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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Is this Stealing? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Jerry
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I have seen this happen often with Mentalism products: there is a limited release book, video or gizmo, and then the product is no longer available.

Example: Seance. Only 1000 copies were printed. The publisher stated he would NEVER print this product again. I bought this book legally.

So if I were to loan this book to a friend, knowing he was going to scan the book into adobe acrobat format, is this stealing? What money would be lost? If the dealer no longer wants to sell his product does it have any value?

The reason behind this question is I have in the past a desire to purchase a product, only to find out it is no longer available and that the dealer has no intention EVER of selling the product again. So would it be wrong to make a copy for your own personal use and not to resale?

Your thoughts on this, please.

Jerry
RileyG
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It's called COPYRIGHT infringement... Illegal to do...
Signed,
Riley G Matthews Jr
SAG-AFTRA actor
Www.RileyG.com
0pus
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Simple answer: YES.
Lee Darrow
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I would suggest that the original poster READ the copyright notice inside the book and then do a little search on what a copyright is and how it works.

The USPTO (United Stated Patent & Trademark Office) has a website that covers some of the fundamentals regarding the protection of such property.

However, there IS such a thing as "fair use copy" which means that you can copy an item for your own, personal use, but only if the tradepark or copyright does not, specifically prohibit such copying. And some hardcopy materials do exactly that.

I am NOT an attorney, but copyright infringement is a serious business and can lead to large fines ($10,000 per infringement and possible jail time, for example), so check WITH an attorney before you do anything of the kind.

Short answer - your friend would be infringing on the copyright holder's rights and you would probably be accountable as well if you loaned the book with the sure knowledge that it was going to be illegally copied.

They fine and sometimes jail people for that, too.

BAD idea. REALLY bad idea!

Happy New Year,

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
John LeBlanc
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Quote:
On 2003-12-30 18:22, Jerry wrote:
I have seen this happen often with Mentalism products, there is a limit release book; video or gizmo and then the product is no longer available. Example, Seance, only 1000 copies were printed. The publisher stated he would NEVER print this product again. I bought this book legally.
So if I were to loan this book to a friend, knowing he was going to scan the book into adobe acrobat format, is this stealing? What money would be lost? If the dealer no longer wants to sell his product does it have any vaule?


You are mixing issues here. First, the least important: no money lost. This is a red herring. This aspect has no bearing on anything. It may be a handy excuse/rationalization, but it's irrelevant.

The bigger issues are whether or not you wish to abide by the law, and whether or not you wish to behave morally and ethically in regards to the rights holder.

It is illegal, immoral and unethical to do what you suggest.


Quote:
The reason behind this question is I have in the past a desire to purchase a product, only to find out it is no longer available and that the dealer has no intention EVER of selling the product again. So would it be wrong to make a copy for your own personal use and not to resale? Your thoughts on this, please.


Has it occurred to you that the value of the book or item in question was determined to be what it was based on the concept that only a very limited number would be made available?

I just ordered my second set of The Pallbearers Review from my pal Martin Joyal. This set replaces the one that was damaged by a storm that decided to visit the inside of my townhouse in Houston. It also cost me $300, about twice what the original set cost me. Why? Because there are only a limited number of sets in existence.

You'd choke if you knew how much I paid for my hard copy of "STUNNERS!" and I had two of them at one time. Limited number of them available and the smart guys wouldn't trade away their copy for all the tea in China. Both of my copies became available, literally, because the previous owners passed away. (The copy I kept previously belonged to Bob Weill.)

Those two examples will likely not be turned into PDFs only because they are too big. That's the only reason.

Limited number doesn't always dictate original cost. Phil Goldstein's Color Series booklets sold for a tiny fraction of what they would today if you were to be able to obtain a complete set of them (which is unlikely).

What happens if people continue to ignore the law, morals and ethics? I'll tell you what happens: you end up with a holdout that you lease, not own, for $1850. You have people writing books of unbelievable material that you will likely never even know exists because it is sold within a quiet circle of performers who are known to respect the rights of inventors.

Is that the magic future you want to live in? Because it's already starting to happen as a direct result of a growing plague that is a disrepect of intellectual property.

You can't have it all.

John LeBlanc
Houston, TX
Escamoteurettes, my blog.

"One thought fills immensity." -- William Blake
Lee Darrow
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I hate to say it, but the books and effects that are sold in a quiet, underground selection of performers that no one else knows about IS the history that we come from.

The Vernon $25 manuscript, in its day, was the equivalent of a $1,000 book today. Remember, back then a loaf of bread went for a nickle and gas was less than a dime a gallon.

