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Topic: An important discussion as apps for mentalism move forward (PLEASE READ)
Message: Posted by: John Born (Oct 24, 2014 03:21PM)
We have now reached somewhat of a crossroads in app development for mentalism and magic. We are now past the initial stages of developing apps for magic revelations, and new ideas are coming forward with a whole new level of motivation and experience, far beyond your typical “This is your card” revelation and “Mr. Wizard” variants.

With that in mind, the question I want to bring up is: to what degree of control do the initial developers have in giving permission to use the few obvious methods of secretly inputting information?

What I mean is – in coin magic we have a few different ways of palming. In mentalism we have a few different ways (with many variations) of stealing information. In card magic we have several important fundamental techniques (palming, top change, false shuffles, double lifts), each with many variations, and all with merit. Still, new variations are coming all of the time, and in no way should we want to stagnate potential innovation.

In apps developed for the smartphone, however, we have a select few ways of secretly inputting information for whatever outcome we desire. Flipping over the phone in different ways, timing, swiping, multiple tapping, passcode lock screen, using a pebble, using a bluetooth remote, internet synchronizing, secret writing with finger, etc. A few options, yet extremely limited, considering a wealth of different effects and experiences that can be created.

What I am finding is that the guys that were “the first” to put each of these techniques into play are laying “claim” to those techniques, meaning that they expect to have the power to give or deny permission, or demand residuals if you consider using any of these fundamental methods of inputting information, whatever your purpose may be.

So the reason why I am writing is that every one of the techniques I listed above are techniques that any decent magician would consider as possibilities with very little thought, especially when discussing with a capable programmer. So now that apps are moving forward, do we simply tell the guys that have the real work on creating some really sick, incredible experiences that are well motivated, unique, and don’t feel “appy” to simply sit on their ideas because the early developers are trying to monopolize obvious techniques because they had them up and running first?

So now I come to you. I, as well as a few select others, have created some truly outstanding concepts that are incredible, perfectly motivated, and extremely unique demonstrations that really push the use of an application on the phone forward. However, with a bit of research, we are finding that if a part of our method resembles part of another’s method, even though the effects, motivations, concepts, and overall experience are COMPLETELY different, they are up in arms about stealing from them. These follow with threats that if we make our app as designed we will be ousted as bad people that steal, and demands that we come up with a “different method” for achieving what are unique effects. Rather than using the best method created specifically for our desired outcome, we are being threatened into using inferior methods than the ones we originally, and independently, created. In my opinion, this is completely bad for mentalism and magic to have the potential to move forward, and we will be left with the status quo of app magic, which, I have to admit, I am not very excited by.

I strongly believe we should consider the methods listed above as “general” options for inputting information in this medium, and promote the development of next level effects without trying to lay claim on the obvious, and very few, general options. All I am really asking is that we treat this medium in the same way as we treat all of the others in the magic community (books, DVDs, downloads, and marketed effects), and that the fact that a programmer is now involved does not give some sort or exclusive right to a fundamental approach in this medium. Rather, once a general method is marketed, just like in every other medium, it is in effect "published." After all, we are NOT taking anyone's coding, duplicating anyone's effect, nor doing anything to take away from the previous person's sales. Rather, they can claim credit for being the first to apply it, but those that come after are simply utilizing the few available options to push forward in this genre as we do in every other.

As long as the effect and audience experience is different than anyone else’s, then our endeavors should be met with excitement by our fellow magicians and mentalists. After all, when we buy an app we are buying the ability to offer a specific experience, right? However, this is just my opinion. There are several innovative concepts waiting that I would LOVE to perform, and know for a fact that most would love to have access to them as well. Still, at this moment, I and a few others feel like our hands are tied until we get feedback from you, as we are hesitant to move forward until we know that the general population of the community is on the same page. Would hate to be the “bad guy.”

Looking forward to a logical discussion,

Best,

John Born
www.JohnBorn.com
Message: Posted by: innercirclewannabe (Oct 24, 2014 03:25PM)
I don't have anything to contribute to your question. Reason is, I don't use apps for any effects. I think they scream " phone trick". However, this is only my opinion & I wish you well in your endeavor.
Message: Posted by: Kozmo (Oct 24, 2014 03:47PM)
Innercircle, I would normally agree with you BUT recently I had the opportunity to hang with John Born and watch him perform several effects with an I phone app.....they we're dazzling....its that a word.

Normally I would agree but the reaction from the spectators was off the wall..... Normally Im with you on this but clearly not in all cases. Great performers are great performers and we can all learn a lot from them. John and Wonder Words.....makes a huge difference. Presentation is everything.
Message: Posted by: tenchu (Oct 24, 2014 03:48PM)
I think the "tools" should be for everyone, and if someone can utilize them in some awesome and clever way, kudos to him and the app that's used.

Mike
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Oct 24, 2014 03:50PM)
I think its slightly different, in the sense that I would assume that each app is built from the ground up - and no code is shared between developers?

if it IS shared but done as an open source - then no one can hold back 'rights' to its usage surely? if its a case of independent code writing, then I would have thought crediting would be the right thing to do...

i mean, unless someone's cracked another dev's code without their permission - then that's not on...
Message: Posted by: tenchu (Oct 24, 2014 04:05PM)
By the way, by "tools" I meant some principles that are used in the app. Obviously taking someone's code etc. is not a good thing to do, to say it nicely.

Mike
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Oct 24, 2014 04:05PM)
[quote]On Oct 24, 2014, innercirclewannabe wrote:
I don't have anything to contribute to your question. Reason is, I don't use apps for any effects. I think they scream " phone trick". However, this is only my opinion & I wish you well in your endeavor. [/quote]

Completely agree. I believe that any overt use of technology is suspect. I have to go out of my way nowadays to prove that I'm NOT using technological methods, even when I am.

Anything done with a phone, IMO, makes people want to ask, "Where did you get that cool app?"

YMMV
Message: Posted by: Tim Cavendish (Oct 24, 2014 04:30PM)
This is the patent debate.

While patents don't apply to magic, they are an attempt to balance the competing goals of rewarding creators while not blocking progress.

An important aspect of patents is that they NOT be granted to inventions which are obvious "to a person of ordinary skill in the art." Here, that person would be both a magician and a programmer.

As one such person, I find the current tricks performed with portable networked computers (ie, phones) to be painfully unmagical. I see only harm in granting monopoly protection to such obvious techniques.

Use the tools and build a marvel.

