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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The International Brotherhood of Magicians! » » IBM CODE OF ETHICS & Magic Wand magazine » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (16 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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silvercup
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I'm curious how members feel about the IBM's advertising in Linking Ring the free access to the digital Magic Wand magazine when the copyrights are held by Chris Wasshuber and the conflict with what I assume are their code of ethics stated by Steve Brooks:

3) Recognize and respect for rights of the creators, inventors, authors, and owners of magic concepts, presentations, effects and literature, and their rights to have exclusive use of, or to grant permission for the use by others of such creations.

and

5) Discourage advertisement in magic publications for any magical apparatus, effect, literature or other materials for which the advertiser does not have commercial rights.

Also like to know how members feel about IBM continuing to advertise in Linking Ring the free access to the digital Magic Wand magazine after being notified that copyrights are held by Chris Wasshuber.

Do the ethics of IBM matter or not?
Is it life goes on and who cares?
Should the IBM have admitted their error publicly?
Should the IBM have at least apologized?
Skip Way
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If a man walks into your bank, robs it, and no one calls the police do you expect the police to magically appear? Do you think posting the robbery to a forum or in the local tabloid newspaper is an efficient means of demanding action? Of course not! You take your complaint straight to the investigating authority.

If you, as an I.B.M. Member, have an ethics concern, report it to the Ethics Committee. The information is on the Title Page of the Linking Ring. Posting it here does nothing.

Skip
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ddyment
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First, it is my understanding that Wasshuber did take this to the IBM, and the transgression was allowed to continue for a considerable period of time while he was being ignored.

Second, and continuing with Skip's analogy, one would not expect much to be achieved by reporting a robbery to the perpetrators. And the IBM bylaws only authorize the Ethics Committee to investigate members and Rings, not the organization itself.

Third, there is no mention of an Ethics Committee on the title page of my Linking Ring. And doing a search for "ethics committee" on the IBM Web site turns up nothing either.

Fourth, the claim that "Posting [the issue] here does nothing." is simply an opinion, and one with which I (for one) disagree. It serves to alert members of an arguably serious transgression that has taken place on the part of an organization that they support. And one that history suggests is not going to make that announcement on its own. I know there are many who do not like the idea of transparency in such matters. I am not one of them.
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silvercup
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Quote:
On Apr 16, 2015, Skip Way wrote:
If a man walks into your bank, robs it, and no one calls the police do you expect the police to magically appear? Do you think posting the robbery to a forum or in the local tabloid newspaper is an efficient means of demanding action? Of course not! You take your complaint straight to the investigating authority.

If you, as an I.B.M. Member, have an ethics concern, report it to the Ethics Committee. The information is on the Title Page of the Linking Ring. Posting it here does nothing.

Skip


Hi ya Skip! I'm not a member of IBM.
I missed where I was demanding any action & that was not my intent.
As stated I'm curious how members feel about this.
Posting it here, as ddyment stated, does alert members of an arguably serious transgression that has taken place on the part of an organization that they support, and it asks a question rather than demand anything.

Now that we have that out of the way, how do you feel about it Skip?
I'm going to assume you are a member.
Skip Way
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I don't have a dog in this fight, Silver. I have no idea what this entire topic is about and really have no curiosity or concern over it.

I was simply pointing you to the Ethics Committee which I thought was listed with the other committees on the title page of the Linking Ring. I was incorrect in that assumption, so, the chairman of the I.B.M. Ethics Committee is Mr Rolando Santos at rsantos10@gmail.com.

According to the Standing Rules of the I.B.M., "An ETHICS COMMITTEE which shall: (a) initiate, promulgate, and interpret rules of conduct which tend to advance the Art of Magic and the welfare of the membership of this organization; (b) investigate violations of oath, pledge, ethics, Standing Rules, Bylaws, and the conduct of any member or Ring which may tend to bring the organization into disrepute; (c) initiate or recommend the institution of disciplinary action or proceedings against any member of the organization or Ring affiliated therewith in any of the matters mentioned above; and (d) make recommendations to the Board of Trustees concerning ethical matters."