Select Secrets, again Vernon, was sold ONLY by prospectus to a very select coterie of magi and those were screened thoroughly before even the prospecti were sent to them!

So this is really nothing new. Treasure Chest, where I used to work in Chicago, had, at one time, a pro shop which was open by invitation only and was manned by no less a personage than Okito himself.

Magicians had only a small selection of books generally available, and those were, for the time, extremely expensive, limited in production and, the underground stuff, was all but invisible to many practitioners of the Art. The creators kept things close to their chests because they knew that people will steal.

Back then, magicians didn't go and grab a DVD of a name and play it over and over and over, memorizing each little detail, nuance and move. Nor did name magi make a living solely lecturing to the brotherhood. In fact, in the 30's 40's and into the '50's and '60's, lecturers were rarely paid more than travel and board, if that!

We seem to forget that magic was once a VERY secretive art.

Nowadays, everyone wants instant access to everything, for free.

I'm not sure that such a trend is all that good a thing.

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
John LeBlanc
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Quote:
On 2003-12-30 20:45, Lee Darrow wrote:
Back then, magicians didn't go and grab a DVD of a name and play it over and over and over, memorizing each little detail, nuance and move.


And they certainly didn't run up to one of their elders and say, "Hey, Dai, show me how you do that trick..." That's something that just blows my mind today; the illusion of familiarity DVDs and VHS tapes create.

Now, I have yet to run into a performer who behaved rudely in such a situation, but that's beside the point.


Quote:
Nor did name magi make a living solely lecturing to the brotherhood. In fact, in the 30's 40's and into the '50's and '60's, lecturers were rarely paid more than travel and board, if that!


In other words, not much has changed. Smile


Quote:
We seem to forget that magic was once a VERY secretive art.

Nowadays, everyone wants instant access to everything, for free.


True on both counts. And going further, it's been my experience that not only do some people want access, they demand it as a birthright.

Somewhere down the line this fallacy of "information should be free" has taken hold like a virus. It's used as a passkey, a password, or a club to rationalize getting what the seeker desires and, I believe, truly is convinced they deserve to have. It's nuts, NVTS, nuts.


Quote:
I'm not sure that such a trend is all that good a thing.


I'm sure. Allow me to go on the record as saying it's a rotten thing in the long run. But only because of the attitude, not because the inventors hold a secret more important than people, but that some people not in possession of the secret hold it in more importance than the person inventing them.

I'm going to play with my grand daughter. This is getting me aggitated. Smile

John LeBlanc
Houston, TX
Escamoteurettes, my blog.

"One thought fills immensity." -- William Blake
John Smetana
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Lee Darrow wrote:
"We seem to forget that magic was once a VERY secretive art"

Ahhh Lee...I dream of the good old days..How sweet it was to be invited to partake of a new idea/move/etc. by the more knowledgeable member(s)of the craft.I could sometimes be on a high for days because of such an invite. Yeah...the good old days..wonderful memories..

Best thoughts,
John Smetana Smile

PS Perhaps...just perhaps history will start to repeat itself..one never knows
Scott Xavier
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The value of the book is in its limited numbers, and how sought-after it is.
Kim
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Quote:
On 2003-12-30 23:05, John Smetana wrote:
Lee Darrow wrote:
"We seem to forget that magic was once a VERY secretive art"

Ahhh Lee...I dream of the good old days..How sweet it was to be invited to partake of a new idea/move/etc. by the more knowledgeable member(s)of the craft.I could sometimes be on a high for days because of such an invite. Yeah...the good old days..wonderful memories..

Best thoughts,
John Smetana Smile

PS Perhaps...just perhaps history will start to repeat itself..one never knows

I remember how awed I was the first time I was invited into the back of Al's magic Shop in Washington Dc. I had been going there for years before I got that invite. I probably looked like the kid that had just met his favorite movie star Smile
LobowolfXXX
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Quote:
On 2003-12-30 20:28, John W. LeBlanc wrote:

Has it occurred to you that the value of the book or item in question was determined to be what it was based on the concept that only a very limited number would be made available?


John LeBlanc
Houston, TX

Can we also say, by that rationale, that re-issuing in quantity any book/lecture notes/manuscript that was previously billed as "limited edition" is likewise immoral/unethical? But...NOT illegal.
"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."
7th_Son
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I wonder how public and private libraries get away with loaning copyrighted material?

I mean, they could buy any magic book that's available to the public, and offer it on loan.

Just a thought.
"Here's to our wives and girlfriends...may they never meet!" - Groucho Marx
Nir Dahan
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As much as it would seem strange, in the long run I don't think it is so bad.

