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Father Photius
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I've run across several versions of knock offs of Losander's tables. Down here on the border there are folks on both sides cranking them out, and not worth the money. Bad enough they rip off a legitimate artist, but they make poor quality copies. The real rip off isn't what they steal it is what they sell. Go with the original, I've never seen a rip off version that even comes close and there are used ones in good shape available out there if you can't afford a new one.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
MuleePete
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Ray & Matt, thank you for your insights. I enjoyed reading your comments.

This continues the debate I have seen playout on many of the MC threads without a conclusion, save for what the individual reader takes away.

If you can build it for your own use, OK. BUT NOT FOR SALE!

Pete
The Drake
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Quote:
On 2011-10-15 16:21, MuleePete wrote:
Ray & Matt, thank you for your insights. I enjoyed reading your comments.

This continues the debate I have seen playout on many of the MC threads without a conclusion, save for what the individual reader takes away.

If you can build it for your own use, OK. BUT NOT FOR SALE!

Pete


Question for you Pete. If you think its wrong to sell IP illusions then why would it be ok to build and own one? Isn't that like saying its ok to steal something as long as you plan on using it yourself and not planning on selling it?

I am asking this respectfully and not sarcastically. You seem to feel strongly its wrong to sell them but not own one. that's the part that confuses me. If you use one and perform with it aren't you benefiting from it as much as a person who sells them? In both cases the originator is NOT benefiting as he should.

Best,

Tim
Ray Pierce
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Quote:
On 2011-10-15 17:51, The Drake wrote:

Isn't that like saying its ok to steal something as long as you plan on using it yourself and not planning on selling it?


I have to agree here. If I see an idea or effect that I want to use for my act, even if I know exactly how it works I'll still purchase it from the inventor because I feel that gives me the right to perform it and/or make any changes and improvements that I want. After all, if I see David Copperfield perform something new I have the right to copy it and do it just because I can figure out a method?

I think we are trying to put this in the same category as purchasing a DVD for home use and then showing that same DVD and a movie theater for profit. When you purchase the DVD you are purchasing the rights to display in your home or your own personal use but if you were to use it an a for profit making venture you have to purchase the right separately for that. It's just not the same when you purchase a magic effect that is intended to be shown publicly. It's not like you purchase A Zig Zag and it says you can use this at home for your own pleasure but don't perform it in public. Now there is an assumption that if you purchase a magic effect it will be used for public performance. I always thought it was funny when you purchase an expensive effect and they make a big deal out of giving a certificate that gives you performance rights to the effect. Why else would I have bought it? Did they think I honestly would buy the trick and did not want to perform it? Maybe for a magical historian are somebody that is interested in methods but I would say most people who purchase it want to perform the effect or they would buy it.

Judging by the amount of bootleg DVDs that exist and music, books and other videos being downloaded by torrents, I'm sure people will always look for a way to cut corners and not pay for products. I just honestly feel that if I am using something weather for my own benefit or for my job I want the legitimacy of knowing that we have a fair compensation system in place. It seems the system will always work if that is followed.
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
MuleePete
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Drake, Ray, Thank you for the civilized discussion.

Lets use an example to center the discussion. Sawing/Cutting/Sectioning a person. Starting with what could be argued as the first example, chopping a person, with sword or axe, into peices and rejoining the peices and the person is shown to be restored. Could be 2000+ years old.

Move to putting a person in a box, cutting it in half, then rejoining the halves restoring the person. Selbit 1921 then improved by Goldin, Wakeling, The Great Virgil, on and on to.........

Sawing a person in half with different boxs types and sizes until....

The Buzz Saw, cutting a person in half without the box, rejoining and restoring the person. Blackstone Sr 1930's

Zig Zag, Dividing a person into thirds in a vertical box with metal blades, moving the middle section "out" then back and restoring the person. Harbin. Also done with cans. Mikame (royalties?)

Aztec Lady, Multiple dividsions and foldings with metal sheet dividers and boxs, then restored. Harbin

Visable Sawing in half. No actual seperating, but illusion of a blade passing thru a person.

Modern Art, a 2 part rather than 3 part zig zag. Jim Steinmeyer (royalties to Harbin?)

Audience Dismember, using almost ANY audiance member person is divided in half and restored. (royalties to Selbit?) Very nice culmination I will admit. Jim Steinmeyer & Bill Smith.

I thing that is enough examples. Different window styles on the same theme. Not all of these methods were "handed" down to others, nor sold, not obtained by "ethical" means. It was common pratice for magicians of the not so distant past(at least for me)to hired an engineer to invent or figure out illusions other magicians performed. In this method royalties were not paid to originators and money was made via performance, on the labors of the R&D of the hired engineer. Quite a number of feuds were originated this way. Study Houdini.

Many tell us theirs is the ORIGINAL idea, having sprung to life new and complete. When looked at closely, most are built from ideas and principles that have gone before and added to.

If I act as my own engineer and figure out how to build a certin prop, I follow in the path well trod before me. But as my conscience dictates according to my life experience, I would not sell what I discovered. This forces others to think for themselves or buy the prop from the "originator".

Rail splits have driven religious wars, political battles and divided social groups for all of human history. All I can do is account for my own actions according to my ethics as learned by experience and longevity.

I respectfuly yield the floor and reserve the remainder of my time.

Pete
Ray Pierce
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Pete,

I agree that only by civilized discussion and can we really hope to share varying opinions in order to form a consensus over what can commonly be accepted as a standard.

