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Topic: Shawn Farquhar & Russ Stevens
Message: Posted by: Tony Curtis (Mar 29, 2011 11:39PM)
Could someone explain why the Shawn Farquhar & Russ Stevens thread has already been locked? I would have thought that taking into account the ethics issues raised all parties concerned would have been allowed to freely state their case.

Tony Curtis
Message: Posted by: Ken Northridge (Mar 30, 2011 05:55AM)
Cases were stated here:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=324892&forum=36&start=0
Message: Posted by: Alan Rorrison (Mar 30, 2011 07:50AM)
Yes but new issues have been stated due to his interview that should be addressed. The reply thread would have been the correct place for that.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Mar 30, 2011 04:30PM)
I just think they didn't want it to get out of control and ugly. It has that potential. For example what is the over/under on this thread staying alive anyhow?
Message: Posted by: Alan Rorrison (Mar 30, 2011 05:36PM)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2n5H4vM9kM

Now it looks to me like he fed Dan the same shpeel...Mr F looses his cool a little. I wonder how many other people he has fed this story too.
Message: Posted by: Cyberqat (Mar 30, 2011 10:58PM)
I think its reasonable if the ops don't want people airing their private feuds in public on their forums.
Message: Posted by: markparker (Mar 30, 2011 11:04PM)
Russ' point here and always has been is not about Shawn doing the close up routine as I am more than certain if Shawn when he sat down with the magician in Canada and watched the promo tape which Shawn I know for a fact! payed for half of the PAL conversion, containing the SOMH routine and had asked at that point if Russ would mind if he created a close up ambitious card routine using the music 'as he was very influenced" by watching this...Russ would have said sure and thanks for the compliment...however that has not been the case and Shawn has taken this route to stand by his misguided pr stating it was his idea from the outset.

Personally I think its a pride thing with Shawn and he knows he is wrong to claim this as his original concept and as it has gone on for so long to admit now he did what he did would expose his years of story telling and discredit some of his accolades...and lose face of course!

Russ tried to sort this out for years with him and for Shawn to go on camera like this recently says a great deal to me. His whole body language was wrong and in my experience when someone over explains is such flawed detail like the whole VHS subtitle thing which amazed me. Leon was not released on VHS until 1995 the opening of the movie in cinemas was 18th November 1994 so no way was the VHS even out...if you are going to talk BS at least do some research first Shawn...to me it says a lot. The heartfelt 'we where poor back then' story didn't cut it with me.

I will state I am not biased on this whole issue its just facts that I know from first hand. Yes I do know Russ and he does not know I am writing this post until he sees it here.

You have to liken this to a remix of an old music track....the re-mixers contact the original source for permission and then credit accordingly if they are ethical.

Shame on you Mr Far fetched for taking your years of lies to another level just to keep on top in the eyes of others while trying to stomp on Russ' reputation.

Make up your own minds..I know what the truth is.
Message: Posted by: Alan Rorrison (Mar 31, 2011 08:48AM)
We all kow what is the truth. Mr Far needs to finally admit it.
Message: Posted by: Andrew Zuber (Mar 31, 2011 09:22AM)
I've only seen one video of Farquhar doing the routine - does he always end with the cards from mouth bit? That ending totally ruined it for me.

Another vote from me for Russ, by the way. I'd never heard about the debate until he posted the video, but after watching it, as well as reading through past threads about this, my unbiased belief is that Russ is in the right here.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Mar 31, 2011 09:46AM)
Wait the most interesting thing I have read is that one of the FISM judges was a friend of one of the contestants. Hmmmm.
Message: Posted by: DanHarlan (Mar 31, 2011 11:32AM)
[quote]
On 2011-03-30 18:36, Alan Rorrison wrote:
Now it looks to me like he fed Dan the same shpeel...Mr F looses his cool a little. I wonder how many other people he has fed this story too.
[/quote]
Whoa! Keep me out of this. I don't have an informed opinion one way or another regarding "Shawn vs. Russ." Since you brought it up, I will comment on "Torn To Pieces": Shawn has my blessing to perform, teach and market his routine. As far as I know, it was independently created, but it really wouldn't matter to me if it was directly based on "Crazy-8." What does matter is that Shawn credits my invention. Regarding your video of him loosing "his cool a little," I think it's out-of-context here and perhaps a bit mean-spirited. Perhaps Shawn is upset because he's being distracted off camera (as he mentions). Perhaps you don't realize how difficult it is to speak to a camera and do it well (as he does). Perhaps he was a little irked at me because I let him down when he had booked me for a major convention and I was unable to attend at the last minute (as well he should have be). Like I said, I can't comment on "Shawn vs. Russ," but I do know that Shawn has been supportive, understanding and professional regarding me and I appreciate it.
--Dan Harlan
Message: Posted by: Alan Rorrison (Mar 31, 2011 12:12PM)
I have no intention of bringing you into this Dan I just found it interesting that the story goes pretty much along the same lines. I apologise if you think I intended as such
Message: Posted by: Gordyboy (Mar 31, 2011 12:15PM)
This dead horse has been flogged enough and there's nothing new here or in the other locked thread, except for a new accusation by Alan Rorrison which Dan Harlan has now cleared Shawn of (Alan - you really should have attempted to contact Dan Harlan to get his point of view before making another unsubstantiated accusation). Read the past posts and you'll see that for every accusation thrown at Shawn Farquhar he has supplied a reasonable response and explanation.

I wasn't there 16 (17?) years ago, and neither was anyone else making statements claiming they "know the truth". We have an unsubstantiated accusation and a reasonable response and explanation. Based on that and/or the relationship people have with the two parties involved, some people are taking one side and some are taking the other.

Get over it, it's ancient history, move on with your lives. Continuing any sort of debate on the topic harms the reputations of both parties and can negatively impact their professional life, as well as the entire community. If I were someone looking to book either of these gentlemen, and knew nothing about this issue, but found these sorts of comments when I do a Google search, I just might avoid them both. I don't know Russ but I've heard many good things about him. I've known Shawn for about 5 years and in that time have gotten to know him as a very good person who holds himself and others to a high level of ethics.

And by the way, other than the choice of music and the fact they both use cards, I see little similarity between the routines.
Message: Posted by: Alan Rorrison (Mar 31, 2011 12:22PM)
OOh by no means did I mean to drag any one in or make an accusation. I mearly pointed out that the situations was all too similar. I mean NO disrespect to Dan what so ever. I love and respect the mans work.

I am allowed to make observations and voice an opinion on them though
Message: Posted by: russ stevens (Mar 31, 2011 02:11PM)
Hello Gordyboy,

Good to hear from you again!

I'd like to point out that Shawn decided to bring this up and made multiple comments when asked why I did what I did. You have read the threads and know that he knows that my issue is about seeing my video tape and then lying about it to me for years. He didn't once answer the question despite knowing, as you do, about the tape? Isn't that strange? There is much that is new in what he claims and they should be discussed. I love Magiccafe and understand their position, but Shawn Farquhar started this again, NOT ME and made statements that are untrue. I should have the right to correct them.

Why did he decide to start this all again?

Best wishes,
Russ

Posted: Mar 31, 2011 3:15pm
As a sidenote.

Mr. Harlan I am a big fan of your work and totally understand what you say about your position with Shawn Farquhar. My situation was the same as yours at one time, until I found out otherwise.

I'm sure that if you found out that all your interactions with him had been lies, you would also feel the same as I do.

Best,
Russ
Message: Posted by: markparker (Mar 31, 2011 02:34PM)
Gordyboy you have missed the whole point.

I personally am not taking any sides. but it seems you know better about who was around first hand back then and as a friend of Shawn's you seem to be defending something you have only his word for over the 5years friendship you have with him.
Shawn decided to drag this up not Russ and those of us who know the real story are just standing up for what is right.
It has gone on too long now for Shawn to admit the initial influence he had from watching Russ' VHS pal demo tape to create his routine...its not about the similarity its about simple courtesy which Shawn never showed Russ from the day he sat down and watched that tape.
Maybe you can explain the BS about the Leon film from your friend as an attempt to put some history to his creation.

Also put yourself in Russ' position on this before you jump in so fast telling people to get over it....Russ had got over it until your friend went on tape recently
Message: Posted by: Gordyboy (Mar 31, 2011 03:38PM)
Russ - the only part of the Reel Magic interview I've seen is the parts you posted, so I may not be able to put it all in context. Did Shawn bring it up, or was he responding to a question from an interviewer? I also have no idea how those specific interviews are done, if they agree on questions or topics in advance (??). I haven't spoken to Shawn in a few weeks, but in my perfect hindsight I would suggest that if someone did ask him a question about it, in my opinion it would have been best if he simply said it's been discussed enough in the past and let's move on.

Markparker - I don't think I'm missing the point at all. I've only stated the facts I know and I have not pretended to know who was around first, who knew what, or who saw what. You'll have to re-read my posts I guess. And yes, I am defending a friend who I have known for about 5 years, for something he is accused of doing well before I knew him, you're not saying anything that I haven't already stated. Why do you say Shawn decided to drag it up? Do you know that or are you assuming it because he answered an interviewers question (in which case it wouldn't be Shawn who "dragged it up"). I'm curious how you "know the real story"??? If you have conclusive proof then we're all waiting to hear what it is. The answer is that there is none, or we would have heard about it before now.

Russ - I think you understand where I'm coming from. I think you truly believe what you're saying and I'm not saying anything negative about you, nor have I in the past. But what if you're wrong? Hopefully you've truly reflected and considered the answer to that.

'I'd rather see a hundred guilty men go free then see one innocent man convicted'
Message: Posted by: markparker (Mar 31, 2011 04:12PM)
Well you stated neither was anyone else around at that time claiming they know the truth...well I was. I have known Russ for that long.

Shawn knows the magician in Canada who brought the tape back and he payed half of the conversion cost and sat down to watch it with him. (It is not my place to say who the magician in Canada is, if he wishes to come forward that is his choice)
You have ignored my point about the video subtitle switching off to substantiate his influence to create his routine.

Re: Interview
Maybe Shawn was asked the question but re-watch the interview and how he acts over the whole thing towards Russ. Just put aside that he is your friend for a moment.

I will say it once again... all it would have taken was for Shawn to contact Russ back then and discuss what he wants to do after taking the influence from Russ' manipulation routine...its simple courtesy that never happened and Shawn has chosen to stand firm that is was his idea still to this day. In our small community we all take influence from others and all it takes is an email, phone call etc and some crediting to make sure the inspiration is recognised with permission from the creator.

I am sure you are very Pro Shawn because he is your pal but I can assure you if Russ was wrong I would say so! its not about who you know its a simple truth matter that Shawn will never face up to.
Russ has every right to defend his name over the interview content.

Shape of my heart was released in 1993 and only appeared on Leon late 1994. Shawn saw Russ' routine before he 'watched' Leon that is fact.

What if you are wrong...have you considered that? You have stated the facts you know.. so Russ and anyone else who knows what is what has the right to correct that as they see fit...free speech and all that.

This whole thing may appear pointless to some and the truth stings the pride but hey it is what it is.
Message: Posted by: Tim Ellis (Mar 31, 2011 04:51PM)
Danny Doyle said: "Wait the most interesting thing I have read is that one of the FISM judges was a friend of one of the contestants. Hmmmm."

Danny, almost all of the contestants at FISM had friends on the Jury.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Mar 31, 2011 05:34PM)
If the horse is dead, why is its tale being flogged for all and sundry in public?

IE - who dug up the horse and why the surprise if some say it stinks?
Message: Posted by: russ stevens (Mar 31, 2011 06:38PM)
Hi Jonathan,

The horse was dug up by Shawn Farquhar.

I'm still bemused as to why he did that interview and started it all again? Maybe his good friend Tim Ellis can explain and give some personal insight? By the way Tim, I just love the way you're trying and turn this into a Russ Stevens/Blackpool 2012 issue on the Genii forum. I also thought the way Ricahrd Kaufman opened the thread again for you, just so that you could make your last post before locking again, was very revealing. You know full well this has nothing to do with FISM. He can keep his award because that's not of interest to me. My issue, as you know, is in the lie. Sadly the interview he gave just produced more of them. The devil is in the detail you know.

Best,
Russ
Message: Posted by: r1ch-oxford (Mar 31, 2011 07:40PM)
A couple of years ago I picked up the phone and called Russ Stevens to ask permission to use a song in my show which I had first heard when I had watched him perform an illusion to it a few months earlier. He gave me his full blessing with no questions asked.

None of the lies were ever necessary; Russ would possibly have done the same thing if Shawn had picked up the phone in 1994 / 95 / 96 or whatever year it was. Almost all of us take inspiration from other magicians work, just be honest about it and no one can accuse you of anything.

Rich
Message: Posted by: Tony Curtis (Mar 31, 2011 10:43PM)
As Russ Stevens has stated earlier he did not wish to bring up the subject again but as Shawn Farquhar has recently recorded an interview for Reel Magic he had to speak again to protect his own integrity.

http://vimeo.com/21590468

Tony Curtis
Message: Posted by: Tim Ellis (Mar 31, 2011 11:37PM)
Russ. I made my comment on Genii because you brought my name up in your reply to Shawn Farquhar. I was trying to offer you guys a way to resolve this. If you don't want to take that course of action that's fines with me.

I don't like or appreciate the inferences you're making that I have anything to do with this whole situation. Yes, I know Shawn. I also know several hundred other magicians (many of whom competed at FISM) equally well. How you have come to the conclusion that I can offer any insight into what Shawn said on the interview or why is beyond me. He lives in Canada, I live in Australia. We exchange emails two or three times a year and see each other in person at conventions every two years or so... Yet you seem adamant that I'm his great defender just because I don't agree 100% with what you have said about this situation.

I find it ironic that you are upset that Shawn didn't ask your permission to use Sting's song, yet you used Kozmo's interview without asking his permission.

I also find it ironic that your supporters keep falsely implying that it was his relationship with a judge that won him the FISM Grand Prix, yet in reality it's his relationship with a FISM 2012 organizer that will prevent him from being booked there.
Message: Posted by: Tony Curtis (Apr 1, 2011 12:41AM)
[quote]
On 2011-04-01 00:37, Tim Ellis wrote:
I find it ironic that you are upset that Shawn didn't ask your permission to use Sting's song, yet you used Kozmo's interview without asking his permission.
[/quote]
Tim,

It is not about Shawn asking if he can use Sting’s song but the concept idea of performing magic to the track which Russ originally came up with. Many singers and groups have done cover versions of other people’s songs but at least they do give credit which is all Russ wants.

Tony Curtis
Message: Posted by: mumford (Apr 1, 2011 01:10AM)
I don't have a dog in this fight, but the funny thing to me is who wouldn't think of using a song about cards for a card trick? As far as the presentation goes, I don't thing there is any genius at work here. I think it is Sting who should get the credit for both presentations.
Message: Posted by: markparker (Apr 1, 2011 01:22AM)
Mumford maybe you would feel differently if it was you on the receiving end...Ie:if one of your pet routines had influenced another performer after watching your innovation at the time and you didn't get any credit. Russ had the vision to make his card manipulation routine fit the lyrics of this song when it was first released...Shawn saw the video of this at a much later date then created his routine using the same music and to this day claims he came up with the idea....what now seems like an inflamed situation could have been easily avoided if Shawn had spoke to Russ about his direction after watching the demo reel...it's never been a huge deal just a matter of common courtesy in our small fraternity...from one performer to another.