(Meanwhile, I'll stick to index cards and a pencil.)
Message: Posted by: John Born (Oct 24, 2014 04:41PM)
Hi Bob- I actually shared your opinion for a long time, and completely understand where you are coming from. Still, ideally this is not changed to a thread on whether or people feel like the use of an app fits their vision. There are certain concepts that break the rules, are really different, and have totally changed my perspective. Happy to share with you if we get the chance to cross paths.

The main point worth discussing is whether the general tools of inputting information into a smartphone can be monopolized by the developers that put the methods to use first (which are, unfortunately, typically the cheesy concepts we associate with app magic, card revelations, etc.), or as a community do we understand that these methods are universal for that medium so that really great ideas can be put into production.

JB
Message: Posted by: rasp (Oct 24, 2014 04:55PM)
There are a few really good apps now that do not even need your phone to be seen in play.
Message: Posted by: Pasteboard Alchemist (Oct 24, 2014 05:05PM)
I think one needs only look at the broader app community for the answer to that: gestures and other hardware-based methods for inputting information that the devices have hooks for software to read (such as tilting the device, etc...) are fair game. It's the programming and content that is protected.

Let's say, for the sake of example, someone makes an app that detects finger writing on the screen and creates a recognition algorithm to know that, in fact, you drew a "7" and a heart while the phone was in your pocket. That's neat. But, it doesn't mean that someone else can't program their own.

Once we get into the realm of magic, though... that's where the real question is. And, I suspect, the purpose of your question in the first place. Of course you--or anyone--can make a magic app that uses any manner of secret input regardless of it being used before. Would the magic community cry "foul", though? Frankly, I doubt it. The initial creator of the other app that thinks them being the first to, say, create a program that listens for a certain sequence of secretive taps gives them exclusive rights to any "tap input"? They'll cry "foul" no matter what. It's the larger magic community's opinion that matters with respect to a creator's reputation. And, as a potential purchaser, I could not care less what the input method is. I only care that it makes sense for the app, the app has an original effect, that the handling is smooth, and that it's entertaining/useful.

Too long to read? Here's the take-away: I don't think anyone cares regarding the input method "rights" except for the person dubbing themselves the godfather of said input method. If it's the input method someone is so guarded about as opposed to the overall effect, that makes me question how confident they are in the strength of the effect itself.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Oct 24, 2014 05:15PM)
[quote]On Oct 24, 2014, rasp wrote:
There are a few really good apps now that do not even need your phone to be seen in play. [/quote]

If you reread my post you'll note that I was specifically referring to the OVERT use of the technology- in this case a smart phone. If the phone is not see, obviously my criticism does not apply.
Message: Posted by: braunmagic (Oct 24, 2014 05:18PM)
The first person who wrote on musical notation book was a Roman philosopher called Boethius back in the 6th Century. Boethius was the first person to record the use of letters for notes and he used 15 letters of the alphabet to represent the musical notes. This became known as Boethian notation.

Where would music be today if these tools hadn't been shared and used today?

I also find it hard to believe that magicians have created any new ways to interact with a phone. Phone manufactures have spent countless hours and millions of dollars to make interaction with these devices more natural and invisible in our lives. From voice, to touch, to movement, to eye tracking.


I personally feel like every interaction with our phones was created by or thought about by the manufacture of the phone. They built the sand box let's all try to play nice and get along in it.

All of this being said I think there could be some claims of originality in covering the moves in a clever way or scripting the performance so that the interaction is more invisible.

Of course DIRECT knock offs of another creators app should never be acceptable.

Just my thoughts,
Brent Braun
Message: Posted by: DynaMix (Oct 24, 2014 06:41PM)
First off - can we PLEASE not turn this into a discussion on whether apps are "good" or not?

Clearly they work for some, and not for others. I personally think the "others" are missing out but hey, that's just my opinion. Everyone is entitled to theirs.

Regarding the main point - I ABSOLUTELY think something like "tapping on a screen" or "selecting an icon" is fair play in terms of input mechanisms.
Those who wish to lay claim to such things need to be ignored. Those are BASIC functions used over TONS and TONS of apps, even non magical ones. Because there is such a large community of mentalist and magicians who are possibly NOT tech savvy - I think app creators have been able to convince people that such mechanisms are somehow special or required lots of thought.

Do not play along gentlemen. Make your apps how you want, give credit, and (as mentioned above) DO NOT blatantly rip off the "experience" of another routine. Create to IMPROVE, create to FURTHER magic on the whole, and, over time - YOU WILL reap the appropriate praise and respect from the community.

It's just because we are in this early stage that things are so undefined and everyone takes things so personally. It's strange to watch when magic on the whole is built upon certain building blocks that are used all the time to further the art form.
Message: Posted by: Daegs (Oct 24, 2014 07:00PM)
Data input methods are obvious to programmers based on what sensors the environment has available to it. I don't think you can claim exclusivity on the purely technological implementation.

An analogy in magic would be sleights like the pass, double lift, side steal, and whatnot. There has to be a published toolbox of sorts from which to build effects from. Sleights are not the effects, and shame on the creator if the are.

However, this isn't going to stop the creators from flinging mud over this, regardless over what small % of some random magic internet forum say on the subject. I think it would be best to actually published (in response to their claims) exactly what the input method is, and what they are claiming. Put it out in the open, and let people decide faor themselves: "Oh hey touching part of the screen, that's pretty basic! I can't believe that's what the controversy is about!". The effect should stand on its own outside of the data acquisition method.
Message: Posted by: Galileo (Oct 24, 2014 07:25PM)
Same here the only time I use them is as throw away tricks to impress children who ask to see something cool, as they seem to be the only ones who really enjoy it.
Message: Posted by: Branden Wolf (Oct 24, 2014 07:37PM)
Having read all of this over a few times, I've come to the following thought.

In about 2005/06, I got a particular instructional DVD. Little did I know how much this would affect my future. I came across a coin move known as 'Balance Palm.' This, coincidentally, was created by John Born (the original poster of this thread). I loved this idea of his.

A few years ago it became the center of my attention. I became absolutely obsessed. I would think about this move, I would dream about it, study it. Eventually, I found some interesting discoveries. Though I felt these thoughts we're 'mine' (read: independently created), I still felt John's intellectual presence in them.

