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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Right or Wrong? » » A warning for Vancouver professional magicians (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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The Burnaby Kid
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That's a fair question. I'm fairly ignorant when it comes to SEO. I guess that's going to be moving from luxury to necessity...
The Burnaby Kid
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It seems that the Weekly Magic Failure has decided to honour Rob's shenanigans.

http://weeklymagicfailure.blogspot.com/2......bag.html

I guess, at this point, there's no need to involve the Café in further discussion unless some significant follow-ups occur. No sense having this thread monopolize the "Right or Wrong?" section.
stijnhommes
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It might be worth checking YouTube's terms of service. I think they've got rules against misleading titles, comments and keywords.
Christopher Taylor
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I spoke to one of the offended magicians who has employed the services of a lawyer. The solicitor assures the magician that he has an EXCELLENT case and expecting to proceed.

All the best,

Christopher
Christopher Taylor

Member P.E.A.

www.taylorimagineering.com

MAKING MENTALISM MORE IMPOSSIBLE
The Burnaby Kid
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Well, things just got interesting. Yes, he's escalated yet again.

Rob Matthies emailed me today with a complaint that I was behind some violent campaign against him. Basically, on the WMF blog, Roland made a suggestion that magicians in Vancouver should do what magicians in Germany did to a Russian busker who was trying to steal their business. Rob decided that I am, in fact, Roland, and running the blog under a pseudonym, and has decided to start posting on the internet that I've started a hate campaign on him. He's even gone so far as to quote this Café thread in the following places...

http://canadianstalk.ca/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=16682

http://simplespot.ca/forums/opinion-comp......thies-in

All the hallmarks of his spamming are there. He doesn't give his own contact information or website. Instead, he's using all the necessary keywords so that he can get more focus on videos that will show up on any google search related to the people involved.

Again, to those magicians who've gotten in touch with me who are thinking they want to do something about this, DO NOT POST YOUR NAME PUBLICLY. He's only going to use that against you.

EDIT: The following just appeared on the local Craigslist...

"OPINION follows -

Amateur inventor Rob Matthies created kids innovative magic shows and charged as low as $40 in Metro Vancouver BC. Now, one or more professional magician such as Andrew "Andy" Musgrave (who apparently charge $700-$1,800) are promoting hate and suggesting his "disappearance" (i.e. use of violence) from the entertainment scene, using inciteful words, right out of Hitler's playbook against the Jews of Europe.

LINK to factum and details:
http://simplespot.ca/forums/opinion-comp......thies-in


Will you stand up for hate and violence in your Vancouver? "

This is basically the kind of guy we're talking about. If you check out the second thread above, you'll notice I'm being compared to Hitler. Classy, eh?
The Burnaby Kid
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Sigh...

Apparently the guy wants to get the German authorities and the Jewish Defense League involved.

http://sleightly.com/blog/2010/12/24/rob......assment/

This has gotten ridiculous.
Payne
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Unfortunartely every area it seems has got one of these troublesome entertainers. We've got one here. Fortunately he sues municipalites and not other magicians.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Clinton W. Gray
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I still contend that this is a non-issue. Rob Matthies is a hobby magician who seems to have a lot of time to experiment with video internet marketing, but he is not a credible threat to the entertainment industry in Vancouver. Case in point:

I booked one of our magicians into a family show this Christmas for an event in Chinatown. They had used Rob's company last year and to be honest they said the kids were happy with him and the price was right. But they came to me this year because they wanted a "more professional" magic show and not a kiddy show.

They understood they would have to pay more for a professional, so we negotiated a fee and everyone was happy. They got a magician who has won 7 international awards for Children's magic and they now had a comparison of a professional entertainer versus an hobbyist.

And really that's all Rob Matthies is doing; comparing his hobby magic shows to those of a professional. Let the buyer decide what their child's happiness is worth.

