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The Magic Cafe Forum Index Ľ Ľ I'm a real boy! Ľ Ľ Vent mask ripped off ? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Servante
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You CAN'T copyright an idea--the mask.
You CAN copyright a script.
You CAN PATENT a mechanical process.
You CAN TRADEMARK a NAME.

-Philip
Joseph_Then
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Quote:
On 2011-07-20 11:55, Servante wrote:
You CAN'T copyright an idea--the mask.
You CAN copyright a script.
You CAN PATENT a mechanical process.
You CAN TRADEMARK a NAME.

-Philip

You are right, and my next question is... Is it covered internationally or just in USA?

If a guy, say, in China starts selling vent masks in huge quantity, the laws can't reach him right? It sucks...
-----



Joseph Then

Singapore Ventriloquist
Servante
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Well, again, with vent masks, you really can't copyright the IDEA of one, but Tom's absolutely right: if the guy who sues you has more money than you have, he may not win, but he'll break you before YOU do.

However, let's assume for a moment that you COULD copyright the IDEA of a vent mask: Copyright is, as a general thing, an international agreement...with most countries signing on. BUT...China doesn't really give a *** and Russia's always been a little iffy. They translated two of my plays in Moscow and didn't offer any royalties. I knew better than to fight it, but I did ask them for a ruble note, just so I had something to put in my scrapbook. Smile

-Philip
Dickens & Dave
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Quote:
On 2011-07-20 12:40, Servante wrote:
but I did ask them for a ruble note, just so I had something to put in my scrapbook. Smile

Did you get it?
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
Servante
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I did. But I was never sure if it was one they sent me or one the agent just had around his office on THIS side of the Great Pond.

-Philip
Howie Diddot
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OK here it goes WHEW...

Everyone is correct about the law and the copyright issues.

I am not attempting to shape the law here; I am comparing this to the Tape Over The Mouth issue

In a recent thread everyone posted that Billís routine (idea) being copied without paying the fees is a violation of the creative development of his idea; it was also mentioned that that TOM has been used by other Ventís before he perfected it.

Everyone in the thread agreed that the routine and the method of applying tape over a Ventriloquist mouth belonged to Bill and should be respected.

I am very new and have not been involved with many past issues I have learned many things in the ďItís a Boy ForumĒ, like Tomís issue with the snow machine, and the past issues with Walter, Jeff's figure; so this is a learning experience for me.

Can anyone tell me the difference between the Ronn Lucas developing a mask that looks like every other mask I see being used now with very minute changes and Bill Demar having an assistant apply tape over his mouth.

why is Billís developed idea supported and payment required so as not to be ridiculed, and Ronnís idea of a manufactured and highly publicized mask rejected as an original routine to be performed without payment to the creator of the routine?

I am not accusing anyone here of any wrong doings, the issue has been brought up in this thread and I am only asking for clarification
Dickens & Dave
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Well Buzz, I gotta tell you, I'm not so new, and I'm not clear about the difference either.
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"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
Steve at The Dummy Shoppe
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I will attempt to explain it the best way I know how.

Uncle Bill's "Tape Mouth" was his creation. The fact was nobody could figure it out. So he had a legal beagle draw up licensing papers and he basically sold 150 copies of his secret. I was in the booth next to Lee Cornell last week (a real nice guy) and I saw somewhat at a distance the licensing paperwork that you must sign with Uncle Bill. Big bunch of little tiny print. Somebody had done their homework and Uncle Bill is quite well covered in the sale of his intellectual property.

As I understand it, Ronn Lucas (although he may not have been the first) started using the mask. He felt that he had an ethical ownership of it. From a conversation I had with Paige Parnell Phillips back in 06, he may have had a form of ownership on a product. However, he failed to file the appropriate paperwork with the FTO to get the (circle R) registration on it as a product name. Therefore, it was still legally open season in that unlike Uncle Bill (who did not move his lips OR talk) Ronn did not have the legal ownership of the product. If I am a little off on the details, I appologize but I have slept in the last 6 years.

Steve

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Vegasvent
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About 9 years ago at the Las Vegas International Festival. I was in the back of the room with Valentine Vox and Ronn. Ronn's back was to the stage and he was not paying attention to the open-mike show. One of our attendees got up and did a rendition of Ronn's actual material using a mask, not knowing that Ronn was in the room. Val and I were looking at each other, anticipating what would happen once Ronn glanced toward the stage. Ronn usually ends his bit with "When your Smiling". This vent changed the song, but his bit, obviously stolen from Ronn's show, was so lousy that Ronn let the guy go, of course knowing that the Vent was no threat to his career. At Ronn's request, I did have a talk with him later, and apologetically, he promised never to do the bit again. He has since actually given up Ventriloquism altogether.
Magical Phil-Kidzshow, LLC

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creativemac
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WOW!!!!
Donald Woodford

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Howie Diddot
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Steve and Duane,

Thanks for the updated information; it seems Steveís narrative is that Bill has spent money for an attorney to licenses the routine. What I am understanding from Duaneís description of the event is that Ronn has claimed ownership of the mask routine, but has not spent the time and funds to legally register the mask as a trademarked product.