Last year, I had the opportunity to meet John when he came to Columbus. I showed him, nervously I'll admit, what I had done with his Balance Palm. After I performed something—he smiled—and he asked to see it again! John wasn't angry, nor was he bitter. John had quite the opposite reaction. He thanked me for showing him what I had done with HIS idea. 6 months later, I'm being flown from Ohio to NYC to shoot a dvd based around this move. It had gone full circle...

I started with his information.
I saw it from a different perspective.
And I fed it back into the community!

That's how John, myself, Brent, and everyone else has ever progressed in this art. That's how WE grow! My point is that there will always be a first before you. It's not where you take things from, it's where you take them to.

We absolutely stand on the shoulders of giants. If you disagree, I'll label you a fool.



B.
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Oct 25, 2014 02:33PM)
I do a bit of programming on computers (boring stuff like spreadsheets and databases) and everything has to be built around the available methods of input. Apple tried that when Microsoft introduced the mouse and icons, but it didn't fly. Touching a screen in a certain "coded" manner, or utilizing the accelerometer, or sending an unknown signal over Bluetooth are just using built-in methods of communicating with the device. I don't know that you could claim any "ownership" of the code that responds to the screen or movement or signal - these are all documented and available commands, properties and methods. What happens and how all of it combines to produce an effect - *that* should be unique.

Ed
Message: Posted by: Tom Cutts (Oct 25, 2014 04:00PM)
Every defense here is purposely vague in detail. Using accelerometers, utilizing screen taps, etc. It smacks of justifying something more, perhaps because the OP is also purposefully vague. These decisions CAN'T be made on generalizations. They can only be made on specifics.

There absolutely, 100% has to be respect for those who first used unique deceptions to create a magical effect. As an example, Chris Kenner's card rise app went through multiple reiterations and rejections from Apple to break ground on a deceptive method. Any magician who thinks that method is now fair game to use however they please is disrespecting Kenner and magic in general. But let's be honest; such disrespect is not unheard of in magic, now is it.

The efforts Kenner had to go through very clearly depict that magicians have take to the use of smart phones in ways no programmer ever anticipated. People who are the first using a unique deception of their own creation deserve the same respect that Jim Steinmeyer is due for creating "yet another way to do magic on stage with an assistant and a box." [/sarcasm].

Unless we are going to talk specifics, and why would you on an open forum, threads like these are just rabble rousing and searching expeditions for justification of something which few or none of the people offering said justification have any specifics. A useless and rather pointless pursuit.

If you truly respect the giants on whose shoulders you stand, you ask their permission before shouting from atop their shoulders. If they say "No.", what you do next speaks only to your character, not theirs.
Message: Posted by: John Born (Oct 25, 2014 06:06PM)
Hi Tom,

Thanks for posting. The purpose of this thread is to open a much needed discussion, and I was really hoping to have this topic looked at from all angles and perspectives, including others that have gone through the process of already putting an app to market.

And to help out, I am not trying to be vague on anything. In fact, one of the first things I would like to introduce can be executed by the performer by swiping from the initial swipe screen, or by the spectator by interacting with the passcode lock screen.

Already, through the two most basic actions that every person uses every day to open their phone, by your definition, I am stepping on toes by using deception in those moments because they have been used before for another purpose in magic.

No one is saying to copy anyone's effect. I personally do not even know what Kenner's effect is, or how it works. What I do know is that I have not seen an app yet in which the method of secretly inputting the information is breaking ground on any level - each of these methods would be created by any person with even a basic to moderate background in this art. With the super limited (and obvious) ways of inputting information (Flipping over the phone in different ways, timing, swiping, multiple tapping, passcode lock screen, using a pebble, using a bluetooth remote, voice recognition, internet synchronizing, secret writing with finger, etc.) your point is a little tough to acknowledge. Pushing for completely original methods means that we just have to settle with the first app that utilizes each of these options, regardless on what it does. Minus a couple listed options, all of these are already on the market as methods! By your definition, the development of apps for magic is pretty much dead as most of the methods have already been established by a "creator." In my opinion, the real applications and effects for apps have hardly even been introduced yet.

As shown over and over in magic, the innovation in method is not nearly as important as how it is used to deliver a unique and memorable experience, especially with such a limited, niche platform. The "work" is for creators to come up with something that feels fresh and exciting to a potential audience. And when it comes to methods on this medium, the effect pretty much tells us what approach would give us the most streamlined handling to deliver the cleanest effect possible.

Make a list of how people interact with their phones, and how we can mimic those interactions in a motivated, clean way to create deception. The list is not long, absolutely not long enough to cover even a part of the potential effects that can be achieved, and trying to claim a monopoly of any of the actions on that list, to me, is ridiculous, to the point of being laughable.

So do we just sit and say that another card revelation on our phone is good enough to scrap that method for future creators? Of course not. Rather we encourage innovation and hope that those pushing the limits with concepts worth getting excited about are willing to share.

JB
Message: Posted by: jonnyboy (Oct 25, 2014 06:23PM)
John,
As an intellectual property attorney for 28 years, I can tell you that unless the developers of the previous apps adequately protected their tools with intellectual property protection of some kind, they have no legal position to stop you using these tools (such as input techniques, etc). Nor do they really have much of a moral leg to stand on with respect to such tools, in my non-legal opinion. If they truly invented and wanted to protect their invention, they have an obligation to file for protection, or they dedicate their invention to the public. But, as mentioned in an earlier post, it is more likely that they used an existing input mechanism created by someone else.

For patent protection, which certainly can (and surprisingly often is) used to protect magic inventions, the applicant would have to convince the Patent Office that the method is both novel and nonobvious. Patent protection, once granted, is very powerful, and provides some latitude in scope of coverage. However, it is expensive to obtain, which causes many magicians to forego seeking it out, along with the requirement of exposing the secret.

Copyright protection is also possible for software, such as apps. Copyright protection is much more narrow than patent protection. You practically have to copy the structure, the imagery, the code, in order to violate the copyright.

From what your original post says, it doesn't seem that there is any strong argument that you would be violating a magician's patent, or that you would be violating any copyright, since you are using much different plots and creating different effects. The use of basic tools that manufacturers have created to put in information into a phone seems very akin to the basic building blocks in other areas of creating, such as engineering, and in other magical specialties, such as cards and coins. A previous app developer would have to provide a pretty compelling rationale to explain why their method of input is original in itself, not just that they created a magic app and used a known method of control and/or input.

The above is informational only, and is not to be taken as legal advice. The specifics of your developments, as well as the previously developed apps by others, will control the legalities. If you have concerns, you should contact a local intellectual property attorney.