I take this to mean that this committee investigates complaints concerning any the actions of any member of the I.B.M. including its leadership.

That's it. If someone has been wronged by the actions of a member of this organization, the Ethics Committee would be the logical place to begin to seek redress. Hope this helps.
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silvercup
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Quote:
On Apr 16, 2015, Skip Way wrote:
I don't have a dog in this fight, Silver. I have no idea what this entire topic is about and really have no curiosity or concern over it.



Thanks Skip!
I'm confused that you say you don't know what the topic is about, perhaps I'm a poor communicator.
IBM advertised in Linking Ring the free access to the digital Magic Wand magazine & the copyrights are held by Chris Wasshuber. This is factual, real, not made up, and every other way to say it.
The IBM has clearly violated their ethics as stated by Steve Brooks. Not being a member I'm taking his word on that.
I'm wanting to know if members care one way or the other. Does it, the ethics and violation, matter to them.
If you are a member of IBM, I don't know if you are or not, & understand what I have written above, and have no curiosity or concern over it then that's what I wanted to know.

Out of the 40+ people that have viewed this 2 bothered to reply. Perhaps more will weigh in.
Skip Way
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There are at last two sides to every story, Silver. It is very possible that the I.B.M. Leadership has an explanation. I don't know the facts beyond what you've laid out. Excuse me if I prefer not to take your word as the only truth here. Since I have no idea what the Magic Wand Magazine is and have no interest in finding out - no dog - no fight.
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Shawn Farquhar
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Hello everyone,

I don't believe anyone who has contributed to this thread thus far has all the facts. I know this because I have read Mr Wasshuber's post in his weekly email advertising offering and the facts are not all presented in the message he chose to send his customers.

I will compose a reply to Mr Wasshuber's inaccurate email and post it tomorrow.

Sincerely,

Shawn Farquhar

p.s. While we all wait, perhaps silvercup could direct us all to the ads as he states the "IBM advertised in Linking Ring the free access to the digital Magic Wand magazine"? I have found a mention of the publication in two articles by the same author, but no advertising as such. I assume I am somehow missing the ads? Please help...
silvercup
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Not a member of IBM, don't read Linking Ring.
Here asking members and readers how they feel about what Chris Wasshuber wrote.
I'm sure he has the copyrights to the digital Magic Wand magazine as that's his business.
He's quite upset about the matter. He would have had to made the story up for it not to be true including the lack of communication between him and people at IBM concerning the matter.
That may be in fact what happened.
Look forward to see what you have to say about it Shawn Farquhar.
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Two days ago Chris Wasshuber of Lybrary.com distributed his Magic newsletter #666. In this newsletter he wrote an article entitled "Why I will not renew my IBM membership". If you have not read it I will not be posting the entire thing here as it was purposefully inaccurate and was created to elicit a response. Well he's getting one. He called his subscribers to action by suggesting "Perhaps this article causes others to not renew either.". Mr Wasshuber ends by writing "my problem is with the IBM itself, the leadership and how it is run." and this offends me as the President of the I.B.M.

I have supported him and his company both promotionally and financially and was frankly sadden to read this latest newsletter. I have attached a .pdf file of the letter I have sent to him and I urge you to read it if you have read his article and would like to know the whole truth.

I am proud to be a member of the I.B.M., even prouder to be it's current International President and believe the actions I took were timely and correct. It's a sad thing when a person can spread half truths and lies to thousands of people with a stroke of the keyboard. -shawn ‪

You can view my letter at: http://bit.ly/1HgvYOl


For those that wish to just read it here:

April 17, 2015

Dear Chris Wasshuber,

I was really saddened to see you took the low road and sent an inaccurate email to your mailing list. I found it strange that no where did you mention Bill Kalush, AskAlexander.com, nor the Conjuring Arts Research Center. You and I both know your fight is with them and you were attempting to draw the I.B.M. into the fight on your side.