There are real problems in this world that a far greater than this issue. Andrew, take the money you would spend on a lawyer and give it to a charity. Rob, maybe take a short break from filming and editing videos and use the extra time to help out at a food bank. We're magicians... let's bring magic into people lives.


Merry Christmas,
Clinton W. Gray
Clinton W. Gray
Magician in Vancouver BC
Dan Bernier
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Quote:
On 2010-12-24 06:43, Andrew Musgrave wrote:
Sigh...

Apparently the guy wants to get the German authorities and the Jewish Defense League involved.

http://sleightly.com/blog/2010/12/24/rob......assment/

This has gotten ridiculous.


I would rather stand before German authorities and a Jewis Defense League than stand before irrate magicians. (lol)
"If you're going to walk in the rain, don't complain about getting wet!"
Dan Bernier
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The last time I checked maliciously slandering someone's name is against the law. Also, posting someone's emails online without their consent is also illegal. This Rob fellow has more legal ground to stand on than those who feel they are victims.

Just thought I would point that out before this esculates.

Happy Holidays everyone!
"If you're going to walk in the rain, don't complain about getting wet!"
The Burnaby Kid
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Gospel Dan,

The two main cases against posting emails online are copyright and privacy. Canadian copyright law contains fair usage provisions that this situation falls under -- namely, posting for the intent of offering editorial criticism to an audience that can benefit from the information. The entire text has been posted so as to offer clarity to that criticism, and there's very little in those emails that are irrelevant. Privacy laws would not apply as he has already gone public with similar allegations as those within the email, on other forums and Craigslist, and the comments of the emails and what he's posting online are consistent enough to conclude privacy of the contents of the correspondence is of interest.
The Burnaby Kid
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Sorry, that should say "preclude", not conclude, in the last sentence.
Roland Henning
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Andrew, you know what I find interesting! That fact that he asks you to report me to the police. Why doesn't he do this himself? Weird!
Dan Bernier
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What's wierd is how far you guys are willing to take this. Andrew has not financially been effected, as he already stated. Roland, I too believe that you made a threat on the person we'll just call Rob. It is obvious that your intent was to try and use a scare tactic by sublety making a threat towards Rob. I don't think you ever had any intentions of causing bodily harm to Rob, but you were implying it in your article. You are not even in Canada. What would be your fight in all this?

Maliciously slandering someone's name, promoting hate, making threats, all this because a guy is using your name as a keyword?????? I just had to show this to someone more educated in this area to get his legal opinion.

You might want to seek some real legal advice Andrew before this Rob guy comes across enough cash to retain a lawyer. I say this because you went from accussing Rob of breaking some unwritten code of ethics to you breaking the law to maliously discrediting him, slander, and yes, promoting hate towards this individual. Your attempt to discredit Rob, and cripple his business is very vindictive in nature and comes across like that. You should really read about the Canada's competition law.
I don't know why Rob hasn't filed for legal action yet, but something tells me that he just might.

I just don't think this is all worth it. look at what your potential customers are going to see now when typing in your name into google. You, slandering one of your competitor's all over the internet. You maybe doing more harm to yourself than you know.
"If you're going to walk in the rain, don't complain about getting wet!"
The Burnaby Kid
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Dan,

re: breaking some unwritten code of ethics

I have been clear FROM THE GETGO that the only thing I want is for my name to cease being used as a marketing strategy by this guy. Initially, if someone were to google search my + magician, his video results would come up, with ambiguous titles that would not adequately differentiate me from him, to the point that it could be construed that I was affiliated with his company. The only reason it has not affected my business is because I am outside the Vancouver area at the moment. Should I return there, and should I have made connections with some people, and should they have done google searches on my name, there'd be results saying that a $75 Elmo Mascot would be available for them with MY NAME bolded in the description field, and they'd have to watch a really badly edited video to get the contact information necessary to find out if we're affiliated, a video which even then doesn't adequately identify him. Similarly, if somebody reads the stuff that I write online, and wishes to get to know me, they might do a google search and get a result saying that no-name magicians are better than XXX for their party, with XXX being a well-known performer in the area, and again, MY NAME bolded in the description field, with little differentiation to make it clear I'm not one of the no-name magicians trying to compete against XXX.

