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Terrible Wizard
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Is it ok to perform a trick/effect/routine you don't currently own? Say one you learned from a book or DVD you bought but then sold.

And is it ok to perform a trick that you have never owned? Say one taught to you by another magician?

And what about swapping books with each other?
AGMagic
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Yes to all 3 questions.
Tim Silver - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Magic-Woodshop/122578214436546

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Visualize Whirled Peas!
Robin4Kids
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There are those that create effects and routines that do not want anyone to perform, so they do not publish or sell those effects in books or DVDs. If someone chooses to sell their effects or routines, whether it is in books, DVDs or the props, I believe they understand that it opens the doors for others to share with other magicians. I do not think it is ethical for a magician to buy those effects and expose them to the general public though.

The music industry has organizations like BMI and ASCAP that police entertainment venues and collect royalties from those playing music that was registered through their organization. This gives the songwriters additional income to their record sales which are easier to track. You can have copyrights, patents and other forms of registered protection, but the fact is that unless you are able to protect it legally, it is going to be ripped off.

There are hundreds of effects and routines that are no longer available to buy and many times there is no one in place to receive payment for them being performed. I don't see a problem performing those if someone taught them to me.

Even on The Magic Café there are plenty of us that buy or swap books, DVDs, illusions, etc. so I think the general feeling is that it is ok.
ChrisC
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I don't really think one can own a routine.

Is it unethical to read a book on dance moves, sell it then use the dance moves?

Is it unethical to take sales training at a job, leave the job and use the techniques you learned for your own business?

As you grow as a performer, the routines you learn in books will become your own. I cant tell you where a single "routine" in my repertoire originally came from.

“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.

Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”

-Bruce Lee
Yellowcustard
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I pick up ideas all over the place. Sometimes I i feel I have invented something new or thought of a new approach. Then I think back a relies its something I have read or picked up in a lecture.

I also think we need to be careful to remember were these effects come from. For example I learnt a dice routine of Darly DVD, yet it important to remember it the dr-sac dice routine. I also felt I needed to work back wards from Sanders Fiber Optics.

There are many effects I do that I have no idea were they came from. professor nightmare as example.

I think it fine to use and adapt stuff that you own or have owned. And I think no magician will mind you using there effects. But obviously youtube revels and stuff like that is a line crossed.

So that waht I think. think what you will
Enjoy your magic,

and let others enjoy it as well!
Mr. Woolery
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Well, it really is a question of intellectual property. Ask yourself how you would feel if someone performed something you worked on. If you sell the material, would you be offended to learn that it was being performed by someone who bought the DVD or book and later sold it on? Would it bother you to learn that the person performing it at the local theater learned it from a book he bought second-hand? Finally, would you feel that you were cheated out of income you were due if you learned that someone performing your trick never paid for it, but was taught by another magician who (presumably) did?

There are no moves in Whit Haydn's Mongolian Pop Knot routine that are really new to rope magic, as far as I'm aware. What you pay for is not the mechanics of the trick, but the structure. I could do the routine as he does it, working just from the videos of him on YouTube and copy his routine. I won't. I have not paid for the manuscript and I would not feel ethical about performing something that he worked so hard to refine and script out if I do not pay for it. However, if I work out a presentation for a cut and restored rope combined with an equal-unequal ropes in one routine, and I'm not trying to duplicate what he did, I have no problem with doing so. As far as I am aware, the mechanics of the tricks can be considered to be part of public domain and thus I can't really pay anyone for them. In fact, I have done such a routine in the past for kids. I used a different setup for the PNM, though, so I could restore to an examinable rope of about six feet long. Haydn's rope is more like a dozen feet when he is done.

I do own his linking rings routine. So I feel like if I start performing it I am totally ethical in doing so.

If I had worked hard to create a magical routine and I saw my pet effect being performed by someone who had paid for it and put in the time to learn it well, I'd be complimented. If he had borrowed my book (if I had written one) from a library, I would be complimented. If he learned it from another magician, I'm not really sure how I'd feel. If I saw it exposed and explained on YouTube, even by someone who had paid for it, I'd be very displeased.

-Patrick
DWRackley
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It depends entirely on which Magic Café forum you’re in when you ask the question. When I was 8 years old my cousin Terry showed me a torn and restored napkin trick that was absolutely amazing. If I wanted to do that in one forum, I’d first have to find out who was the first person in the history of the world who performed tearing, and then the person who first did restoring, and then find out whoever it was that first put the two together in the same act. I’d have to make sure and give them credit, and if they or their heirs were still alive, I’d have to send them some money. Under no circumstances could I ever tell another person how it worked, and I’d be forever banned as persona-non-grata if I ever dared to sell a version of it.