This thread is not about preferences to the choice of which routine or if they are 'genuis' just the response to the recent stirring up by SF.

Thanks

Mark
Message: Posted by: Tim Ellis (Apr 1, 2011 02:21AM)
Tony: This thread is already confusing, so I appreciate you bringing it back in line.

Other people on this thread have said that if Shawn had asked Russ permission to do an act to Sting's song, Russ would have "given his blessing".

That's why I thought that was the issue now.


1 - At first (back in 2009) accusations were being made that Shawn had ripped off Russ's act and, as such, should be stripped of his FISM awards. Accusations were being made that he only won because I was a judge, and "Tim is trying to cover his #ss" after realising Shawn was a "copycat". (Please note, I have served on three FISM Juries. If I was considered in any way biased I would have only ever served on one).

2 - Then I was given the impression that Russ felt that Shawn had taken his theatrical premise.

I've read email exchanges where Russ says directly to Shawn "I know that we've simply had the same presentational idea. In fact when a few people first told me of yours, I checked out what you were doing and found it to be obviously different to the extent that a rip-off wouldn't do."

Since then Russ has clarified that he wrote that statement before he was told by a third party that Shawn had lied to him and had seen Russ's routine in 1994.

I can certainly understand that Russ feels deceived.

I agree that Russ performed his routine first - the evidence is clear and history will record that fact.

I don't know if Shawn saw Russ's act - it's one word against another, and we'll probably never know - but if he did, I'm really not exactly sure what Russ would like... I assume (and correct me if I'm wrong Russ) he'd just like Shawn to admit it? As Tony said "they do give credit, which is all Russ wants."


There is also the possibility that Shawn didn't see the act, in which case he probably won't admit it.

If he did, and won't admit it, then that would be a pretty sad way to live.


We can postulate all we want, but please don't present opinions and theories as facts.






Mumford: I agree with you. In fact I wrote a card routine to the song when it came out in 1993 and gave it to Barry Govan to perform. He never did it, but I was inspired by hearing the song and never seeing Russ yet the act I created had a very similar theatrical presentation.
Message: Posted by: russ stevens (Apr 1, 2011 04:21AM)
Hello Tim,

Thank you for the reply.

Please remember in all of this, from day one, I have never deviated from what I originally said in 2009. I've stuck by what I've said 100% throughout this whole thing. This issue has only started again because Shawn Farquhar decided to bring it all up again and make statements that you and I know are not true. He knows what my issue is with my tape (him viewing it in 1994) and yet when asked multiple times, he just give BS answers mocking me. I wonder why?

Tim, as you know, you were the guy that I originally contacted for advice as someone that was against this kind of thing. That was a mistake as you were a judge and also a friend of Shawn Farquhars, which I didn't know. Before I heard back from you, you were on your blog telling people to not listen to all this nonsense about his win, despite having my long letter laying out my case. Biased? Of course you were, your response showed that, from day one.

If anyone had heard that music and decided to do a routine to it, without seeing mine, of course no problem. That is obvious isn't it? With Shawn Farquhar that is not the case. I note that despite the 'obvious' nature of the song, there have been very few professionals that have used the track themselves, which I would guess is because Shawn Farquhar spent quite a few years claiming it as 'his'. They respected that he was supposedly there first, so didn't use the track and it's a shame he didn't show the same respect to me. You even once wrote that you'd heard the track and worked out a routine (I assume the one mentioned above for Barry Govan), but after seeing Shawn you stepped back and didn't do it. That is the right thing to do. That is more than can be said for Shawn Farquhar. I have one email from him to another magician with a 'cease and desist' threat about what he could do regarding their work for the cruise line they were on at the time. He has been very proactive in stopping people from using that music, even when they confirmed that he wasn't the inspiration (in that case I was).

Yes, it is ironic that two years later I find myself as FISM 2012 assistant convention organizer. Karma.

I don't find it ironic that I used Kozmo's footage, as it was wrong to publish that interview like he did and was extremely relevant to my reply. Kozmo and I have discussed this and he accepts it was a mistake too, because he didn't know the history. He fully understands why I did what I did, which I address in my talk at the start. Funnily enough I knew that people like you would try and use that against me (which is why I addressed it). Maybe I can read your mind, or maybe I know what your agenda is as one of his supporters. That's fine and I accept that, but please don't try and make out you're on the fence when you've been behind him all the way.

I don't want anything from Shawn Farquhar. I just want people to know the truth. The reason this thread and others were started, was because he did that interview and new points were made by him that were incorrect. In doing this, people have watched my video statement and pointed out inconsistencies in his detailed talk about him watching the 'Leon' movie for the first time, plus incorrect dates etc. That is what this and the other threads are about, the new information that he choses to put out there. That is why it's being discussed again.

Best,
Russ

PS - Just watched the link to the Cardini act that you put up on Youtube. Now there's a performer that makes us all look like beginners. Genius. I get your point with the music and how 'obvious' it is, but that's not my point as you well know. Well done though, although I do prefer his original music personally!
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Apr 1, 2011 08:38AM)
I have a question.This song that is in question, who actually owns the song? And do Russ and Shawn have legal rights to use it? Since no one has asked this question yet, I thought I would.
Message: Posted by: russ stevens (Apr 1, 2011 09:24AM)
Oh dear..... Does anyone really have to answer that?

Best,
Russ
Message: Posted by: mumford (Apr 1, 2011 10:22AM)
Here's your answer Russ/Gospel. Some professional magicians here in the USA pay an ASCAP or BMI fee annually that allows them to use any copyrighted music. My guess is that most magicians do not do this and technically speaking they are not in compliance. Any public venue, like a theater, club, casino, etc. usually pay a similar annual fee that covers anyone that performs at their venue.
Message: Posted by: markmiller (Apr 1, 2011 01:06PM)
In the UK same as the US, it is illegal to use copyrighted material - such as a song - with out permission from the copyright holder or publishing company. Think how ironic it would be if a discussion about who got the idea from who to use this song would be if, in fact, neither party had legal permission to use the song in the first place. Shawn, Russ?
Message: Posted by: SHOC (Apr 1, 2011 01:17PM)
Another Lie?

In the Reel Magic Quarterly clip Mr Far claims he first heard the song when rented the movie Leon 1n 1994. He said that he and his wife "would rent videos and usually the were subtitled...and we would turn off the subtitles, and we make up our own words for the story."

Back in 1994, they would have been renting VHS video tapes. You cannot shut off subtitles on a video tape like you can with DVD disc. The truth eludes me here.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Apr 1, 2011 02:18PM)
It's possible that he's referring to closed captioning...? Don't know of any VHS tapes that would have subtitles in CC, but it's possible to turn CC on and off via an option within the TV menu.
Message: Posted by: Donal Chayce (Apr 1, 2011 02:35PM)
[quote]
On 2011-04-01 11:22, mumford wrote:
Here's your answer Russ/Gospel. Some professional magicians here in the USA pay an ASCAP or BMI fee annually that allows them to use any copyrighted music. My guess is that most magicians do not do this and technically speaking they are not in compliance. Any public venue, like a theater, club, casino, etc. usually pay a similar annual fee that covers anyone that performs at their venue.
[/quote]

Actually, that's only partially correct. There are three music licenses at play here, only one of which is typically administered by ASCAP, BMI or SESAC in the U.S. and SOCAN in Canada. That license is a "Public Performance License" which allows an individual to perform a copyrighted composition live or play a recording of the composition in a public venue. As you correctly noted, sometimes the public venue has blanket licenses in place with ASCAP/BMI/SESAC, but not always.

The next license needed is a "Synchronization License", which permits an individual to use a copyrighted composition in synchronization with another type of public performance or entertainment; e.g., as background music in a TV show or movie, coming out of a radio in a live stage play, etc. That license is typically administered by the music publisher, although in the case of synch licenses for use in a magic routine, the publisher may request that the individual negotiate the sync license directly with the copyright holder (generally the composer and, if applicable, the lyricist). That was the case with respect to a song from an Off-Broadway musical that I licensed for use in one of my routines.

Finally, if the individual wants to use a copyrighted recording of the composition (such as the "Shape of My Heart" recording in question), then a "Master Use Licnese" is also required. Typically the applicable record label negotiates and issues this license.

Even if each venue in which Mr. Stevens and Mr. Farquhar have performed their respective routines had blanket public performance licenses in place, if either gentleman failed to also secure a sync license from the publisher/copyright holder and/or a master use license from the music company that put out the recording, then he has violated U.S. and Canadian copyright laws. If that's the case, then I concur with a previous poster that the complaints of at least one party directly involved in this conflict are rather ironic.
Message: Posted by: mumford (Apr 1, 2011 04:04PM)
Donal thanks for the detailed clarification. I also agree with the "ironic" comment. So, Russ and/or Shawn, do you have a legal right to use the music?
Message: Posted by: Andrew Zuber (Apr 1, 2011 04:30PM)
Keep in mind that, as this routine has been performed on television, no network executive in their right mind is going to air footage without making sure they have the proper licenses to do so.

Watch Masters of Illusion sometime and listen to the incredibly cheesy music being used. That's the sound of the network saving big bucks by going with a cheaper source. Many of the routines shown (for instance, Tony Clark's card manipulations) are normally accompanied by a different piece of music.
Message: Posted by: SHOC (Apr 1, 2011 05:18PM)
When this issue first came to light a couple of years back, why didn't Mr. Farquhar mention anything about having first heard the song when he watched the movie Leon? I do not recall him saying anything about Leon. Now, suddenly, two years later he raises this for the first time. I find this very curious.
Message: Posted by: Gordyboy (Apr 1, 2011 06:09PM)
SHOC - you need to re-read old posts. In the thread indicated at the beginnning of this thread, the first post by Shawn (posted Aug 6, 2009) says:

"I discovered the song on a video of the movie Leon which was sometime in the Spring of 1995. I did not see the movie in a theatre but rented the video."

So he has not now raised it "for the first time", and you are out of line with that comment and only adding to the inaccuracies in all of this.

Here's the original thread, in which Shawn has supplied a reasonable explanation for every accusation thrown at him... http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=324892&forum=36&start=0
Message: Posted by: russ stevens (Apr 1, 2011 06:51PM)
Hello Gordyboy,

Here is one question that I'd like answered:

Shawn Farquhar knows that my only issue with him is that I know he saw my promo tape in 1994 and that all that he told me subsequently was untrue. Now you can dispute this all you like, but that is my main issue and he knows it. I'll repeat that again... from the thread you can see that is my issue with him. That and that alone. He knows that as he contributed to the thread. So here's the question:

Why when asked several times during that interview as to why I did what I did after FISM, did he never address this issue once? He gave many reasons of assumption (jealousy etc.), but never addressed my only issue with him once. Therefore all of his answers were totally untrue and that is a fact. In other words he lied yet again.

I guess my question is rhetorical though because the only answer is that he is lying. Maybe you have an answer though?

Best,
Russ
Message: Posted by: SHOC (Apr 1, 2011 06:58PM)
Gordyboy - Thanks for the post. I stand corrected. However, I am hardly "out of line". If you took the time to read my post, stated that "I do not recall" Farquhar raising it at the time. In any event, in fairness to Mr. Farguhar I am glad that you corrected me.
Message: Posted by: russ stevens (Apr 1, 2011 07:11PM)
Here is my statement again in which I address the above point, so that you understand the above post. I'd love to hear the answer!

http://vimeo.com/21590468

Best,
Russ
Message: Posted by: edh (Apr 1, 2011 08:25PM)
For what's it's worth I take no sides.

But, I have to be on Russ's side.
Message: Posted by: natmagic (Apr 2, 2011 03:47PM)
This topic has been brought up at our local magic club and sparked some discussion amongst members - I thought I'd share these thoughts as everybody had good points -


This topic brings up the questions of ethics - something lacking in a lot of younger performers today - although a lot of younger performers actually steal somebody's act move for move - we've seen it all too often on youtube clips. You only have to watch them now performing Shawn's routine using the music on youtube. This is something we as older members can try and install in our younger members. With DVDs now they seem to creating clones - perhaps we can encourage them and guide them to be more 'themselves'.

Music does play an important part in somebody's act and can become much of a signature to them as the effect. Think of Lance Burton's music in his dove act. You only have to hear the first few bars and you always think of Lance Burton - that's how strong a piece of music can become to an act. The choice of music can become as much of a signature to them as the effect. In this case Russ performed his "Shape of My Heart' on cruise ships, theatres etc. and it was one of his signature effects long before it became Shawn's.

We've all be influenced by watching other performers, it can't be helped. It's how we approach this and what we do with that counts. From the evidence of Mr Donnelly, he and Shawn liked what they saw on Russ's promotional video in 1994, and Shawn created something else from it. In music we call this 'Theme and Variations'. You have the original theme (Russ sitting on a stool with a video behind him doing card effects to Shape of My Heart) and the Variation (Shawn sitting on a stool with a video behind him doing different card tricks to Shape of My Heart). We watch Russ and we see the main 'theme', we watch Shawn and we see the 'variation'.

We all felt Shawn was probably the best on the day at FISM and so the judges were right in awarding him GOLD. This isn't the issue here and the medal shouldn't be taken away from Shawn.

Our conclusion at the meeting was that Shawn did see Russ's promotional video in 1994, but we don't feel Shawn did it intentionally. He was probably young and naive, and would have never thought he would win a world champion act with what he created. He is probably in an awkard position now and feels embarrassed he has let it go this far. As far as the latest interview goes, Shawn should have simply not answered or said he wasn't willing to talk about it because it's been brought up before. Why he chose to tell a story that was filled with holes made no sense to any of us. There was no video of Leon in 1994, and there were certainly no subtitles you could turn on and off on video cassettes - not until DVD.

Prior to this we were divided but it seems the majority feel for Russ and he has every right to stand up for his artistic creativity, concepts and his 'THEME'.

Another member suggested we listen to an itrick podcast with Rudy Coby in which he talks about people taking his ideas. He said he would rather they email or write to him and he would discuss other possibilities with them. At the end of the day, this is the lesson we should all take away from this. If we see something we like and think we can use, then we should contact the creator. We should also respect the fact that if the creator says 'NO' they don't want their idea used then we shouldn't use it. However, as Mr Coby said, he often will help the person create something that is more suitable for that person.

Perhaps this has gone too far now for Shawn to acknowledge he was influenced by Russ's performance - either way it has raised some issues we will bring up for our younger members.
Message: Posted by: russ stevens (Apr 2, 2011 04:23PM)
Hello natmagic,

Thank you for your post. Not because you seem to come down on the side that favors me, but because you have actually listened to the evidence and arrived at the only conclusion possible. You explain the situation very well and hopefully make people that aren't quite sure of the ins and outs, see things as they are presented by the evidence available. As for the morals in these situations, what you say is 100% correct of course.

Thank you for such a great post that isn't affected by emotions, friendships and therefore bias, but rather on the evidence presented.

I have never expected for one moment that Shawn Farquhar would admit to what he has done, but always wanted to let people know of his actions. A well known magician sent me this today:

"Imagine having to live with the thought that all your success is built on a lie.... the conscious takes a toll..."

That's Karma for you.

