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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Helping hands » » Nondisclosure Agreements (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

cloneman
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Elite user
474 Posts

Profile of cloneman
I'm doing a bit of empirical research here:

How many of you magicians use nondisclosure agreements with your assistants? Have they deterred the disclosure of your secrets in any way that you are directly aware?

How many of use assistants have been asked to sign nondisclosure agreements? Have you ever had magicians ask you to disclose another magician’s secrets?

Please don’t name any names, I’m just looking to get a sense of your experiences with these sorts of contracts, their prevalence and effectiveness in the industry.
"Anything is possible... if you don't know what you are talking about."
Bob Sanders
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Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
19893 Posts

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This is one of those areas in which the cure is worse than the disease. Rarely have I had a problem with it. It was a much greater problem when I was in the music recording business. There are just some situations in life that can be best explained by a mouthful of too hot coffee. Whatever you do next is wrong!

Bob
Magic By Sander
Ms. Morgan
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The Garden State
394 Posts

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We use non-disclosure forms when we hire dancer/assistants for our bigger shows. I'll often also ask backstage help, fly guys and such, to sign also.
I find it works to help them understand that your serious when you say "you can't tell" It adds a backbone to your request. People often don't look at magic as something professional, or it's secrets as something they should respect.
Non-disclosure forms are a professional move, professionalism is never bad.
The effectivness is dubious at best. People will do what they want no mater what they sign. The best you can hope for is that they think a little before they spill it. Or that your wording, in the form, spooks them into thinking you can and will do something about it.
In the end, we've found the best way to deal with disclosue issues is to be fair and easy to work with. Treat your people well, make them part of your team. That way your secrets become their secrets.

Ms. M
World Magic Award's "Escape Artist of the Year"
www.EscapeChick.com
www.illusionbiz.com
www.WackyDracky.com
Bob Sanders
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Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
19893 Posts

Profile of Bob Sanders
I see nothing wrong with what Ms. Morgan says. However, among professional entertainers, except for music, I've never really had a problem. Magic club meetings are really more dangerous to me than other professionals on stage. For some reason, people tend to assume anything at a magic club is public domain. Also most of the membership of a magic club is hobby rather than professional. They just may not understand.

An interesting side note is that my kids (now 20 and 23) were raised in magic and have helped at times back stage. For the most part, they have no idea how the tricks work. They know how to pack and unpack and take care of doves, rabbits and horses. When they were younger, they would give me a list of the tricks they wanted performed at school, parties, etc. and still did not how they worked. I've made no effort to keep them uninformed. It just doesn't seem to matter. They don't plan to perform magic. I agree that secrets should be kept. But only people with buyers waiting seem to be much of a threat. (Hanging those is too good for them.)

Bob
Magic By Sander
jl
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uk
65 Posts

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In JC Sums book the event illusionist he talks a little about this subject, I generally only use if using outside clients such as an MD or CEO.
Bob Sanders
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Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
19893 Posts

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Looking back, Ms. M. is doing about what can be done. That is to create an awareness that you as an employee or cast member have an obligation. Beyond that, we are at the mercy of human nature. Pick your associates carefully!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
fefe_fontane
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Dallas/Los Angeles
46 Posts

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I have signed nondisclosure agreements every show. I never leak to anyone...It's much more fun to keep the mystery alive.
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stijnhommes
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568 Posts

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With so many people not understanding the importance of secrecy in magic, it can't hurt to remind them. If a signed contract is not enough of a deterrent, we could take a page out of the book of The Mole producers. If any contestant in the Netherlands spills the secret before it is officially revealed, they have to pay 250,000 euros. None have spilled early...
Jason Johnson
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Houston, Texas
50 Posts

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I use both a nondisclosure and a contract. For spilling the beans, I fine them the amount my most expensive illusion costs as well as terminate them. Money is a powerful thing.
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