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Kent Messmer
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Darmoe said
“Wow Kent... this mode of thought really disappoints me. You're essentially stating that if something is "Legally" protected you wont steal it but if the gate is left wide open and someone hasn't put out the time, cash, and legal fees to tie everything up "Screw them, I'm going to build it!" “

I never said that! If it came across that way I did not intend it to.
The reason these “protection “ laws have been put out there is because there are people out there that ARE what you THINK I am. (I am not) But why should those that do not put out the time, cash, and legal fees expect to be protected the same? Should they?

Has anything that has been "created" in the last 100 (or more) years really new? Someone in the past has most likely come up with, created and performed a version of whatever any of us do. Yes they might look different, work differently in materials but all in all a version of something someone long ago came up with. Just look at Zig Zag, Cube Zag, Mini cube zag, Tube Zag... and any other assistant contorting illusion. Put something black in front of ??? and it vanishes!!!! Is it new or a new version? Do the later creators of the above need to pay each other for the similarities of these new illusions?

Now wait, I'm not saying that there are not creative people out there. I'm not saying don't pay them their due. AGAIN I AM NOT STEALING ANYTHING FROM ANYONE.

Let me ask you or anyone that wishes to respond. If a person writes a book, prints it and sells it but does not obtain a copyright later finds out that someone has copied and sold "knock off" books, who do they have to blame that they have no recourse in the matter? Only themselves. That is what I have been trying to say. Is it right that others profit on the works of others? NO! Will it happen? Most likely. Again. I DO NOT WANT TO STEAL ANYONES IDEAS. I JUST WANT THEM TO PROTECT THEMSELVES.

Darmoe said
"So much for ethics, moral fiber and honor But then, so long as it's legal, it's o.k.... the rich get richers and the poor, more abused and poorer... if a rich man can steal your idea and make it his, YOU'RE THE FOOL for "Trusting" your fellow man (and believing they might have a heart, integrity, honor, loyalty, etc.) "

Thank for stating my point. But the rich man can't steal your idea if it is properly protected. And don't think they won't. They have and will continue to. (Some of )The rich (this is a generalization) have gotten rich because they have skirted the honor system and closed their eyes to ethics. It's wrong and I don't like it but they only go after the unprotected.

Hey guys. I’m really not a bad person. I'm sorry to have gained so many enemies so quickly. Most of what brought on my rant about this subject is a magician came into my shop that was doing a show in the area and we spoke about "knock offs". He said that he almost purchased one and was verbally crucified for the thought. (He told me that there is no way a working magician would get away with them in big cities like Vegas and in places like Magic Island, that they would be run out of town) What ever happened to - it's not the prop that makes the entertainer?

KM
knightmagic98
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In regards to the copyright laws, the way I understand it, is that once it is published, it is protected by copyright. In the same way, illusions do not need (nor should they be) patented. They are covered by TRADE SECRET laws. These allow for the inventor to not have to reveal the methods. This is the same way that MANY high tech inventions are protected.
Thomas Wayne
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Quote:
On 2002-08-06 15:50, Kent Messmer wrote:
Again, Thomas you know nothing about me. Read into what I have written what you want. [..]


Kent,

I apologize if I read something into your statements that wasn't there. Perhaps you will be so kind as to clarify what you meant by the following quote:

"Royalty fee??? For what?"

You see, Kent, I read into this response that you were BALKING at the idea of paying a royalty fee to the originator of an effect. I don't know what gave me that idea... the excessive puncuation, maybe? Since you insist that I "know nothing about you", I'm very interested in hearing what you REALLY meant by this response.

Regards,
Thomas Wayne
MOST magicians: "Here's a quarter, it's gone, you're an idiot, it's back, you're a jerk, show's over." Jerry Seinfeld
Thomas Wayne
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Quote:
On 2002-08-06 15:50, Kent Messmer wrote:
[...]
Whoop tee do, you were in John Gaughan's shop. Is that suppose to impress me?
[...]


My point, which you choose to overlook, is that there is a significant difference between a good quality original and a poor quality illegal copy. I chose the specific illusion mentioned (and the two bulders, as well) because they have been at the center of a behind-the-scenes battle that the "good guys" won - and that you would know nothing about.

