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Topic: Just what are the rules?
Message: Posted by: gimpy2 (Oct 9, 2008 01:16AM)
I just can't seem to find out what the rules are when you are trying to produce magic effects. Is there an agreed on list of do's and don't's?

Is there a time limit that someone holds exclusive rights on certain effects, or is it forever?

How do you go about owning the rights to an effect? Do you sign up somewhere?

How much different does a trick have to be from something else out there to be new?

I understand that it would be wrong to say... make a tape measure that you would be able to predict a random measurement, but can you improve say...a duck bucket?

Thanks for any help, Gimpy
Message: Posted by: truthteller (Oct 14, 2008 02:58PM)
Gimpy,

FIrst, if the idea is associated with someone, just ask permission. Get permission and you are fine.

Sometimes, in obtaining that permission, one works out a financial agreement. I bought the license to a trick some time ago. I knew the person who was making/selling it and we came to a figure we were both happy with.

If you create something that IS new, then we would hope others would respect that and seek out your permission should they desire to copy it. As far as being known as the official "right holder" (baring copyright issues) there really is no database for that information. But if enough people know it to be your idea, I think you will find yourself defended should any issue arise.

As to the difference argument - that is a tough one. Getting permission will always take care of that issue. But I think if you are in doubt, then perhaps it is too close. Is changing the method enough? In which case a new tape measure could be perfectly ethical. Or, do we grant rights to the creator of an "effect?"

Different people have different opinions here.

I would think, though, that duck buckets are free for tampering.

Brad Henderson
Message: Posted by: Cleverpaws (Feb 1, 2019 04:10PM)
What if you wanted to recreate a magic effect from the late 1800s or early 1900s and the original creator has long since died (~1930) and the person that was making it with them died in ~1950?
How would you go about tracing the lineage of successors? Would it be ok to make this effect almost identical and sell it?
Message: Posted by: danaruns (Feb 2, 2019 10:29AM)
You can't "own" methods.
Message: Posted by: longhaired1 (Feb 2, 2019 03:33PM)
Are you talking about rules to market effects or perform them, or both?
Message: Posted by: Cleverpaws (Feb 2, 2019 04:20PM)
Im curious about marketing an actual item that is no longer being made. I’m going to guess Gimpy is asking the same as he’s a maker also.
Message: Posted by: Deckstacker (May 14, 2019 02:40PM)
Before discovering a current online source for the well-known "Pop Up Tie Gimmick" (having lost mine from years ago) I considered making one in my garage workshop for my own personal use. I'm guessing that would have been okay. (?) But what if I'd also made several more and offered them up on eBay or elsewhere? Would anybody have really cared? --I realize that this is probably a trivial example of a perhaps out-of-patent item, if indeed it was ever patented. It's the principle I'm more interested in here. Any thoughts---anybody?
Message: Posted by: JoshDude849 (Aug 24, 2019 01:49AM)
If people were creative like they were back in the day, we wouldn't have to worry about using someone else's tricks.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Aug 24, 2019 01:09PM)
Yeah because back in the day with guys like Houdini nobody ever accused anyone of things like this.

I am going to suggest reading a little more about things "back in the day".
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Aug 25, 2019 01:24AM)
[quote]On Feb 2, 2019, danaruns wrote:
You can't "own" methods. [/quote]

Ya can't "own" effects, either! Fitzkee "identified" only 19 effects in his "Trick Brain" in the mid "40s!

An "effect" is "what the spectator perceives". (production, vanish, transposition, transformation, restoration, penetration, levitation, animation, etc.)
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Aug 25, 2019 01:30AM)
RC[quote]On May 14, 2019, Deckstacker wrote:
Before discovering a current online source for the well-known "Pop Up Tie Gimmick" (having lost mine from years ago) I considered making one in my garage workshop for my own personal use. I'm guessing that would have been okay. (?) But what if I'd also made several more and offered them up on eBay or elsewhere? Would anybody have really cared? --I realize that this is probably a trivial example of a perhaps out-of-patent item, if indeed it was ever patented. It's the principle I'm more interested in here. Any thoughts---anybody? [/quote]

Jack London,IIRC, "invented" that in the mid '40s. I had one. It was a visual gag, prop.
Message: Posted by: landmark (Aug 26, 2019 09:49PM)
I had one from one of the catalogues when I was a kid. I wore it to elementary school on assembly days.