John
Message: Posted by: BMWGuy (Oct 25, 2014 06:40PM)
Hey guys,

I guess I would have to agree with jonnyboy, we all stand on the shoulder of giants, and I also agree with you John in the sense that it doesn't seem like you would be stepping on anyones toes, regardless of the techniques used to accomplish the effect, just as long as its not a direct copy of an app based effect already on the market, which I clearly would think would not be, but I like you would like all mentalism to move forward and if by using app based magic for some mentalists is it, then that's great, because the envelope will continue to be pushed and more inventions actually seeing the light of day, and experimentation can thus commence.

I only use 2 apps at the current moment, and nobody has ever screamed out that I was using an app. It all depends on your framing and the way you sell the effect to the spectator. Even if the phone is still in play till the very end, does not matter.

Alex
Message: Posted by: Tom Cutts (Oct 25, 2014 07:07PM)
There are taps and swipes, and then there is how those are implemented to achieve deception. The two are not the same. Those who are using them interchangeably are deceiving themselves and others.

That would be akin to saying a particular set of moves of Armando Lucero's exquisite Coin Menagerie are simply ways to interact with coins secretly, and deserve no protection. They are no different than pretending to have a coin in your hand.

So again, as an app creator, without details the discussion of who or what deserves protection, recognition, or respect is fruitless. It will forever devolve into the uninformed misinforming.
Message: Posted by: DynaMix (Oct 25, 2014 10:54PM)
I don't understand how you can equate the two.

I haven't seen the coin routine you mention but I imagine it borrows from some previous handling out there?

There HAVE TO BE building blocks. Taping a screen is a building block.
If someone invents a new routine/plot line/ effect you are GOING to HAVE TO interact with the phone somehow.
Message: Posted by: Tom Cutts (Oct 26, 2014 12:02AM)
Yup, tapping a screen is a building block. That is not what I am talking about. I realize it is what others are (errantly) talking about, but it IS NOT what is at the crux of most app development debates. I'm sure if the issue was someone claiming that they invented tapping the phone or swiping the phone, that would be clearly spelled out here.
Message: Posted by: Honest Deceptions (Oct 26, 2014 04:55AM)
Great point BMWGuy...totally agree
Message: Posted by: Rick Maue (Oct 26, 2014 10:52AM)
Greetings,

I am very passionate about protecting the rights of creators. However, I am equally passionate about the realistic acknowledgement of basic building blocks (to use the phrase from above), and that such building blocks are certainly not proprietary. And I agree with John when he listed options such as "Flipping over the phone in different ways, timing, swiping, multiple tapping, passcode lock screen, using a pebble, using a bluetooth remote, internet synchronizing, secret writing with finger, etc."

Those things are basic building blocks. Just like false shuffles, palming, peeks, etc. To claim ownership of them is not only impossible, it is also ridiculous.

On the other hand, I completely agree with Tom when he stated, "There are taps and swipes, and then there is how those are implemented to achieve deception. The two are not the same. Those who are using them interchangeably are deceiving themselves and others."

Exactly.

In many ways, I see John and Tom making the exact same point (although they may both disagree with my assessment). The reason that I say that is simple. The "taps and swipes" are generic technical necessities that are required to use the device. Just like shuffling is a generic technical necessity with a pack of cards. How those "taps and swipes" are employed is the issue. That is where we get into construction, handling, motivation, scripting, character development, audience management, etc. In other words, that is the point that we leave behind generic technical necessities and enter the world of creativity.

With all of that said, and to streamline this post (and from what I can tell, John's original question), "taps and swipes" are certainly not proprietary. They are equivalent to shuffling a deck of cards. It is what lies beyond the building blocks that is important.


Keep the change,
Rick
Message: Posted by: juggernought (Oct 26, 2014 03:50PM)
John,

From what little I know about you, and having read your books, I have always thought you seemed like a decent guy. However, I couldn’t disagree with you more on this argument and it would be a great shame if you use the ideas of others expressly without their permission.

I am friends with several people who I know have created input methods which are extremely clever. I know how much time and effort they have invested into these ideas. Their livelihoods depend on the ideas that they have. If you were to take one of these methods without their permission, without even paying them, it would be unfair to both them and their families.

I understand your point that magic needs to develop and move forward. But this cannot be at the expense of morals and of the very people whose innovation has moved magic forward in the first place. Utmost respect must be paid to these people.

Furthermore, such actions may actually be detrimental to the progress of magic. If people get taken advantage of and ripped off each time they put something new into the community, then these innovative minds will not want to release anything more in the future.

Also, if you applied your own mind to input methods, I am sure you could come up with something yourself. I do not accept that they have all been done before. By people deciding to take what others have used instead of innovating themselves, then progress of is impeded.

I’m sure that after some consideration you will do the right thing John!

P.S. Tom, I agree with everything that you have said. You raise very good points.
Message: Posted by: Exitmat (Oct 26, 2014 04:21PM)
[quote]On Oct 26, 2014, juggernought wrote:
John,

From what little I know about you, and having read your books, I have always thought you seemed like a decent guy. However, I couldn’t disagree with you more on this argument and it would be a great shame if you use the ideas of others expressly without their permission.

I am friends with several people who I know have created input methods which are extremely clever. I know how much time and effort they have invested into these ideas. Their livelihoods depend on the ideas that they have. If you were to take one of these methods without their permission, without even paying them, it would be unfair to both them and their families.

I understand your point that magic needs to develop and move forward. But this cannot be at the expense of morals and of the very people whose innovation has moved magic forward in the first place. Utmost respect must be paid to these people.

Furthermore, such actions may actually be detrimental to the progress of magic. If people get taken advantage of and ripped off each time they put something new into the community, then these innovative minds will not want to release anything more in the future.

Also, if you applied your own mind to input methods, I am sure you could come up with something yourself. I do not accept that they have all been done before. By people deciding to take what others have used instead of innovating themselves, then progress of is impeded.

I’m sure that after some consideration you will do the right thing John!

P.S. Tom, I agree with everything that you have said. You raise very good points. [/quote]

And I couldn't disagree with you more on this argument.

If someone comes up with the idea of doing a one-to-four prediction by flipping the phone over one of four ways--just because they were the first to make an app with that very obvious method--does that mean they now can hold that method hostage and hold back all others from creating other effects with it? That's absurd. It is also absurd to assume that just because they were the first to program an app to use that method that no one else ever has, or ever will, come up with the same idea independently. Absolutely ridiculous.