As for trying to "impress" you, I'm not. I don't give a rat's sitter about what a guy like you thinks of me. But I will say that YOU'VE impressed me - enough to know that I'm not interested in having any further discussion with you on this or any other subject.

Thomas Wayne
MOST magicians: "Here's a quarter, it's gone, you're an idiot, it's back, you're a jerk, show's over." Jerry Seinfeld
boney
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Quote:
On 2002-08-04 09:35, Darmoe wrote:
Kent

Firstly, my accusations towards you stem from the tone of your orignal post... sounded like you were searching for a way to be "allowed" to "borrow" and use technology...

Secondly... the "Janet Box" (cutting in 9ths * named after Janet Jackson for whom it was originally created) is a highly restricted piece with a base price of around $25,000.00 (last I checked). Franz only allows so many to go out in each region... lots of strings!

I think we both share the same concern over "Where does the line in the sand go away?"

I know that most of the guys like Stinemeyer and Woodbury have no problem with people building the effects outlined in thier books FOR PERSONAL USE. That don't mean you can build one, use it for a season, sell it at the end of the season and build a new one the next, etc. That's one loop hole I know to have been used in recent years.

Jim & Rand are exceptionally fair when it comes to "the issue" as it were. I know of one young man using an Origami knock-off... he was "new" to the industry and struggling... bought the thing used. When he found out about the legal war over the thing he called Jim and things were worked out in a very amicable manner.

In "defense" of Knightmagic98... I'm uncertain just what kind of show he does or the kind of props used, but I know that most of the "working" pros (not to be confused with the big $$$ "stars") rarely purchase more than one, maybe two new effects every two years... maybe once a year, if they're doing good. The exception to this rule is when a Corporate Client wants something special and foots the bill (I love those kind of clients!)

Magic has gotten bloody expensive and the bottom line is GREED!

"But you're paying for the secret!"

BULL!

I know how the freak'n sawing works... who don't?

A fair quality sawing now days starts at around $5,000.00... the so-called cutting edge pieces, that cost about the same to build (around $1,500.00) are going for over $25k... that's simply not right! But then, there are book tests out there that go for several thousand dollars as well (and you guys thoght Mother & Insight were expensive Smile )

Kirkham told me long ago (as did Roy Houston) that Woolsworth (a.k.a. Wal*Mart, K-Mart, etc.) are the best magic shops around... If we "know our craft" it is nearly impossible not to walk through such a store and not see tons of amazing potential.

I think the bottom line is, we need to strive to create "our own" and allow that to establish our identity... not sharing it, not chasing the elusive buck by cheapening our creation too soon and going to the extremes of commercialism, etc. Allow that self-created novelty to become legendary.

The "old timers" did this as a matter of habit, not sharing their ideas and workings until late in their career. Allowing their early year discoveries to carry them forward; many of them having moves and ideas that were legendary e.g. Shamada's Dove on Cane; McComb's 5-Cornered Hank, etc. Even something as commercial as the Flash Vanish Bird Cage or Spirit Paintings... the old timers had little "subtle touches" that made them even more astonishing, that was never shared into late in life... they made the effect and vice versa (can you visualize the Bird Cage without thinking BLACKSTONE?)

The commercial side of our craft has become overly saturated, abused, and far too accessible. When we all stop chasing the buck and start remembering our "art" and the obligations that entails, then perhaps the magick will return to our tricks Smile

Later!


Actually cutting the girl in Ninths can be purchased for $3900.00
form http://www.tilfordillusions.com/cuttingGirlNinths.html

ROB
boney
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Actually cutting the girl in ninths can be purchased for $3900.00
from http://www.tilfordillusions.com/cuttingGirlNinths.html

Rob
knightmagic98
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I really hate to mention this but, Tilford does not always carry the best equipment, and often his equipment is unauthorized. He used to carry a WINDSHEAR (walking thru a fan) until some people noticed, and he got reprimanded severely. Having said that, I notice that the 9ths on his site is a USED illusion. just an FYI.
Darmoe
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Yea... I guess I'll have to mention to Franz that Dougie boy is ripping him off.