This ambiguity in marketing is extremely unethical. It's gaming of search engines and hijacking my name (and the names of others) for his own purposes. For this reason alone have I been working hard to make sure that people who do a search on my name understand that I'm not affiliated with this guy, and for other magicians who've had their name similarly mixed up with his to have an easy reference to locate proof of this guy's practices, should they want to look for it.

re: breaking the law

Already covered previously. The two ways that quoting his emails could be seen as breaking the law are through breach of privacy or copyright. Neither applies for reasons mentioned. You might want to consider that repeatedly (and without clarification) accusing somebody of breaking the law is in itself its own for of libel.

re: maliciously discrediting him

To discredit somebody is to harm their good reputation. On the contrary, I've learned since this started that this person has a TERRIBLE reputation in the magician community in Vancouver, and if anything, I've been able to offer proofs of why. Not only is his marketing practice unethical, but his reactions to public criticism lead him to want to compare me to Hitler. And that last one is not hyperbole. Read the following...

http://simplespot.ca/forums/opinion-comp......thies-in

Here's your "victim", Dan.

re: slander

You call it slander (technically it'd be libel), I call it justifiable comment. Maybe the guy is not literally a bag of scum, in which case it's biologically incorrect, but a literal definition of the term "scumbag" is "A contemptible or objectionable person." I think somebody who uses underhanded marketing tactics, then targets magicians directly when they cry foul on said marketing tactics (videos referencing me by name in the titles appeared immediately after my initial contact with him), and then puts words in other people's mouths as basis for specious allegations (an ACTUAL instance of libel, not a theoretical one), and then makes ridiculous demands on them such as taking responsibility for words they never said, as well as making demands for them to take responsibility for specific interpretations of those words, all the while drawing comparisons between that person and one of the greatest mass-murderers in the history of the world... well, to me, that's a contemptible AND objectionable person.

re: promoting hate

This is the one I really don't get. I have been clear, both publicly and in private communications with him, that I don't want this guy to disappear, just for my name to disappear from his videos. He refuses to do that. He (and I guess now you) can try to spin this into whatever you want, I guess. Personally, I've got no problems with you voicing your opinion, Dan, but for you to contend that the guy is blameless in this matter... well, I doubt you'd be seeing it that way if it were you, and the organizations you're affiliated with, who were being taken advantage of in this way. And as for him having a legal leg to stand on, let's just say that if he decides to escalate even further to bring this to the courts, then I RELISH the opportunity to not only defend my actions in court, but offer countersuit.
Dan Bernier
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Andrew, I'm not against you on this, but you might look into getting legal advice before retaliating any further. Not only are you taking a chance of giving this guy legal headway, but when I type in your name and magician, all I get is websites of you guys feuding on blogs. Try looking at it from a potential customer point of view. To see two guys feuding on the net is bad publicity for all involved, and other names of magicians who do not want to get involved will have their names come up too.

Now type in your name and magician and see what comes up. This is also what potential customers are going to see. They, not knowing the whole story, nor caring to will make a judgement from what they see. Why would anyone hire someone when they are on the net feuding with another magician?

A quote from the link you provided " The veiled bodily-threat uses disappearance of the competing “Russian” entertainer as a “solution”. In my view, that threat seems to be a subconscious or conscious parallel to Hitler's “final solution” to the Jews in Europe."

How are you compared to Hitler?


I don't have any easy answers to give you, but both Kent Wong and Clinton gave you some very good advice. Have you taken them up on their advice yet?
"If you're going to walk in the rain, don't complain about getting wet!"
The Burnaby Kid
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Dan-

Quote:
On 2010-12-26 18:40, Gospel Dan wrote:
Not only are you taking a chance of giving this guy legal headway, but when I type in your name and magician, all I get is websites of you guys feuding on blogs. Try looking at it from a potential customer point of view. To see two guys feuding on the net is bad publicity for all involved, and other names of magicians who do not want to get involved will have their names come up too.


Regarding the second, it should be plain that I've bent over BACKWARDS to make sure that other magicians have been kept out of this. Regarding the appearance of feuding... well, that's an unfortunate necessity because of the fact that I've had to fight the damage that's already been done to my name. I'd rather be seen as someone who's feuding than be seen as somebody who's a party to Rob Matthies's shenanigans, which would have been a certainty had I not spoken up.

In plain terms... I've got no choice but to speak up on this issue, because if I don't speak up, I acquiesce to somebody else using MY NAME for his own purposes. This person has already decided to take a **** on my name, and the names of others, in order to further his own marketing purposes. In keeping silent, one is basically saying that they agree to allow that to happen. I do NOT.

Quote:
A quote from the link you provided " The veiled bodily-threat uses disappearance of the competing “Russian” entertainer as a “solution”. In my view, that threat seems to be a subconscious or conscious parallel to Hitler's “final solution” to the Jews in Europe."

How are you compared to Hitler?


I'm going to do you the favour of re-evaluating your own question before I respond to it. Seriously, re-read that. If you're going to say that I am the one who's been insulting, given everything that Rob has said elsewhere, then frankly, I won't take what you say seriously henceforth.

Quote:
I don't have any easy answers to give you, but both Kent Wong and Clinton gave you some very good advice. Have you taken them up on their advice yet?


Actually, I've been getting a great deal of advice from this from many people, both publicly and privately. Some have asked (and I've agreed) to have their names kept out of it because they don't want to be publicly associated with it. Look at what happened to me -- I sent an email to Rob asking to have my name taken out of the descriptions on December 16th, and instantly I had videos targetting me specifically on December 16th and 17th on metacafe.com, bliptv.com, and others just because I spoke up to him about having my name exploited. Don't take my word for it -- do your own google search, and check the dates of those videos that refer to me specifically in their titles. Look at the dates of when they were uploaded.

There is a LOT of private correspondence going on about this issue. I may be the one who has to take a public hit on it, but I'm hardly the only person who has an interest in seeing Rob Matthies discontinue his unethical marketing practices.
Dan Bernier
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Getting advice and taking advice are two different things. However, you have obviously made up your mind, and are determined to continue to smear this guys name all over the internet. I suppose you also believe that it's ethical what you are doing?

These other magicians you continue to refer to, why are they not stepping up? Why are they allowing you to take all the hits? It seems that Rob isn't an issue for them as he is to you. I know a few of them out there, and they can care less about what Rob is doing. The only one who seems to be doing anything is you.

You might want to stop mentioning these other magicians who are not stepping up. Unless they step up, they do not exist in the issue of Rob. I know you are not bringing their names up, but you are bringing them up to make it look like you got support. If they really supported you, they would stand along side you. If they were friends, they wouldn't let you take all the hits.

Rob may have a bad reputation amongst other local magicians but that doesn't give you a right to try and damage his reputation in public forums with the intent to damage his reputation with customers and potential customers, all because you believe his marketing is unethical. I believe his marketing is unethical, but he's not breaking any laws. You are breaking some of the laws for fair competition, and possibly others as well. Rob was kind enough to direct you right to the specific sections of the act. Did you even read them?

Take a look around, ethics in magic is just as much as an illusion as the tricks we perform. Hold true to your own set of ethics!

Again, you admitted he has done nothing to hurt you financially. He also hasn't ruined your reputation, unless you are that insecure with yourself. You think that it might effect you when you get back home, but good luck using an assumption as a line of defense. The last time you were this heated up was about magic exposure. Once you started working, exposure wasn't an issue for you anymore.