When you wrote to me it was not to stop I.B.M. members from seeing the material—it was a demand from you for me to write the Conjuring Arts Research Center, your competition in the magic digital media market, and “request removal of The Magic Wand from Ask Alexander.”

Your initial email of complaint to me was on February 18, 2015, and I replied immediately. You requested my assistance and I felt the best person suited to help was Bill Evans, the I.B.M. Legal Advisor, as you were making a claim of copyright infringement, and you appeared to be enlisting our support to fight the company that you claimed infringed on your rights.

Bill Evans is also a trustee of the I.B.M. Endowment and Development Fund which made the deal for access to AskAlexander.com, so he was the correct choice. Your description of Bill Evans’ reply to you is patently false. Bill is well known for his professionalism and integrity. On top of his busy legal practice, he spends many hours each month in pro bono work for the I.B.M.

Bill began an investigation into your complaint and requested information to support your copyright claim, which you reluctantly provided on the condition that he not disclose this information to anyone else, a condition to which he has held. After a review of the material proved to be unsatisfactory to substantiate your copyright, he requested documents to show the transfer of the copyright to you, which you were unable to provide. The only evidence you provided was a link to your Martin Breese page on your website saying your ownership of the copyright was “common knowledge,” and demanded that Bill research UK probate laws and filings on his own as “the purchase was entered in Martin’s will.”

At the same time he was looking into your copyright claim, he also began an investigation into the agreement with the Conjuring Arts Research Center (“CARC”). When it was determined that The Magic Wand was never part of the negotiated agreement with CARC, but was inadvertently included, the I.B.M. requested that access to this publication be withdrawn from our package. There was no need to continue to pursue your copyright claim. Thirty days from your initial email, on March 20, 2015, you were sent an email informing you that I.B.M. members were no longer able to access The Magic Wand publication. In my opinion, that is incredibly fast for a fully volunteer organization.

I am sorry to see you are disappointed in the I.B.M. and my actions in regards to this issue, but I think you should perhaps take another look and see it from another perspective. The I.B.M. made a deal with a company you are in direct competition with and that you don’t like. We were given access to something we did not request. We acted in a timely and fraternal manner to resolve the situation once you made a request. The Linking Ring publicized the new benefit in February issue, prior to your email, and a volunteer reviewer mentioned it in the March issue which is created in February and most likely was composed and ready for print before we even received your first email. You as a person in the publishing business would know this fact, yet your email implies we blatantly continued to act in bad faith. You took the low road, and for that I most saddened.

It is my sincere wish that one day you will consider seeing this differently, but until then I have no further interest in discussing this matter.

Sincerely,


Shawn Farquhar
shawn@magichampion.com
silvercup
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Thank you Shawn Farquhar!
Chris
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My claim is against the IBM who gave access to the entire Magic Wand to its entire membership. In the 15 years I operate Lybrary.com this has been the largest copyright infringement: an entire run of a big magazine (The Magic Wand) made available to 14,000 members. It appears as if Shawn is proud of this achievement. Wait, you are now claiming the IBM has nothing to do with it and that it was all the doing of Kalush. He certainly shares responsibility in this infringement, and maybe he is the instigator, I don't know, but he could have not made it available to 14,000 IBM members without the IBMs doing. It was also the IBM who promoted the access in the Linking Ring even after I informed you. Are you truly trying to make us believe that the IBM has nothing to do with this? That you are an uninvolved bystander? Having put all responsibility on Kalush, does that now mean the IBM will disassociate itself from Kalush and pull the Linking Ring from his archive? I will address Kalush further down. He needs his own section.

The only factual error I made in my newsletter was that I wrote the IBM has 16,000 members, but I qualified it with a comment that I didn't really know. I think that could hardly be called an error. In an email to me you now say the IBM has 14,000 members. Online I found a statement that it has less than 12,000 members. Whatever it really is, the IBM gave access to the Magic Wand to a whole bunch of people without permission. Not exactly what you could claim is the right thing to do.