Best,
Russ
Message: Posted by: Prober (Apr 2, 2011 07:54PM)
Personally I feel that both parties should be ostracised from the magic community for using this particular song. Ace of Spades by Motorhead I could understand, but a track by Sting? There's no excuse.
Message: Posted by: bubbleburst2004 (Apr 3, 2011 08:01PM)
I'm glad that the mods have kept this thread open. Well done. The Genii Forum thread was locked. It's usually the other way round : )

Interesting too .. The Genii thread mostly support Shawn. This one mostly supports Russ.
Message: Posted by: dfield (Apr 3, 2011 09:56PM)
Well done Natmagic. It is a discussion that needs to be repeated and remind magicians it is NOT OK to take somebody else's creative idea (even if you change the routine) without asking permission. Natmagic, you are to congratulated for making some well observed points and looking at the evidence that has been put forward.

I went back and looked at the Genii forum - and they have closed topics related to this - so congrats to Magic Café - you have gone up one point in my estimate for letting magicians talk about this as it needs to be talked about - even to bring up to the younger performers it is NOT OKAY to take somebody's creative idea and run with it. If you see something you like then at least have the courtesy to contact the magician who created it. I also agree with Natmagic that if a performer says NO then you need to respect that. This is why we need to talk about this and because it involves a Gold Medal winner it makes it even more relevant. It opens up discussion for our younger magicians and we can tell them it's not okay to do this. I see postings on youtube by magicians who are 12 and 13 now who are asking questions related to this topic - many feel it is OKAY to take somebody else's routine. This is DEFINITELY the wrong message that is being sent out.


I read the Genii forum recently and Tim Ellis had a posting that summed up the evidence in years things happened. Tim obviously has a lot of time on his hands to dig through all the postings:)


I quote from Tim Ellis post:-

"1995 Spring – The movie ‘The Professional’ is released on DVD and Shawn Farquhar hears ‘Shape of My Heart’ in the movie and is inspired to create his card routine."


We are now told by Shawn that he saw Leon: The Professional in 1994 on TAPE - this is from Shawn's own interview recently - so Shawn has now changed his story from 1995 to 1994 and from DVD to TAPE? - a lawyer would have had a field day with this change in story.

I like Shawn and have seen his lecture. He does a good job and offers something for everybody. It's not about him winning GOLD, he deserved it as Natmagic said, he was the best on the day according to judges.
I was very disappointed with him in that interview however, and thought it was highly unprofessional for him to keep slagging Russ and answering in the way he did. For some reason Shawn appeared very agitated, very highly strung in that interview. Watch his fingers constantly moving - he couldn't stop moving around and seemed very uncomfortable - there was something about his drawn out, and detailed answer that just didn't seem to fit. It was as though he's had a lot of time to think of the story and to go in to detail about popcorn and his wife - it just seemed very odd. Even his laughter and trying to joke about the matter didn't seem real. That's just my opinion on watching the entire interview.

Russ, I doubt we'll ever hear the truth - I live in hope that one day Shawn might say, "you know what - I do remember watching Russ's tape in 1994 and put it in the back of my mind -a year later it sparked an idea once I heard it again in Leon. I thought my routine was different enough than yours not to warrent asking permission - I was wrong and I'm sorry I let the story get out of control".
Then at Blackpool next year Shawn will buy Russ a big drink and they will each move on --- I live in hope:)
Message: Posted by: Sean Giles (Apr 4, 2011 12:55AM)
In the words of the great Harry Hill "who's routine came first...,. there's only one way to find out....... FIGHT!!" ;)

(except we all know it was Russ by now. We don't need Harry after all!)
Message: Posted by: Alan Rorrison (Apr 4, 2011 01:52AM)
Gotta love a good harry hill reference lol
Message: Posted by: Andrew Zuber (Apr 4, 2011 06:58AM)
If I were in a position where I'd done something like this and lied about it, even years and years later, I would have called Russ up and arranged to meet with him in person. If it meant getting on a plane to England, I would do it. Sit down, spill the beans, and apologize.

The thing about Russ, from what I've seen of his posts and his video, is that he seems very approachable. I think he would take this well, and accept the apology. I can't be certain, obviously, but he seems like the kind of person that would do that. Shawn's decision to bring this back up only stirred the pot. What's interesting to me is that, regardless of whether or not he lied, why bring attention to it after the dust had already settled? All it does is open old wounds and invite speculation all over again. For that, I have lost a lot of respect for him. It was completely unnecessary to discuss it in an interview again, and whether or not he's telling the truth is irrelevant. It was simply distasteful to do so.

Do I believe he was lying? Personally, I sure do. The evidence all points to it.

It's never too late to start over, however. Why not just come clean, shake hands, and move forward? He seems to be awfully concerned with his image (he's never too humble to mention all of the awards he's won over the years,) and it concerns me that he's more interested in maintaining that image and selling himself than doing the right thing. Russ isn't going to bite his head off if he comes forward and admits wrong doing.

Seems he's just WAY too proud. Pride is a good thing; one should be proud of his accomplishments, but not when it stands in the way of correcting a situation that harms others.
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Apr 5, 2011 11:43AM)
I don't care too much about who is lying and who is telling the truth, but this whole thing is silly to me. I can't really see any similiarities between the two routines other than the song, which by the way may or may not have been used with proper permission from the owner of the song. Russ brushed off the question so fast that I have to wonder about it.

I can only state my opinion because all the info I have is what has been given here on the Café. However, since the two of them made this very public I think that I can comment on it.

No facts or proof has been presented by Russ to support his claims. None, zero. All we have heard was from a witness we know nothing about to decide if the witness is a reliable source or not.

We have Shawn's story and we have Russ's story. People will decide not based on facts or admissions, but based on who they think is telling the truth.

Even when the real truth becomes evident, what difference does it make. I stand by my opinion that neither routine is similiar enough to constitute one ripping off a routine from another. The only thing similiar is the song which neither of them have legal ownership over.
Message: Posted by: markparker (Apr 5, 2011 02:33PM)
Its the puppet typing it must be...its got out of its case.
Message: Posted by: natmagic (Apr 5, 2011 02:43PM)
Gospel Dan - for the very reasons you gave above is EXACTLY why this needs to be debated. If people like you don't see this as a problem in magic then I am seriously concerned for magic and our youth. What are we telling them by saying it's OK to take something (even an idea or concept) and use it. I am curious as to what part of Canada you are from and do you belong to local magic clubs? if you are a member then what on earth are you telling younger members? Sure, it's OK to take routines, ideas etc.
We are giving the message to the youth that it's OK for a medal winner to take something without permission. If this continues then where does it stop. If I were to work on a routine with a hand stuck up a puppet and go around calling myself Gospel Pan is that OK?

From experience it seems to be the mentality of magic club magicians that it's OK to steal ideas. This I guess is why many professional magicians DON"T belong to clubs! I am fortunate that I have a group of friends who CARE ABOUT our craft and respect other people's creativity. As a person who says his name is Gospel Dan I am surprised you don't care about who is lying?

The fact you can't see the obvious similarities in style, performance and most importantly theatrical direction makes me start to question anything you actually say. I am now assuming you are not a full time professional entertainer, you have never created anything original and had it stolen before and never studied the art of theatre. I have shown this to other lay people in the industry (entertainment) and they ALL see the similarities. To a lay person the fact remains not what the magician performs but the fact the same music, style, video etc are being used. Why do you think people approached Russ saying HE STOLE SHAWN'S ACT?? Even magicians see the similarities. Both Russ AND Shawn have had magicians and lay people say to them, 'hey this guy is doing your act'. This proves that in the eyes of a lay person THEY ARE THE SAME even as magicians WE KNOW the effects are different. Gospel - if you can't see this point then we are wasting our time even trying to convince you!

Of course it's based on facts - what the heck are you basing it on?? It looks as though you are basing it on personality - I'm basing it all on evidence. The facts are coming out - Shawn has been caught making LIES on his recent interview - we all know that as it's been proven - (please read all the posts carefully again for get somebody who has the time to explain what has been said to you if you don't understand) - sadly you yourself said "I don't care too much about who is lying and who is telling the truth", this from a man who calls himself 'Gospel Dan'? What Gospel do you read or listen to that says telling lies it OK?????? Perhaps take the Gospel from your name and just call yourself DAN?!
Message: Posted by: dfield (Apr 5, 2011 03:13PM)
Another way of looking at it Gospel Dan is this - if we didn't know Russ Stevens created the original concept/theme - then at the next FISM 12 magicians turned up and all performed a card routine sitting on a stool (or standing) alone on stage, spot light on them with video screen behind them to Shape Of My Heart - surely EVERYBODY would scream bloody murder because it would be obvious they 'took/stole/borrowed the idea from Shawn Farquhar. What you are saying in your post it that it's OK to do this because they weren't doing an ambitious card routine like Shawn, so it would be OK. In this case the similarities would be more than obvious and everybody would be on Shawn's side. Even if they just used the music and concept of video etc.
Well this is what happened to Russ. The fact he hasn't won Gold Medals and doesn't lecture around the world does not mean he isn't any less of a magician than Shawn. We should respect EVERYBODY'S creativity and concepts. Too often we see magicians ideas stolen and it's time this stopped. If we don't make noise then it will only get worse. Youtube is creating so many copy cat magicians that it's even more relevant now that ever. Clubs and organizations NEED to clamp down and do something about this.
Message: Posted by: SHOC (Apr 5, 2011 03:49PM)
Gospel Dan -

You really need to inform yourself a little better as to this issue. There has been no suggestion that Russ is lying, rather the suggestion has been that Shawn is somewhat economical with the truth. You say that Russ has not put forward any evidence. That is simply not true. Russ put forward his case and told how he had learned that Reg Donnelly had provided a copy of the Russ's video to Shawn. Reg Donnelly, the "witness" you say we know nothing about, has himself come forward and offered his account.

Further, the issue is not just about "ripping off a routine." In fact, for me the main issue has become Shawn’s credibility after claiming his inspiration for using the musical piece "Shape of my Heart," followed his viewing of the movie "Leon: the Professional" in which the song was used. Shawn claims that he had never even heard about Russ Stevens or viewed his video. The version of events provided by Reg Donnelly suggests otherwise and questions Shawn's version.
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Apr 5, 2011 04:36PM)
Okay, (lol) first, let me say that I'm not sure who is lying. I have no way of actually knowing. I'm not saying don't debate the issue, heck, isn't that what I'm doing?

I see no evidence to convince me enough to take any sides in all this. I have opinions though, which I'm merely expressing.

I do not condone someone stealing another persons routine. Let me repeat that, "I do not condone someone stealing someone else's routine".

Let's say Russ is telling the truth (no reason to believe he's lying). Shawn would be guilty of stealing idea's from Russ, and then lying about it through denial and fabricated stories. I get it, and I agree.

However, as you can see, some have already deemed Shawn guilty!


I see this as a big problem, along with many other things I have observed and witnessed for myself. Yes, I see that some of the supposed role models of our industry are not very good role models after all. I see that some of them live lives contrary to the ethics and morals they expect from everyone else to live by.

I also think that judgement has been made prematurely On Shawn. Some opinions come across more as facts than opinions which is what I was trying to get at with my last post.

natmagic, why all the jabs dude? What's my faith in God have to do with particapting in an open discussion? I'll tell you the same thing I tell the few others who try to go there. Don't be so weak that you have to resort to cheap shots. Don't like my opinion, state what you hate about it, or what you disagree about it, but is it really necessary to take jabs at my faith. I thought only young kids and teenagers were guilty of that.

P.S. I also don't perform full time. I own my own business full time. You are not wanting to demeaner me for that too are you?
Message: Posted by: Andrew Zuber (Apr 5, 2011 05:07PM)
From all of the evidence that's been put forward, it only makes sense that people have deemed Shawn guilty. The account from Reg, the odd facts provided by Shawn about how he supposedly viewed a VHS copy of a film that couldn't have been out on video yet, this whole subtitle issue which also doesn't make sense since we're referring to VHS tapes here...those pieces of information are what lead folks to believe that Shawn isn't being totally honest about this whole thing.

Are we supposed to sit here and wait for him to come forward and admit wrongdoing? I'm not gonna hold my breath. I think he IS guilty, and it's not because I prefer one performer over the other. I had never seen a performance by either Russ or Shawn prior to this whole thing. I don't know either person, I've never spoken to either person. I for one merely look at what both parties have said, and what Shawn claims doesn't make sense to me. He says he watched the film on VHS in 1994. It was not released on video until 1995, so immediately there are holes in his story.

That's why I truly believe Shawn has been lying.
Message: Posted by: Jaffas (Apr 5, 2011 05:18PM)
I am not sure what Gospel Dan means when he says "...judgemment has been made prematurely." Both Russ Stevens and Shawn Farquhar have put their cases forward in these forumns and on various video posts. Personally, I have read and heard enough to make an informed opinion and it does not favor Shawn. I also have to agree with the comments posted by Natmagic, Shoc, Zuber, dfield and others regarding Shawn.

After watching Shawn's online interview, my sense was that he was very insincere and was trying to spin the viewer. I can't decide whether he has a great vanity or his style is a consequence of low self esteem. I suspect the later.
Message: Posted by: msmaster (Apr 5, 2011 05:40PM)
In going over this thread I notice that neither camp has stated that they are even licensed or have any legal right what-so-ever to use the music in question. If in fact, neither has licensed the use of Shape of My Heart, they are guilty of stealing another's work, preceisely what Stevens is accusing Farquhar of. Since Stevens is on this thread, please answer yes or no now: Russ Stevens have you licensed Shape of My Heart? Donal Chayce has outlined what is required in this matter and since Russ Stevens has commented on this thread repeatedly since Chayce's post it is curious as to why he has not adressed this question with a simple yes or no answer.

Russ, if the answer is no, you are stealing a creative artist's work without his permission. In any event I'm in agreement with others, doing a card trick to a song that names different cards doesn't seem such a genius bit of creativity. Certainly not something to blow up into a major dispute since every single magician on the face of the earth who ever heard the song might easily and instantly think of the same idea. Lies or not, I just don't see the big artistic merit or achievement worth defending in simply thinking of doing a card trick to a song that names cards.
Message: Posted by: Alan Rorrison (Apr 5, 2011 06:01PM)
Russ performed it on a tv show. The rights would have been acquired by the network. Sorry I thought this would have been a given
Message: Posted by: SHOC (Apr 5, 2011 07:42PM)
Msmaster -

The issue of performace rights has been addressed previously in this thread. Please reread it.


Reading your comments, I question whether or not you have read the thread at all as you do not appear to understand the issue.
Message: Posted by: Tim Ellis (Apr 5, 2011 08:07PM)
Dfield said "We should respect EVERYBODY'S creativity and concepts. Too often we see magicians ideas stolen and it's time this stopped. If we don't make noise then it will only get worse. Youtube is creating so many copy cat magicians that it's even more relevant now that ever. Clubs and organizations NEED to clamp down and do something about this."

Though this is slightly derailing the thread, I agree with the sentiment expressed by dfield and others in this thread,and I'd love to hear people's opinions as to how we, as a community, can deal with this sort of thing.

EXAMPLE 1 - Sittah performs an illusion presentation at FISM and Ayala claims after the fact that it was his. He approaches FISM, they investigate and Sittah makes a public apology and stops using the presentation.

