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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » I'm a real boy! » » Vent mask ripped off ? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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AndyComic
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I read that the vent mask idea was ripped off Ron Lucas much to his disgust? It this true of it is just sour grapes on his part.

Andy
Mr. Pitts
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This has been the subject of much debate. I don't know the details, but I know that Lucas did trademark a version, but there's a lot of question about whether or not he developed the concept. There are those that claim versions much earlier than Lucas' mask.
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tacrowl
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Andy - there are plenty of threads in this forum that discuss that story.

If you are looking to add a mask to your act and are worried, I'd suggest Axtell's new product - Mic Mouth. It is a microphone that has lips attached. Creates the same illusion without the need to strap a mask on a volunteer. Plus - no concerns about Lucas.
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Howie Diddot
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Quote:
On 2011-07-18 15:14, Mr. Pitts wrote:
This has been the subject of much debate. I don't know the details, but I know that Lucas did trademark a version, but there's a lot of question about whether or not he developed the concept. There are those that claim versions much earlier than Lucas' mask.


An interesting question, Donald Trump has trade marked “ Your Fired’ it has been used for a very long time, now he has the legal rights to use it and the funds to seek litigation if it is used by anyone that he deems to be interfering with his copyright.

I do know that in the past Lucas has sent cease and desist letter to some others that have produced the mask.
Budihaha
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Talk about these matter to Joe Boley at the ConVENTion, Joe said that gave hard time to Bill, but Joe no worry to sell the mask until now.
Budi H. Hadiwarsito
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Howie Diddot
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Budihaha;

Who is Bill?
Dickens & Dave
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That was Bill Boley. He used to make and sell a vent mask, in fact, for a long time, he was the only one doing it. But he stopped because of threats of litigation.
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Dr. Solar
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That would be his father, Col. Bill Boley. Way back in around '97 Ron sued Bill for making masks. Bill did not have deep pockets so was unable to take on the litigation thus setting presidency in favor of Ron. Ron knew Bill was suffering medical issues and could not respond legally to Ron's suit. The mask idea had been used before Ron but nobody ever made legal issue about it. My understanding, having talked with Bill much back in '97-98. I do own one of Bills.
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Dickens & Dave
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I forgot about that all coming down when Bill was having medical problems.
I had a mask from Bill once upon a time, wish I kept it just to still have something of his making.
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Howie Diddot
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I read a document from Ron stating that the letter was sent before he knew that Bill was having health problems; the document said that Ron felt badly about the letter and never followed up with further letters
Howie Diddot
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Here is the link to the information I was speaking of;



http://www.ventriloquist.org/interest/themask1.html
AndyComic
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Well that letter was an interesting read. Whats the view on the makers that sell stuff here on this matter?

Andy
Dickens & Dave
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I've seen that letter before, I read it in it's entirety at the time, but now......
This whole topic has gotten so old, and really, the horses are all out of the barn, and have been for a long time now. There's so many people making masks, so many of them sold over the years, heck, I even bought a halloween costume and a part of the costume is a pretty decent vent mask. For Lucas (or anyone else) to pursue the matter, would at the very least be a logistical nightmare.

The part of this I get a kick out of, is the people who have since claimed they came up with the mask idea long before Lucas. Okay.....well, guess they didn't do anything with it, or much of anything, or anything impressive because no one was copying it and doing anything with masks before.
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AndyComic
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I do see your point. I feel its like Micheal Davis and the juggling eating the apple routine. Well for a time they had a unique act. Such is life. There is whole angle of that it seems obvious but then again Amazon did win with their 1-Click patent.
Budihaha
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I just see Terry Fator's DVD, he said that he rent Ronn's mask routine, paid a big bucks for 99 years. Terry use full face mask, not half face mask.

So the issue is the routine, not the mask any more, I think.
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Dickens & Dave
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I just recently saw some video of him using a mask routine and was wondering about that. Before, you never saw any nationally knowns like Dunham and Johmson use a mask, but now here is Fator doing one, and right in Lucas' stomping ground, so I was wondering and figuring he must have had to come to some agreement with Lucas.
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tacrowl
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Terry made mention of his license with Ronn at the 2008 convention.
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Dickens & Dave
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See what you miss when you don't attend? I haven't been to a convention since 2003, Fator wasn't a star yet then.
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"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
Howie Diddot
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I would think it lends credibility to Ronn’s claim of owning the rights to the entire mask routine
tacrowl
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I'm not so sure Buzz. Years ago, when Kevin James released the Snow Animator, he offered snow machines with it. I purchased them for a Santa arrival magic show. The next month, Copperfield ran a full page ad that threatened a trademark (or copyright - I can't remember) violation if anyone used the animator and snow machines together. I had just spent a ton of money (for me) and went to my attorney to see if this was possible. The response was one I've never forgotten...

My attorney said it may or may not stand up in court - but he asked who had the deeper pockets - me or Copperfield. From a legal point of view, the side with the largest bankroll can tie you up in litigation and appeals until they bankrupt you.

Terry thought it would be easier to pay Ronn, than risk being tied up in potential litigation. It would have been worth it to Ronn because Terry had just signed some huge contracts and if he did win, the payoff would have been substantial. Terry may have won, but it would cost a lot more than buying the license outright. (And I understand that wasn't cheap.)

So does Ronn have a claim? My guess is with so many people using the prop and so many selling masks openly - that he would eventually lose for not "protecting" his claim all these years. Still, if he wanted to, he could afford to put a lot of people out of business.

Tom
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