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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » Sharing ruins it for everyone... (13 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Lord Freddie
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ZoOpDoG, you are indeed correct but we weren't producing a Hollywood blockbuster but a magazine for a niche and tightly knit community which is all the more surprising as the people that did this are amongst us. These are the same people that purchase Dan's wonderful items and my books,
It always reeks of hypocrisy when magicians accuse psychics and the like of being without morals. They should maybe hold a mirror up to their own "brotherhood" at times!
It has saddened me particularly as I had stated in previous editorials the damage it was doing to our labour of love, yet they read this and continued regardless.
Silvertongue
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I probably stand alone but the only people I blame are the people who have sold closely guarded secrets that were once passed on in magic clubs, shops and from mentor to student. Selling magic for profit makes me want to puke, it is they who have ruined magic...
For as long as space exists,
And living beings remain in cyclic existence,
For that long, may I too remain,
to dispel the sufferings of the world.
-Shantideva

Engaging in the Conduct of a Bodhisattva
Lord Freddie
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But does that give people a right to copy and distribute it?
Does that mean it's fair game to copy the latest films because they are available for those who wish to pay?
That's an elitist, nonsensical attitude you have there, it appears you are saying it's not the fault of the thieves but of those who dare put hard work into something and not want anything in return?
Mad0hatter
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Quote:
On Oct 4, 2014, Silvertongue wrote:
I probably stand alone but the only people I blame are the people who have sold closely guarded secrets that were once passed on in magic clubs, shops and from mentor to student. Selling magic for profit makes me want to puke, it is they who have ruined magic...

First off you're hypocritical because you say magic should not be sold for profit then list the brick and mortar magic store as a place to learn magic. Magic stores can only exist by selling magic at a profit, the profit is how they pay the bills.

Secondly you're elitist saying magic should only be learned by those who live in a location affluent enough to support those types of business.

And lets not forget that magicians have been stealing from each other and having their secrets expose for just about as long as the craft has existed. So to blame a modern free market for anything other than an increase in the number of thefts is asinine.

The only person to blame for theft is the thief.
Intrepid
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Quote:
On Oct 4, 2014, Silvertongue wrote:
I probably stand alone but the only people I blame are the people who have sold closely guarded secrets that were once passed on in magic clubs, shops and from mentor to student. Selling magic for profit makes me want to puke, it is they who have ruined magic...

Silvertongue, this statement has me confused, are you apposed to Dan and Freddie making a modest profit from their labor? Maybe I've misunderstood your point, but the sale of magic secrets for a fee pre-dates magic clubs and magic stores. Mentoring too generally wasn't free but part of an appreticeship involving the exchange of work. At what point did magic become "ruined"?

Excluding the Discovery of Witchcraft, the first printed book on magic secrets for entertainment purposes started in 1584 in France (La Premiere Partie Des Subtiles et Plaisantes Inventions) and in 1612 in England (The Art of Jugling or Legerdemaine). I've found advertisements for magic books to be common throughout the 1800's. And many of the secrets from these early books are currently available for free via Google books.

I see nothing wrong with Dan and Freddie's expectation of earning a modest compensation for their efforts in providing this service to the magic community. I do see a problem with those that illegally took advantage of this effort.
Bob
Intrepid
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Quote:
On Oct 4, 2014, Lord Freddie wrote:
Intrepid, you left out Ouija Board!!

That would be perfect!
Bob
Silvertongue
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I am saying that we now live in a world where people are buying effects and sharing the content and exposing it almost immediately on YouTube and share sites and similar places. So now when you click to see an effect it is often accompanied with its explanation or as its called online its tutorial. What I'm saying is in today's world of very little to no moral scruples this type of behavior is prevalent and we as magicians know this and do nothing to abate the flow in fact we add to it daily. We know what's happening yet I hear cries of surprise when it happens. But the real surprise is lost along with the wonder of magic so a few can make a few pennies at the expense of the many. I see recently someone has been performing for dogs, the last known unwitting spectator...
For as long as space exists,
And living beings remain in cyclic existence,
For that long, may I too remain,
to dispel the sufferings of the world.
-Shantideva