Do we really want to be stuck with not being able to use the flip of a phone to create other effects than just a lousy one-to-four prediction just because the guy that won the race on writing his app first has some insecurity issues? Maybe one guy's idea for the method is doing a one-to-four prediction, and another guy comes up with a way to advance the method to reveal someone's name. Are you honestly suggesting we should all try and hold back the progression of creation on this? Who does that benefit? No one.

What is really stake at here anyhow? Is it someone's ego? Because personally I don't give a crap at all about that if that is what this is about. As long as the guy that published the method first is credited I think the ego stroking stops right there. It can't be about money either--because each app does something different. No matter the method, you can't reveal someone's name with the flip of the phone if it's only programmed to reveal a one-to-four prediction.

So what is it? Why would anyone who creates magic and mentalism be opposed to someone else using the same method to achieve a totally different effect? What do they have to lose? Nothing. Nothing is taken from them. It's selfish and greedy to claim otherwise. And it's ignorant to assume they were the only person to come up with a certain method just because they were the first to write an app with it. The phone works the way it was programmed. There is only a limited number of ways to interface with it.

I think anyone who feels threatened by someone else creating magic and mentalism for other performers to use in their work in order to give the best possible experience to laymen, as it relates to the discussion here concerning methods for apps, is a sad, insecure person indeed who has certainly lost sight of what it means to be a magician and a creator.

Time to move forward and leave those with egos and insecurities in the dust.
Message: Posted by: DynaMix (Oct 26, 2014 04:40PM)
In tons of other industries, competition is the final word.

Someone ones to make a better app, you should respond by making a better one yourself. People use others ideas to advance things ALL the time.

Find some legal protection and then you can block / inhibit whatever you want.

A lot of this just reads like people want magic to have its own set of rules. I wholeheartedly disagree with magic being impeded juggernought. There will always be people willing to step in and create. If you REALLY don't want your ideas to be used and built upon, I'd have no problem with such inventors exiting the game and leaving it to people who wanna be more collaborative. This is the wrong industry for you.
Message: Posted by: Mind Bullets (Oct 26, 2014 05:32PM)
John, I'm enjoying the thread. But I'm a little confused (maybe I'm just over-tired).

Is this simply the app version of method vs. effect? I'm trying to think of good analog examples that might better illustrate the distinction. So many card effects sold in books and on DVDs do not involve newly created methods, but rather combine long-standing methods into new effects and presentations. The good ones sometimes become recognized not only by the name given to the effect, but by the person who created it, even if it employs standard sleights. In fact, very often an effect's description may simply say something like, "Step 3: Use your favorite double-lift ..."

Can that same kind of description be used when it comes to using a smartphone? "Step 3: Use your favorite one-out-of-four accelerometer input method ..." And should that be a consideration when we question the ethics of using such methods?

MB
Message: Posted by: John Born (Oct 26, 2014 06:41PM)
Mind Bullets - yes, you are correct. The only difference here, and the purpose of starting this thread, is that the app world in magic does not have a "recognized" set of tools that we can vary, and no lines have been drawn for discerning what is fair game (a general tool), and what is clever enough to the point of the community protecting it and yelling foul if it is used for another purpose. What concerns me is that the two concepts that I wanted to utilize to create a completely unique effect are swiping from the initial swipescreen, and using the passcode on the passcode lock screen. Yet, I have been told these concepts are already in the "too clever" category and I would be considered stealing by using them (even though they are completely obvious techniques that should be part of any magicians repertoire for developing apps for smartphones).

I would have to argue that these two methods are simply the methods that these developers chose for their apps, not "their"methods. And regardless of my needs, for the sake of other creators I feel like the general tools we should have access to as creators goes much further into obvious variants of the list I've already mentioned (Flipping over the phone in different ways, timing, swiping, multiple tapping, passcode lock screen, using a pebble, using a bluetooth remote, voice recognition, internet synchronizing, secret writing with finger, etc.), but in this current state it seems like anyone wanting to enter this market has an uphill battle because they are being denied the simple, direct solutions in each of these paths.

Juggernought, using any of these tools that I mentioned, in no way, takes money from anyone. Only copying one's effect, which might even use a completely different method, may start to tread in that territory because then there is direct competition for creating a desired outcome. Now, let's even take it further and consider what happens in our market when using the ideas of others as a springboard for innovation. For example, does Tamariz chase people down who are releasing unique, smart material that is exclusive to his memorized stack and demanding residuals because it utilizes his stack, something he took time and effort to develop? Of course not, and this is a far more direct example of using someone else's unique creation (because no one would come out and say "I came up with the Tamariz stack independently.") In the case with smartphones, people are trying to monopolize the obvious, and it is completely absurd to consider that others would not quickly develop these methods as the simple, direct solutions to a huge array of possible effects.

JB
Message: Posted by: Steven Keyl (Oct 26, 2014 07:44PM)
Interesting discussion. A couple of thoughts popped into my head while reading the thread...
[list]
[*] First, not sure why this thread was created here as opposed to one of the three forums that are already dedicated to the discussion of apps. At best it might have curtailed some of the "auto-pilot response" aversion to the use of apps which isn't germane to John's original question and at worst, might be seen by some as a way to gain a groundswell of popular sport while getting an absolute minimum of feedback from actual app developers and users who tend to focus their time in those aforementioned forums
[*] Huge fan of John Born and completely agree that simple input methods like swipes shouldn't necessarily be a protected entity but the rationale of saying "it is completely absurd to consider that others would not quickly develop these methods" strikes me as off. Just because some hypothetical person may have independently devised a method invented by another is a very slippery justification to use since it can be used for anything. Since Tamariz was cited let's use him as an example. "It is absurd to think that others wouldn't have come up with the Tamariz Perpendicular Control therefore it doesn't deserve protection as an original idea because it's so blatantly obvious". Few would agree with the previous statement but if that is the justification being used it seems to be a very slippery slope. To clarify, I agree with all of John's conclusions, I'm just a bit more circumspect about the rationale
[*] Tom Cutts' points are well taken. In the absence of greater specificity about a given app, ultimately no one can really say whether it strikes them as "inappropriate appropriation" because there simply isn't enough information on which to base an educated opinion. Reminds me of the 1970's when Supreme Court Justices were spending an inordinate amount of time watching porn to clarify its exact definition. Finally they stopped and issued the famous phrase "we don't know how to define it but we know it when we see it". Until we have something to actually look at, defining what is acceptable in the abstract may turn out to be somewhat futile.
[/list]

What little I know about John suggests he is a forthright person with the best of intentions. And I DO know he is an incredibly adept and creative thinker in this field. If he ever does put out an app I'm proud to say I'll be the first in line. Best wishes, John. Wishing you continued success.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Oct 26, 2014 09:16PM)
Slightly off-topic, but the Supreme Court never "issued" that statement about pornography. It was Justice Potter Stewart alone, in his concurring opinion to the majority opinion in Jacobellis v. Ohio (1964), who made that comment. His actual words:

[quote]I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description ["hard-core pornography"], and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.[/quote]

But I agree that what he wrote is appliable to the topic of this thread.