The Janet Box, when made RIGHT cost close to that price to build. I'm betting DT's version is flimsy and will fall apart about about two-dozen run-thrus (if the pictures reveal any accuracy as to quality.)
"I firmly believe that of all the Arts and Crafts of Mentalism, there is nothing more satisfying than one who is a first-class Reader. It is the ultimate in Mentalism..." - Tony Corinda * 13 Steps To Mentalism
knightmagic98
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LOL Darmoe...I love your insights and commentary!
Kent Messmer
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Hey everyone I would like to start over. I make my living, as some of you do, in this industry. We need these creative minds to be able to continue so that we may benefit from them. I have never intended to steal or in any way stop anyone from making money. That was not why I asked the questions and made the comments I did. I am a poor writer and after you all have pointed out your understanding of what you have read, I can see how I could be and have been misunderstood.

It has always been my understanding that if one does not obtain a patent, copyright or the like, (someone in an earlier post said that they do not need to apply for some of these, that is still a question to me. I don't think that just because someone publishes something that it is automatically copyrighted. But what do I know.) that they had no legal stand to take anyone to court over it.That is why I stated "royalty fee. for what?" earlier. I never intended to imply that because of that fact that it was right to do so or that I was going to start ripping off effects for my own gain. that is why I stated "royalty fee. for what?" earlier.

As for Thomas, again my point is that because someone copies something does not mean that it is poorly made. (Wrong or not that they made it at all) By in large, yes, most copies are not made to the same quality standards and are a piece...

Sorry to have gotten everyone’s feathers in a ruffle.

Kent
Darmoe
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Kent

I'll give you credit on this and say that maybe I/we have misunderstood your intent behind your post. The thing is, I have watched countless wannabes searching the archieves to find cool effects that are out of copyright protection that they can add their own two-cents to and get re-copyrighted in their name so everyone must pay alms to them and too, they get this unsubstantiated image of being a "resourceful" individual.

When you hinted at the idea that it was o.k. to go out and knock off a piece that's not "protected" with all the legal garbage one must go through (and even then, you're "protection" is only as good as your standing in the trade and your lawyer vs. theirs.) Well, such thoughts and seeming "encouragement/threats" really make that one good nerve of mine rail a bit.

I loathe the trend of "This is my variation to Joe Shmoe's variation of Vernon's Variation to... " and seeing people not only "get ahead" but ultimately get pats on the back for doing it. Yet, I'm guilty for using that same "loop hole" in one or two things I've "shared" in recent months. Let's face it, my reputation as a creative mind stems from the fact that I can take an idea/existing concept and expand upon it (if not perfect it.)I don't pull completely new effects out of my butt like some of the more noted genius types out there.

Bottom line is, if you're not buying the knock offs, or making your own, you're in the clear. STAY THAT WAY! Too, when yuo find jerks like Dougie-Boy, stealing and manufacturing inferrior copies of major cutting edge magic... BLOW THE WHISTLE! Tell the designer, the builders they work with, the Castle, and every other organization you know of and are associated with... When you see some idiot using such crap and accidently have your cigarette lighter (Zipo works best)fluid spill all over that pos copy and it ignites (purely by accident mind you Smile ) Apologies and explain how Karma is such a cruel teacher.

Sorry, I have no mercy when it comes to this kind of thing... if I ever confirm that Dougie is (as is rumored) building Shadow Vision and See Thru Step Loaders I'm going to have to show him that new electric chair escape I'm working on Smile
"I firmly believe that of all the Arts and Crafts of Mentalism, there is nothing more satisfying than one who is a first-class Reader. It is the ultimate in Mentalism..." - Tony Corinda * 13 Steps To Mentalism
Kent Messmer
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Thank you.

Are some/any of the items "Dougie" and like companies sell legal?