EXAMPLE 2 - The Pendragons come up with the ingenious idea of tearing the cloth apart during the sub trunk to make it appear faster. Everyone starts doing it. Jonathan simply accepts that it's inevitable his idea will be ripped off and starts working on something else new to try to "stay ahead of the game"

EXAMPLE 3 - Anders Moden releases 'Healed & Sealed Soda' and Magic Makers releases 'Crushed & Cured Cola'. Both items are still being sold despite one being a blatant copy.

EXAMPLE 4 - In 1991 Tim Ellis (me) wins 'Special Prize of the Jury' at FISM for the Six Card Rap. In 2007 John Kaplan releases his 'Card Rap' (which he claims to have developed in 1996 and says he has never, ever seen mine) but I have no choice but to accept that it's "independent creation" and the effect continues to be sold (with many people buying it thinking they are getting my trick).


I've chosen those four examples because they are all slightly different, but illustrate the same case in point. A trick or presentation is created, then copied - sometimes intentionally, sometimes independently - the fourth example is similar to the Stevens/Farquhar case at hand, but the outcome was quite different.

So, and try to keeps things non-personal here, what do you guys suggest the community can/should do in these instances?
Message: Posted by: HerbLarry (Apr 5, 2011 08:12PM)
Can do nothing.
Should move on.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Apr 5, 2011 08:15PM)
[quote]
On 2011-04-05 20:42, SHOC wrote:
Msmaster -

The issue of performace rights has been addressed previously in this thread. Please reread it.


Reading your comments, I question whether or not you have read the thread at all as you do not appear to understand the issue.
[/quote]

What's your position on the matter?
Maybe offering a link to the post(s) in question for msmaster would be helpful as well.

Kindly add to the discussion.
Message: Posted by: Donal Chayce (Apr 5, 2011 09:11PM)
[quote]
On 2011-04-05 19:01, Alan Rorrison wrote:
Russ performed it on a tv show. The rights would have been acquired by the network. Sorry I thought this would have been a given
[/quote]

Well, typically the cost of the aforementioned licenses are split between the network broadcasting the program (they cover the public performance license via a blanket license with the applicable performing rights society) and the production company or studio who actually produced the program (they cover the sync and master use licenses). But even if that's the case with the TV show on which Russ performed his routine, it would only cover his performance of the routine on that show, nothing more.

I have no way of knowing if Russ has performed the routine anywhere else. Do you know? If you do, and if he has, do you know if he acquired the necessary music rights for those performances?
Message: Posted by: msmaster (Apr 5, 2011 11:22PM)
Thank you Donal. What's your answer Russ?
Message: Posted by: russ stevens (Apr 5, 2011 11:42PM)
Hello msmaster and Donal Chayce,

Of course, I am sure that Shawn Farquhar, like myself has always had PRS music rights and licenses covered by TV companies and venues wherever we have worked. I've done that routine twice on television over the years and both times were for the BBC in the UK and of course rights and licenses were paid.

Hope this helps.

Best,
Russ
Message: Posted by: Tony Curtis (Apr 5, 2011 11:56PM)
[quote]
On 2011-04-06 00:22, msmaster wrote:
Thank you Donal. What's your answer Russ?
[/quote]
This thread is about the creative idea by Russ Stevens of performing a magic routine to the Shape of My Heart song by Sting which Shawn Farquhar also claims to have come up with independently. Why it has now been turned into a music copyright discussion I am not sure, so can we now get back to the original format for which it was intended.

Tony Curtis
Message: Posted by: russ stevens (Apr 6, 2011 01:13AM)
Hello Everyone,

Tony, thanks for getting the thread back on track!

Tim's post is of course quite correct until the 4th and final point. The difference between our cases is that I actually found out that my presentation HAD been seen beforehand and therefore wasn't independently created.

Best,
Russ
Message: Posted by: Tony Curtis (Apr 6, 2011 02:53AM)
[quote]
On 2011-04-06 02:13, russ stevens wrote:
Hello Everyone,

Tony, thanks for getting the thread back on track!
[/quote]
I would like to add that Russ & Shawn both perform a cameo style magic sequence to the Shape of My Heart track. Personally I think these two words (cameo & style) are very important when looking at the facts that have been stated as to the originality of the routine.

Tony Curtis
Message: Posted by: gjmagic (Apr 6, 2011 03:51AM)
[quote]
On 2011-04-05 21:07, Tim Ellis wrote:

EXAMPLE 1 - Sittah performs an illusion presentation at FISM and Ayala claims after the fact that it was his. He approaches FISM, they investigate and Sittah makes a public apology and stops using the presentation.

[/quote]
From all the evidence assembled and presented here and in other forums, I would say EXAMPLE 1 would apply here to a certain extent, except of course the evidence leads towards prior knowledge of said routine!

Gary Jones.

[quote]
On 2011-04-05 21:07, Tim Ellis wrote:

EXAMPLE 2 - The Pendragons come up with the ingenious idea of tearing the cloth apart during the sub trunk to make it appear faster. Everyone starts doing it. Jonathan simply accepts that it's inevitable his idea will be ripped off and starts working on something else new to try to "stay ahead of the game"

EXAMPLE 3 - Anders Moden releases 'Healed & Sealed Soda' and Magic Makers releases 'Crushed & Cured Cola'. Both items are still being sold despite one being a blatant copy.

EXAMPLE 4 - In 1991 Tim Ellis (me) wins 'Special Prize of the Jury' at FISM for the Six Card Rap. In 2007 John Kaplan releases his 'Card Rap' (which he claims to have developed in 1996 and says he has never, ever seen mine) but I have no choice but to accept that it's "independent creation" and the effect continues to be sold (with many people buying it thinking they are getting my trick).

[/quote]
Just to answer the other three examples, IMO...

EXAMPLE 2, most magicians will know this that was the Pendragons idea, so the magicians who are using this presentation will lose all respect from the fraternity and will be labeled as copycats. Unfortunately lay people won't know any of this so the Pendragons won't get the full credit they're due. Luckily for us laypeople don't see that much live magic so there wouldn't be much point in changing the routine, obviously the Pendragons decided otherwise for their own reasons.

EXAMPLE 3, This is wrong and I have no idea of the legal side of things, but forums like this are a great place to inform people of this type of thing (just check out all the copies coming out of China!). All we can do is to keep people informed and avoid buying copies.

EXAMPLE 4, again I have no idea of the legal side, if it was a genuine case if independent creation then John Kaplan should at the very least acknowledge you as the original creator, as you have the proof that you were the first to create this effect/routine. Now if you have proof that he copied you then we're back to the same situation as the other examples and the Russ and Shawn situation!

As mentioned, I have no idea of the legal side of copying, but I do know that to gain respect you have to earn it! It would appear to me that egos and commercial gain come first to some magicians, while that may be OK for them in the short run, eventually they will be found out and all respect will be lost.

Gary Jones.
Message: Posted by: dfield (Apr 6, 2011 04:53PM)
For those who want to talk about Copyright music do it elsewhere. That's NOT the point here - that's a different thread and can pretty much apply to 90% of magicians who use music. You are really missing the point of this thread.

This is about Tim's point in No. 1. A person saw a routine and liked it - took the concept, theme and the idea that made it a truly theatrical moment. We all agree Russ was doing this first, there is evidence in that respect with a TV performance and it appeared on his promo Tape in the early 90s.

Tim, the problem I have with FISM looking after this issue is because of the emotional ties members of committee have with Shawn. This is a high profile case due to the nature of the Gold Medal and the amount of publicity that has come Shawn's way with this routine. In the real world a jury would have no ties to either parties involved. This would NOT be the case here. You yourself Tim have made your stand on this issue quite clear in various forums and so I would assume you would not be on the FISM committee making a decision in this issue.

I, like others are saying now, made conclusions based on the facts that were presented - also, to be honest the recent outburst or what friends are now called Shawn's Charlie Sheen moment, during that interview have really not helped his case at all - actually they made my own conclusion even stronger. I think this quote by Mark Twain is very apt for that interview - it speaks volumes about Shawn's detailed and rather over the top answer:-
"If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything. ~Mark Twain
Message: Posted by: Donal Chayce (Apr 6, 2011 05:14PM)
[quote]
On 2011-04-06 17:53, dfield wrote:
For those who want to talk about Copyright music do it elsewhere. That's NOT the point here - that's a different thread and can pretty much apply to 90% of magicians who use music. You are really missing the point of this thread.
[/quote]
While I understand your point about moving a discussion of the use (and abuse) of copyrighted music in magic performances to a separate thread, I'm afraid your point that it "can pretty much apply to 90% of magicians who use music" escapes me. If I open a separate thread, would you be willing to elaborate on or otherwise clarify that statement?
[quote]
On 2011-04-06 00:42, russ stevens wrote:
Hello msmaster and Donal Chayce,

Of course, I am sure that Shawn Farquhar, like myself has always had PRS music rights and licenses covered by TV companies and venues wherever we have worked. I've done that routine twice on television over the years and both times were for the BBC in the UK and of course rights and licenses were paid.

Hope this helps.

Best,
Russ
[/quote]
Thanks for addressing the question, Russ. A couple of follow-ups, if I may: Were those two TV appearances the only time you've performed the routine in question? If not, can you tell us if the proper music licenses were in place in connection with the other times you've performed the routine (for example, live performances)?
Message: Posted by: gjmagic (Apr 6, 2011 06:16PM)
[quote]
On 2011-04-06 17:53, dfield wrote:

"If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything. ~Mark Twain
[/quote]

And if you lie, don't do it on video or in an email. ~Common Sense

Gary Jones.
Message: Posted by: russ stevens (Apr 6, 2011 06:17PM)
Hello dfield,

You raise an interesting point regarding FISM and Shawn Farquhar's win. Throughout this whole thing, you will see from here and on other threads, that I've stuck 100% to my side of things. Nearing the end of the last thread just after FISM in China, I personally contacted Eric Eswin and told him that as far as I was concerned this wasn't a FISM matter, as the award was not important to me. What was important is that people knew the truth, which I finally feel most (unbiased) people do, especially after his interview with all of it's lies and mistakes. Again, I've asked a few times for an answer as to why on a basic level did he lie, multiple times, when asked why I did what I did? He knew my problem (the promo that he saw in 1994) and yet chose to give nonsense answers about jealousy etc (which I can promise you couldn't be further from the truth). On that basic level none of his supporters can possibly say he was being honest and truthful during that interview. Whilst I admire their loyalty, I personally can't understand why they choose to keep supporting him.

Best,
Russ
Message: Posted by: dfield (Apr 6, 2011 06:54PM)
Donal - happy to explain in a thread on copyright music as we both realize it's nothing to do with this thread but is something that should be talked about. I don't know if any magic magazines have tackled that issue but would make a good article.

Russ - I really feel for you. I have a very dear friend in New York who has been a professional magician most of his life. He's very much under the radar as far as the magic community is concerned, but he continues to be one of the busiest corporate magicians I know. It's such a shame that my friend feels he can't let his peers and others in the magic community see his work for fear of others ripping him off. I would imagine this is the reason many full time professionals don't belong to magic clubs - also the reason you see the same 'magic stars' appearing at magic conventions over and over. Most of these guys 'sell' their act and their effects so they are happy to be in the 'magic community world'. Shawn himself is now appearing at conventions, lectures and selling magic tricks so this will also probably partly answer your question why he has those still supporting him.
From your response to other threads I understand Russ you also kept a low profile due more to the fact you're obviously a working magician and too busy to attend conventions. It's because of what has happened to you that magicians like myself miss out on seeing other great acts from around the world and this is what really upsets me. This is something that affects the entire magic community.
Message: Posted by: mantel (Apr 6, 2011 07:19PM)
This recent turn of events reminds me of a time in 2007 when some Ellusionist kiddies posted their own versions of the Shape of My Heart to youtube. Eventually, Shawn found out which lead to the removal of the offending videos and this in the video link's place; "LINK REMOVED AT THE REQUEST OF THE ROUTINE CREATOR"
It also lead to the following post:

[quote]
Goudinov wrote:
I heard back from Shawn Farquhar. He has not released this routine to be performed by anyone else. No one but Shawn has the rights to this intellectual property.

We at Ellusionist do not endorse the reverse-engineering of routines or effects to be performed without the express permission of the creator if applicable through either direct contact, through the purchase of published materials, or any other manner in which the creator gives consent.

Shawn worked very long and hard on this routine and has performed it around the world. Other magicians should not use it until such time that Shawn decides to release this to the magic community for other magicians to perform professionally or otherwise.

This is the message I received from Shawn Farquhar
Hi Goudinov,

Thanks for your email. I was actualy just looking at that forum last evening and was surprised to see your company was permiting and endorsing the theft of my intelectual property. Several people have reverse engineered my rotuine...others have been "inspired" to create similar routines. I am in discussions with U-Tube to edit and remove several submissions.

Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,

Shawn Farquhar[/quote]

<a href="http://forums.ellusionist.com/showthread.php?71173-Shape-of-My-Heart">Shape-of-My-Heart</a>

Of course this led to the Ellusionist kiddies complaining of how that they didn't understand the "Shape of My Heart" routine was Shawn's intellectual property.

[quote]
Goudinov wrote:
Shawn created the routine. He created the idea of the routine. He planned out every single possible move. He spent more hours than any of you perfecting the routine. He has performed the routine all over the world.

He is KNOWN for that routine. It's HIS trademark.

Someone else sees it, and says "I like it, I'm going to do that too".
You stole his baby.

Any respectable magician will respect that. It's funny watching kids try and justify doing the wrong thing.

PMs to me about this will go unanswered. Thread closed.[/quote]

<a href="http://forums.ellusionist.com/showthread.php?74352-gt-gt-Intellectual-Property">Intellectual-Property</a>

Then in April of last year another Ellusionist kiddie posts another Shape of My Heart video and for some reason it doesn't get removed. But someone does mention that Shawn doesn't like magicians infringing on "his" intellectual property. Fast forward to July Cyril Takayama does a card manipulation version of "Shape of My Heart at the Essential Magic Conference.
Message: Posted by: Tony Curtis (Apr 6, 2011 08:55PM)
The thread is getting derailed yet again so please can we keep it going just for the Russ Stevens & Shawn Farquhar discussion.

Tony Curtis
Message: Posted by: Donal Chayce (Apr 6, 2011 09:01PM)
[quote]
On 2011-04-06 19:54, dfield wrote:
Donal - happy to explain in a thread on copyright music as we both realize it's nothing to do with this thread but is something that should be talked about. I don't know if any magic magazines have tackled that issue but would make a good article.
[/quote]

Thanks. I'll initiate such a thread tomorrow--I need to log off for tonight.
Message: Posted by: Tim Ellis (Apr 6, 2011 11:11PM)
Mantel "Fast forward to July Cyril Takayama does a card manipulation version of "Shape of My Heart at the Essential Magic Conference."

I think you'll find that Cyril performed that act as early as 1997 in the FISM competition.
Message: Posted by: russ stevens (Apr 7, 2011 05:46AM)
Ah yes, Cyril Takayama, FISM 1997.

I too watched his performance on the Essential Magic Conference DVDs with great interest.