(The film being discussed was the award winning French film "The Lovers" [1958], starring Jeanne Moreau and directed by Louis Malle.)
Message: Posted by: Steven Keyl (Oct 26, 2014 09:49PM)
Absolutely correct! My "quote" is how it is commonly misquoted and I did so again, though I never knew which actual film was being discussed. Thanks for the correction, Bob.
Message: Posted by: Angelo Carbone (Oct 27, 2014 12:10AM)
About time I replied as this thread is all because John wants to use my input method. People have been saying they don't know the specifics so here it is.

John contacted me because it was suggested he contact me to see if he was treading on my toes with his app idea. I told him he was but we would not accept my answer.

Here are some replies based on his comments here...

Comparing old card moves such as double lift and palming, to new modern input methods is not a fair comparison. Those card moves are not only generic and open source but many many years old. iPhone magic is too new and niche.

John has listed several ways to code information inside an app so I really don't see the problem. If there was only ONE way to code info then I could understand being held back, however there are plenty ways to do so and if he is creative enough he could even try to come up with his own method. Unless it is too hard for some people I really can't answer that.

For the record John, I never demanded any residuals from you to use my input method as you state. That is a lie. In fact you were the one to suggest doing a deal with me. However you went back on your word saying any compensation you would give me would be "overly generous". So not only do you want to use my input method, you don't really want to pay for it because it is obvious and anyone could have thought of it. This is what you told me in the many messages you sent me.

No one is telling you to sit on your idea. You are free to make your idea a reality by choosing from the many ways to input info as you listed or better still create your own like I and others have.

I told you politely I didn't want you to use my method and for you to create your own. You said if you didn't create your own method you would use mine and that it has nothing to do with me. That doesn't make you a bad person? No one is threatening you. I simply said I don't want you to use my method and if you disrespect my decision and go behind my back then yes I will let the magic world know what you did. Is it really that HARD for you to come up with your own method? I mean for a guy who has "created some truly outstanding concepts" doesn't seem to be able to create some truly outstanding methods.

We are not talking about published printed material here where you just give a credit and be done with it. We are talking about a "product". So you wrote that you want any 'method' in any medium (DVDs, downloads, marketed effects) to be considered "general" options and not even reimburse those who created the initial methods. I remember your words you wrote to me "I would recognize you were the first to utilize it and offer compensation even though that is overly generous". So if you had your way you really wouldn't want to pay to use it.

"The main point worth discussing is whether the general tools of inputting information into a smartphone can be monopolized by the developers that put the methods to use first (which are, unfortunately, typically the cheesy concepts we associate with app magic, card revelations, etc.)"

Thank you for implying my app and other developer's apps are cheesy. Very disrespectful! So iPredict Pro, Magic SMS, MagicWebFX, Mental Killer which are all 'card revelations' and use unique input methods are "cheesy". Do you hear that Greg, Marc and Max? It seems Derren Brown, David Blaine, Dynamo and other customers love cheesy magic apps like mine. They must have poor taste. Heaven knows how they would react to non cheesy magic. How disrespectful!

So just because your "truly outstanding concept" of an app is not a card revelation then that makes it not cheesy?

"trying to claim a monopoly of any of the actions on that list, to me, is ridiculous, to the point of being laughable."

Ok let me explain why I am being so protective about my input method (as is Greg Rostami, Max Krause and Marc Kerstein with their input method who I have all discussed this issue with)...

I plan on one day allowing customizable predictions in my app so cards will not be the only possible revelation. Dates, countries, zodiac signs, celebrities are all open to being revealed. These have been discussed in the Facebook group by customers. Also one day I may want to release a different effect but still use my input method. If I were to allow others to use the method then I will be the one to be accused of stealing ideas if other identical apps get released before my apps. Also a lot of time, effort and money went into the development of my app back from 2010. You can't expect me to just let anyone use it at the drop of a hat for nothing? The fact that a spectator can seemingly do the dirty work for you and hands off is unique to me. It's my idea, I worked hard on it and you are darn right I will protect it from being misused and performed out of context in other apps. The fact that the preview SMS arrives on the lock screen before the spectator even reveals their thoughts is a strong subtlety and in context with the method. I am not claiming to have invented interaction with the screen or tapping. I am claiming originality for the structure, context, routine, justification, sequence of my input method. Its the whole part.

"I would have to argue that these two methods are simply the methods that these developers chose for their apps, not "their"methods."

Now that is absurd. So methods chosen by other magicians for other tricks are not really their methods because they just 'chose' them?

My developer said the passcode screen would not be suitable for John's app anyway because of the screen time out feature, unless he wants to copy even the simulated standby mode too. So how much more of my app does he want to borrow?

Forgive me if I come across a little harsh in my post but for someone who has been ripped off many times (Out of Order) I need to put my foot down and protect my ideas more.

For the last time, no one is stopping anyone from releasing an app. Just spend a little time and have patience and implement your own input method. It's not that hard John. Try it! Even my developer has come up with an input method for your app. Its not that hard :)
Message: Posted by: John Born (Oct 27, 2014 09:46AM)
Hi Angelo -

Thank you for your reply. No one is trying to rip you off. Creativity is a complete non-issue, and yes I already have several methods to achieve my effect. You absolutely have the right to protect the concept of having information secretly input to have customized text etc. happen for you specific reveals, and wish you the best as you continue to develop that as you work towards more customization.