Engaging in the Conduct of a Bodhisattva
Lord Freddie
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Well silver tongue, you'd be happy to hear the flow is being abated slightly at the Mystic Menagerie is no more. Your attitude of seemingly defending thieves and pirates is part of the problem. What will happen is people will be less willing to share things or put work into such projects. U2 can afford to give your their latest work for free - we can't.
Your attitude implies you think ripping off people's work is part of modern life. You are part of the problem.
PROF BC
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I cannot think that Silvertongue is hypocritical nor is he elitist (nor part of the problem) when he bemoans the current state of affairs. Magic should ideally be a closed shop--honour codes of secrecy should be our stock in trade. I learned the craft from my great-uncle, who was a professional, and from books I checked out of the main library where I lived (the branch libraries didn't carry a magic selection, so I had to make the trip downtown if I wanted to get my hands on those precious books--it took genuine effort to obtain, read, and practice practice practice those effects, and hence the craft took on greater, deeper meaning and value for those of us that WORKED for it). Thus, some of us continue to hold to the code (if only for form's sake) and despise the leaking of prized information into the mainstream. Of course there have always been leaks--every kid knows some sleight that some elder showed him--but when th-mb t-ps can be purchased at convenience stores and twelve-year-olds can post Youtube videos of the latest packet trick, it is certainly a cause for mourning amongst the serious-minded members of this community. But when OUR OWN PEOPLE begin ripping off those who are working for their (and all of our) direct benefit, well, that really is much MUCH too much.

What MM is attempting to do is MOST laudable, keeping the lines of communication open to those of us who know how to keep to the ancient codes whilst IDENTIFYING the big-mouths in our midst and (start the cheering) permanently weeding them off our distribution lists. That MM is going to publish gratis is only the more praiseworthy. This is hardly the same thing as selling watermelons for a dollar that they bought for a dollar, it is much more like setting out rat traps in the malt barn. Here's to snapping some rats. Cheers, lads.

Prof BC
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Silvertongue
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I am not defending anybody and I am certainly not part of the problem as you imply, the people you are selling your magazine to are and it you who are a link in that chain of cause and effect, not I.

I am actually afraid to share my work with others because as was stated earlier magicians have been stealing magicians ideas since magic began. In fact the whole idea of sharing can be found even in places like the Magic Castle where they have a members only library, Tannens in NY also has a members library, and magic clubs all over the modern world do the same, they buy one copy and share it with others. If I am guilty it is only by the association of being a magician as I am a member of no club.

I am not justifying or condoning what they do as you imply. It has ruined magic and turned it into crappy pranks, bar bets and pick up lines.
For as long as space exists,
And living beings remain in cyclic existence,
For that long, may I too remain,
to dispel the sufferings of the world.
-Shantideva

Engaging in the Conduct of a Bodhisattva
Lord Freddie
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Your attitude is "you had people streal your work? It's your fault for making it available."

We wanted to make a great magazine for a neglected genre. We put a lot of hard work into it. We kept the price really low yet people still saw it fair game to take what little we made from us. I know the general magic world is full of people like this but I did think bizarre, being a minority and closely knit community, would have more integrity.
I'm saddened to admit I was wrong.
Dr Spektor
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Hey, no that is not what I think he is saying....

I think he is saying - there are people who will steal no matter what your intention. It is not your fault. However, to not be prepared that this will happen and you go ahead anyway with the best of intentions - you risk that it could happen - and should be prepared for it.

Having had many ideas and other work stolen, uncredited and so on - it has had its downs but one preserves on. I now share my best discoveries with only friends I trust. If I publish things - it is with the thought it will all be cut and pasted or sent about here and there without my consent.... that doesn't condone it but I have to take in the facts of the current 21st century environment is in cyberland.

I was a regular contributor to the Oracle as well.... I thought it was stopped because of the death of one of the founders. I am sad to know it was due to pirating - but as with your publication - it makes sense to stop when you feel its not worth it in method you are trying - and happy to hear you will try something new.

In a world of suffering, we must struggle. For those who find it easy - I wonder how they do it... never met anything worthwhile doing in a way with integrity that didn't come with the cost of suffering to some degree - but the payoffs are beyond price in living with oneself.

IMHO

And I apologize if you think I said anything negative towards this. Just wanted to say I think Silvertongue has and is one of the good folk around this forum.
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
morgaine_le_fey
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Quote:
On Oct 5, 2014, Dr Spektor wrote:
Just wanted to say I think Silvertongue has and is one of the good folk around this forum.