I forget who suggested using it as a Glorpy with hanky held in front of your chest.
Message: Posted by: Cleverpaws (Aug 26, 2019 09:59PM)
Any chance we can get back to OP's original topic/questions?
Message: Posted by: Julie (Aug 26, 2019 10:58PM)
It would occasionally "pop-up" in early movies and later t.v. shows, too. :)

Julie
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Aug 27, 2019 11:34AM)
[quote]On Aug 26, 2019, Cleverpaws wrote:
Any chance we can get back to OP's original topic/questions? [/quote]

What is this your first day?
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Sep 11, 2019 09:53AM)
[quote]On Oct 9, 2008, gimpy2 wrote:
I just can't seem to find out what the rules are when you are trying to produce magic effects. Is there an agreed on list of do's and don't's?

Is there a time limit that someone holds exclusive rights on certain effects, or is it forever?

How do you go about owning the rights to an effect? Do you sign up somewhere?

How much different does a trick have to be from something else out there to be new?

I understand that it would be wrong to say... make a tape measure that you would be able to predict a random measurement, but can you improve say...a duck bucket?

Thanks for any help, Gimpy [/quote]

An EFFECT IS WHAT THE SPECTATOR PERCEIVES.

Therefore: There aint no such list.

You cannot own "rights" to any EFFECT.

Darn near impossible to answer!!!

Duck Bucket? Use a wash tub, and a herd of ducks. Harry Jr. had a spectator look inside the bucket. He said, "You can see YOURSELF (!!!) the bucket is empty!
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Sep 11, 2019 04:11PM)
[quote]On Feb 2, 2019, longhaired1 wrote:
Are you talking about rules to market effects or perform them, or both? [/quote]

The EFFECT is what the spectator PERCEIVES! (ya CANNOT market OR PERFORM an EFFECT

Ya cannot market or sell (or buy) a TRICK. Ya CAN PERFORM a trick. (A trick, somewhat like music, only exists while it is being PERFORMED.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Sep 11, 2019 04:14PM)
[quote]On Aug 24, 2019, Dannydoyle wrote:
Yeah because back in the day with guys like Houdini nobody ever accused anyone of things like this.

I am going to suggest reading a little more about things "back in the day". [/quote]

YUP! If you don't study history, you are "condemned" to repeat it!
Message: Posted by: Cleverpaws (Sep 11, 2019 05:08PM)
So it seems that we are now discussing technicalities of word definitions rather than magic or answering the original question.
I've been on the Café long enough to know that this is where many threads go (in a different direction) but for those of us that would like to have some good advice about " not an effect, not a trick" , but an illusion:

"Definition of illusion" according to the Webster dictionary
1a(1) : a misleading image presented to the vision : OPTICAL ILLUSION
(2) : something that deceives or misleads intellectually.

Perhaps someone on here could reply to the original question with some real advice. Or should we just start new threads each time a reply goes off track?
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Sep 11, 2019 07:04PM)
I'll respond tomorrow, to your above post. I'm too tired tonight. Maybe you haven't been around, long enough. When you don't know what an EFFECT IS, it's obvious that you're a Johnny Come Lately, The OP, and, perhaps YOU, should read TARBELL, so you know what you are talking about.
Message: Posted by: servant (Sep 12, 2019 10:23AM)
[quote]On Sep 11, 2019, Dick Oslund wrote:
I'll respond tomorrow, to your above post. I'm too tired tonight. Maybe you haven't been around, long enough. When you don't know what an EFFECT IS, it's obvious that you're a Johnny Come Lately, The OP, and, perhaps YOU, should read TARBELL, so you know what you are talking about. [/quote]

This is very interesting to me Mr. Oslund, because I know I've accidentally interchanged these words before. An effect is what the audience perceives. A trick is what the magician performs. So what the magician purchases from a supplier would either be a gimmick or the instructions on how to perform a trick. Am I right? Or am I wrong?
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Sep 12, 2019 04:36PM)
It could be a prop! (e.g.; a silk, or a set of "xxxing" balls, or a deck of gaffed cards or even an Okito Box! (Those are not gimmicks. A gimmick is an unseen device", needed to perform a trick. Yea, you are basically correct.

I get very impatient with "magicians" (note " " !) who don't know basic nomenclature, and, don't bother to learn.

I learned those terms, when I was 14.

