The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Shuffled not Stirred » » Selling decks already stacked in Mnemonica etc. -- legal? (7 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Deckstacker
View Profile
New user
Cherry Valley, CA
61 Posts

Profile of Deckstacker
Several sellers on eBay currently offer decks of cards that come pre-stacked in Mnemonica order, and I seem to recall that I've seen some being sold in Stebbins order as well. Is this practice legal, or does it constitute theft of intellectual property, copyright infringement, or some other legal transgression? Do the sellers of these cards (usually m****d) ever pay a royalty to the originators of the stacking systems? If someone can provide a definitive answer here, as opposed to a speculative guess, I would very much appreciate it--thanks.
sgtgrey
View Profile
Special user
Austin, TX
833 Posts

Profile of sgtgrey
I'm not a lawyer, but I don't see how that would be possible because there is no way you would gain a patent or copyright of the specific order or a deck of cards. The books/text that describe these stacks and systems, how they work, how to get into them, what to do with them, etc. are copyrighted, however. So as long as that copyright is still in effect, any information regarding the stack or it's properties and uses would be considered copyright infringement unless authorized by the copyright holder.
Deckstacker
View Profile
New user
Cherry Valley, CA
61 Posts

Profile of Deckstacker
I guess what I am really questioning here may be the ethicality of making $$ off the unsanctioned use Tamariz' or Stebbins' reputations or that of their systems. I get it that selling a deck with the cards arranged in a particular order could never be judged illegal in and of itself; and if the seller proceeded to point out having provided a particular stack order as a bonus feature in literature provided after the sale, that would be perfectly okay by me. However, it's the use of 'Mnemonica' or Si Stebbins' names--or those of Aronson, Nikola, Osterlind et al.--in the promotion of a product for profit without (presumably) any compensation to the magical minds that conceived those stacking systems that "chaps my hide," as the saying goes. If I am perhaps being too sensitive on this issue, please tell me or simply ignore this post and I'll drop the subject.
sgtgrey
View Profile
Special user
Austin, TX
833 Posts

Profile of sgtgrey
I'd suggest if it really bothers you that much that you take the complaints directly to the manufacturers of the decks - such as Penguin Magic (the maker of the M****ed Maiden back cards), David Blaine, Expert Playing Card Co., etc. - Penguin is probably the one with the largest quantity, and it looks to me like the Ebay ads are pulling the ad copy directly from Penguin's site. Honestly, I don't find that to be a big deal at all. In fact, I would hazard a guess that Juan might even look positively on the practice as free advertising to pick up his books and learn the stack! I know that if I were the creator I certainly wouldn't be bothered by this practice and would probably condone it, but I do understand why you may be perturbed.
Bobby Forbes
View Profile
Inner circle
virginia beach, VA.
1443 Posts

Profile of Bobby Forbes
There is no need to purchase specialty decks in a specific order. It's very easy to carefully open the bottom of the cellophane and box with a razor knife, put the cards in whatever order you want and then reseal the deck. Also if the cellophane is an issue you can buy a stack of bicycle deck seals for a few bucks. Just another thought
tom_stamm
View Profile
Loyal user
Los Angeles
227 Posts

Profile of tom_stamm
The Stebbins stack has been around long enough that it is concidered public domain. I still done know if a stack can be copyrighted or considered trade secret. Ethically I would think that one should at least get permission and give credit to the inventor..

m.h.o
Just Some Guy.

"For Seven Tons of the King's Tea,
Six Fine Ladies to Fight a Great Jackass -- me."
sgtgrey
View Profile
Special user
Austin, TX
833 Posts

Profile of sgtgrey
Existing law cases have been pretty clear in the past - trade secret won't work if you publish it in a book, and you can't copyright magic tricks or their methods (although you can copyright the text where you publish them - so for example, you cannot hand someone a photocopy of a book, but I believe that you could technically skirt the law by typing up your own explanation and giving that to someone - even if that is ethically and morally reprehensible). You won't get a patent, either. This is why blackballing and community ethics in magic are considered so important, since the legal routes for enforcement are not so great.
David Numen
View Profile
Inner circle
1737 Posts

Profile of David Numen
Mnemonica is owned by Penguin Magic apparently and I know their marked deck comes pre-stacked in that order. Perhaps some of the decks you see on sale are from Penguin and being re-sold?