I concur. Read again what the man actually wrote and you'll find no offence in his words.
Xizzy
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Piracy, and not anti-piracy, is crafting the new rules for contents creation.

It hit hard music production, moving musician from the studio to the stage, back to the origins. Magic is a world much smaller but it's possible that we are headed back to the old customs: secrecy for life, word of mouth, teachings of value dispensed only in person.

Silvertongue cited libraries. Rick Falkvinge said that piracy it's like a public library, which is a service with high civic value, but it's much much more efficient.

It's something to think about.
Louis Cypher
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I enjoyed the MM very much and like so many of us paid my hard earned pennies for the pleasure of reading a well produced/designed and professional e-magazine I think it was only £3.50 and a bargain.
Very sad news that people feel they can share for free and the worst part of it seems that it was one of our own that stole issues and posted them on download sites. I say stole because if you don't have the rights to distribute, and are doing so, that's stealing surely ?

What I don't understand is why I also feel betrayed and let down. By the actions of others ?
Maybe it's a trust thing.
weepinwil
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All of you don't know what real piracy is. Wait until you have a cadaver go missing. Now that's real piracy. Steal a trick and it's soon forgotten but lose one single cadaver and no one ever forgets.
"Til Death us do part!" - Weepin Willie
Wizard of Oz
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Amen, weepinwill...no one likes to lose their entire body of work.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
pickin_grinnin
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I'm not defending the people who pirated "The Mystic Menagerie," and can understand why new publishers (in electronic or print form) get discouraged by such things. I am sorry it happened to you.

To be honest, though, it is unrealistic these days to expect that any form of media won't be duplicated (if it isn't already digital) and dispersed among individuals and torrent sites. It will happen, and once it's out there, you can't reign it back in. That's just the reality of the Internet, and it's not going to change anytime soon.

I have been doing website-based programming and development since the mid-90s, originally as a full-time job and now (since I became a librarian) on the side. I have done work for more businesses than I can recall, from online-only ones to Mom & Pop brick-and-mortar stores to large corporations. If anything has become clear over the years, it's that media content simply can't be made pirate-proof. There are far too many people out there with the skills, tools, and knowledge to break through any anti-piracy scheme. Some of them aren't even in high school yet.

The music industry is not a great example of how this sort of things affects publishing, because pirated music has been demonstrated to greatly increase interest in new artists. Since the music industry has a lot of related revenue streams (branded clothing, concert ticket sales, etc.), it's a complex situation. The regular publishing industry makes for a better comparison overall. All bestsellers (and even many obscure book titles) hit torrent sites within a week after the book is published. A lot of people download them to read on their ebook readers. The publishing industry is in a panic because of it, which is perfectly understandable.

However...

To the best of my knowledge, there has not been a good, unbiased research study done on whether those illegal downloads actually result in lost sales, because there is no telling whether a particular downloader would have purchased the book if it wasn't available for "free" on a torrent site.

Given that, you have to approach publication (of any sort) with a different mindset than in the old days. You have to go into it knowing that your stuff WILL be pirated. If you are going to charge for your product (as opposed to monetizing it in other ways), the bottom line has to be whether you are getting enough cash from those who DO pay to make it worth your while. You can't think in terms of "I only made $$$ but I know that XXX number of people are reading it." You have to think in terms of "Is $$$ enough to make it worth it to me to still produce the product?" For some, the answer will be yes. For others, no.
Intrepid
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It appears that Dan and Freddie realize this. Earlier on Freddie hinted at a new for of the magazine that will be free. One possibility is a free magazine funded solely through advertising dollars instead of subscription revenue.
Bob
Lord Freddie
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We have a new project in the works which is an extension of the Mystic Menagerie and will feature things of interest to the bizarre community. There will be a big announcement soon.
I'm shocked that people in such a small and close knit community ripped us off and I'm also surprised at the "what did you expect?" attitude many have. It's a bit like saying "your new car got smashed into - live with it, there's car thieves around. Just accept it." The lacksadasical attitude towards piracy displayed by many in the world of magic implies that few will fight this. Maybe they just like getting their free stuff?

I remember the "Magicians Against Piracy" thing a few years ago where file sharers were named and shamed. Apart from a few creators and authors (the ones being ripped off) the general consensus was that many in magic were on the side of the poor pirates who got exposed. When you're up against this attitude you realise the notions of a "brotherhood" and "community" exist only as an idealistic concept.
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