Gimpy started this thread in 2008. I get tired of "educating" these so called magicians who don't know basic terms.

I'm 87. I'm considering canceling my "membership" (for want of a better term). I have better things to do!

It's apparent that YOU have read one of my posts before. I hope that you've benefited.
Message: Posted by: servant (Sep 12, 2019 04:55PM)
[quote]On Sep 12, 2019, Dick Oslund wrote:
It could be a prop! (e.g.; a silk, or a set of "xxxing" balls, or a deck of gaffed cards or even an Okito Box! (Those are not gimmicks. A gimmick is an unseen device", needed to perform a trick. Yea, you are basically correct.

I get very impatient with "magicians" (note " " !) who don't know basic nomenclature, and, don't bother to learn.

I learned those terms, when I was 14.

Gimpy started this thread in 2008. I get tired of "educating" these so called magicians who don't know basic terms.

I'm 87. I'm considering canceling my "membership" (for want of a better term). I have better things to do!

It's apparent that YOU have read one of my posts before. I hope that you've benefited. [/quote]

Ah yes, props. Thanks for responding. I try to soak in your wisdom when I see it!

I truly hope that you wouldn't "cancel your membership" on account of "wanna-be" magicians like me. Your advice on this board is invaluable. We just need more appreciative souls for all that you have and continue to contribute to the community.

If I can ever return the favor, please let me know. Specifically, I work in computers and technology. If you ever need anything, I'm your guy.

Thanks for all you do.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Sep 17, 2019 12:48PM)
You are most welcome!

It IS exasperating to read some of these posts when it is obvious that the guy hasn't read the entire thread, and, complains, when someone else tries to clarify a point, or expression which is either wrong, or unclear. (Especially when the OP, or someone else commenting, doesn't know what he is talking about. )

You appear to be serious about learning! It's a pleasure to correspond with someone like you.

When Jon Racherbaumer insisted that I write a book, I bought a lap top "infernal electrisch peckenclacker". It sat on my desk top for several weeks before I opened the lid! I was born "too soon" (1931) and definitely not a computer maven!!! In the Navy (1951-1955) I could type about 99 words a minute. Now, at 87. I'm lucky to do 15! (The mind is working fine, but the fingers don't cooperate!

With your "encouragement", I'll endeavor to "hang in there", at least for awhile!

I, fortunately, had several great mentors, when I was a Johnny come lately. They insisted that I read, no, STUDY, knowledgeable, qualified authors. It "paid off". I was able to develop a show that could play almost anywhere, for almost any group. I was never at liberty, in almost 50 years.
Message: Posted by: Animated Puppets (Sep 17, 2019 01:22PM)
[quote]On Sep 17, 2019, Dick Oslund wrote: In the Navy (1951-1955) I could type about 99 words a minute. Now, at 87. I'm lucky to do 15! (The mind is working fine, but the fingers don't cooperate! [/quote]


You may be interested in Dragon Speak software. It will type what you say and adjust to your voice inclinations. I bought it for my Dad years ago and he had no experience with computers prior.

https://www.nuance.com/dragon.html
Message: Posted by: Cleverpaws (Sep 17, 2019 02:23PM)
When can we get back on to the original topic?
Message: Posted by: servant (Sep 17, 2019 02:47PM)
[quote]On Sep 17, 2019, Cleverpaws wrote:
When can we get back on to the original topic? [/quote]

I feel like you may need to clarify your earlier question, per Mr. Oslund's posts.

That aside, is there some sort of patent involved that may be owned by someone?
Message: Posted by: Cleverpaws (Sep 17, 2019 03:01PM)
Quote:
On Sep 17, 2019, Cleverpaws wrote:
When can we get back on to the original topic?


I feel like you may need to clarify your earlier question, per Mr. Oslund's posts.

The above reply is why people should just respond with useful information to the original question, instead of going off topic.

I've replaced the OP's original incorrect words (according to Mr. Oslund) with the correct word in "CAPITAL LETTERS" so that perhaps we can get back to the original query.

Those who would like to get into the technicality of word usage, could start their own thread...

[quote]On Oct 8, 2008, gimpy2 wrote:
I just can't seem to find out what the rules are when you are trying to produce magic (PROP or ILLUSION). Is there an agreed on list of do's and don't's?

Is there a time limit that someone holds exclusive rights on certain (PROP or ILLUSION), or is it forever?