Unless you have the book and/or DVD set I have no idea what use buying the deck woul be. Even if you learnt the stack, you wouldn't have access to the the deeper stack-specific applications.
Dr. JK
View Profile
Special user
Greenville, South Carolina
895 Posts

Profile of Dr. JK
I believe you're thinking about this the wrong way. Most mem-deck inventors are advocates. In fact, Simon Aronson gives away his stack in the free PDF "Memories are Made of This," along with two effects! I can't speak for specific stack inventors, but if I had one on the market, I'd want as many decks as possible to come that way so it was ready to roll and may even influence the buyer to actually memorize and use this powerful tool.

The order is not the secret for a mem deck - the effects are. Any order can be memorized and used with any stack-independent effect, of which there are plenty.

Which stack do you use, Deckstacker?
- Jeff
aabc
View Profile
Regular user
126 Posts

Profile of aabc
Quote:
On Apr 3, 2019, Dr. JK wrote:
The order is not the secret for a mem deck - the effects are. Any order can be memorized and used with any stack-independent effect, of which there are plenty.


Exactly! Just knowing a specific stack means virtually nothing unless you have the books. Besides, there are tons of websites and an app which show the stacks, almost certainly without permission from Juan.
paperinick
View Profile
Inner circle
my faro is starting to look nice after
1110 Posts

Profile of paperinick
Anyone knows why some decks are sold in inverted order?
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death my right to say "scr*w you" if you persist. [Voltaire Smile]
Deckstacker
View Profile
New user
Cherry Valley, CA
61 Posts

Profile of Deckstacker
Dr. JK: Sorry to be so slow to reply. I confess that I mostly still use the good ol' Stebbins cyclical system, which I learned first and admire for its elegant simplicity. I know, I know, it is constantly criticized for being too "discoverable" if you give the spectator sufficient time to stare at the cards, but who does that? Not me. I just casually blow past a quick spread to show all different and then go right into a series of cuts or a false shuffle, and then it's off to whatever effect I choose. Once in a while I'll pick up my Maiden Back deck with those teeny little Mnemonica numbers at the top, work with it for a few minutes, and then always set it aside having decided that it just isn't worth the effort to master it. Color me lazy, I know. (sheepish grin)
Mr Salk
View Profile
Elite user
416 Posts

Profile of Mr Salk
As a quick aside, beware of arbitrage. Ebay and Amazon are notorious for selling items, often with identical ad copy, from other sources for a small markup.
The sellers don't even have to keep stock as they just purchase from the original-site after the sale and forward it on with a slice of profit.
.


.
Deckstacker
View Profile
New user
Cherry Valley, CA
61 Posts

Profile of Deckstacker
Mr Salk: A good friend of mine tried to arbitrage (if that's a verb) some inexpensive import trinkets a couple of years ago and lost money, discovering that items sold in bulk may suffer from market saturation and be virtually un-resellable at any price. You also must contend with prohibitively rising eBay fees, PayPal fees, shipping costs etc. IMHO, a far worse threat to honest vendors of magic tricks via downloadable PDF or DVD media comes from those pirating Asian websites that offer whatever Penguin or others are selling for pennies on the dollar. I have sought to report them in the past and have been thanked for my efforts, but I have yet to see such a site shut down, even the most flagrantly abusive of them.
Mr Salk
View Profile
Elite user
416 Posts

Profile of Mr Salk
Deckstacker: Arbitrage is a dangerous and unsustainable business model. But as you noted, nothing like the scourge of digital theft.
It is fascinating to consider the ramifications of a world where creativity and art can be stolen and monetized for essentially nothing.
.


.
Deckstacker
View Profile
New user
Cherry Valley, CA
61 Posts

Profile of Deckstacker
Mr Salk: The "scourge," as you call it, is perhaps even worse than most realize. On Usenet (which Google if you've never heard of it) practically all large magic DVD's, DVD sets, lectures, magazines, etc. have been uploaded for easy access by anyone who knows how. And magic is just a tiny niche category there, where the main focus is on the latest movies, TV shows, etc. Example: The most recent episode of Game of Thrones was uploaded within an hour or two of being aired on HBO. And the motive is not even monetization, as it's all totally free. It's merely bragging rights for whoever posts it first and in the best 1080p resolution. Sadly, there is no need to speculate on the ramifications of this, as we already live with the consequences on a daily basis in the form of higher prices for all such creative works that are published in digital form.
Mr Salk
View Profile
Elite user
416 Posts

Profile of Mr Salk
In the modern-age a handful of Artists are grossly overcompensated for their efforts while the unwashed majority-struggle to rub nickels.
Nobody has compassion if HBO millionaires or Marvel ex-junky nouveau aristocracy are bilked from potential royalties.
Unfortunately those off-world share platforms exploit all and sundry equally.
.


.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Shuffled not Stirred » » Selling decks already stacked in Mnemonica etc. -- legal? (7 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2019 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.13 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL