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gdw
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HeSo, let's say that there was some sort of IP protection for magic effects/methods.

Now, let's look at Watch and Wear, Time Machine, Perfect Time. Not the issue of knock offs with them, let's just assume there was only one, and it was the "original."

Now, let's say I own a magic shop, and I offer my customers any of the numerous "normal" watches that happen to have the same function, for the purposes of performing the effect in question.

Would this be a violation of the IP of the progenitor of the effect? If so, how?
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
LobowolfXXX
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Nope, I don't imagine so.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
MobilityBundle
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To be sure, I know the these effects, but not the methods behind them. But better still, I know intellectual property law. Smile

There's a lot to unpack behind your assumption, "let's say there was some sort of IP protection for magic effects/methods." Among the various ways to protect effects and methods, the only thing really pertinent to your question is patents. While there are some other ways to cover magic effects, they don't protect the "functional" aspects... i.e., how the trick works.

So suppose the trick is patented. Turns out, you can patent something in a lot of different ways. Let's say that there are two types of patent protection on the trick. The first, say there's a patent on the device itself: a watch with structures A, B, and C. Second, let's say there's a patent on the method of using the watch to perform magic; loosely speaking, asking a spectator X, performing steps Y and Z, etc.

If you own a magic shop and you sell a watch, but it doesn't have the structures A, B, and C in the way described by the patent, you don't infringe. Easy as that. Moreover, in selling the watch, you certainly don't perform steps X, Y, and Z -- in other words, you can SELL the watch without PERFORMING the trick.

But if the CUSTOMER would perform steps X, Y, and Z in using the watch you sold him, then you're potentially liable for what's called "inducing infringement." To be liable, a little bit more has to be true -- you have to know about the patent and intend for the customer to perform the infringing steps.
gdw
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Well that certainly makes all kinds of sense.
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
critter
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So you only want to know if it's legal to sell a watch to your Internet Provider?
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
Salguod Nairb
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I guess it is like those shops that sell bongs. They are a harmless tobacco shop and have no concept of their patrons of doing anything illegal with their products.
We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness...
RS1963
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Quote:
On 2011-05-23 13:34, critter wrote:
So you only want to know if it's legal to sell a watch to your Internet Provider?


That was my thought too.
Salguod Nairb
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Originally I thought it was a network question. (Internet Protocol)
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gdw
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Perhaps it would help to have clarification on IP (intellectual property Smile )

To those that have a more thurough understanding of IP law, what is it that protects, for example, the plot of a book, as opposed to the actual words written which are covered by copyright?

Similarly, what about a song? That is, the actual arrangement, not the written notes, or recorded data?

I believe I have a decent understanding of IP, through my studies in media, but would prefer to work with terms set by others, and would appreciate any more professional input than my own.
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
mastermindreader
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"Intellectual Property Law" does not refer to a specific law, but rather is a blanket term referring to the area of law that pertains to copyrights, performance rights, trademarks, patents, design rights, trade secrets etc.

Good thoughts,

Bob
gdw
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On 2011-05-23 18:45, mastermindreader wrote:
"Intellectual Property Law" does not refer to a specific law, but rather is a blanket term referring to the area of law that pertains to copyrights, performance rights, trademarks, patents, design rights, trade secrets etc.

Good thoughts,

Bob


Yes, it's more its own section of law.
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
RS1963
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Glenn why don't you ask Bill Palmer he is a member on here and he knows about IP laws I'm sure he can set you straight or he may want to run off screaming after trying to explain it to you. Should be fun anyway send him a message would ya?
gdw
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RS1963, I appreciate the suggestion, though, as I said, it is not for my own understanding. I was thinking this discussion could benefit from clarifications from someone other than myself.

However, I think the examples I suggested were not the best as the "idea" behind a book is not exactly, itself, protected. This type of thing is why I think the discussion would benefit from clarification from someone else.
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
LobowolfXXX
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Quote:
On 2011-05-23 18:37, gdw wrote:
Perhaps it would help to have clarification on IP (intellectual property Smile )

To those that have a more thurough understanding of IP law, what is it that protects, for example, the plot of a book, as opposed to the actual words written which are covered by copyright?

Similarly, what about a song? That is, the actual arrangement, not the written notes, or recorded data?

I believe I have a decent understanding of IP, through my studies in media, but would prefer to work with terms set by others, and would appreciate any more professional input than my own.


To the best of my recollection, a book's "essence" also has copyright protection. A degree of overly "substantial similarity" with respect to plot, theme, setting, characters, dialogue, etc. may give rise to an infringement claim. There is also a cause of action for "idea theft" or "implied contract" when, for instance, an idea is pitched to a movie company; if the company turns you down, then puts out essentially the same movie, a court may find a contract to exist between the parties.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
MobilityBundle
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To be sure, I'm a practicing IP attorney. I work mostly with patents, but I'm sufficiently familiar with other aspects of IP for a discussion like this.

So what is IP? There are four main categories: patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. Without getting into a super-detailed discussion:

Patents generally cover functional or utilitarian aspects of inventions. Patent protection usually comes in the form of a list of structures, or a list of steps of a method. Another class of patents cover the ornamental design (but not functional aspects) of something. These "design" patents are common in athletic shoes, for example.