I decided to do a little test. I used our nanny, our cleaning lady, my wife, 2 of my employee's. 3 women 2 men. I asked them to type in any word they feel would help them find a Vancouver magician. They all typed in "magicians in Vancouver" No mention of your name at all. You don't even have a web presence or website other than a few blogs.

I asked them to try "vancouver magicians for hire" still no Andrew Musgrave anywhere to be seen. I finally ask them to pretend they know of a magician in Vancouver they would like to hire and his name is Andrew Musgrave. The first thing was asked was why the need to search his name on google if we already know about him. I said let's pretend that we are looking for his contact number.

They typed in your name and pages of pages of some skier with the same name comes up. Still no web presence for you. Before I asked them to type the word magician after your name our nanny already mentioned about doing that. What came up was a lot of web pages of you fueding with Rob. I was asked who you were, and all five of them agreed that they would not hire you because they would be afraid that you come with baggage.

I asked them what they thought about Rob's marketing and how he compares his service to yours. Our nanny responded with, "Hey, at least he now has a web presence" while the others asked what the test was about. I told them I wanted to see from ordinary people what their opinion was in regards to this whole thing, and how laypeople may see it as.

Now, of course I only did this test with five people, but it was unnanimous when they all said that they would not hire you, and they don't care of the reason why you are fueding with another magician.

I know we don't know each other than brief encounters here at the Café, but I really thought I was giving you some good advice.

I still wish you all the best!

Dan

This isn't my issue so I should start minding my own business. Smile
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The Burnaby Kid
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Quote:
On 2010-12-27 12:19, Gospel Dan wrote:
These other magicians you continue to refer to, why are they not stepping up? Why are they allowing you to take all the hits? It seems that Rob isn't an issue for them as he is to you. I know a few of them out there, and they can care less about what Rob is doing. The only one who seems to be doing anything is you.

You might want to stop mentioning these other magicians who are not stepping up. Unless they step up, they do not exist in the issue of Rob. I know you are not bringing their names up, but you are bringing them up to make it look like you got support. If they really supported you, they would stand along side you. If they were friends, they wouldn't let you take all the hits.


I understand why it might appear this way. We'll see come the end of January whether or not this will change.

Quote:
I believe his marketing is unethical...


At least we agree on that.
Dan Bernier
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I may think it's unethical, and you might think it's unethical, but that doesn't mean everyone thinks it unethical. Using competitor's names in keywords is nothing new, and goes on all the time. Business's don't consider it unethical. What Rob is saying is, "Compare a $50 ballonist to Andrew Musgrave magic show." This clearly shows that you are NOT affiliated with him, and I can't see how any potential customer will think otherwise. He clearly shows you as a competitor, not an affiliate.

If he was saying things like, "Choose my show over Andrew Musgrave because Andrew Musgrave is a scumbag" you would have some legal ground. However he is very much in the law with how he is marketing himself.

I have a friend who works as a Geek Squad. He is also a webmaster. He says there is nothing unethical about what Rob is doing. He says that it's a practice that many webmasters use and encourages the use of competitor's names as keywords. The only legal ground you have is if your name was trademarked.

Have you looked into this yourself? Have you been reading about the Canada Competition Act? You really should.

The Competition Act is Canada’s antitrust legislation. The purpose of this Act is to maintain and encourage fair competition in Canada. It regulates trade and commerce activities and monitors trade practices. For example, mergers and acquisitions that can reduce competition are often subject to review by the Competition Tribunal. The Act may be conveniently divided into three principal areas: criminal offences, civil offences and merger regulation.

The Competition Bureau is responsible for administration and enforcement of the Competition Act. Its role is to promote and maintain fair competition so that Canadians can benefit from lower prices and product choices.

The sections that Rob pointed out were very informative. You really should check it out because you very well maybe breaking fair competition laws here in Canada with your vendetta against Rob
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