Now here’s an interesting set of coincidences for you Tim:

In 1995 I appeared at The Blackpool Magic Convention Sunday Night Gala Show with my full illusion show, including the ‘Shape of my Heart’ routine. Also there was one of my favorite card manipulators Mahka Tendo, whose act I of course greatly admired. After the show, he came up to me and in very broken English commented about how much he loved the presentation for my card routine. This has always stuck in my mind, because coming from him it was such an amazing compliment. Two years later Cyril Takayama performs his version at FISM.

Now fast forward to last years Essential Magic Conference where Cyril did his version. His whole introduction was about his friend and mentor Mahka Tendo (who as many will know, is sadly no longer with us) and just what a great guy and teacher he was. He dedicated this routine to him. I always wondered if Cyril had created that routine and not seen mine, which we’ve already discussed is of course possible. There were, yet again, some strange similarities in framing and staging and the theatrical finish was exactly the same. In my routine I ‘blow out’ the follow spot and in his, he switches off the lamp beside his table to a snap B/O. Exactly the same finish. This is not the first time this has been done in a routine, but it isn’t the most obvious finish to that music or routine. I guess only Cyril can answer the question as to weather he had seen my version or if Mahka had told him about me, or that he’d independently created it himself.

I did email Cyril after his FISM appearance, but never received a response back. It’s an interesting story though and one day, maybe I’ll be able to ask Cyril.

Best,
Russ
Message: Posted by: cairo (Apr 7, 2011 06:00PM)
Russ, I'm curious, if Cyril denies hearing about your version from Tendo - what will your reponse be?
Message: Posted by: russ stevens (Apr 7, 2011 09:58PM)
Hello Cairo,

If that's the case and he came up with the routine independently on his own, I of course have no problem.

Best,
Russ
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Apr 8, 2011 12:32AM)
Do you believe it's coincidences, or are you alleging that Mahka Tendo told Cyril about your routine?

Also, I'm just wondering if there is any chance we can know what types of licenses you have had for the song Shape Of My Heart. The reason why I ask is to get a better understanding of the situation. Not too many people are asking a lot of questions, just making accusations. I'm just looking for more information since you have made yourselve available on the Café to discuss this. I'd ask Shawn the same question but he's no where to be found. :)
Message: Posted by: Tony Curtis (Apr 8, 2011 12:40AM)
[quote]
On 2011-04-08 01:32, Gospel Dan wrote:
I'm just wondering if there is any chance we can know what types of licenses you have had for the song Shape Of My Heart. The reason why I ask is to get a better understanding of the situation. Not too many people are asking a lot of questions, just making accusations. I'm just looking for more information since you have made yourselve available on the Café to discuss this. I'd ask Shawn the same question but he's no where to be found. :)
[/quote]
There is a new thread started to discuss music copyright if you so wish.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=411083&forum=177&2

Tony Curtis
Message: Posted by: russ stevens (Apr 8, 2011 02:40AM)
Gospel Dan,

Are you actually really reading my posts properly? I'm not alleging anything at all, just pointing out some possibilities including the one that Cyril could have created his version independently too. Only he can answer that though and as he ignored my email at the time, right now I don't know.

I've answered your music copyright question already and it applies to live performances too.

Best,
Russ
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Apr 8, 2011 08:58AM)
Tony, I am already there.(lol)

Russ, yes, I am actually reading your posts. No, you haven't really answered any question about if you have full legal rights to use the music, and not just perfomance rights. And, yes it does sound like you are insinuating that Cyril stole your routine. You say you are pointing out the possibilities, clearly one of those possibilities you believe is that Mahka Tendo may have told Cyril about your routine and then Cyril stole it from you.

I think it`s only fair to post a video of Shawn`s routine and your routine so people can see them both. I`m sorry Russ, but Shawn`s routine is beautiful, yours, not so much. I do see similiarities, but the similiarities have to do with the song calling for hearts, diamonds, etc. If Shawen is lying about his story them shame on him.

Just to be clear, I have not taken any sides on this.

Shawn is not around to be questioned, and that`s why I am asking you the questions. If you are going to make this whole thing public expect that some people might actually have the common sense enough to ask questions before making conclusions.
Message: Posted by: Tony Curtis (Apr 8, 2011 09:11AM)
[quote]
On 2011-04-08 09:58, Gospel Dan wrote:
Shawn is not around to be questioned, and that`s why I am asking you the questions. If you are going to make this whole thing public expect that some people might actually have the common sense enough to ask questions before making conclusions.
[/quote]
Shawn Farquhar made it public again with his Reel Magic interview not Russ Stevens so please get your facts correct.

Tony Curtis
Message: Posted by: Andrew Zuber (Apr 8, 2011 09:22AM)
This issue is not, and has never been, about performance rights of the music. That's a completely different topic and isn't relevant to what's been happening here. No one is accusing anyone of not having the legal rights necessary to use the music in the routine. A thousand people could have the legal right to be using this song, that's not the problem. The problem is that Shawn (in my opinion) has lied about how he was exposed to the song and what inspired his routine.

Videos of both routines have been posted in other threads. Russ could have created the ugliest routine in magic (though he didn't.) Which routine is "better" makes no difference...that's based on opinions. It's the "facts" that Shawn has provided that simply don't add up. I can't imagine what his reasoning was for bringing this issue back up again, but he and he alone threw the first punch. Russ simply responded.
Message: Posted by: dfield (Apr 8, 2011 11:45AM)
Gospel Dan - Please READ the posts before you answer them. The fact you are now comparing who you think routine is better than the other shows us you have very little knowledge about magic, performance, theatre and our craft. Actually the fact you are actually comparing the "tricks" really shows you lack understanding in our craft and it's for this reason and magic gets a bad rap.There are too many people who just see tricks as tricks and not Theatre. Russ created a great theatrical moment - it's the entire package - not just the trick. Russ created a great magical and theatrical moment with his original effect that has obviously been ripped off by others.

Gospel, you are missing the point on the entire issue with your posts about copyright - whose act you like etc and frankly wasting time on this thread because you haven't raised any issues that are relevant to this important thread. People are getting annoyed having to remind you after every post you make that this issue is about the fact Shawn Farquhar watched a tape of Russ Stevens in 1994 - took the theme, act, idea, concept etc. and started calling it his own. He did this WITHOUT asking permission from the creator.

Hopefully NOW you'll get the message and not bring up points that keep getting flamed down. Too many people are trying to get off the important topic that a GOLD MEDAL FISM WINNER took somebody else's concept, theme, creation and called it his own.

Posted: Apr 8, 2011 12:50pm
Gospel - rest assured Shawn IS around reading this - he knows what is being said on here. Don't think for a second he doesn't read this or have friends who haven't told him about it. What on earth can he say because he really said it all in his last interview (that Charlie Sheen moment). He now has to come up with an excuse why he fabricated that story in the interview and try and change dates etc.
He should be hanging his head in shame and licking his wounds.
Message: Posted by: natmagic (Apr 8, 2011 12:00PM)
Well said dfield!!

Let's keep this on topic please. It was AFTER ALL Shawn Farquhar who started this up again - he's obviously had time to come up with a story since he last went public on various chat groups and podcasts - what he showed us however in his latest interview was that his stories do not match and this can only lead us to the conclusion that he has not been telling the truth about where he got the idea for the FSIM act. People who supported him in the past seem to be now changing their opinions (Tim Ellis was one of his hot supporters when this started but he too seems to be changing his mind after the last interview came out).
Message: Posted by: cairo (Apr 8, 2011 01:09PM)
When the shoe was on the other foot a few years back with another rip-off, Russ Stevens proved to be an ethical stand-up guy. In that situation Russ produced a DVD for another well-known performer that contained a stolen routine. When that well-known performer was confronted, not unlike Shawn, he stuck to his guns and continued to lie. But Russ proved to be ethical and moral in that situation, taking the time and expense of recalling the DVD and excising the stolen material from the DVD. To me that says an awful lot about the integrity of Russ Stevens. I've used the term "well-known" to spare furher embarassment to Mel Mellers.
Message: Posted by: Tim Ellis (Apr 8, 2011 07:22PM)
Hi Natmagic, please don't speak on my behalf.

In the initial round of "discussion" http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=324892&forum=36&start=0 Shawn was being attacked by a lot of people, many of whom seem to have misunderstood what Russ was saying and claimed that Shawn's routine was identical, a blatant copy, and he had conned the Jury, FISM and all of the Magic Community by doing another person's act.

"This IS a serious issue as we have a well known magician winning the biggest award in magic with a routine that he saw somebody else do, and is really taking us ALL FOR FOOLS."

If the roles had been reversed and the accusations made at Russ, I would have been defending him in this thread. If people were accusing Russ of stealing Shawn's routine, I'd be saying the two routines (other than the music and the fact they use cards) were quite different - as is Cyril's 'Shape of My Heart' act, and the one that I created back in 1993.


I'm certainly in favour of reasoned discussion on hot topics, but the attacks on Shawn were totally outrageous. Facts were being ignored and opinions presented as facts. I was being accused of being a biased FISM judge with several people saying that Shawn only won FISM because he was friends with me. Absolute rubbish! If I was a biased judge I would have only sat on the FISM Jury once, not three times!


Shawn's initial statement back then was:

"Russ I never claimed to performing to Sting's song for as long as you. I understand from our emails that you found the song on the CD which I believe came out in 1993. I discovered the song on a video of the movie Leon which was sometime in the Spring of 1995. I did not see the movie in a theatre but rented the video. This makes your discovery earlier than mine. What I have said repeatedly is that I found the music and created my routine independently and in fact years before I had ever even heard of you."

And yes, in the Reel Magic interview, he changed the date to 1994. Did he forget or was he trying to change his story? I have no idea. But it did sound like the interviewer was leading him saying "1994 was a very important year for you..."

Yes, I do agree it would have been better for Shawn to simply say "No comment", but it has demonstrated that this whole thing was never resolved back in 2009.


As Russ said in this current thread: "Please remember in all of this, from day one, I have never deviated from what I originally said in 2009. I've stuck by what I've said 100% throughout this whole thing. This issue has only started again because Shawn Farquhar decided to bring it all up again and make statements that you and I know are not true. He knows what my issue is with my tape (him viewing it in 1994) and yet when asked multiple times, he just give BS answers mocking me. I wonder why?"


So Natmagic, in summary:

* Russ' ONLY issue with Shawn is that in 2008 or 2009 he was told be a magician that he'd split the bill with Shawn Farquhar to dub Russ Stevens' promotional tape - which meant Shawn watched it in 1994 and chose to create a routine to the same music he saw Russ use:

To quote Russ from the original thread:(“In 1994 I was in England with Francis Martineau and Russ gave us a copy of his promo tape It was in pal.The conversion to NTSC at that time was more than I wanted to pay. So at a meeting a few months later ( could have been early 1995) I asked Shawn if he wanted to pay half; and we both ended up with a viewable copy.It is possible he had forgotten.I mean 14 years has passed”. - Reg Donnelly)

Shawn's response back then: (Reg had in the past traded me video tapes from the UK and Japan. These videos were usually FISM NHK or Wayne Dobson and Paul Daniel shows. I have no recollection of any promotional videos of any acts whatsoever. I have 100's of videos that I have collected, converted or traded and will say again that it makes no sense to me why I would have agreed to pay to have a video converted when I have my own conversion machine. Perhaps Reg is mistaken? I can't be the only magician he traded videos with at the time. Perhaps he is thinking of Matt Ridley who was an avid collector of magic videos and a great dove act. Reg and I are not friends, but we aren't adversaries either. He travels in a circle of magicians who for the most part do not like me, but I can't imaging his post was made with malice intent. However the questions does arise why didn't he contact me first, instead of Russ Stevens? Why did he confide in Matt Johnson, but not speak to me at all?)


* Until he was approached by Reg, Russ had accepted, as he has with Cyril, that it was independent creation.

* It's one person's word against another until the mystery magician speaks out.

* Back in 2009 I made just two posts about this issue on my blog. In one I compared the two acts, in the second I was responding to random idiotic comments appearing in forums and on two specific blogs. Comments like:

"that d##khead Farquhar who is so full of megalomaniacal s##t wins first prize. It was a pity prize, a mercy f##k. And unfortunately that grinning, presumptuous b#####d, got it."

"The contest was obviously rigged."

"I express all my so called “anger” to the judges at FISM overall. To me they (including Ellis) should be revoked as judges in the future. A proper card mechanic that understands the category should be in the chair as judges. In this case knowledge of history,sleights, and routine credit is a must."


But most of the attacks were directed at me:

"Ellis needs to just go away. He's the role model for most everything I loathe in the world of magic. Ellis was a judge and we all know he couldn't carry good magic if it had a handle on it. Fame by his own design, not from his peers."

"I'll say it again. Ellis was not the first to do a "card rap". Take it to the bank. Ellis was just the first to decide to make money on it."

"To err is human, but I really don’t think Ellis quite understands fully he should apologize officially to the public rather than try and make excuses. The judges made a poor choice this round….so be it. Life goes on. Problem is a theatrical piece that was done earlier by another was awarded a grand prize. He fxxked up and now should be a hypocrite to everyone. Peggy Sue, with Buddy Glasses and a cups and balls routine is indeed in the same realm as what Russ is pointing at."

etc, etc - you can read my post from 2009 here: http://magicunlimited.typepad.com/magic_unlimited_with_elli/2009/08/okay-you-win.html

(Bear in mind, that MOST of those comments were being fed out, through a variety of aliases by the same 3 or 4 people, but it still hurts and - on the internet - it's a permanent record)


Shawn is a friend of mine, and I have chatted privately with Russ and hope that we can be friends too.


I'd love to see this issue resolved, but that comes down to Russ & Shawn, not us.
Message: Posted by: natmagic (Apr 8, 2011 07:51PM)
Tim - agree I'd love to see this resolved. The problem here is that RUSS has been trying to get it resolved - however Mr. Farquhar is the one that seems to want to keep it going - and until he actually acknowledges the error of his ways this will not be resolved. My theory now is that the reason Shawn keeps bringing it up is because his conscience is starting to eat at him. He can't leave it alone until he finally comes out of the closet and acknowledges the truth. Remember, we are talking about a GOLD MEDAL FISM act - I think Fred Kaps would turn over in his grave if he knew a GOLD MEDAL FISM winner was caught up in such a scandal.
Sadly the days of winning FISM are not what they used to be. Perhaps we should just let IMS give out their world awards and that will be all magicians need.
Message: Posted by: gjmagic (Apr 8, 2011 09:11PM)
[quote]

Shawn is not around to be questioned, and that`s why I am asking you the questions. If you are going to make this whole thing public expect that some people might actually have the common sense enough to ask questions before making conclusions.
[/quote]
Yep, definitely not reading the other posts!

Gary Jones.

[quote]
And yes, in the Reel Magic interview, he changed the date to 1994. Did he forget or was he trying to change his story? I have no idea. But it did sound like the interviewer was leading him saying "1994 was a very important year for you..."
[/quote]
Shawn didn't forget Tim, he changed his story. He also added "the little extras" to "confirm" his story. As I mentioned in a previous post, once it's on video or in an email it's permanent, if at a later date you decide to change your story you must remember that the previous info is there to make comparisons with. If you just stick to the facts the story never changes, if you change the facts the story changes considerably!