In a different forum (many of these same people) if I simply ask “how do I tear a napkin in half and put it back together again”, I’ll receive open answers and PMs with details up to and including what brand of napkin works best and how to hide the evidence.

Best bet is to look around. If something is currently available online or at your local magic shop, you should probably purchase the effect (at least once). Any “refills” or repairs, it’s probably safe for you to locate those on your own.

There is a real issue with making sure that inventors receive due recompense. But sometimes the situation appears to be similar to the recording artists who don’t want their used CDs sold at yard sales. At some point there just has to be an element of “doing the right thing”, and maybe folks will never agree on exactly where that line is to be drawn. In the meantime, if you can find somebody to give money to, send it.
...what if I could read your mind?

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Donatelli and Company at ChattanoogaPerformers.com

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Terrible Wizard
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Hmmm... Some consensus, but trickier than I thought. To be honest, I was expecting people to say no to all three. I'm not sure what I personally think - it's very much a grey area.

The trouble is that magic relies on secrets, thus information itself becomes a commodity - which makes magic somewhat unlike other things, like music or novels. If I listen to a CD then sell it I can't easily recreate the sounds in my head. But if I sell on a magic DVD I can still use the information I took from it without difficulty.

Piracy and blanket exposure are obvious no-nos. No one would argue about those. But what about the following concrete examples:

A friend, a hobbyist like myself, shows me Dai Vernon's Triumph and how to do it. I have no idea where he learned it. Is it ok for me to perform it for friends and family? What about for a paid gig? What if the friend showed me only a sleight of hand move rather than a trick? What if he showed me a recent effect, say something from Dobson's Marked 4 Life? Would it matter if it was mentalism rather than magic?

Because magic is expensive a friend and I decide to split the cost. We each buy a second hand DVD, watch it and make notes. Then we swap. Then we sell. Still ok?
airztonne
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Honestly, what I feel is - Whatever is in your mind, the method, the way to use a gimmick etc, you can use. Including your mentor or senior teaching to you or a split-cost video (I do that all the time with a close friend of mine so that we can learn more magic).

However, if you should never ever say anything like "This is a trick IIIIII call ACR" or "This is MMMMMMYYYYYY 3 fly." IF you have not contributed anything. ie. Change something! Even if you've learnt a monte routine from a friend (and you paid nothing) change the patter, use a different presentation - Maybe it will spark your own handling! Just never feel like you own it. Because in magic (and not only in magic) we stand on the shoulders of giants. don't just copy presentations, patter and methods, at minimum, change the patter to fit your style then as you go on, change the sleights to fit what you know best. Eg. don like a control? Double undercut. don't like a change? Maybe use an ernase or something you like a lot - Shapeshifter maybe?.

I am new to magic and so I may seem naive or feel like I don't know what I'm talking about (Just look at my post count and you'll know) but what I'm saying is based on what applies to say, music, videos and other stuff, so I just adapted my thoughts to magic Smile
AGMagic
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Terrible Wizard, you sound like an ethical person and my first reply was based on that. I would guess that well over 90% of all magic is not new and even those “new” effects are based on older principles and methods. A large percentage of the “new” tricks on the market can be found in books like Tarbell, Bobo, and Greater Magic.

My personal experience has been that if you ask ethical questions, there is no consensus. However, someone will question your ethics and accuse you of all manner of horrible things just for asking the questions.

My thinking on your first question is that you paid the price for your education. There is no reason to keep everything that you ever bought just in case you may use it someday, Did you keep all of your college texts when you were done with them or did you sell them back?

Your second question is a bit stickier but again, it is knowledge that you acquired from another magician. One must presume that he is not exposing magic secrets, but teaching you magic. You have learned his or her version of the trick or routine, not necessarily the original. Even if what you learned is word for word, move for move the same as a marketed trick, it is not the same as learning it from the originator. There are differences in nuance and subtlety.

Swapping books and/or DVDs is no different than borrowing them from a public library. You may take notes, but copyright laws should dissuade you from making photocopies of books or illegal copies of DVDs. Once you have learned the material, I see no ethical reason to keep them.