How do you go about owning the rights to an (PROP or ILLUSION) ? Do you sign up somewhere?

How much different does a (PROP or ILLUSION) have to be from something else out there to be new?

I understand that it would be wrong to say... make a tape measure that you would be able to predict a random measurement, but can you improve say...a duck bucket?

Thanks for any help, Gimpy [/quote]
Message: Posted by: servant (Sep 17, 2019 09:15PM)
[quote]On Sep 17, 2019, Cleverpaws wrote:
Quote:
On Sep 17, 2019, Cleverpaws wrote:
When can we get back on to the original topic?


I feel like you may need to clarify your earlier question, per Mr. Oslund's posts.

The above reply is why people should just respond with useful information to the original question, instead of going off topic.

I've replaced the OP's original incorrect words (according to Mr. Oslund) with the correct word in "CAPITAL LETTERS" so that perhaps we can get back to the original query.

Those who would like to get into the technicality of word usage, could start their own thread...

[quote]On Oct 8, 2008, gimpy2 wrote:
I just can't seem to find out what the rules are when you are trying to produce magic (PROP or ILLUSION). Is there an agreed on list of do's and don't's?

Is there a time limit that someone holds exclusive rights on certain (PROP or ILLUSION), or is it forever?

How do you go about owning the rights to an (PROP or ILLUSION) ? Do you sign up somewhere?

How much different does a (PROP or ILLUSION) have to be from something else out there to be new?

I understand that it would be wrong to say... make a tape measure that you would be able to predict a random measurement, but can you improve say...a duck bucket?

Thanks for any help, Gimpy [/quote] [/quote]

Here's an interesting article. Would be interesting to know what an attorney says.

https://www.wired.com/2013/07/the-tricky-business-of-innovation-can-you-patent-a-magic-trick/
Message: Posted by: TomB (Dec 22, 2019 05:26AM)
This is a good read

https://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=151965&forum=171
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Dec 28, 2019 12:35AM)
[quote]On Sep 17, 2019, servant wrote:
[quote]On Sep 17, 2019, Cleverpaws wrote:
Quote:
On Sep 17, 2019, Cleverpaws wrote:
When can we get back on to the original topic?


I feel like you may need to clarify your earlier question, per Mr. Oslund's posts.

The above reply is why people should just respond with useful information to the original question, instead of going off topic.

I've replaced the OP's original incorrect words (according to Mr. Oslund) with the correct word in "CAPITAL LETTERS" so that perhaps we can get back to the original query.

Those who would like to get into the technicality of word usage, could start their own thread...

[quote]On Oct 8, 2008, gimpy2 wrote:
I just can't seem to find out what the rules are when you are trying to produce magic (PROP or ILLUSION). Is there an agreed on list of do's and don't's?

Is there a time limit that someone holds exclusive rights on certain (PROP or ILLUSION), or is it forever?

How do you go about owning the rights to an (PROP or ILLUSION) ? Do you sign up somewhere?

How much different does a (PROP or ILLUSION) have to be from something else out there to be new?

I understand that it would be wrong to say... make a tape measure that you would be able to predict a random measurement, but can you improve say...a duck bucket?

Thanks for any help, Gimpy [/quote] [/quote]

Here's an interesting article. Would be interesting to know what an attorney says.

https://www.wired.com/2013/07/the-tricky-business-of-innovation-can-you-patent-a-magic-trick/ [/quote]

Pet peeve alert.


"Copyright" is a noun. You don't copyright something; you may register a copyright, which affords you certain legal presumptions, but copyright itself attaches upon the creation of a qualifying work (certain types of works, threshold for originality, etc.) in a fixed medium. If, for instance, you write an original short story and put it on your WordPress page, your copyright exists. You don't have to contact the copyright office. You don't have to write "Copyright 2019 by Joe Blow" after the story. You don't have to do anything. You don't even have to copyright it. Because you can't. Because "copyright" [b] isn't a @#$% verb!![/b]
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 28, 2019 09:28AM)
So if I am understanding you Lobo, a coppyright is the "thing" that attaches as opposed to the activity of attaching it?

I have misused and seen it misused a LOT if I now understand what you are saying correctly. Thank you.
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Dec 28, 2019 06:29PM)
[quote]On Dec 28, 2019, Dannydoyle wrote:
So if I am understanding you Lobo, a coppyright is the "thing" that attaches as opposed to the activity of attaching it?

