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Profile of MikeJRogers
Hi everyone,

I was just wondering what illusions were considered public domain within the magic community. By this I mean one does not need to buy building or performance rights, e.g. the subtrunk is now considered public domain. Are there any others?


Mike Smile

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Mike Rogers Illusion Design - Australia -
"Nothings impossible, the impossible just takes longer" - Dan Brown novel
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Scott Penrose
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London, England
188 Posts

Profile of Scott Penrose
Hi Mike

Just about any standard effect that appears in a book is public domain. The illusion hotline at this link will give you an idea of what is not deemed public domain, although this list is not complete.

Illusion Rights

Meanwhile I understand that Walter Blaney and his colleagues at WAM are looking to compile a wider list.

The issue of public domain and performance is not a cut and dry subject (as I am sure that you are aware). Illusions can be become public domain if the inventor publishes the trick in a book and grants rights. However some illusions are deemed to become public domain if a sufficient amount of time has passed and so many people have ripped the effect off. For example anyone buying a copy of Robert Harbin's book were allowed to make a Zig Zag. There were only 500 copies of this book printed but there are tens of thousands of Zig Zags around the world. Today the Zig Zag is deemed public domain but I guess that technically any owner of a Zig Zag who does not have a copy of the Magic of Robert Harbin is in breach.

As I said, the subject is a huge gray area!!!


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