The facts are that the IBM gave access to material it had no permission to do so. By your own admission you say it was an error, yet there has been no apology, no correction of that error in the Linking Ring and no effort to compensate the damage the IBM has caused. When I asked for an apology you stopped communicating. That was the point I decided to write about it in my newsletter.

I have shared with Mr. Evans the purchase contract between Martin Breese and George Armstrong's son. The fact that I have this contract should have let Mr. Evans already know that I also own Martin Breese's business. How else could I have possession of this contract? But I also pointed you and Mr. Evans to martinbreese.com from where it is clear that I now own his business. How else could I be selling all his products and be listed as the owner? But if all of that and my word was not sufficient for you then I pointed you to public records from where you can independently verify that I purchased Martin Breese's business. What else do you need? A letter from the Queen herself? Are you disputing that I purchased Martin Breese's business?

And since the Magic Wand is still copyrighted (a quick check into UK copyrights will confirm this - which Mr. Evans refused to do) I am the owner of the Magic Wand copyrights. I know that some pundits just can't believe that, but your infringement is not really a matter of who owns the copyrights. Regardless of who owns them, the IBM provided access to copyrighted material to its membership without permission, which clearly is copyright infringement. And when I made you aware of it you did not immediately stop the access but rather were defensive and kept the access. This meant you willfully infringed. The fact that I own the copyrights is really a side story.

A comment on form and manners. When I initially contacted you it was amicably from gentleman to gentleman and I hoped for a speedy resolution. Only when that resolution did not come, when you lawyered up, when you decided to stop communicating and even refused a simple apology did I decide to go public. On the other hand you first post your response publicly on your Facebook page and then afterwards you sent it to me. This shows your true intention which is simply to retaliate and use your big megaphone to drown out the truth.

You claim that giving access to the Magic Wand was an error, it was never part of the deal. How come then the IBM promoted the access to the Magic Wand in two issues of the Linking Ring? If it really never was part of the deal it would have not been explicitly mentioned as available. Mr. Evans response would have also been very different in that case. Rather then be defensive and ask for prove of ownership wouldn't he simply have said that it was an error without becoming defensive? After all he is a trustee of the part of the IBM that made the deal in the first place. Doesn't ring true.

Shawn, I know that you yourself didn't put up the Magic Wand, you yourself didn't delay the removal and you yourself didn't promote it in the Linking Ring. But if your people mess up, if your people make errors as you yourself admitted, then you as the president have a duty to get up and say: "I am sorry, we made an error, and we will do everything to fix it." You never did that. I made a large investment purchasing the Martin Breese business. The IBM damaged my business. All I want is be compensated for that damage and perhaps even get a "We are sorry". Is that too much asked? At the moment you found out it was an error you could have simple emailed me writing: "Chris, I am sorry, we made an error. I will write a correction in my next Linking Ring column. And as a small token of compensation I offer you a free banner ad on our website for two years." Or something to that effect. An apology wouldn't cost you anything and a banner ad wouldn't cost you anything either, but it would provide some value to Lybrary.com and would have shown your sincere desire to fix the damage the IBM has caused. That would have been the end for me. You could have avoided this debacle and bad blood for the IBM.

I am personally saddened that you as a creator have such low opinion of copyrights, don't see the need to do any due diligence or try to fix the damage that was inflicted. One day you will find yourself on the other side of the equation and then you will know how I feel. Then you will know how it feels when the infringer claims he has nothing to do with it and stops communicating.

-----

And now to Mr. Kalush. I have written about Kalush's misconduct before in my newsletter and I will have to write about it in the future again. But to satisfy Shawn's curiosity I will give an outline of the causa Kalush.

