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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Let there be magic! » » Doubts about publicity, credits and trust? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Dimitri Mystery Artist
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Veteran user
Israel/Ukraine
355 Posts

Profile of Dimitri Mystery Artist
Hello everyone,
I would like to thank all the members here for posting, I've finished reading all the posts that had 7+ comments and found some really useful info!
In the near future I would like to share my works with magic community, at the moment I'm busy in doing a research about my routines, to see if I'm not reinventing the wheel, giving credits to people that deserve it and getting permissions from magicians for explaining my thoughts/modifications for their routines.

To be honest, I am afraid to explain my effects, I suspect that if a well known magician will find them powerful, he might take credit for himself and there is nothing I can do about it.
my question is how do I know who I can trust?
what would you suggest me to do?

more questions Smile
some effects I am not sure if I have the right to publish, I will appreciate if you can tell me what you think I should do I each scenario.

scenario#1: A modification on a know trick/old principle (the effect already exists, but my method is superior, I don't know the original creator therefore cannot credit anyone).

Scenario#2: Original effect, using basic card sleights (classic force, double lift, top change), can I explain them in a lecture notes/book, including credits for the creators if possible).

Scenario#3: Original presentation/handling/idea but the effect resemble different effects and use a combination of well known methods (example:alcohol production using flashP, palming and some moves usually done with coins).

thank you, hope to hear your opinions, I am doing magic for many years but I live in isolation from other magicians, the last think I want is to publish something that ain't belong to me or break some ethical rules!

Dima
Slim King
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Eternal Order
Orlando
17657 Posts

Profile of Slim King
I like your way of approaching this. Ethics are hard to find these days.
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
Dimitri Mystery Artist
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Veteran user
Israel/Ukraine
355 Posts

Profile of Dimitri Mystery Artist
Thank you, I know, ethics are important
MagicJuggler
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Inner circle
Anchorage, AK
1161 Posts

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I find it interesting that no one has chimed in on this topic with any answers or ideas. I think this is a very important thought. Of course I also find this interesting, because I'm in the same boat in a lot of ways as I'm accumulating a fair amount of 'original' material (I know there's nothing truly original as everything generally based on another's idea) and considering writing a book myself. I have some strong material that works in the real world, much of which is impromptu.

As you may know, you can really publish almost anything reletively new, even someone else's effects with only minor changes without any fear of copyright infringment. Ethically however is a different story. This is my opinion and mine alone and others are welcome to disagree with me. (In fact please do, maybe it'll stimulate some good conversation in this area, as I've stated I think this is an important question)

Scenario #1- I think it partially has to do with how old the trick/principle is, if it's more than 50 or 60 years old I say it's game maybe even less time if it's widely known and found in a wide number of books already. If you don't know who to credit, say so. Let people know this is not your original idea but you have been unable to find the source. (Though I'd make a lot of queries on the Café, there's a lot of knowlegable people out there that can help you track down credits.)

Scenario #2- I think it's perfectly okay to describe basic slights in an original effect. Credit the heck out of the moves. If an originator of the move is still alive try to contact them to get their blessing on publishing the move (legally they can't stop you though) they may have some good points to make to make sure that the move is taught properly.

Scenario #3- I think it's okay to print a trick even though it's similar to others so long as it isn't exactly the same trick. Give credit to those who you feel are close in effect to yours but describe how your version is different. I also think it's a good policy to reference and reccomend other's works. Give titles and author's names along with page numbers if possible. I'm sure they'll appreciate it.

Let's face it, there isn't a lot of truly *new* material out there. Everything for the most part is based on something else. What I think matters is what and how much you add to the equation. If your version has almost exactly the same handling and adds nothing to the effect, don't publish. If you are able to add new and better conditions to an existing effect I think that's okay so long as you contact the originator of the effect if they're still alive.

As to the issue of trust, all you have to go on is a magician's reputation. Most prominant magicians want to keep a good reputation among other magicians and nothing (well almost nothing) is worse than stealing someone else's material and taking credit for it. The best thing is to publish first that way it's indesputable that it's your idea if your the first to print it. Unfortunately you can't trust the majority of 'magicians' out there. The consumate professionals, yes to a certain degree. There have been well known magicians that have borrowed others ideas and claimed them as their own, or at least did not give credit where credit was due. But most don't want to ruin their reputation, and have a clear sense of ethics of their own.

I would do as much research as you can, describing the effect not the method at first, at least not in detail. Then review the references people give you and see if you truly are reinventing the wheel. I know I've been working on a new version of an old trick and have asked around about variations on the trick and so far none have come close to what I'm doing so so far I feel it's a publishable trick. But I wouldn't have known that if I hadn't done my homework.

You want to try not to step on anyone's toes, but invariably there are going to be those who claim they invented this or that first, and they may or may not be right. Often they may be taking credit for a move that's as old as magic books themselves. If you can't find any references you can add the caveat "I came up with this on my own and am unaware of anywhere if this has been published elsewhere" to cover your bases.

I think it's great that you're doing so much to make sure that you do the right thing in publishing your material. I wish you luck and good fortune.
Matthew Olsen

www.mattolsenmagic.com




I heard from a friend that anecdotal evidence is actually quite reliable.
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