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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Right or Wrong? » » Okay to perform? (6 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

St. Clair
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Hi everyone, what do you think about buying magic books used? I purchased two magic books on eBay as they were sold out on Penguinmagic and extremely cheap. Should I not perform the taught tricks until I buy the books from somewhere else like an online magic store?
Dave Scribner
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Magic books are bought and sold all the time. In fact we even have a special forum here on the Café for just that purpose. Even dealers occassionally sell used books. There's nothing wrong with performing an effect found in one of those books.
Suppose you bought a trick from someone. That would make it a used trick. Would that mean you couldn't perform it until you bought an original from a magic shop? Of course not. It's the same thing with performing a trick from a used book.
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Dannydoyle
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I don't see an issue in the least.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Tom Cutts
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Northern CA
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Quote:
On Jul 3, 2021, St. Clair wrote:
Hi everyone, what do you think about buying magic books used? I purchased two magic books on eBay as they were sold out on Penguinmagic and extremely cheap. Should I not perform the taught tricks until I buy the books from somewhere else like an online magic store?


Was this a download book “extremely cheap” or did you buy an actual hard copy book?
St. Clair
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Quote:
On Jul 3, 2021, Tom Cutts wrote:
Quote:
On Jul 3, 2021, St. Clair wrote:
Hi everyone, what do you think about buying magic books used? I purchased two magic books on eBay as they were sold out on Penguinmagic and extremely cheap. Should I not perform the taught tricks until I buy the books from somewhere else like an online magic store?


Was this a download book “extremely cheap” or did you buy an actual hard copy book?


Hi everyone thanks for all of your input I appreciate it, and hello Tom, they are hard copy books.
Fromentum
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Honestly why should there be a problem? This is standard with nearly every product. Books get sold al the time. But also cars, bikes, houses, electronics, clothes.

Millions of people use second hand things daily.

On the other hand it would be morally questionable if the original creator would say it is forbidden to sell your copy to another person. It is owned by the buyer and they can sell it freely how they like. So buying it and using it is absolutely unproblematic. (As long as it is not a chinese copy site....)
George Ledo
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Magic Café Columnist
SF Bay Area
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If you think it's morally questionable, you may want to look at how theatrical scripts and performance rights are handled. Buying a copy of a script does not give you performance rights.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
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Dougini
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The Beautiful State Of Maine
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On Sep 23, 2021, George Ledo wrote:
Buying a copy of a script does not give you performance rights.


True. But that would depend on where you are performing and for whom.

Doug
George Ledo
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Actually, it does not. If you use a script in the public domain, you're good to go. But you have to be careful that the script itself, as written, not just the play, is in the public domain. A translation of "Doctor Faustus," for instance, may not be in the public domain if the copyright for the translation is still valid.

However, if you buy a reading copy of a script from a theatrical publisher, and you want to perform the play, you need a contract with the publisher. Most publishers will require royalties even when the play or musical is performed in a school or for a non-profit. And most of them will require that you rent copies of the script (and scores, in the case of musicals) and return them after the show closes.

IOW, the publishing industry wants to make sure that authors, playwrights, composers, and others, are paid for their work.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
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Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
David Todd
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If a magician does not want someone to make and perform an effect they invented , they should not put it in a book. (If you really want to keep a secret , they say you should publish it in a magic magazine!) But even then , just because it's in a book or a magazine doesn't mean it has become "community property" or public domain in terms of manufacturing and resale rights (and sometimes in terms of performance rights)

However, unless the book specifies that the performance rights are NOT granted and are retained exclusively by the originator of the effect , if you purchase a book which has workshop plans (or even just simple diagrams showing the basic workings) for an effect, it is understood that you have the right to make it and perform it for your own use. (note: some effects that are sold pre-made or simply as a book or a set of workshop plans do have conditions such as "television or motion picture performance rights are NOT granted" , which means you can use it for live performances, but not for television or filmed performances ... and in the modern world I suppose the language would have to include more broadly any video performance, including YouTube or TikTok .) If it's in a book you purchased , you generally don't have the right to make it and sell it to other people without written permission from the originator. But you can make it for your own use.


I think about how poor Robert Harbin was goaded by the unethical copyists into releasing his pet effects in "The Magic of Robert Harbin" just to establish that those pet effects WERE created by him, but as a condition for purchasing the book he specified that ONLY the owners of an original printing of the book (not a photocopy, not a reprint) had the rights to build and perform the effect for themselves, but not the rights to build it and sell it to others. Or course , Bob Harbin being an ethical and honorable man himself didn't count on how many "brother magicians" would stab him in the back and ignore those conditions under which he released the book.
Tukaram
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Iloilo, Philippines
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Didn't most of us start out learning from library books? (yes, library... I am old) Is buying a used book any different than checking a library book?
Wravyn
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On Oct 20, 2022, Tukaram wrote:
Didn't most of us start out learning from library books? (yes, library... I am old) Is buying a used book any different than checking a library book?

Yes, I had to return the books to the library.
DJG
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On Nov 12, 2021, David Todd wrote:
However, unless the book specifies that the performance rights are NOT granted and are retained exclusively by the originator of the effect ,


This would only apply if it was stated upfront before purchasing the book or product, and not stumbling onto a disclaimer hidden inside. Otherwise, one certainly didn't agree or even given a chance to agree to such terms.
Tukaram
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Iloilo, Philippines
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Quote:
On Oct 20, 2022, Wravyn wrote:
Quote:
On Oct 20, 2022, Tukaram wrote:
Didn't most of us start out learning from library books? (yes, library... I am old) Is buying a used book any different than checking a library book?

Yes, I had to return the books to the library.

When I was a kid... I may or may not have returned all of them. They made my dad pay for a couple ha ha
funsway
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old things in new ways - new things in old ways
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My dad had to work everyday after school during the Depression and found reading late at night his only pleasure/hobby.
So, the librarian would hand him a book every day at the exit and retrieve it the next morning - two for the weekend.

I'd estimate about 4000 books read during 8-12 grade, all selected by the librarian and a vice-principle.
He says five of them were "magic books" - i.e. teaching tricks. So, learning "secrets of the art" has always been available
and even encouraged as part of normal learning.

I was raised with a Boy Scout book of magic and still perform an effect learned in a second grade "Weekly Reader."
If I were in charge of world eduction I would require every kid to learn and perform a magic effect for a group every year of school 3-12.

Thus, I have a problem with any claim to "performance right" for a "secret," but acknowledge that a script or routine can be protected by copyright.

Me? - I want to see my dozens of creations performed and learn of their success and impact. Why would I ever restrict their use?
Yet, I am bother a bit by those who claim one of my creations as their own, or change an effect and then claim it doesn't work.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

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