With that said, you have not convinced me that using the passcode lockscreen as a tool is something that should be exclusive to you or anyone else. If you consider the rest of the list I made as general tool options for developers, how could you possibly think the passcode lockscreen does not fit as well? It is a core function of the phone. I understand you don't want others doing what you are doing. However, that does not give you the right to deny others when part of the method someone chose is similar to part of the method you chose. It took literally minutes to have the method work out independently to achieve my effect. Was it a stroke of genius on my behalf to duplicate it? Not at all. It was obvious what would provide a simple method that was direct and user friendly, just as it is going to be obvious for many many others going down the same path in creating methods for their unique effects for smartphones. As you mentioned, I am not the first person having to contact you about this, and my only response was "Of course I'm not." You decided to use the double-undercut of card magic - what did you expect? And, in the end, with whatever customization for your text effect that would be produced, my app would not be competing with yours whatsoever.

Yes, offering you the same cut I would be getting in the sales of the app is completely overly generous. But I DID make that offer once it was clear you were extremely protective and ready to throw mud - Not because it was the right thing to do (because I do not feel you have the right to tell others no for such a basic concept), but rather I find it best to be collaborative, and if that is what it took to have the idea celebrated and promoted when released as opposed to arguing over petty method details as it is introduced, it is a no brainer for me as my energy is best spent moving forward. There is very little money in the magic app world (from talking with people almost no one is even making money on their designs), and making an offer to someone to save myself headaches is no problem for me. I simply want to make this idea a reality to use myself, and found that others were really excited to have access to it as well. I also had a competent developer that loved the idea and would make it with no investment from my end in order to split sales, which is a an easy decision when compared to trying to find a developer and woking out a deal to make the app, being there each step of the way, having to follow up with him as IOS updates over time, etc.

My point of recognizing most card revelations as cheesy is simply a matter of opinion. Where I am concerned when other alternatives are held back because people think they can be magic police over limited input methods. I am sorry you have been ripped off. I know the feeling as have experienced the same with every one of my products. I have a lot of respect for you, just think in this circumstance you may need to consider the logical argument that you chose a general input method to achieve your effect.

JB
Message: Posted by: Badger (Oct 27, 2014 10:20AM)
"Comparing old card moves such as double lift and palming, to new modern input methods is not a fair comparison"

Actually it is although difference the principle remains the same. It's kind a like if somebody came up with the new 3 fly effect and improved shell for a coin. do they have the right to manufacturing of course why not. Of all the three fly tricks that are out there are people giving credit to Jonathan Townsend or Chris Kenner. And if so are they being ripped off. I don't think so. Also if a painter invents a new type of paint brush with different bristles allow him to do different techniques and somebody else comes up with the same thing I doubt that one can accuse the other one of stealing if both of these were dreamed up independently.

If you really want to get down to it if anybody should get compensated for anything for any kind of new ideas it should be Apple. Yes I know that sounds ridiculous but...this whole discussion is kind of ridiculous if you think about it. If John born came up with an independent idea then he has every right to make something of it and use it. There is no monopoly on cell phone.

The art of magic is for us all to build on and explore new techniques and new possibilities. it's been said here before that if you are a creator and you created something and if you are worried about somebody ripping you off or stealing part or all of your idea then you are best not to even market it. you are best not to tell anybody just keep it for yourself that will solve your problems.

John born your new app sounds really exciting and you have my full support.
Message: Posted by: Tim Cavendish (Oct 27, 2014 10:26AM)
It sounds like Angelo and others want all the benefits of real-world trade secrets and patents, without any of the responsibilities.

If it's protected as a trade secret, you have exclusive rights to use the method yourself, but you can't sell the method. You have to actually keep it secret.

If it passes muster to be protected as a patent, you can sell your invention with exclusivity for a limited time, and then the whole world owns your idea. You also have to publish the workings for all to see right at the start.

No system in the real world allows someone to sell a secret method while preventing others from using it for as long as they wish.
Message: Posted by: Angelo Carbone (Oct 27, 2014 11:52AM)
Badger how can you say John's app sounds really exciting when you don't even know what the effect is and if it works for you?

John you say you have a lot of respect for me and yet you have no respect for my wishes so how is that showing respect? I don't think you do respect me and are just saying it to make yourself look good. If I asked a magician if I could use his method for one of my tricks and he said no, I would have to respect that decision and move on. I wouldn't throw my toys out of the pram and whine about it. I guess it just depends on how one has been raised and leads their life - to respect others and treat others like you want to be treated.

Let's say I am wrong and have no right to protect my ideas. That means anyone can use Greg Rostami's input method for iPredict Pro. Anyone can use Marc Kerstein's MagicWebFX input method. Anyone can use Max Krause's input method for Mental Killer. They/we have no right whatsoever and anyone can use them as they are not protected and are obvious methods that anyone can independently think of. I don't think they would be happy. In fact they wouldn't be happy as I have discussed this with them. So we are all wrong?

Do you know who understands us? Only other creators. Release a product. Be ripped off. Have ideas stolen or used without permission and only them can you walk in our shoes and feel our anger.

Tim I cannot believe what I am reading. So anyone who does not protect their ideas can expect and accept others to use their ideas without any problem? Did I just read that right? Do you think every magic trick released by a magician has had its method protected by law? No way. If that was the only way there would be so little new magic out there. It doesn't work like that in the magic world which is small and I wish people would stop comparing it to big companies or retailers who have the dollars to copyright/patent their magic.

It should be all about respect. There never was a brotherhood in this magic world. I am so angry right now I better stop. Its no wonder why magicians want to stop creating with this sort of mentality out there and then who loses out?

Why do I bother?
Message: Posted by: Tim Cavendish (Oct 27, 2014 12:09PM)
[quote]On Oct 27, 2014, Angelo Carbone wrote:
Tim I cannot believe what I am reading. So anyone who does not protect their ideas can expect and accept others to use their ideas without any problem? Did I just read that right?[/quote]

No, you did not read it correctly. Read it again. I am saying that you want even more benefits for yourself than the law gives to people who pursue offical trade secret or patent protection. Those legal protections require balancing tradeoffs that you refuse to give: either not selling your method, or immediately publishing it for the world to see and eventually giving up any control of it.
Message: Posted by: Angelo Carbone (Oct 27, 2014 01:06PM)
But my point is who in the magic world protects their magic the legal way eg patents? Very very few. Magic intellectual copyright is different. Like I said there would be so much little new releases if we all had to protect our products the legal way. Instead we work together to credit, pay royalties or other. That's how it has has always been.