That said, I have nearly every piece of magic that I have ever purchased. I have even made photocopies of the instructions for my own use. IF I sell or give the trick away, the photocopies are destroyed.
Tim Silver - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Magic-Woodshop/122578214436546

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Visualize Whirled Peas!
Terrible Wizard
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Thanks for the input, AGMagic - and thanks for thinking I'm ethical Smile
AGMagic
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You have given me no reason to think otherwise.
Tim Silver - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Magic-Woodshop/122578214436546

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Visualize Whirled Peas!
DWRackley
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I don’t normally play “Devil’s Advocate”, but ethics has to run both ways. Yes, magic relies on secrets, but just try going into a magic shop and asking for a discount “because I already know how it works”. I’ve been doing this for a lot of years (my first “for pay” job was demoing in a brick and mortar shop), and the “but we’re really selling the secret” line wears a little thin when they want to sell you a second or third item for the same price.

Concrete example: the trick where the dime goes through the sheet of rubber. There’s no discount when you just need more rubber. If you happen to know about d*nt*l d*m, fine, otherwise you’re stuck paying for “something” you already own: knowledge. (You’re already thinking of other examples…) Smile

Many smart creators have started offering "refill packs", but it has not always been so.
...what if I could read your mind?

Chattanooga's Premier Mentalist

Donatelli and Company at ChattanoogaPerformers.com

also on FaceBook
Terrible Wizard
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Very true DWRackley. After reading through many threads here, it does seem as though magicians aren't always ethical between themselves (esp in business).
RobertlewisIR
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If you bought the trick and sold it, I think it's fine. I mean, there are some gray areas, but if I buy a book of Chess openings and learn my favorites and then sell the book, there's no problem still using my favorite openings.

If you never owned it, there's not a legal problem, but the way I see it is this. The creators of tricks give us a wonderful gift, and if we're going to use them professionally, I feel better about myself if I support them by buying their product. Not only is it a good thing to do for the creator, but it offers financial encouragement for them to release new ideas that I might also like to use.

As for trading books, I don't see any problem at all. Just no making photocopies of the pages you want before you trade them away.

But in all cases, there are occasions in which the books are out of print, or the creators are dead, and there are some tricks so old the creators are unknown. In those cases, there's no creative person to support by buying the products, so I say go for it.
~Bob



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Last night, I dreamed I ate the world's largest marshmallow. When I woke up, the pillow was gone.
Terrible Wizard
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Bob.

To push the issue, though, you say no to photocopies prior to passing on the text; what about taking notes?
RobertlewisIR
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Depends a bit on whether you're asking a legal question vs an ethical question. From an ethical perspective, I'd say some notes are fine, but copying down the method starts to strike me as crossing some sort of line. But none of this is absolute. All I'm really saying is, *I* would not feel right about it.
~Bob



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Last night, I dreamed I ate the world's largest marshmallow. When I woke up, the pillow was gone.
Terrible Wizard
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Thanks for engaging with me: I just like to explore ethical issues, so this isn't personal or anything (I'm not trying to trick anyone here).

If taking notes on method is a no-no, how come learning a method and then selling a book is ok?

If borrowing a book, or being taught a trick, from a friend, or library, is ok, why not watching an exposure on the internet?
cmccrea
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Quote:
On 2013-12-09 15:16, Robin4Kids wrote:
There are those that create effects and routines that do not want anyone to perform, so they do not publish or sell those effects in books or DVDs. If someone chooses to sell their effects or routines, whether it is in books, DVDs or the props, I believe they understand that it opens the doors for others to share with other magicians. I do not think it is ethical for a magician to buy those effects and expose them to the general public though.

The music industry has organizations like BMI and ASCAP that police entertainment venues and collect royalties from those playing music that was registered through their organization. This gives the songwriters additional income to their record sales which are easier to track. You can have copyrights, patents and other forms of registered protection, but the fact is that unless you are able to protect it legally, it is going to be ripped off.

There are hundreds of effects and routines that are no longer available to buy and many times there is no one in place to receive payment for them being performed. I don't see a problem performing those if someone taught them to me.

Even on The Magic Café there are plenty of us that buy or swap books, DVDs, illusions, etc. so I think the general feeling is that it is ok.


I too agree with everything said here. If they put it up for sale they have to expect it to be used it some way.
AGMagic
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I think the term "notes" needs to be defined. If you are truly taking notes, restating what you have read in your own words you should be OK. We all need memory joggers from time to time. However, most copyright statements include a statement like "no portion of this book may be REPRODUCED in any manner whatsoever without permission" (emphasis added). So, If you hand copy any part of the text, you are in violation of the copyright.
Tim Silver - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Magic-Woodshop/122578214436546

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Visualize Whirled Peas!
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