For many years Kalush has infringed Martin Breese's copyrights. In the early years of his library he simply digitized various magazines Martin owned: The Magic Wand, Pabular, Pentagram, Gen, etc. All of these digital magazines Kalush sold through his subscription offer. He never even tried to contact Breese. But Martin was not his only victim. He also digitized Abra which belongs to Davenports but he also did not seek permission from them. That went on for years. At some point I signed a purchase deal with Martin Breese to buy his entire business. Now with a vested financial interest in his various copyrights I informed Martin Breese of the situation and Kalush was forced to remove the magazines. I think he kept access to Abra but I don't know for sure because having pointed out Kalush's copyright infringement I became enemy number one and my access to his library was terminated. (Isn't it strange that the one who points out a copyright infringement is the one that gets made the villain? Sound familiar Shawn?)

About two years pass. Martin's health was starting to fail and Kalush somehow pulled it off behind my back with the brokering of David Britland that Martin gave permission for Kalush to include the magazines into his library. But as soon as I found out, which was a few weeks later, I explained to Martin what this really meant, he understood and immediately withdrew his permission. Some people might remember this because there was a public announcement that these magazines were available in the library but then they were not. As you can imagine now I moved from enemy #1 to enemy numero uno - well you get what I mean.

Then there was relative calm in the causa Kalush. Then Martin Breese dies. And then Kalush started again to infringe the various Martin Breese copyrights probably emboldened by Martin's death. Part of the infringed content was a book published and owned by George Armstrong, which Breese bought, Harry Stanley material which Breese also bought, and now the Magic Wand which Kalush made available to the IBM well aware of the fact that it is copyrighted and that I own the copyrights.

Yet the magic establishment showers Kalush with awards. I guess as long as your copyright theft is large enough you get awarded for it. Part of the problem is that Kalush gives free access to his library to some magic VIPs which in turn look the other way - one hand washes the other - all in the name of research. They rather have digital access to his library including all the stuff that infringes copyrights than point out his misconduct. Well, I am not saying everybody knows exactly the copyright situation of each piece, but they don't seem to care much either.

I guess this post makes me now enemy ichi ban. Wait for all the denials and this is all wrong and I am an idiot etc. etc. Anybody who reads my newsletter knows that I write from the heart the way I see it and openly present the facts for everybody to make their own decision. Heck, I even often reveal the method of tricks I sell. That's me. I am just a small business owner who is proud to squeeze out a living doing what I love. But when I am wronged I speak up and try to fight the bullies. Maybe the magic heavy weights will stamp me out. Maybe I prevail and get what is rightfully mine. Follow along. Be part of the discussion. The magic community belongs to all of us.
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Shawn Farquhar
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Mr Wasshuber,

Thank you for your "enlightening" reply. Your article was in fact not factual. Perhaps you will consider posting it here so those that have not read it or don't subscribe will have the opportunity to make an educated decision based on their own findings and not just your word.

I would have copied and pasted it here for all to see, but your newsletter had a copyright and as a creator I have a great respect for copyrights and could not do so...

-shawn
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I will post here what I posted on the Genii forum:

Anybody who wants to read my original article in my newsletter can do so. All you need to do is login to your Lybrary account (if you do not have already one you can register one anytime), click on Newsletters further down on the list of links, enable the magic newsletter, and then you will see at the bottom the last 10 newsletters. The reason I ask you to read it there is because I will continue to write about it, and anybody who wants to read it should also have access to all my future comments on this matter which may not be made on this forum. Anytime you do not want to read the newsletter anymore you simply uncheck the magic newsletter checkbox in your Lybrary account and you will not anymore receive any emails. At that point you can even send us an email and we will entirely delete your customer account if you wish so. (This is only possible if you have not made any orders. For account and tax purposes we have to retain all purchasing information.)
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Shawn Farquhar
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Mr. Wasshuber,

So basically what you are saying is you prefer not to post it here as you would like to use this opportunity as a "membership drive" for your company. Nice. So much for full disclosure.