I do understand that there are only 13 major magic effects and everything is a variation on that. I also know people that spent their lifetime developing effect only to have it ripped off and stolen by other magicians. If the effect appears the same to the audience doesn't matter that the method is slightly different?

I agree that in a discussion of ethics everyone will have different opinions. I also understand that there is a common consensus in most professional magic circles as to what is appropriate and inappropriate with regards to taking other people's material. If someone is generally accepted as the creator of a certain effect (not necessarily method) then it would generally be accepted that you would not steal his effect even if it meant using a slightly different method for it. As an example Chuck Jones is widely accepted as the creator of the Mis-Made Girl illusion. Many people have copied it and some have changed the method and subtle variations but the reality is they stole the "effect" from Chuck. Just because they hired engineers or worked themselves to figure out method does not make it right.

In the comedy world is the same with stealing jokes. If you steal the premise of a joke even if you change three words the premise is where the value is. Do comics set out to prosecute people who steal their material? Typically not, but comics that have a reputation as thieves are not accepted in many circles. It is a closed self-policing society much like magic. As has been mentioned in this and other columns you do not have to play by the accepted rules but you frequently will not be accepted by peers in the community otherwise. That of course is a choice that we all have to make. Any behavior that is considered anti-social has consequences sooner or later. I won't even begin to debate if it is right or wrong, only that it is going against an accepted practice in a certain social community. What is accepted and tolerated in one's social order might be completely inappropriate and unacceptable and another. That is the reason discussions like this are so vital as it serves to illustrate what these norms are with respect to magic.

If I really like this song another performer wrote, I have the ability to arrange and produce that song myself which requires a lot of knowledge and work. If I do want to perform it I still have to pay the rights to the original artist that wrote it however. Even though I went to the trouble to figure out the arrangement right the music haven't played and recorded, there is still value in the original writing. When you go to perform a play, even if you direct the play, build the sets develop all the motivation, entrances and exits and many other facets of the performance... You still have to pay for the rights of doing that particular play to the author. It is the same in magic even if it is only a gentleman's agreement and not written in a legal document. If someone creates an effect they have the option of selling you the rights to that effect and having you or someone else build it, or they might possibly restrict fabrication to certain known vendors that can produce the effect with the quality that they demand. Otherwise their creation could be built with shoddy workmanship and not reflect well on their design. Each creator must decide these things for himself.

If you want to use a Madonna song in the show, it ultimately must go through her and she must give permission for that song to be used as it will reflect on her music. As an example if you want to use one of her songs on some television show such as the X factor, it might not be an issue. On the other hand if you are doing an adult film and wanted to use it as a backing for some scene, she would have the right not to allow that for obvious reasons. We could easily say that her song might not be that original because it uses the same 13 notes that many other songs do. After all it's just a series of connected cords that I'm sure could be traced back individually to other songs. The difference is in music there are legal documents and arbitrators of these claims of authorship as we see by lawsuits constantly claiming that someone stole a melody or hook from another song.

Again the difference in magic is that these are agreements that are known and accepted but not written down on paper as most times it would give away the secret and make it more visible to the public. Of course all of these are choices that we make as performers and we are either accepted or denied in certain groups and social orders based on these choices. This is a public forum so anyone can come in and post any opinion or standard. Just because someone posted here does not make it accepted. I started off in magic on my own and was not connected with other magicians until I moved to California at the age of 20. It was at that time that I learned what was acceptable behavior and ethical choices to be able to fit into the community that I wanted. I could've carve my own past and been a rebel or outlaw but I made the choice to play by the rules and have the shared benefit of working with some amazing performers and learning from them.

Everyone has the same choices available to them, it's just a matter of how you want to fit in.
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
MuleePete
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I rather think we have hijacked this thread. Perhaps there should be an "Ethics" column added to the Menu. There appears to be many who enjoy a hearty helping of differing discourse.

PS. Ray I am digesting your last post, and not sure what responce (if any) I may have. Lots to chew on.

Pete
Matt Adams
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Ray, great points about the performance of a play and paying rights to the creator. Good analogy.
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illusionman2
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[quote]On 2011-10-16 20:05, MuleePete wrote:
I rather think we have hijacked this thread. Perhaps there should be an "Ethics" column added to the Menu. There appears to be many who enjoy a hearty helping of differing discourse.

PS. Ray I am digesting your last post, and not sure what responce (if any) I may have. Lots to chew on.

Pete



There is go the Café's --Right or Wrong?
SpellbinderEntertainment
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvPmJzUZEW4&feature=related

Imagine, if he did not have a cheap, ugly rip-off table,
and if he learned to perform it properly,
and if he knew not to drag the routine on and on.
Oh, never mind, don’t imagine…
Just watch Losander perform.

Walt
“Tales of Enchantment: The Art of Magic”
by Walt Anthony
www.LeapingLizardsMagic.com

"spinning tales and weaving enchantment"
Devious
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Quote:
On 2011-10-15 14:35, Father Photius wrote:
I've run across several versions of knock offs of Losander's tables. Down here on the border there are folks on both sides cranking them out, and not worth the money. Bad enough they rip off a legitimate artist, but they make poor quality copies. The real rip off isn't what they steal it is what they sell. Go with the original, I've never seen a rip off version that even comes close and there are used ones in good shape available out there if you can't afford a new one.

You are correct Father Photius, I saw them as well whilst I was in El Paso.
Losander was kind enough to personally deliver mine when I was working
a show at a local theatre there several years back. I love it!
Devious Deceptions
"Gadol Elohai!"
L'Chaim!
IDOTRIX
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Is Losander the inventor of the floating table or just the method of the way he makes his float?
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