I have misused and seen it misused a LOT if I now understand what you are saying correctly. Thank you. [/quote]

A copyright is, literally, the "right to copy" the work in question. So let's say you write up an essay on performance and you put it up on your website as a blog post. As soon as you post your essay, you have "the copyright" on it. That is, you have the right to copy it. With some limited exceptions, it's an exclusive right. So I can't write a magic book, take your essay, and include it in my book without your permission.

When people talk about "copyrighting" something, what they're talking about is [i]registering[/i] the copyright, i.e. sending a copy of your essay to the U.S. Copyright Office and saying, "Hey, I wrote this, and I'm letting you know about it so you can record my copyright." Many people mistakenly believe that registration is required to have copyright protection. It's not; as soon as you create it in a fixed medium (e.g. a book, or a webpage), you have a copyright.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 28, 2019 10:23PM)
Fascinating. Literally every single thing I ever thought I knew about this has been absolutely wrong. (Mind you I never thought I knew much about it to begin with LOL.)
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Dec 29, 2019 07:50PM)
To the OP and about effect [url=https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/102]and copyright[/url]:
(a) Copyright protection subsists, in accordance with this title, in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. Works of authorship include the following categories:
(1) literary works;
(2) musical works, including any accompanying words;
(3) dramatic works, including any accompanying music;
(4)[i]pantomimes and choreographic works[/i]; [* usually what we call effect or routine -JT *]
(5) pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works;
(6) motion pictures and other audiovisual works;
(7) sound recordings; and
(8) architectural works.
**
(Pub. L. 94–553, title I, § 101, Oct. 19, 1976, 90 Stat. 2544; Pub. L. 101–650, title VII, § 703, Dec. 1, 1990, 104 Stat. 5133.)]

**disclaimer about what we'd call method and idea etc.
Message: Posted by: Nikodemus (Jun 9, 2020 03:50PM)
Dear Cleverpaws,

Gimpy2 (the OP) was asking about "rules". The problem with that is s/he seemed to assumed these were somehow enshrined in law. Hence the ensuing discussion of copyright etc.

The reality is that the "Rules" are just a gentlemen's (and ladies') agreement. That is why magicians are so fastidious about giving credit where it is due - it is a matter of curtesy and respect, not enforceable rules.
Message: Posted by: Infographicmagicreviews (Jun 30, 2020 07:30PM)
Since we are on the topic of copyrights. can I make gimmick for people and sell it if I'm not the creator of the effect?

For example, there are a lot of downloads that is DIY gimmick. can I make it and sell the gimmick to people? or can I offer a gimmick building service?
Message: Posted by: gimpy2 (Feb 8, 2021 02:48PM)
Wow surprised anybody has been talking about this thread so long. This was 2008 when this was posted. Back then I was just starting to build magic props illusions, or whatever you want it called. Since then I have worked on many projects. Probably only a little better schooled on the perfect words to use when describing the craft. I do however pretty much understand the rules or whatever you want to call them. Really never felt like I got a clear answer from the thread here. Have had many conversations with folks in the know and found my answers after a while. The answer is that nobody knows or agrees with everyone.
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Feb 8, 2021 06:13PM)
[quote]On Jun 30, 2020, Infographicmagicreviews wrote:
Since we are on the topic of copyrights. can I make gimmick for people and sell it if I'm not the creator of the effect?

For example, there are a lot of downloads that is DIY gimmick. can I make it and sell the gimmick to people? or can I offer a gimmick building service? [/quote]

You could attempt to patent the gimmick if it was truly original, but it almost certainly wouldn't fall under the ageis of copyright law.

Patenting an idea requires (very broadly) that:

The invention must be statutory (subject matter eligible)
The invention must be new
The invention must be useful
The invention must be non-obvious.

Obviously, it's not an easy road to go down or so cut and dry.
Message: Posted by: gimpy2 (Feb 9, 2021 10:54AM)
Patents do not seem to be a very good option for magic. There are not very many magic props that even sell enough units to recoup the cost of such protection. Some magic pirates would not pay any attention to a patent if they thought they could make a buck anyway.
Message: Posted by: gimpy2 (Feb 9, 2021 12:54PM)
Since I was the original poster Some 13 years ago I thought I would circle back and answer my question.