Gary Jones.
Message: Posted by: Tim Ellis (Apr 8, 2011 10:36PM)
To be pedantic Gary, you are correct, he changed his story for 1995 to 1994.

My point was I don't know for sure if it was intentional or accidental.

On the other hand, are you saying that you know with absolute certainty that he didn't forget or make a mistake, but he did intentionally change his story?

I'm not setting out to defend Shawn here, just to point out that people seem to be willing to present an opinion (ie: Shawn decided to change his story) as a fact. You or I cannot possibly know the real reason for the change.

I'll give Russ credit for being honest in telling his side of the story because he is able to back it up with hard facts.

That only leaves two possible options:

1 - Reg is telling the truth and he showed Shawn the video - thus Shawn is lying
2 - Reg is lying or mistook Shawn for another magician he swapped videos with - thus Shawn is telling the truth

But unless some hard facts surface everything else is just hearsay and opinion.
Message: Posted by: Tony Curtis (Apr 8, 2011 10:56PM)
Shawn Farquhar’s recent interview with Reel Magic is now what is in question as his statement of facts can’t be changed.

Tony Curtis
Message: Posted by: russ stevens (Apr 8, 2011 11:19PM)
Hello Tim,

As already stated, on a basic level Shawn Farquhar lied several times during that interview when asked why I did what I originally did. He knows what my problem with him is, the fact that he saw my promo tape and then lied to me for years after the fact. Yet he gave many other reasons in that interview. Jealousy, the difference between Silver and Gold, the tallest tree catches the wind, maybe I felt I was losing a part of me, etc. He knows these are complete and utter lies. Now if he can do that so blatantly after all that has happened, does that not tell you something about the real Shawn Farquhar? I also know that he has spoken to Reg Donnelly and still Reg refuses to back down about the situation. Remember, Reg and I have always stuck to what we've originally said throughout this whole affair. Sadly the same can't be said about Shawn Farquhar.

Best,
Russ

Posted: Apr 9, 2011 12:35am
By the way. Here's another slight inconsistency in his story about that video tape. During his recent Reel Magic Interview, Shawn Farquhar makes much about how broke he was at the time and yet his main defense regarding Reg Donelly and he splitting the cost of converting my PAL promo tape was that he had a standards conversion machine. He points out that he kept the VHS video to practice with (running up a bill that he even remembers the actual amount for!) as he couldn't even afford a cassette player (the CD was released in 1993). Yet he did have a standards conversion machine, which way back then would have been expensive to say the least. Strange that isn't it?
Message: Posted by: natmagic (Apr 9, 2011 12:47AM)
How to tell if somebody is telling lies.

Study shows that there’s no foolproof way to tell if someone is lying, but there are some behaviors to watch for:

Avoiding eye contact. Is the person looking down or away?
Change in voice tone. Is the person speaking in a higher or lower pitch than usual or speaking faster?
Body language. Is the person turning away, covering the mouth or face, or fidgeting?
Contradicting what was said earlier. Is the person saying something when he or she said something different earlier?

ALL of the above applies to Shawn Farquhar in that recent interview in Reel Magic. His voice changed, his eyes were all over the place, his body language certainly was erratic (hands tapping etc) and obviously his story was different than what he has told before.

For all we know, Shawn could suffer from Mythomania - if this is the case (and I don't know if it is) it might explain his recent interview.

Again, I can only feel for Russ and yes he has every right to continue to speak out.
Message: Posted by: russ stevens (Apr 9, 2011 01:30AM)
One more thing. Tim mentions in his last post:

'I'll give Russ credit for being honest in telling his side of the story because he is able to back it up with hard facts'.

And finishes by saying:

'But unless some hard facts surface everything else is just hearsay and opinion'.

A contradiction in terms isn't it?

Best,
Russ
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Apr 9, 2011 02:36AM)
Excuse me, Russ, and Shawn.

I have a hard time with this issue. I have always used original music created for me in my show. I don't understand how choosing a song made by someone else to illustrate or backup a magic piece gives you any exclusive rights to the use of the song even if you were the first.

Gee, the first person to use the "Saber Dance" with the sub trunk sure has some complaints...

Anyone can use any music that they buy the rights to anyway that they want according to the license. If a movie uses a Dylan song as background, and does not pay for "exclusive rights" for a movie score, does that mean no other movie can buy the rights to that song?

I think that it is just silly to fight over the use of material that wasn't created by either artist.

Ask Sting which performer he thinks should have the rights to use his song. His agent will reply "as many as want to pay him."

Who are either of you guys to limit how much money Sting can make off HIS "original creation?"

Unless someone has bought "exclusive" rights to the song, then they should stay out of the way of the creator making money from his own work.

No performer has the right to limit what Sting can make off licensing his OWN song.

Exclusive rights would be hugely expensive.

If neither think that is worth paying, then both of you should shut up, regardless of your respective cases and stories.

Neither should try to inhibit Sting from selling his song to another magician.

This seems very obvious to me.

The argument between you two itself is an inteference with Sting's rights of commerce.

It casts a pall of ethical indecision on any other performers who might want to license Sting's work.

Neither of you has recompensed Sting enough to hold an exclusive license to his song.

To try to keep Sting from selling those rights to another performer is just wrong.

I am not even sure that it isn't actionable. I would love to hear a lawyer's point of view on that.

If you want to "own" someone else's work, you must pay for it.

Just being the first to pay to use it doesn't give you any ownership.
Message: Posted by: Tim Ellis (Apr 9, 2011 02:56AM)
[quote]
On 2011-04-09 02:30, russ stevens wrote:
One more thing. Tim mentions in his last post:

'I'll give Russ credit for being honest in telling his side of the story because he is able to back it up with hard facts'.

And finishes by saying:

'But unless some hard facts surface everything else is just hearsay and opinion'.


A contradiction in terms isn't it?

Best,
Russ
[/quote]


No offense Russ, but that's not a contradiction at all.

Your side of the story - all the info you've told regarding your SHAPE OF MY HEART is backed up by facts.

The Shawn vs Reg stories - neither are factual, just opinions and hearsay. Just like the last couple of posts in this thread. When people say "Shawn looks like he's lying" that is an opinion, not a fact.

For example. If someone came up to you tomorrow and told you they KNOW that Makha Tendo told Cyril all about your act and he copied it, you could decide to believe them, or not, but I'd hope your decision would be based on facts and not just what they tell you. They may have an axe to grind with Cyril and want to use you to bring his reputation down. Until some solid evidence is produced, there would be really no way you could tell if Cyril copied your idea of performing to that song or not.
Message: Posted by: russ stevens (Apr 9, 2011 03:12AM)
Dear Whit Hayden,

Wow! Can you please at least take the time out to actually read what this thread is about. This isn't about Shawn Farquhar or myself claiming the rights to a piece of music, but about someone seeing my routine, taking the idea and then lying about it for several years. It's not about the music, but the lie. Next time you want to contribute, please take the trouble to find out what the issue being discussed is actually about and you'll save yourself a lot of time and effort. Several people have tried to derail this thread already using this ruse.

Ok Tim. Here we go. Shawn is lying throughout that interview when asked why I did what I did . That is a fact and you know it. You're yet to address even that situation, although I've asked several times. This is not an opinion, but a fact. I'd be interested in your thoughts on this situation alone. You can't of course answer for Shawn Farquhar, but you can at least confirm that his answers to that question alone were lies. Not his opinions, but lies. Please confirm.

Best,
Russ
Message: Posted by: gjmagic (Apr 9, 2011 03:56AM)
[quote]

The Shawn vs Reg stories - neither are factual, just opinions and hearsay. Just like the last couple of posts in this thread. When people say "Shawn looks like he's lying" that is an opinion, not a fact.
[quote]

Sorry Tim but having a witness to the fact is not 'just opinions and hearsay,' it's a fact! To say that Reg Donnelly's account of what happened back then is hearsay is to say that Reg Donnelly is lying, please state how you know that Reg Donnelly is lying.
As for the 'Shawn looks like he's lying" assumption, yes that is an opinion, not a fact' but from a psychological standpoint all the signs of lying are there, but on its own this could be just hearsay and opinion, it's only when you put the whole picture together do you have the facts!

[quote]

For example. If someone came up to you tomorrow and told you they KNOW that Makha Tendo told Cyril all about your act and he copied it, you could decide to believe them, or not, but I'd hope your decision would be based on facts and not just what they tell you. They may have an axe to grind with Cyril and want to use you to bring his reputation down. Until some solid evidence is produced, there would be really no way you could tell if Cyril copied your idea of performing to that song or not.
[/quote]

This too is flawed, the difference between the two is, Reg Donnelly is a witness to the fact, period. The only real way to know if Cyril copied Russ Stevens is if Cyril were to say so, as the most reliable witness (Makha Tendo) is sadly no longer with us!

Gary Jones.
Message: Posted by: Tim Ellis (Apr 9, 2011 04:05AM)
GJ: You ask how I know Reg is lying. I don't. Just as you don't know if Shawn is lying. That's exactly my point.

The Cyril story because it involves a third party coming forward and saying they were there. Maybe they were with Makha when he spoke with Cyril about the act (for example). Then it would be his word against Cyril's word (for example).

As I said in my earlier post, there are really only two possibilities: Reg is lying or Shawn is lying. It's word against word.

I'm not taking either side I'm simply trying to apply that old adage that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
Message: Posted by: gjmagic (Apr 9, 2011 04:14AM)
It's not quite like that Tim, the dispute is between Shawn and Russ, both have stated their stories, Russ has a witness to back his story, there lies the difference.

The other major difference is, Russ has stuck to his story throughout, Shawn has changed his.

I would really like Russ and Shawn to get this sorted, this can only be achieved when the truth is known and the facts are gathered, for me the facts are very clear.

Gary Jones.
Message: Posted by: Tim Ellis (Apr 9, 2011 04:35AM)
Not sure which parts of the interview you're talking about.

In the first sequence, if that's what you're referring to, it looks like we're coming in on an ongoing conversation:

"...prior to FISM there was none of this sort of thing going on until FISM happened."

Shawn was asked:

"What could be their motivation? Is it jealousy?"

I haven't seen the full interview, but it seems clear that they are talking about the slew of attacks Shawn received on the internet, most of which came from two web blogs and were extremely vicious. Shawn specifically speaks about one of the blogs in his answer to the interviewer.

So in that section, I don't believe they are talking about you at all.

In the last section of the interview you've posted, the interviewer asks directly:

"Any idea what the motivation may have been?"

Shawn says:

"I totally understand where's he's coming from...but maybe I think he feels that he's losing part of who he was because of the influence of the Grand Prix. When it was a silver, maybe it wasn't as bad of an effect to him and so he just kind of went... whatever. And when it became the Grand Prix he went Oh no and did a knee jerk reaction that became this huge thing."

Is this the answer that you feel is a lie, or are there others I have missed? Because honestly, with the use of the words "I think he feels..." it does look like he's expressing an opinion to me.

I think, and I have to guess at what you're saying is a lie, that you feel his statement that it was alright when it was the silver but not when it was the gold - that was the lie... right?

So should he have said "Because in March 2009 Reg Donnelly told him that I had seen his tape back in 1994 and was influenced by it."

From the outset Shawn has said "I had never seen Russ perform his routine until years after I had established a reputation with mine and was confronted by a number of British magicians who accused me of stealing Russ's routine following my performance at FFFF in New York. They in fact said the routine was identical and that I was a thief."

So all I can assume is that Shawn simply cannot accept the Reg Donnelly story as true.

Shawn has said: "Perhaps Reg is mistaken? I can't be the only magician he traded videos with at the time. Perhaps he is thinking of Matt Ridley who was an avid collector of magic videos and a great dove act. Reg and I are not friends, but we aren't adversaries either. He travels in a circle of magicians who for the most part do not like me, but I can't imaging his post was made with malice intent."

So, in summary, perhaps you are right. Maybe Shawn was lying when he gave his opinion as to why you did what you did.

Does it prove anything? I don't think so. Does it establish Shawn as a liar? You say he was "lying throughout the interview when asked why I did what I did" but I don't think that's true either. Other than the 1994 instead of 1995... I can't see any other instance of this.

I do understand the point of this whole thing is to try to establish who is lying and who is telling the truth though.

If we could hear from Reg Donnelly, or maybe even Matt Ridley, that would be more helpful.

Again Russ, please don't take any offense from what I'm writing here. You asked what I thought and I'm trying to wade through the muddy waters to explain it as best I can.

[quote]
On 2011-04-09 05:14, gjmagic wrote:
It's not quite like that Tim, the dispute is between Shawn and Russ, both have stated their stories, Russ has a witness to back his story, there lies the difference.

The other major difference is, Russ has stuck to his story throughout, Shawn has changed his.

I would really like Russ and Shawn to get this sorted, this can only be achieved when the truth is known and the facts are gathered, for me the facts are very clear.

Gary Jones.
[/quote]
Other than the date (1994/1995) what exactly has he changed?

(Not challenging you here Gary, I genuinely don't know)
Message: Posted by: gjmagic (Apr 9, 2011 04:42AM)
I also think Tim that all those despicable emails you received (you mentioned in an earlier post) were totally out of order, I also believe Shawn too had to put up with this. Whatever the outcome is in this situation no-one deserves that type of abuse. So far this debate has been conducted in a very civilised and professional manner,

Gary Jones.

Posted: Apr 9, 2011 5:53am
Quote:
On 2011-04-09 05:37, Tim Ellis wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-04-09 05:14, gjmagic wrote:
It's not quite like that Tim, the dispute is between Shawn and Russ, both have stated their stories, Russ has a witness to back his story, there lies the difference.

The other major difference is, Russ has stuck to his story throughout, Shawn has changed his.

I would really like Russ and Shawn to get this sorted, this can only be achieved when the truth is known and the facts are gathered, for me the facts are very clear.

Gary Jones.

Other than the date (1994/1995) what exactly has he changed?

(Not challenging you here Gary, I genuinely don't know)

It's fine Tim, I don't mind you asking. Shawn's story about the dates are very relevant, and the bit about the subtitles. I just find it very strange that Shawn remembered everything very clearly about watching the film Leon, the popcorn, the interval, turning off the subtitles (?), so why would he make a mistake about the date!

You have to be consistent and have a great memory if you tell a lie, when you tell the truth you don't need to fabricate any of the details, it's only when you lie do the patterns change.

Gary Jones.
Message: Posted by: Tim Ellis (Apr 9, 2011 05:07AM)
So it's just the date?
Message: Posted by: gjmagic (Apr 9, 2011 05:23AM)
[quote]
On 2011-04-09 06:07, Tim Ellis wrote:
So it's just the date?
[/quote]

No not just the date Tim, also the subtitles and the Reg Donnelly witness account. I could also mention all the psychological aspects, but we're just sticking to the facts. What you're trying to say Tim is that Shawn was led by the interviewer to say 1994? This I find odd, especially when Shawn was so precise with all the other details!

Gary Jones.
Message: Posted by: Tim Ellis (Apr 9, 2011 06:06AM)
No, I'm not trying to say anything.

You said "The other major difference is, Russ has stuck to his story throughout, Shawn has changed his."

I just asked you "Other than the date (1994/1995) what exactly has he changed?"

You mention the subtitles, I have heard that story previously so it's not a change that I'm aware of.