-shawn
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I have an account on Lybrary.com Haven't been there in a couple of years, but it's still there. I long ago terminated my newsletter subscription, but I was curious enough to reactivate it, read the article, and then promptly re-unsubscribed.

I missed that article entirely. I'm sure many did. My only complaint is that Chris didn't say something sooner. If it was brought up earlier then maybe I would have been prompted to go to Kalush's site and download his free offering, whatever it was. Unintended consequences and all that...

I think I've read enough. It didn't work. I'm still an IBM member. I may quit at some future point but not over this.
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
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I will re up this year.
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Chris
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Quote:
On Apr 18, 2015, Shawn Farquhar wrote:
Mr. Wasshuber,

So basically what you are saying is you prefer not to post it here as you would like to use this opportunity as a "membership drive" for your company. Nice. So much for full disclosure.

-shawn


No, Shawn that is not the case, because I clearly pointed out how you can immediately after you read the article have yourself completely removed. The other reason I don't post it here or on other forums is that I do not want to have to defend myself in multiple places. You have posted your response on your facebook page, Genii forum and here and who knows where else. I would have to correct the same errors in your post multiple times. I will carefully and in detail address them in my newsletter which goes out to almost as many as the IBM has members. So a good number will know about it. And whoever wants to read what I have to say in detail about this can read my newsletter. It is accessible to anybody who wants to know.
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Shawn it is revealing that you do not address the core of the issue but rather try to beat me up on form and question my decisions of where to post and answer. Address the core: The IBM erroneously made the Magic Wand available for at least 2 months to its membership. I own the copyright of the Magic Wand. Yet you do not see the need to print a correction in the Linking Ring, apologize for the error made, and compensate Lybrary.com in whatever small way for the damage caused. If you could speak to that it would be most appreciated.
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Mr. Wasshuber,

I did address your core concern in my letter to you. Did you read it? I read your inaccurate article, you should give me the same courtesy. The IBM makes no apology because none is necessary. We did no wrong. We made a deal with the CARC and the CARC erroneously made the Magic Wand available to our members, not the IBM. On at least three separate emails, you have threatened to sue the IBM for damages and in fact, you are still demanding compensation for your claimed copyright violation. With the threat of litigation, an apology could be viewed as an admission. But more important than the legal reason is that no apology is owned because we did nothing wrong. As I wrote and will write again, the CARC erroneously made the Magic Wand available to our members, not the IBM. Irrespective of that, we have not been provided with any document that shows you owns the copyright.

Let's address one of your pivotal arguments against the IBM. The one where you wrote "Instead I have to read in the recent March issue of the Linking Ring that you have decided to further advertise the access to the "Magic Wand" with an article by Dr. Steven Schlanger on page 40/41. This is outrageous!"

The March 2015 issue of the The Linking Ring on the 41st page of the 156 pages of that issue, our volunteer columnist, Dr. Steven Schlanger wrote “I opened Ask Alexander and typed in his first and last names. In a matter of seconds, I had almost seven hundred “hits,” with brief “summaries” of every time his name was mentioned in The Sphinx, The Linking Ring, Seven Circles, Jinx , Hugard’s Magic Monthly, The Conjurer’s Magazine, The Magic Wand, and I.B.M. Convention programs. My use of the word “summaries” is really a misnomer; what you get are just sentence fragments gleaned from the publications." This is what Mr Wasshuber considers advertising. Does anyone else?

I am not quite sure I would describe this as “advertising”, but if you do please consider that the articles for the Linking Ring are written and submitted by the middle of a month to be typeset, laid out and printed. Mr Wasshuber emailed his complaint on February 18th, which means this article was already slated to appear before he even contacted me.

You are angry and upset and most likely not thinking clearly. I have been a customer of yours for many years, but this incident makes me wonder if you are the person I thought you were, or someone else. I hold no ill will towards you but I implore you to try to see this situation from a different perceptive. Until then I don't think I have anything to add that I did not say initially in my letter. I most likely will not respond unless your comments/replies are as inaccurate as your original article.

-shawn
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