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Profile of DarryltheWizard
In my opinion, there are not that many new principles in magic. Creative magicians simply combine old principles and then add a contemporary presentation, and from an audience point of view, you have a fantastic new effect. What really disturbs me is when magicians, both young and old , copy video presentations move by move and word for word.
Signature pieces will never be copied successfully, for when a professional finds out he's being copied, he will know that he's arrived. Imitators may be able to copy the moves and patter, but they cannot capture the personality of the originator. A dwarf may don the role of a giant....but he remains a dwarf. When I feel the love of magic in the magic friend's presentations, then I'm willing to share. It's more important to me to know that I've helped someone take the next step up the ladder of success.
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Scott F. Guinn
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Profile of Scott F. Guinn
On 2002-06-23 21:59, Peter Marucci wrote:
But, in the case you mention, you may have created the routine but not the sponge balls, the purse frame, or the concept of either.
We stand on the shoulders of others, without whom we could not do anything; therefore, where do we get the idea that we can use their work, add something of our own, and take all the credit (and money)?
We got it from a friend, from the Internet, from a host of other sources besides magic shops, books, or videos that we paid for.

Exactly my point. I paid for the balls and the frame and the other gimmick, which I am simply reselling--at a cost, I might add, lower than retail of what you would pay for the same props without my routine. Further, I give credit to Albert Goshman, John Carney, Peter Samuelson and others.

Should I spend the money on the props and then include my routine and give it away?

That's simply ludicrous. I paid for the books and videos where I learned the sleights used in the routine, hundreds of dollars--each book over $30 and one over $50, and I use stuff from a number of different books. I paid for the props-admittedly at wholesale, but I have to buy them in bulk. There are parts of the routine that are distinctly my own. I use the gimmick differently. And the script is original with me. I don't understand how I am wrong to sell the entire package for $15--again, less than if you went to your local shop and bought just the materials without my routine included.

If that makes me a bad guy, maybe I should stop putting out my stuff...

One more question--If I give the routine away for free, why should you be able to perform it in a show for which you are getting paid? Shouldn't you then be required to pay me a cut, which I should then have to give a cut of to all the people who created the parts that make up the whole?

You can go to any store and buy basic auto parts--should GM give you a new Chevy for free? Should they give a cut to Ford?

Sorry, Peter, I respect you, I really do, but I think your argument is off-base.
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Victor Brisbin
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Profile of Victor Brisbin
This discussion is a reflection of magic marketing in general today (I'm not sure it was much different in the last century, either, but that's another topic.) I agree that we all stand on the shoulders of giants. There are creators, and there are creators of routines. In my opinion, both contribute.

Many of the products and media offered for sale now are the collected handlings of others, and the "convenient repackaging" of classic effects. Sometimes dealers and authors advance the Art with this material. Most times, however, they merely repackage and market the brainchildren of others. A great example of this is the current crop of "How to Make Big Bucks with your Magic" courses, which take general marketing and business principles, and apply those concepts to the magic biz. Convenience at a price. You still have to put some work in to realize any value. I think it is the same with the merchandising of reworked tricks, or collections of routines. I don't have a problem with some of the writing, as long as credit is given. I do have a problem with blatant rip-offs of effects by unscrupulous dealers, who put out ersatz versions of the originals, and in some cases even send out photocopied instructions from the original creators.

In the example given by one of our own esteemed colleagues here, he bought props at wholesale, which were necessary for his routine, and provided them along with his own printed instructions and illustrations. In addition, he made every effort to credit certain moves or thinking in his instructions, or pointed the purchaser to standard references, i.e. the works of those whose concepts he utilized. This seems ethical, especially since he asked the originators, when alive and available, for their consent to reference their contributions.

I think the above example places the magician who has a talent for routining in a different category, one that is acceptable. And it is a talent. A good personalized routine for standard props or plots transforms the performer from what used to be called a "drugstore magician," into an artist.

This turned out to be a long post. Thanks for letting me contribute. Smile
"It is better to practice a little than talk a lot." - Muso Kokushi
Peter Marucci
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Profile of Peter Marucci
Scott Guinn writes: "I don't understand how I am wrong to sell the entire package for $15--again, less than if you went to your local shop and bought just the materials without my routine included."

I didn't mean to imply that you were wrong to sell the props, package, etc. for whatever price you want, and certainly enough to cover your costs.

I was making a general statement that the concept of sponge balls or just about anything else -- whether credited or not -- is rarely original.

I see nothing wrong in someone taking a routine that I have given away and using it in a show for which they get paid.

After all, that was the point of my giving it away in the first place!

When I lecture to magic clubs, I have a few items for sale afterwards. I demo these items and then fully explain their working. If someone wants to make it up himself, that's fine; if he or she wants to buy it from me already made up, that fine, too.

I wasn't suggesting props that one paid for should be given away; I just think too much is made of "the secret". Fitzke wrote, in The Trick Brain, I believe, that the working of most magic tricks could be figured out by a person of average intelligence, if he or she wanted to do it badly enough.

Is the creative process worth something? Probably; but it may not translate into money. After all, "intellectual property" is a fairly new concept ("new" as in the past couple of hundred years). Da Vinci wouldn't understand what you were talking about; neither would Michelangelo, Shakespeare, etc.

Peter Marucci
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Profile of Magic_streak
I think of all of you who responded here, Peter, Daryl and Victor have have grasped my point. Greg Arce I don't think you fully understand what I'm talking about and you repond is totally out of point.

I'm talking about presentation here, not whether you should give away free props and money.

I repeat one more time, knowing how an effect is done, whether it is marketed or not, is NO BIG DEAL. As a number of replies have already mentioned, the "new" effects are not "new" at all. They are just repackaged, revamped, and presented differently. PRESENTATION is what makes it different.

If you invent an effect, and teach me how to do it. I then think about the presentation and make it sweet and enjoyable. Haven't I fufilled the whole point of magic? That is to entertain?

In the case of props, obviously one has to pay for whatever he buys. I can't expect you to give me a whole stage of props for free. I'll be glad to buy it. What I'm talking about here is magical information passed between fellow magicians. We are all here with a common aim, to entertain laymen. Will you help the others achieve that aim? Or will you keep everything to yourself so that only the 20 - 30 people (out of the billions in the world) in your party or magic show will get to enjoy it?

The point of magic is to make your performance so good that even the top magicians can't tell what you have done, even though if you reveal to him, he finds that he knows all the moves you have executed.
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Profile of p.b.jones
Magic streak, you seem to keep changing what you are saying. We all know that presentation is the key to a good performer/performance. no one will argue with that here.
The conteversial part of your post was your position that anyone who charged another magician for thier idea's was a loser and somehow not contributing to the magic art.

And as I posted previously No one is forced to buy these things. Indeed I might ask why do you if as you say
"the "new" effects are not "new" at all. They are just repackaged, revamped, and presented differently"

I think the other thing to consider is this regardless of what you I or anyone else thinks the Magicians that sell there idea's are not breaking any laws and are well within their rights to sell them and protect there copyright if they so wish. If this is their choice then it is then wrong for us to break that copyright and give the method of the effect to another who has not paid for it regardless of what we think of the persons choice.
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