I am not talking little Rís or bunches of papers for licensing, I am asking about the gentlemenís agreement, that an entertainer does not steal a routine from another entertainer unless an agreement is completed, then it is not stealing.

Again when Jeff started with Walter by making a figure like one that was at the convention I understand it was a discussion as well

My question is not who is right, or who is wrong; Iím asking what the guidelines are?
Bob Baker
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Quote:
On 2011-07-20 20:51, Howie Diddot wrote:
My question is not who is right, or who is wrong; Iím asking what the guidelines are?


My guidelines:
1) Golden rule ("Do unto others.....")
2) If you have to wonder if what you're doing is right, don't do it.
3) Always ask permission of another performer to use his/her material.

Performers always really appreciate the last one. Three examples from my career:
I was the first person to persuade Bill DeMar to teach me the TOM routine. I paid him $500 to teach me and give me the rights to do it. That was the same amount he later charged everyone else. Another member from the other side of the world figured out how to do the routine and still paid Bill to license it's use.

I asked Jay Johnson for permission to use the term "wooden American." Jay requested that I not do so since it was integral to "Two and Only." However, Jay also kindly suggested an alternative which I have used effectively. I have seen one very famous vent use the term "wooded American" on TV, I'm sure without Jay's permission.

At the ConVENTion Don Bryan used a great line that I requested his permission to use. He informed me that it was another performer's line which accidentally slipped out during Don's performance. As good as the line is, I won't use it.

B
Steve at The Dummy Shoppe
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To some extent, one must rely on an old fashioned sense of right and wrong. The golden rule so to speak. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I know that is not PC but when it keeps folks from being mad at each other, it is a great place to start.

Steve

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Howie Diddot
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OK Bob;

I understand this guidelines, I agree with your guidelines and do this myself, as hard as it is for me, I'm developing my own scripts and relying on the aids such as the book Philip made me buy to expand my routine; itís hard, itís fun and I am not asking, taking or stealing any routine from any other person, living, or dead.

Now Bob, my question is, is it right to use the mask that Ronn has claimed as his, or in your opinion, is Ronn not the rightful owner of the routine and anyone can use the mask without any repercussions?
Dickens & Dave
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Quote:
On 2011-07-20 20:08, creativemac wrote:
WOW!!!!

In reference to Duane's story - Double Wow!
How could that guy even consider doing.....it's just as well he gave up vent.

Steve- great answer to the question, it explains a lot, as usual, it all comes down to legal-beagle stuff.
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"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
tacrowl
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Here's my take on this - everyone else can decide right or wrong.

The TOM is a routine. The mask is a prop. The TOM has a beginning, middle and ending. The mask is a piece of costuming.

How many magicians have ever dressed up a volunteer or had them wave a wand at a prop? Have they asked permission or paid someone for that right? No. Because the outfit is a costume, the wand is a prop and the routine is (hopefully) their own.
Dickens & Dave
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Steve's answer covered the legalities, and Tom's answer covered why one person's claim was considered and another's wasn't.

Now the really BIG question: does anyone think this topic will ever be laid to rest once and for all, or will we forever see someone periodically bringing up the whole Ronn Lucas/mask issue.
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
Servante
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Give it another twenty years. Smile

-Philip
Dr. Solar
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Back in '97 or '98 at the Vegas International Ventriloquist Convention Ron Lucas supplied enough video tapes to pass out as a "gift" to all attendees. Right then I sensed there was an attempt to lay claim to the vent mask bit he had recently performed at a Presidential event. I told my ex that I was sure that this was his way of staking claim to the usage by establishing notice to all vents, at least those who attended, that it was his idea as well as routine. Bill Boley had already been making them due to an "accident" with one of his dummy heads her was making did not turn out right leaving him with a perfect lower face form and the rest of the head way too thin. He then got the idea to carve it up and save the mouth portion. People in the past used such things as paper plates fashioned in a way with clasps holding the "jaw" to the face portion. I have not viewed the Lucas tape to this day.

Buzz, please email me about the Jeff/ Walter issue.

It is all silly, as was said, are magicians to refrain from the use of a magic wand? This could be settled in small claims court easily without great cost. Neither party would be allowed lawyers so both sides would be able to present both sides. Pictures from children's craft books on the subject of puppetry that most likely predate Ron's birth, would be enough to dismiss any claims.

Steal his routine? Of course not. Sing his song, that would be a no-no.

Doc
"look for me in all things forgotten"
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Dickens & Dave
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Quote:
On 2011-07-20 23:49, Servante wrote:
Give it another twenty years. Smile

-Philip

Really? That soon?
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
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