(I always assumed he was referring to 'Closed Captioning' which was on the VHS of Leon in 1995 http://www.amazon.com/Professional-VHS-Jean-Reno/dp/6303421563/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1302344518&sr=1-1 and, since 1990, all televisions have been required to have closed captioning display capability.)

I certainly agree that the date was wrong in the Reel Magic interview, but that could have been an honest mistake just as easily as it could have been a deliberate attempt to rewrite history. (Though why lie, when it would be so easy to disprove?)

The Reg Donnelly account hasn't caused Shawn to change his story either.

So other than the date, I honestly don't know what other changes you are saying that Shawn has made to his story.
Message: Posted by: gjmagic (Apr 9, 2011 06:17AM)
I'm sorry Tim but this is going around in circles, Shawn changed the date, period, Shawn said subtitles, period, Reg Donnelly gave a witness statement, period.

The above are the facts, Reg came on here and made his statement, Shawn gave his account/s on here and in an interview on Reel Magic, fact.

I'm dealing with the facts, you're dealing with assumptions!

Gary Jones.
Message: Posted by: Tim Ellis (Apr 9, 2011 07:11AM)
Okay, so in answer to my question, Shawn changed the date from '1995' to '1994' and said 'subtitles' instead of 'closed captions'.

Can you post a link to Reg's statement, I can't find it with this new Magic Café Search.

"I'm dealing with the facts, you're dealing with assumptions!

Gary Jones."


You may be right. I am assuming that Shawn is innocent until proven guilty.

You're well within your rights to assume otherwise, but I still feel the current state of play is Shawn's word against Reg's word.
Message: Posted by: gjmagic (Apr 9, 2011 07:31AM)
Fair enough Tim.

Regards,

Gary Jones.
Message: Posted by: gjmagic (Apr 9, 2011 07:35AM)
Fair enough Tim.

Regards,

Gary Jones.
Message: Posted by: Tony Curtis (Apr 9, 2011 09:09AM)
[quote]
On 2011-04-09 08:11, Tim Ellis wrote:
Okay, so in answer to my question, Shawn changed the date from '1995' to '1994' and said 'subtitles' instead of 'closed captions'.
[/quote]
It’s quite amazing that we are expected to believe all this.

Tony Curtis
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Apr 9, 2011 11:05AM)
What difference does any of this make? You are both squabling over nothing. Unless you purchased exclusive rights to Sting's music, then anyone can use it, anyway they want, if they pay Sting.

If an ice skater used the song first, would they have a right to object to a magician using it?

Neither of you has any more right to the use of the song in a magic trick, regardless of who came up with the idea first. If you want to have exclusive use to the music, buy it.

To suggest that someone else is doing something wrong and unethical by buying someone else's product looks like dangerous legal waters to me, both in interference with commerce and libel. The mere act of claiming some kind of proprietary rights over someone elses' work may be actionable. This is not just a "who says" thing about lying. The sort of claims being made in the process are very off-base.

I read the whole thread, Russ. You don't have any claim to Sting's music. Anyone in magic can use it. Doesn't matter who used it first. The whole concept of using another artist's work and then claiming possession is wrong. You buy Sting's music. You must buy exclusive rights as well. It seems to me that anyone who wants to try to make a better music video out of it, or magic trick out of it, if they pay for the use have the right to try. You should not have any complaint no matter how many other magicians decide to use that piece.
Message: Posted by: russ stevens (Apr 9, 2011 11:40AM)
Hello Whit,

For once I am at a loss for words. I think you are reading a different thread.

Best,
Russ
Message: Posted by: natmagic (Apr 9, 2011 12:12PM)
Whit - you are missing the entire point - this has NOTHING to do with the music!! Please people - get over this point. It's stealing somebody else's piece of theatre!!!! Whit - would it be OK for me to dress up like a medicine man - do your medicine act but change a few words and call myself Pop. This is what has happened. It's got NOTHING to do with the music - that's just a small part of the entire piece of theatre that Russ created. Russ - I too am at a loss for words. I guess what Whit is saying, and I'm in shock, is that it's OK for people to steal other concepts - I'm horrified this has come from somebody who I had a lot of respect and admiration for. Whit - you spent so long creating your wonderful and brilliant act - that's exactly what Russ did. He spent a long time developing an act based around a piece of music, but he themed it with lighting, staging, a video wall - then after watching it on video Shawn decided he would do the same - he changed the trick but the overall 'piece of theatre' and Russ's creative concept he stole!! THAT"S what this is about. Don't get caught up in just the music - if you do then you too are missing the point. What message are we sending to our younger magicians who can watch an act and 'take' the concept. Sad day indeed for magic and if this is the message you are sending out then magic is indeed in a sorry state.

Posted: Apr 9, 2011 1:42pm
Whit - you use Saber Dance as an example. Let's use Lance Burtons act as another with his music from Vivaldi. Now, the music in his act is only PART of the entire package. Lance has created a moment with the street lamp, spot light, the mood, style etc. All those elements make for a great piece of theatre. If I were to take all those elements and perhaps do a card routine instead of doves, but have the same music, street lamp, look and feel everybody would instantly know that my inspiration was from Lance Burton. If I were to do this I would email Lance or try to contact him to get his permission. If he said YES then I would proceed - if he said NO then I would work on something else.

Russ created a very special moment and the music was PART of it - he combined it with video, a solo performer on stage using a particular piece of music, a stool etc. Shawn saw this on a promotional video tape of Russ doing it and decided to take it without asking. This is simply WRONG!!! Personally I feel Shawn should STOP doing this routine until he acknowledges Russ and that he did indeed get the inspiration after watching Russ doing HIS ATHEM routine. After all, we all acknowledge RUSS was indeed the FIRST to do it and others are now copying. Let's at least ALL acknowledge Russ created a very special piece of theatre that was HIS signature routine that somebody else stole.

I wonder what people would say if I started doing a Floating Violin act then entered FISM and won GOLD.
Message: Posted by: dfield (Apr 9, 2011 12:57PM)
I too think Whit is reading a completely different thread. This is NOT about music, and that has been brought up time and time again on this thread and everybody stopped talking about it, so not sure why, after reading this thread you would bring it up again?? I can only assume Whit you have not read this entire thread.
Please don't get off the topic. It seems some people want to try and move this away from the actual main point - let's focus on the real issue at hand!!

Tim - just curious - are you going to FISM in 2012?
Message: Posted by: cairo (Apr 9, 2011 01:15PM)
Like Whit I have read this entire thread. The real issue at hand is that Russ feels that Shawn saw his idea of doing a card trick to Shape of My Heart, and without asking his permission also did a card trick to Shape of My Heart. Shawn claims he never saw Russ' routine and that angers Russ. That's it.

Nat seems to think it has nothing to do with the music or Shawn saying he didn't see Russ' idea, but that the issue is the concept of doing a card trick to Shape of My Heart, solo, with a video, et cetera and that that idea is the exclusive property of Russ. If that's the case Nat, why did Russ say he would have no problem with Cyril - who does all those things to Shape of my Heart, if he came up with it independently?

So, the real issue here is that Russ is upset because he feels Shawn lied about seeing his routine before creating his own, not the concept as Nat thinks.

I like everyone involved here, but I think Whit is the voice of reason.
Message: Posted by: Jaffas (Apr 9, 2011 01:45PM)
I have so much respect for Whit, I really love his work. Now, he comes out with his post in this thread. Now I am disappointed him. He really does not seem to get the points that are being expressed here. This has nothing to do with Russ' claim to Sting's music. Not once has Russ put forward that proposition. This is about ethics or the lack thereof. Both dfield and natmagic have summed up the point nicely.
Message: Posted by: Ken Northridge (Apr 9, 2011 02:38PM)
Uhh…well…honestly I think Whit is spot on. And I expressed it like this in 2009:

[i]Here is my question: Which one of these gentlemen asked for Sting’s permission to use his song? Why didn’t Shawn and Russ write their own song? Absurd questions to illustrate absurdity.

Beautiful music like this inspires creativity. I know there are others using this same piece of music for their original card routine. I know because I’ve seen them using it. So what! The music is just part of the framework, the backdrop, the setting if you will. How you tie everything together to evoke an emotional response is what makes a good performance.[/i]

And I [b]really, really[/b] like what Lee Hathaway wrote on the old thread also, especially the last paragraph:

[i]How ridiculous, people arguing over something which doesn't belong to any of them. Shape of My Heart belongs to Sting and Dominic Miller who co-wrote it. Anyone else just fitted moves and flourishes around it. It doesn't take a big leap of the imagination to think that a well versed magician may hear some music about playing cards and think "hold on, I use music, I use playing cards"...Eureka!

Nobody other than Sting is entitled to claim ownership. If Shawn had ripped the routine performed to it, that's a different matter.

Interesting that a song which seeks to portray the utter pointlessness of war, disagreement, fighting and desire for wealth can in turn be the cause of such. Maybe if magicians spent more time listening to what Sting was trying to say, and less time throwing moves around HIS song to then claim as their own we wouldn't be in this situation.[/i]

There, that’s at least two people who agree with Whit. Its not that we are not reading the thread, we just see things differently. The way I see it, Shawn didn’t need to ask Russ’s permission to use the song, its not his song. It was a totally different routine that happened to use the same music.
Message: Posted by: J.Warrens (Apr 9, 2011 02:48PM)
I didn't really want to come on here and say anything about this subject since I am a Vancouver magician where Shawn is from.

I personally know Reg Donnelly, and I know him to be a very kind and warm person. He has absolutely no reason to lie about any of this, and in our town, extending himself the way he has is more than cause to get one's head cut off, and lose a lot of friends.

He has nothing to gain by doing so. I'm not making a case in either direction, but I see that some have chosen to take Reg's account as "hearsay". I know that Reg isn't lying. This is a difficult situation for everybody in our town.

@ Ken Northridge: I think you're missing the point too.


Cheers,

J.Warrens
Message: Posted by: Ken Northridge (Apr 9, 2011 03:00PM)
I have a dove act. The mood and music are completely different than Lance Burton’s. But still, its a stage act, in a tuxedo, producing doves. Should I have asked Lance Burton if I could use doves in my act? Did I steal someone’s idea?
Message: Posted by: Andrew Zuber (Apr 9, 2011 03:22PM)
Wow! It amazes me how far off topic some of these posts are. Am I missing something? I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone. This is about Russ being upset that Shawn lied to him about where he got the inspiration for the routine. This has nothing whatsoever to do with legal issues, because no one is debating that! Yes, Shawn has the legal right to use the song. Yes, Russ has the legal right to use the song. Yes, anyone else who obtains performance rights may also use the song. Russ never said he "owned" the song. It doesn't matter if every magician on the planet uses the song in their act - that's not what the discussion is about. Start a different thread if you want to discuss mythical debates that aren't relevant to this topic.

THIS thread is about Russ believing that Shawn lied to him - and that's ALL it's about.
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Apr 9, 2011 05:11PM)
[quote]
On 2011-04-09 16:22, Andrew Zuber wrote:
Wow! It amazes me how far off topic some of these posts are. Am I missing something? I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone. This is about Russ being upset that Shawn lied to him about where he got the inspiration for the routine. This has nothing whatsoever to do with legal issues, because no one is debating that! Yes, Shawn has the legal right to use the song. Yes, Russ has the legal right to use the song. Yes, anyone else who obtains performance rights may also use the song. Russ never said he "owned" the song. It doesn't matter if every magician on the planet uses the song in their act - that's not what the discussion is about. Start a different thread if you want to discuss mythical debates that aren't relevant to this topic.

THIS thread is about Russ believing that Shawn lied to him - and that's ALL it's about.
[/quote]
Then this is a stupid playground fight and these gentlemen should grow up.

People get lied to all the time.

Posted: Apr 9, 2011 6:51pm
I don't know what the law is in the UK or Canada, but in California, calling someone a thief, a criminal, or unethical in business is "libel per se," that is it is a broadcast or written publication of a false statement about another which accuses him/her of a crime, immoral acts, inability to perform his/her profession, having a loathsome disease (like syphilis), or dishonesty in business. Such claims are considered so obviously harmful that malice need not be proved to obtain a judgment for "general damages," and not just specific losses. These are generally easy suits to win.

This means that under the laws of my state, calling someone a "thief" or a "liar" in regards to business is most likely libel per se. I have heard more than one person make those kinds of statements on this thread. That is not very circumspect.

I suggest that people be careful about the sort of accusations that make unless they themselves have the ability to prove them in a court of law.

It is one thing to say someone isn't very original, or didn't do his own work, or many kinds of things. But someone has to own something for it to be stolen from them. If you cannot prove that someone had the right to something, you will not be able to prove someone stole it.

I truly advise people who do not understand these sorts of issues, to tread carefully in your statements. That is just being smart and professional. Use words like "in my opinion," or "it seems to me." Directing an attack such as I have seen on this thread at an individual is more serious and more risky than some seem to realize.
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Apr 9, 2011 06:00PM)
The laws are like that here to Whit. A couple of posters here think that a witness acoount is considered fact. I'm not saying the witness is lying, but we don't really actually know if he is telling the truth. I heard of one character reference given about the witness, but the reference comes from someone I do not know personally enough to establish if he is a credable reference for another person we are to apparently believe because he is a witness, is automatically telling the truth.

I wish things in life was really like that. I can easily prove without a doubt that God exists then, because I am a witness to Him being real. It would be considered as a fact just simply because I am a witness. :)

I also think it has to do with Russ wanting to give his side of the story, and vindicate himself from the accusations Shawn made in his interview on ReelMagic Magazine, (If you haven't already got your copy of the hottest and most controversal issue to date, buy it today! In fact, why not get a subsciption?)

I think Russ doing that here on the Café (public forum) was a bad idea. I still haven't taken sides, and to be real honest I see no benefit to any party as to if I do choose a side or not. I don't know any facts other than what people are saying.

I'm with Whit, Ken, and the others who share the opposite view. Take away the music and what are the similarities between the two routines that one can make claim to. Russ performs card flourishes, Shawn performs an ambitious type routine. The words of the song are what both performers perform to. Showing a diamond when Sting sings the word diamond, etc.

I understand why Russ would be upset by believeing that Shawn got the idea from him, but truth be known, magicians constantly get idea's from each other. I know of many magicians who like watching other magicians promo tapes, etc. Magicians don't even buy secrets anymore, we buy routines, and idea's. We take those routines and idea's and make them our own by styling it after our own personality, or character. I

Yes, theatrically one might be able to say that the routines our the same. However, theatrically I've seen many magicians rip each other off then. How many people perform the Linking Rings like Vernon did? How many dove magicians theatrically look similiar to Lance Burton's shows? How many young vibrant teenagers are out their trying to emulate Criss Angel?

I do not support blatant copycats, or one person stealing another persons routine. I do not condone lying either. If Shawn is guilty of anything, it lying about not getting the idea from watching Russ's promo tape. If Shawn lied then that is his demon to wrestle with.

Russ should of just made a statement to one of the magic media outlets. I'm sure Koz would of had Russ be interviewed for ReelMagic magazine to give his side of the story. I've never personally met Koz, but I know for a fact that he is a great guy!.
Message: Posted by: Tim Ellis (Apr 9, 2011 06:17PM)
Natmagic: "that's exactly what Russ did. He spent a long time developing an act based around a piece of music, but he themed it with lighting, staging, a video wall"

Russ uses a video wall? This is new information.