In the banquet room in Secret Session under Copperfield flying. There is a post with a company that lists magic effects with patents, and I guess that one can obtain a copy of the patent and its descriptions for a fee. This could be dangerous to the public at large, but most will not pay to find out the secret anyway. ( I own a magic shop, I should know) As to magicians, it is interesting to see designs and such but these are not there for anyone to copy and make their own knock off. ( I won’t be purchasing any because I can’t afford to have something I can’t and wouldn’t use anyway)

This has all been interesting and I hope that anyone out there thinking of knocking anything off will learn from the beating I have received for even mentioning the dirty deed.
Darmoe
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I will make a note here Kent, when it comes to the Patent thing and availability of plans, etc.

NOTHING IS AS SIMPLE AS IT SEEMS ON PAPER!

I know of someone that attempted to replicate Shadow Vision a few years ago, after taking meassurments, etc. from a unit he had access to... The pour guy had a serious mental breakdown. SV is, as Mark Wilson put it "One of the most amazing, yet complicated illusions on earth."

The first SV unit took Kenny Whitaker, Paul and I + about six other people arguing over things, several revisions (as in break it apart and put it back together again) and around six months to create. We had 3 weeks to build the second one WITHOUT PLANS for S&R (#1 went to Sylvan in Italy)

Something like the Flying... sure, you can TRY... bear in mind, the first one took nearly six years and close to a half-mil to R&D. You may have a copy of the plans but there's tons of information missing as well. Details known only to the innovators and builders of each unit.... if folks only knew the true "unpublished" secrets behind some of the Thurston (Sielbit built) props that I've been privy to (along with a very small handful of others.)

Anywho... for reasons like this, there is NO WAY most knock-offs will be "better" than the orignal. I'm not saying this is standard policy... I've seen some very cool "improvements" on several "stock" pieces built by unknown garage mechanics, that were mind blowing... this is not the rule but the exception however.

No hard feelings... hope you the best!
"I firmly believe that of all the Arts and Crafts of Mentalism, there is nothing more satisfying than one who is a first-class Reader. It is the ultimate in Mentalism..." - Tony Corinda * 13 Steps To Mentalism
LeeAlex2002
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Just out of interest I contacted Steven Fearson recently and found that he does not supply Fantastic Floatation to any other dealer - anyone else offering this effect is apparently a rip off. I was wondering why the price varied from $53.00 to $170 dollars!! (Only Fearson offers a money back guarentee and a 45 minute downloadable video.)

How can people get away with offering something like this with even the same name, and how is the shopper supposed to distinuish??
Yours Magically,
Lee Alex

http://www.magic2wear.com
Murray Hatfield
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It's funny how this topic comes up time and again and there are always those who question the protection and ownership of props/routines on a strictly legal basis.

It's much simpler than that. You either live your life and do your business with respect for others and their property or you don't. Theft is theft and in this day and age where it's mentioned in every forum on a regular basis, ignorance is a pretty flimsy excuse.

There seems to be an ever expanding group of magicians who seem to think that it's their God-given-right to do whatever illusions or effects that they want to. And it's bloody unfair that some effects are out of their price range. Thus it's their right to buy a rip-off regardless of the ethics or legalities involved.

As for the creator/builder who chooses to not persue legal action against the people who steal their ideas, is it any surprise. Do you really think that it's very cost effective to take someone to court for stealing a prop thats worth $5000.00. Take into consideration that the profit on the prop may be at most half the cost (and quite possibly less) and then factor in the cost of the lawyer, court costs, and the lost time from work and the builder/creator would end up losing even when they win.

Instead it's up to us to teach our peers and the new generations of magicians coming along a respect for our art and the people who, through their effort and creativity, help it to grow and expand.

Murray
Darmoe
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Some good points Murray but, as you can see in reviewing this thread, there are those that intentionally look for the properties that are "unprotected" with the greed based intent of cutting out the designer from his/her right to make a fair and honest living. Having been on the wrong end of that stick (the one to loose out on the income) I can assure you, such things aren't taken lightly and as I said earlier "Karma is not nice when she exacts her justice."

Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile
"I firmly believe that of all the Arts and Crafts of Mentalism, there is nothing more satisfying than one who is a first-class Reader. It is the ultimate in Mentalism..." - Tony Corinda * 13 Steps To Mentalism
reedrc
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Hello Gentlemen.
Darmoe, Kent, everyone. I've just read these last three pages, watching the conversation back and forth. From Darmoe's and Kent’s perspective, both pose VERY interesting and genuine questions and comments. I deeply respect Darmoe for his comments and knowledge on this subject. I respect Kent for the questions on the subject. I feel many of us feel very deeply about it.

The following coments are from the heart.
Here are some of my thoughts:

I'm a young designer, and builder. I own a small full-production company dedicated to the advancement of major stage illusion and to the advancement of the magic show itself. I've seen many come and go. I’ve seen many excuses and justifications for using older effects or ripping off ideas or stealing for less with inexpensive, poorly built props.

Growing up, I had the fortune of having such burning passion and desire for the art that it eats away at me like a raging fire. Even now I feel it deep down inside. I love my art. I live my art. I respect those who do the same. I embrace those who love the art as I.

Because of this fact, and because of the many years of study, I found that to genuinely make it to the top in the new world of magic 2002, you have to respect the art, its history and those who are doing the art with you. This means working TOGETHER to help advance the magic, the presentation and the technology, as well as the industry relationships around us.

I'm in this to present a genuine original experience for the audience member. That’s what it's all about. And sometimes I think that we are so wrapped up in who stole what and what belongs to who and bla blah bla.....that we forget what it's really all about.... it's about the TRUE magic, the wonder and awe that happens when someone experiences that miracle that they cant see ANYWHERE ELSE. (anywhere other than YOUR stage)

Because of these thoughts I strive to protect my secrets. To attempt to get my clients and associates to understand that in order to be great you take what the greats have done, do it BIGGER better and even more ORIGINAL than ever before. If we just keep that original passion for the end result without the desperate struggle to be the “next Copperfield” or to be the next big thing. Then we’d have many versions of magicians the SIZE of Copperfield. But it would be different. It would be individuals whom stand out on their own. For their originality, their individuality and the strive to do something genuine, and passionate. Because we are dealing with a new generation of audiences I feel that only the magicians who respect the art, remember its history. Respect others' ideas,
And be individuals will make it to the top. But it will only happen if they are being themselves and not do it to become rich but to perform. To entertain. And to take the audience to the next level of magic that I feel is still out there to be tapped.

Ok, now that my passionate bantering is over, I will give you thoughts about what or how I feel rights should be. Or at least what I’ve done in attempt to keep my concepts mine.
With the above comments and thoughts in mind, what I always try to do is a secrecy clause. Those you work with are bound to protect the secrets and concepts “yours” as to ascertain a trustworthy working relationship that is bound legally with a binding contract.

I feel that its also the DESIGNER'S AND BUILDER'S responsibility to take the projects and to invoke the fact that they don’t take clients unless the project is original and BELONGS TO THEM. The end contract from design to fabrication states that the concept belongs to me, you and that everything possible was done in research to protect the rights of the originators, builders and the designers… The fact that this is in the contract from ME the builder and designer protects both ME and the client the performer.

I don’t consult, build or design unless all the terms are met. Secrecy, originality, ownership, etc………this protects from rip offs and stolen concepts. And we do it at an affordable price DEPENDING ON THE PROJECT and budget of the magician. Each project is rated at what the client can afford. And the quality of product will always be the same. ELITE.

I’ve followed these simple rules, and have found that client, industry and audience have benefited from its workings…. It’s everyone’s responsibility to be original. There is no excuse or question if someone is stealing from someone else. If you are not sure about something HIRE a trusted and renowned consultant. If they are genuine you will be set on the right path. The industry is actually a VERY open and available resource to those whom truly wish to be individuals. Johnny Gaughan, Jim Steinmeyer, Jonathan Pendragon, Bill smith…… All VERY approachable. So ask yourself. Are you and individual or a mirror image of what someone’s already doing?



Thank you all for your time….
Sorry if some of this was not applicable to the original subject.
Kind Regards

Ryan C. Reed
Founder, Illusion Entertainment

designer, director, theatrical consultant, digital wizard, magic impresario, wonder aficionado, Illusioneer & dream architect.

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