If a thing is patented, then infringement occurs when one makes, uses, sells, or offers for sale anything protected by the patent.

Copyrights cover the creative expressions of an idea, and not the idea itself. Thus, copyrights tend not to be very abstract. For example, consider Harry Potter. In a very concrete form, there's the book... the specific words in specific order. In an abstract form, there's the idea of three kids -- one with a mysterious secret, one who's really smart, one who's not so smart -- all at a magic school in a fictional magical world where mischief is tacitly encouraged, getting into trouble and fighting evil. Copyrights protect the words on the page, but not the abstract idea.

Or with magic, the words of a particular performance might be copyrighted, but not the idea. So you can do all the moves you see another magician does, and you can even still have the same abstract "theme." But you can't copy his patter, or base your patter on his.

Copyright infringement amounts to, roughly speaking, copying, performing, or making derivative works of copyrighted material. A derivative work is something where you sit down with the copyrighted stuff and then change it. It doesn't mean starting with the same abstract idea and making something similar to the copyrighted work.

Copyright infringement is a little more murky than patent infringement, because there are a lot of defenses. For example, you can still do parodies, even though in some sense those are derivative works. There's also a "fair use" defense which is very complicated, but roughly means you can use little bits of copyrighted works for the right purposes.

Trademarks are words, names, symbols, or devices used to distinguish the source of goods or services in commerce. Consider two situations: First, you see an apple on a tree. Second, you see a bottle of Coke in the store with the Coke logo. In both situations, you want to know how the thing tastes.

In the case of the apple, a lot goes in to that question. You look at the apple to see how ripe it is or to see if there are bad spots. You smell it. You feel its weight in your hand, maybe pinch it to see how firm it is. If you're really thorough, maybe you know something about the other apples that came off that tree, or the time of year it is, and all that. And even still, when you bite into the apple with an expectation of its taste, you still might be a little wrong.

With the bottle of coke, you have a pretty good expectation of how it will taste. But not because of anything having to do with physics or chemistry. Not for the same reason you know an apple will taste like an apple. You know it tastes that way because you see the logo. The logo identifies the source of the bottle, and for this particular source, that's all you need to know.

Kinda weird, when you think about it.

In any case, trademark infringement amounts to using "confusingly similar" marks on your products, so that the public thinks that the trademark holder is the source of the goods or services, not you. It's kind of a mushy inquiry that's usually proved with consumer surveys. Not only are the similarity of the marks considered, but lots of other factors like similarity of the goods, channels of trade, among others.

Trademarks can extend into what's called "trade dress," or the packaging or context in which goods are found. For example, a famous case involved a restaurant with a highly specific and unusual decor. Another knockoff restaurant opened with similar decor. Totally different name, but similar decor. They were found to be trade dress infringers.

There's a cousin of trademark infringement, called trademark dilution. For a "famous" mark, like Coke, using that mark ANYWHERE can amount to dilution, even if the goods are radically dissimilar. For example, if I started selling Coke brand aspirin, I'm probably diluting the Coke mark. The idea is that the mark is so famous, consumers might think, "Huh... I didn't know the beverage guys started making aspirin..."

Trade secrets are a little vague to define. They cover any know-how that someone develops in business that can be used for a business advantage. Typical examples of trade secrets are formulas for things, methods for doing things, customer lists, optimized schedules, etc. A lot of trade secrets are patent-eligible in terms of subject matter, but for whatever reason sometimes companies prefer not to patent them and just keep them as a secret.

Of course, the other big requirement for a trade secret is that the company has to actually try to keep it secret. Restrict access to the thing, have non-disclosure agreements in place for people who see the thing, etc.

One doesn't "infringe" trade secrets. They're "misappropriated." Misappropriation just amounts to someone stealing the secret. In particular, if a competitor independently discovers your trade secret, then they're allowed to go use it.

That's the basic overview. Of course, there's lots more to say, but I should really get to work now. Smile
Salguod Nairb
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Interesting read.
We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness...
gdw
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Thanks for that MobilityBundle.

So, a song, for example, is not really protected? That is, the physical expressions, sheet music, recordings etc, but what, if anything, makes it illegal to perform the song without permission?
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
LobowolfXXX
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The song is (potentially) protected by copyright through the "substantial similarity" analysis. For example, the George Harrison/Chiffons lawsuit with respect to the similarities between "My Sweet Lord" and "He's So Fine."
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
kcg5
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What if you stubbled upon a list of magic PDF's (not enycrypted)? Is it illegal to download from it? Should the user feel the ethical need to tell all the performers/authors?
Nobody expects the spanish inquisition!!!!!



"History will be kind to me, as I intend to write it"- Sir Winston Churchill
Salguod Nairb
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Quote:
On 2011-05-24 16:17, kcg5 wrote:
What if you stubbled upon a list of magic PDF's (not enycrypted)? Is it illegal to download from it? Should the user feel the ethical need to tell all the performers/authors?


Ask Napster.

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