For a little background, I raised this question after my first release. There was a complaint from a dealer that he owned exclusive rights to the method I was using. The product was pulled from the market. I was able at a latter time to contact the inventor who told me no such rights were ever sold to anyone. I was given permission to continue production with my version of the prop. I still sell them all these years latter.

I said above this thread brought me few answers to my question. Not quite true more than a few builders contacted me privately with there opinion. Most on the Café and the industry as a whole were very helpful. But there is a handful of folks out there that don’t think anybody new has the right to play.

The biggest problem you think you have when you start doing this line of work ,is that you won’t be able to invent enough products to build a line. I quickly learned that there would be no shortage of things to produce. I will never be able to build all the things I would like to.


In my 13 years in the business I have only been called out once.Most stuff I produce are new versions of old props with a new look and updated method. So what are the rules? There are none that all would agree on. Here are some of. The things I do to stay out of trouble.

First you want an circle of friends that know more than you do. Once you have an idea run it by them and see if they feel there is any conflict possible.

Should you want to recreate a piece from years past, get the history on it. Many times you can get permission from the individual or family as long as long as they are credited.

Most of the time there is no problem but if there is it’s better to get out early before spending a bunch of time. No need to argue with anyone just move on. Plenty of stuff to build.

I write this today not to debate terms or ethics. Just thought someone in the future might be able to take guidance on my experience. I feel like I owe it to pass on what I have found as those who helped me did.

If's hard to make a full time living building magic props and most never make it. But as my late friend Tabby Crabb told me. If I can do it I guess anyone can

So if you find this note and want to be the next to jump in the building business I would be happy to help you.

Gimpy
Message: Posted by: Drylid (Feb 19, 2021 06:27PM)
What I've noticed is that even the big brands do it. Example is Rubberneck release on Penguin. The method is literally in Tarbell volume 1. Its not new. Its as original as turning your hand 90 degrees. This same thing is the reason I got my hands on a copy of Gaffed to the Hilt. So I can build the gimmicks myself like I was already. A flap card is a flap card, a box with a secret flap is no different than a bag with one. Its just put together a little different. I keep my business to other magicians. I don't market any effects. If someone says that want a box that makes stuff vanish, I build it, if it happens to be the same method as a 400$ trick, that's not my fault, I figured it out too. Usually I give em away to my friends for free, and they happen to tip very well with meals lol. That is of course unless I have purchased or seen something that the author requests is only for my use. Then I will honor that as I feel it is the right thing to do. But if I discover it in another older book, that request is null and void as they themselves have done what they are requesting I not do.
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (Mar 18, 2021 11:44AM)
In my not-so-humble opinion, there are two separate issues involved. One is the method, and the other is the physical design of the prop.

If the method was published in a book or magazine a number of years ago, without a specific notice as to withholding rights, then I'd say it's there for the taking. It's not a secret anymore. Stuff in Hoffman's books, Tarbell, the Sphinx, and similar publications would fall into this category. On the other hand, Jim Steinmeyer placed a notice in at least one of his books stating that he owned rights to manufacture the effects in the book. So those are not there for the taking.

The other issue is the physical design of the prop. Back around '14 I designed and built a version of a prop for Stevens Magic. A couple of years later, a dealer saw the prop at a collector's house, apparently figured it was an antique, and proceeded to copy it for sale on his web site. I called him on it and he got upset, called the collector, and found out I had built the prop for Stevens. So he wrote back and pretty much said he wouldn't do it any more. What I was unhappy about was that he copied the hinging mechanism, which I had spent some serious brain matter in figuring out and building. Here's the prop in another collector's (Andy Martin) web site:

https://www.martinsmagic.com/allmagic/stage/four-door-production-cabinet-by-george-ledo/

That hinging mechanism was not in the original sketch in Gibson's description -- and it was a feature of the physical design of the prop -- so, as far as I'm concerned, it was mine. The dealer could have created a different hinging mechanism for the box, and I wouldn't have had anything to say about it.

A couple of years later, the same dealer published the box in his column in a magic magazine, describing how to build it. This time I wrote the mag's editor, who wrote the dealer a note, and he agreed to post a retraction in the next issue. Joe Stevens also sent him a major nastygram.

So, in this case, the dealer built a prop that had been published many years previously, but used a physical design that had been created for the prop more recently. That was my problem with him.