Posted: Apr 9, 2011 7:31pm
J Warren: "I personally know Reg Donnelly, and I know him to be a very kind and warm person. He has absolutely no reason to lie about any of this, and in our town, extending himself the way he has is more than cause to get one's head cut off, and lose a lot of friends.

He has nothing to gain by doing so. I'm not making a case in either direction, but I see that some have chosen to take Reg's account as "hearsay". I know that Reg isn't lying. This is a difficult situation for everybody in our town."

Hi J, I've never met Reg and I'm sure he's a nice chap, but you are right when you say "extending himself the way he has is more than cause to get one's head cut off."

He's chosen to go to Russ and tell him that Shawn copied Russ's idea. Why he chose to do that, who knows, it's definitely going to get him off Shawn's Christmas card list whether it's true or not.

Shawn denies what Reg says and suggests that he may have him confused with another magician.

So, it would appear that either Shawn is lying or Reg may be mistaken, I don't see how both can be true.

My point is that it's one man's word against another.

One side example - years ago when I had applied to join a local magic club, my application was rejected. Why? Because two members stated that I couldn't join because they had restraining orders against me. A ridiculous and outrageous claim with no basis in truth. But those members were accepted at their word, nobody even asked them to present proof, and the allegations spread like wildfire throughout the magic community with people asking what terrible things I must have done to have earned a restraining order.

Back to the case at hand:

Reg may be telling the complete truth.
Shawn may be telling the complete truth.

Without evidence we don't know and, as Whit pointed out, to say otherwise could easily result in a libel case.
Message: Posted by: markparker (Apr 9, 2011 07:18PM)
Reading over the latest posts I think it is time to put this thread to rest now. It keeps getting off track time and time again and going round in circles. The story is out and everyone can make up their own mind.

This whole music issue seems to excite some into posting irrelevant ramblings. When and wherever Russ has performed his routine, the Venue or Tv company would have paid the PRS fees so lets clear that one up, as legally that is all fine.

Russ is not claiming card manipulation to music is his idea that would be ridiculous. Russ created the shape of my heart routine using card manipulation to the lyrics of the song way before Shawn created his routine for close up.
It always has been a simple case of Shawn not having the decency to credit or contact him about his 'version' after watching Russ on tape back in the day...very simple and could have been sorted out years ago without all of this going on now. I showed this out of interest to someone that knows nothing about Russ, Shawn or Magic. Her response after watching the video of the interview was "that guy is not telling the truth there is something very weird and uncomfortable about him" I would suggest you all do the same and see the response you get.

Understand this thread came about because of Shawn and the very questionable statements on the reel magic interview.....Every man has the right to stand up for himself so Russ did the only thing he could by making his calm composed video in response. Magicians tend to follow the more 'known' people and hang on their every word so I fully understand why Russ responded.

This may appear petty to some but it has come to a head recently and people should know the full story and make up their own minds....it will never get resolved on the Café...that is a hard fact.

To those that feel the need to continue this thread please just go back to the topic.

Thanks

Mark
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Apr 9, 2011 07:56PM)
[quote]
On 2011-03-30 00:39, Tony Curtis wrote:
Could someone explain why the Shawn Farquhar & Russ Stevens thread has already been locked? I would have thought that taking into account the ethics issues raised all parties concerned would have been allowed to freely state their case.

Tony Curtis
[/quote]
This, I take it would be the topic, considering it was the first post.

Where do you believe the thread first got off topic? :)

[quote]
On 2011-03-31 00:04, markparker wrote:
Russ' point here and always has been is not about Shawn doing the close up routine as I am more than certain if Shawn when he sat down with the magician in Canada and watched the promo tape which Shawn I know for a fact! payed for half of the PAL conversion, containing the SOMH routine and had asked at that point if Russ would mind if he created a close up ambitious card routine using the music 'as he was very influenced" by watching this...Russ would have said sure and thanks for the compliment...however that has not been the case and Shawn has taken this route to stand by his misguided pr stating it was his idea from the outset.

Personally I think its a pride thing with Shawn and he knows he is wrong to claim this as his original concept and as it has gone on for so long to admit now he did what he did would expose his years of story telling and discredit some of his accolades...and lose face of course!

Russ tried to sort this out for years with him and for Shawn to go on camera like this recently says a great deal to me. His whole body language was wrong and in my experience when someone over explains is such flawed detail like the whole VHS subtitle thing which amazed me. Leon was not released on VHS until 1995 the opening of the movie in cinemas was 18th November 1994 so no way was the VHS even out...if you are going to talk BS at least do some research first Shawn...to me it says a lot. The heartfelt 'we where poor back then' story didn't cut it with me.

I will state I am not biased on this whole issue its just facts that I know from first hand. Yes I do know Russ and he does not know I am writing this post until he sees it here.

You have to liken this to a remix of an old music track....the re-mixers contact the original source for permission and then credit accordingly if they are ethical.

Shame on you Mr Far fetched for taking your years of lies to another level just to keep on top in the eyes of others while trying to stomp on Russ' reputation.

Make up your own minds..I know what the truth is.
[/quote]
I'd say it was this post that first derailed from the original topic. Wouldn't you agree. :)
Message: Posted by: Gordyboy (Apr 9, 2011 08:03PM)
No Markparker, you state what you think it has "always been a case of" and like many others have gotten it wrong. I respect Russ and understand where he's coming from, but this is a simple case of Russ accusing Shawn of viewing his tape and basing his routine on Russ's, and Shawn denying that he knew anything about Russ's routine until well after he created his.

That's it. That's the bottom line.

My opinion is that Russ truly believes what he's saying, but I believe Shawn. I base that on the fact that in the past 5 years I've gotten to know Shawn and what kind of person I judge him to be. If I'm wrong, then I apologize, but all I'd be guilty of is poor judgement or being fooled. If you and others are wrong, then you are guilty of slandering someone (or maybe libel, I'm not too clear on that and really don't care enough to research it) and it's a much more grievous error. What if Reg is wrong? What if he did supply Shawn with a copy of the tape and Shawn never watched it?? (I have a couple of boxes of tapes I've never watched, I really don't know what's on them).

The movie came out in 1994... it came out in 1995.... it had subtitles.. no, it had closed captioning... blah blah blah.. that's just people making a bunch of noise and using faulty logic to come to a conclusion. Shawn has never disputed that Russ created his routine first, so there is no need for people to keep saying that Russ did it first therefore Shawn is guilty. By making my judgement that I believe Shawn, it is in no way intended as a negative comment about Russ, yet we have people making more noise about what an ethical person Russ is. Nobody is disputing that so it does nothing to further the conversation.

I agree, time to close the thread, the entire thing could have been summed up in a few posts.
Message: Posted by: markparker (Apr 9, 2011 09:41PM)
Well boys looks like you have made up your minds.

You both are obviously friends of Shawn and in my opinion are blinded by that so no point getting into a bun fight with you both...kinda pointless getting you to see past your rose tinted spectacles anymore.

Gordyboy your post contradicts itself and avoids the errors of Shawn wonderfully. Please don't PM me again with this following fluff

"If I'm wrong then I apologize, but I don't think I'd have much to apologize for other than making a bad judgement, and if I am wrong it's not a grievous error, but I do think that if you're wrong it truly is a grievous error.

I realize you've known Russ a long time, and I'm not disputing some things you're stating as fact. I will accept as fact that Russ was doing his routine prior to Shawn creating his. I will accept as fact that Reg got a tape of Russ's act, but it does bother me that now Reg doesn't step up and confirm that he shared it with Shawn, so that comes under question. So I don't think anyone is disputing those things I just said I accept as fact.

As far as Shawn's story about that old movie on VHS, and the subtitles etc.. I haven't answered because I simply have no answer. I have no idea. I don't know when it was released on VHS, I don't know when Shawn really saw it or exactly when he came up with his routine (1994, 1995??) and I have no idea how or if subtitles work on VHS.

I have numerous routines that I honestly couldn't tell you what year I began developing. I'd be within a year or two, but if my feet were held to the fire I couldn't be sure. But then again, I'm an amateur and none of my routines mean as much to me or to anyone else.

If Shawn really did see Russ's act, then I agree 100% that the correct thing to do at that time would be to contact Russ. If it were me, I would contact Russ, tell him how much I enjoyed his performance, tell him I have some ideas to take it a bit of a different direction and ask for his blessing to create my routine, and then give him credit for the influence (I think there's a better word for that but it escapes me at the moment)."


Maybe get Shawn to come on here and make his case directly to Russ regarding his Reel Magic interview
Message: Posted by: Tim Ellis (Apr 9, 2011 10:12PM)
"You both are obviously friends of Shawn and in my opinion are blinded by that so no point getting into a bun fight with you both...kinda pointless getting you to see past your rose tinted spectacles anymore."

Let's not resort to "us vs them"
Message: Posted by: natmagic (Apr 9, 2011 10:30PM)
Thank you MarkParker for being the voice of reason .. and bringing common sense in to this debate.

Posted: Apr 9, 2011 11:42pm
A lot of people mistake a short memory for a clear conscience. - Doug Larson
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Apr 9, 2011 11:35PM)
Being the first to use a pop song to a magic trick, even the same magic trick, does not give you any rights at all. Anyone else can do any magic trick, even the same one, to that same music. To imply anything else is to interfere in the musician's right of commerce. Buy exclusive rights, have your own original music done for you by less well-known musicians--that is helping other struggling artists.

If you create a masterpiece to someone else's music, then just know that anyone else who wants to try can attempt to create a masterpiece to the same music. You must either buy EXCLUSIVE rights to a piece of music, or accept that others might use it RIGHTFULLY in the same way.

Otherwise, David Copperfield might claim exclusive rights to doing magic to music that illustrates the lyrics at all.

Unless Russ OWNS the rights to the staging, scripting, special lighting, card plot, or music, or general "feel" of the piece, then even if Shawn took all of that from him, it is not theft, and Russ has no complaint, because nothing was taken from him that he owns.

I don't know if this is the case, and if it is, then I feel sorry for Russ. His hard work didn't pay off the way it should have. Next time don't build you house on sand. Buy exclusive rights to your music, or have original music commisioned.

These kinds of fights are useless and bruising and eventually worthless. Spend time on making new magic.

I have no dog in this fight, and I am sure that those who care whether or not someone told a lie will continue to debate and offer proofs until something is settled. Nothing ever will be, and if it is, it won't mean squat.

"To the loser goes the hang-ups, to the winner go the hangers on." -- Phil Ochs
Message: Posted by: Tony Curtis (Apr 10, 2011 12:06AM)
[quote]
On 2011-04-10 00:35, Whit Haydn wrote:
Being the first to use a pop song to a magic trick, even the same magic trick, does not give you any rights at all. Anyone else can do any magic trick, even the same one, to that same music. To imply anything else is to interfere in the musician's right of commerce. Buy exclusive rights, have your own original music done for you by less well-known musicians--that is helping other struggling artists.
[/quote]
This has nothing to do with the Shawn Farquhar & Russ Stevens thread here.

Tony Curtis
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Apr 10, 2011 12:18AM)
I was under the impression that the issue concerned a video tape and the story as told in the most recent interview(s) - not the music from the end of a movie that's in English.
Message: Posted by: russ stevens (Apr 10, 2011 02:32AM)
Hello Everyone,

People can choose whatever words they like from that interview in Reel Magic Quarterly, but when asked multiple times what my problem with him is, Shawn Farquhar’s answer was “I don’t know”. He does know and now because of this thread, so do you. Not once did he address it though.

I want to thank everyone that has contributed to this thread and also for the hundreds of private messages of support from people on here and Facebook, emails, etc. It’s much appreciated. I’d also like to thank Magiccafe for allowing this thread to run as an open topic, because unlike other places where hidden agendas and friendships are allowed to rule, it’s nice to see things are a little more democratically run.

This thread only started because Shawn Farquhar decided to do that interview and this was my way of getting my reply out there instantly. You can make of it what you will, but ultimately I know that every time he walks out onto that stage, there are a lot more people aware of just where he got that idea from (without permission).

Thanks again everyone for contributing.

Best,
Russ
Message: Posted by: gjmagic (Apr 10, 2011 03:01AM)
[quote]

Unless Russ OWNS the rights to the staging, scripting, special lighting, card plot, or music, or general "feel" of the piece, then even if Shawn took all of that from him, it is not theft, and Russ has no complaint, because nothing was taken from him that he owns.

[/quote]

One word............ETHICS!

Gary Jones.
Message: Posted by: Tim Ellis (Apr 10, 2011 03:17AM)
Russ, I've watched the video you posted several times and, honestly, I can only see ONE time when Shawn was asked about you.

The instance in the first clip where Shawn replies "I don't know", he is being asked about the vicious attacks he received from the bloggers immediately after he won the Grand Prix.

In the later clip the interviewer clearly refers to you when he says:

"Any idea what the motivation may have been?"

Shawn doesn't say, "I don't know" this time, he says:

"I totally understand where's he's coming from...but maybe I think he feels that he's losing part of who he was because of the influence of the Grand Prix. When it was a silver, maybe it wasn't as bad of an effect to him and so he just kind of went... whatever. And when it became the Grand Prix he went Oh no and did a knee jerk reaction that became this huge thing."


I know some will accuse me of being Shawn's friend or looking at the situation through "rose coloured glasses" for bringing this up, and maybe you're just exaggerating for effect, but to say "when asked multiple times what my problem with him is, Shawn Farquhar’s answer was “I don’t know”. " is simply not true.


Please don't be offended, and don't assume I'm jumping to Shawn's defense. It was bad enough that this thing was brought up on the Reel Magic interview at all - but just be careful not to put yourself in a position where people will say you're twisting facts to suit your own agenda.
Message: Posted by: russ stevens (Apr 10, 2011 03:35AM)
Hello Tim,

Ok, lets study what he said as quoted by you:

"I totally understand where's he's coming from"

Yes, Shawn Farquhar does understand where I'm coming from, it's about him seeing my tape and him then lying about the fact. He doesn't address this fact once.

"When it was a silver, maybe it wasn't as bad of an effect to him and so he just kind of went... whatever. And when it became the Grand Prix he went Oh no and did a knee jerk reaction that became this huge thing".

He knows for a fact, I didn't have a problem when he won silver because I believed his story and didn't know of the tape. Just before he won Gold I found out the truth. He knows the answer, but makes up an answer that he knows isn't correct.

Now please don't say that I'm twisting his words. You've quoted and I've responded with answers that even you know are fact.

Tim I've got to say, that if you want the last word on this then please do. From my end there is nothing more to say.

Maybe see you in 2012.

Best wishes,
Russ
Message: Posted by: andykean (Apr 10, 2011 04:26AM)
Looks to me like Shawn made a mistake, as we all do in life.
A simple apology to Russ, would make it right. I guess however this looks unlikely to happen.
As I think when a situation gets this far down the track people rarely change their positions.
Losing face is a too great a loss, which is a shame.Because it takes a big man to say sorry and mean it.
If I was Russ I would issue a statement expressing my disappointment with Shawn's interview and move on.
Tim's comments appear balanced, and in case anyones interested I have met all 3 of these guys over years( They wouldn't know me)
They all seemed like genuine people to me and above all they all loved magic.
So for the sake of the art move on chaps please!