I am just waiting for magic to be more secretive... it is amazing - these days you meet people who are 1 year into magic and absorbed so much material by watching pirated videos/dvds they just miss the point of what magic is all about.

Moreover, each kid makes a DVD today, the quality of books have gone down significantly and everybody is looking for flashy stuff or want to be the next Blaine.
or is it just my impression????

to summerize it all - I just hope for people to publish LESS - I think it is better for our art.

Nir
Decomposed
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Very interesting topic here and the subject is being explored on many talk shows.
John LeBlanc
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Quote:
On 2003-12-31 02:29, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Can we also say, by that rationale, that re-issuing in quantity any book/lecture notes/manuscript that was previously billed as "limited edition" is likewise immoral/unethical? But...NOT illegal.


If you can find an instance where it can be clearly established that an author did exactly that, I'd say you've made a good argument.

Do you have personal experience of this happening? If so, what are the details?

John LeBlanc
Houston, TX

Quote:
On 2003-12-31 03:18, 7th_Son wrote:
I wonder how public and private libraries get away with loaning copyrighted material?

I mean, they could buy any magic book that's available to the public, and offer it on loan.

Just a thought.


I see you've never actually read the Copyright Act. It's very enlightening: http://www.copyright.gov/title17/

John LeBlanc
Houston, TX

Quote:
On 2003-12-31 04:25, Nir Dahan wrote:
I am just waiting for magic to be more secretive... it is amazing - these days you meet people who are 1 year into magic and absorbed so much material by watching pirated videos/dvds they just miss the point of what magic is all about.


This is really nothing new. Not long after VHS usurped the superior Beta format and VCRs became nearly ubiquitous, magic videos, what was available anyway, were being copied.

One of the worst offenders, unfortunately, were some magic clubs.


Quote:
Moreover, each kid makes a DVD today, the quality of books have gone down significantly and everybody is looking for flashy stuff or want to be the next Blaine.
or is it just my impression????


Not everybody. But there is a corner of the magic world that mirrors its youthful contemporary world of entertainment (the current version of MTV which, I assure you, isn't my MTV) where flash is presented as substance. Well, it's not substance, but it is viewed and apparently worshipped as such.

Quote:
to summerize it all - I just hope for people to publish LESS - I think it is better for our art.


I'd prefer people respect what is currently released rather than inventors publish less. Information has value. Unfortunately, it's going to take us being plunged right back into the Dark Ages of magic instruction for that to become evident again.

I'm sorry to see it happen, but considering the alternative, I support it.

John LeBlanc
Houston, TX
Escamoteurettes, my blog.

"One thought fills immensity." -- William Blake
Erik Anderson
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There is something to be said for the days of closely guarded methods. I sometimes wonder if we do not undervalue what we do because we can so easily walk into a magic shop, or worse, log onto the internet and get anything we desire. A method no longer has to be "earned." Consequently, it has less value. Would you be as willing to tip something to the local club if it took you a year or more of networking and genuine hard work to get your hands on it?

Just a thought to ponder.
Erik "Aces" Anderson

"I never let my schooling get in the way of my education." ~ Mark Twain

http://www.acesanderson.com
Neal Roter
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Yes, it is stealing.
Gianni
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I am intrigued by this topic. Overwhelmingly, the posters feel that information should be more tightly controlled. I feel this way. But those who feel this way and have some influence seem to do nothing. For instance, why isn't access to this board more difficult?

Gianni
truthteller
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As to John's question about limited release books being reissued by the author, I have issues with this. If something is limited then part of its value is that limitation and when one makes a purchasing decision that value is taken into consideration.

Though I have great respect for Larry Becker, Stunners was to be a limited edition. I have the original ads from Bascom Jones' Magick which state such. I paid dearly for the first edition and was rightfully peaved when it was reissued in paperback at a fraction of the cost. Now, had he reissued it with the same or less material at MORE of a cost, that I could understand. But Larry in that case brought down the value of that information as it was no longer exclusive.
Paul
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Re;
"What happens if people continue to ignore the law, morals and ethics? I'll tell you what happens: you end up with a holdout that you lease, not own, for $1850. You have people writing books of unbelievable material that you will likely never even know exists because it is sold within a quiet circle of performers who are known to respect the rights of inventors."

I think John has hit the nail on the head. We are already starting to see the return to the days of Vernon. Yes, many "names" have sold out to the mass commercialisation and production and recycling of secrets, but there is already a realization by others that things have gone too far. Interesting times for magic....

As someone else pointed out, many "clubs" don't even abide by their own rules. Major magazines may talk about ethics then take advertisements from pirates because they pay... Certainly there is too much hypocricy and hype in magic Smile
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