet

Some of this stuff--especially number 1 and 5--were methods actually known to me from library books already. I have spent a lot of money, and still might end up "stealing" (I use quotation marks, because it wouldn't be my intention to steal) somebody else's material by trying to accomplish a modified version--say a version without TT.

alan
The views and comments expressed on this post may be mere speculation and are not necessarily the opinions, values, or beliefs of Alan Wheeler.
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Ray Haddad
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Alan,

I see that items 1 and 2 are gimmicked bills, item 3 and 4 are gimmick assisted switches and item 5 is a wallet that does all the work. The only option you haven't covered is pure sleight of hand. This is the preferred method as we who are forced to use colored, plastic currency find out quickly.

The pure sleight method is required because Australian currency is made from Kevlar(tm) plastic, sized different for each denomination and colored different for each denomination.

If we use a TT, the currency unfolds inside making it impossible to remove for the switch. If we use gaffed bills, the color gives them away. So, the only logical way to do it is with sleights.

Enter Jackie Headroom, ficititious lecturer from the UK on a lecture tour through Perth. He showed us a method he came up with for switching colored notes that he believed was very clever. The trouble is, everyone in our local club was already using that exact method and no one really remembers who came up with it originally.

Since we had to live with this mad currency scheme, it sort of evolved over the years. The question now remains. Do those of us who saw Jackie do this effect owe him for independently creating and publishing this concept in his hastily put together lecture notes? Or, does he actually owe us for developing the idea independently but long after us?

There is no answer to this question mostly because trying to find out who had the first spark of an idea would be impossible. Also, Jackie did publish it first. No answers. No solutions. No real problem because none of us took any offence. We simply shrugged it off giving Jackie his due for coming up with the same idea.

Best Always,
Ray
Alan Wheeler
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Hello Ray and other friends,

Well, my ignorance raises it's ugly head once again! After writing my last post in this thread, I saw, in another thread, a discussion about many different bill switches, including several "no gimmick" versions.

I guess it just costs time and money to find all these things out.

alan
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John Clarkson
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Quote:
On 2002-04-22 00:09, GarrettDN wrote:
...

Cardmen are famous for roundtables and sharing ideas of themselves and others. I think this is understood by the community at large. And it is important for the growth of card magic. But if someone relies on pirating material, that is a whole different level. You have to decide when you are using vs. stealing (real stealing, not like I mentioned before)

I know this topic was likely not intended for a cardician's point of view, but it does raise an interesting question in this arena.

Any other cardicians on this topic??


In fact, one of the things I enjoy most is when a fellow cardician poses a problem for others to solve. In essence, he/she is describing an effect and the others work out various methods. I see no quantifiable difference between this and seeing an effect and working out your own method. Smile
John D. Clarkson, S.O.B. (Sacred Omphaloskeptic Brotherhood)
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"There is nothing more important to a magician than keeping secrets. Probably because so many of them are Gay."
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dchung
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I see a difference. When you pose a problem, you want people to try and figure out a method to do it. When you're selling an effect, you want people to buy your method.

Cheers,
dchung
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