I feel I am on my own here fighting for the voice of creators.
Message: Posted by: Exitmat (Oct 27, 2014 01:15PM)
[quote]On Oct 27, 2014, Angelo Carbone wrote:
John you say you have a lot of respect for me and yet you have no respect for my wishes so how is that showing respect?[/quote]
You can have respect for someone and disagree with them. The two are not equatable. I'm surprised that has to be spelled out for you. I think it's obvious John has respect for you as, according to what you said, he came to you privately to discuss the issue and opened up the topic for discussion here without mentioning you by name at all. You were the one that came here and told the specifics. You're really coming across as someone who feels very entitled.

[quote]Do you know who understands us? Only other creators...[/quote]
I'm biting my tongue here... That's like saying the only people who can critique a film are filmmakers. Or the only people who have a valid opinion on literature are authors. I can't even put into words how absurd that is.

[quote]On Oct 27, 2014, Angelo Carbone wrote:I feel I am on my own here fighting for the voice of creators. [/quote]
It probably feels that way because you aren't recognizing that you are fighting for only your twisted views as a creator. Clearly several creators disagree with you here, so this is not the case. Perhaps instead of making a blanket claim like this you should objectively look into the nuances of this discussion.

[quote]It should be all about respect. There never was a brotherhood in this magic world. I am so angry right now I better stop. Its no wonder why magicians want to stop creating with this sort of mentality out there and then who loses out? [/quote]
I have found a fantastic brotherhood in the magic world. But then again I obviously do not share many of your philosophies, so it only makes sense my personal experience has been quite different than yours. Magicians do not want to stop creating. The only one that seems to want that, reading your posts in this thread, is you.

If what you're upset about here is the passcode lockscreen input of your app being used by other potential app builders, I think you need to get over yourself and recognize that all you have done is simply duplicate something that is already part of the core functionality of the phone already (same as swipes, dimming screens, phone flips, etc.). That's not something original, dude. You're just ringing in a fake. That's like saying switching a regular quarter for a gimmicked quarter is an original idea. You stumbled upon what is a very good, yet obvious, method for inputting information into the phone and built your app first. Congratulations. You should be credited for being the first to use the idea. And that's it. I suggest checking your ego and getting out of the way of other creators now with what is a very trivial claim of creation.
Message: Posted by: John Born (Oct 27, 2014 01:27PM)
Hi Angelo -

I do have respect for you as a creator. This does not mean that you have correctly assessed the situation as a creator, nor does it mean that I have to agree with you. You are fighting alone, or along a select few, because there is no logic in your argument with regard to the specific points that I am making. This is not just about you. I would extend the points I and others made about input options to all of the developers in app magic.

If someone was considering putting together an app that can text me a playing card, or really any other customizable message, I would be right there with you to say that Ipredict Pro and Magic SMS have that nicely covered, are excellent tools to accomplish that, and that the community should and would come together to help protect your offering. But this is not what this thread is about. It is about the ability to take advantage of general input methods to achieve a variety of different effects, all of which cannot be achieved by what you designed, or are planning to design, for the community.

JB
Message: Posted by: Angelo Carbone (Oct 27, 2014 01:30PM)
Its not about ego. Its about protecting one's work. You say there is a brotherhood? You must have missed all the posts on here with disputes, arguments, fallouts, Teller being ripped off, dealers ripping off, youtube exposure, SOM forum etc etc. Oh yes a wonderful brotherhood!
Message: Posted by: magicmarcuk (Oct 27, 2014 01:32PM)
I have developed several iPhone magic apps on the App Store. One of my apps in particular originally used a very clever input method that was devised by another magician who I paid and credited as I felt I should. However, the app was rejected by Apple as the input method violated Apple's iOS app terms and conditions.
I, like you John, felt that there were no other input methods available to me for my app except for one. But, after a brainstorming session with a friend, we came up with a completely new method of input that works great for my app, one that I feel is even better than the original.

It's very easy to say that there are only a finite number of ways to achieve something, but sometimes a bespoke method can be created to achieve the same goal and perhaps even be better.

A question: What if one were to use another's input method for their own purposes but with a bad implementation? The copied app could be poorly structured in effect, or even built by a less able developer that makes the input somewhat obvious to a lay audience. This would mean the original effect would likely be unperformable to the same audience, or even exposed. The original developer has probably spent a lot of time and attention on the nuances of the input method to ensure all is as convincing as possible. Any app that tries to recreate this method is absolutely at risk of exposing the original effect.

Note that a card trick that instructs the magician to "do a double lift" relies solely on the performer to convincingly do so, yet an app's believability also relies on its developer. Surely the original effect's creator should have some say?

Another thing: I saw "using a pebble" listed a few times in this thread as an input method, however I feel this is a little vague. Saying "we have a select few ways" and listing the Pebble as one of these few ways is unclear: my app allows the user to use a Pebble as an input, but in two completely different ways. In one way, whilst original, I would not be too bothered if another magician were to use in their own app. The other method that uses the Pebble I feel is extremely novel, and I would be very disappointed if another magician were to recreate it for their own app without my permission. Whilst the effect is all the spectator experiences, most of my development time and money was spent inventing and refining this very input method which I absolutely wish to stay unique to me.

I also have many future plans for my app as well as future effects that will use the same input method that I've already developed. If another magician were to use my input method for another effect without my permission, it's very likely that they would be overlapping with what I have in development. Checking with an effect's creator and respecting his decision I feel is highly important. As a modern example, how would we feel if a new effect was released tomorrow that used Sean Field's Hidden Hand as its method? Magicians would purchase the effect and find the same contents one receives with the HH but with a different DVD explaining another effect. Would this be OK?

Perhaps a difference is that Hidden Hand is sold as a tool; it's sold to magicians to be applied to multiple effects and routines. But even when purchasing a single marketed effect, we don't automatically get permission to resell the method as a new effect. Moves taught and items provided in Dean Dill's Blizzard, for example, have applications in many other effects (which magicians are free to perform if owning the original), yet it would surely be wrong to repackage and resell this method yourself as another effect without Dill's permission.

Maybe a solution would be for magicians to sell the code for their apps' input methods to other magicians as a tool for whatever effect they deem fit, but NOT for mass resale. Maybe magic apps should somehow be sold as tools rather than effects, with their routines and reveals customisable by the purchaser. This is of course much harder to accomplish than with physical products, so perhaps the best solution would be to propose a new effect to the creator of a digital method and see if a deal can be made, and if it can't, their decision should be respected.

And my last question: Who's to judge how simple a method is? It's difficult as great methods often seem simple in hindsight. I believe Angelo's Magic SMS was originally released in 2010 for iOS 4, at which time there were plenty of other magic apps available, yet none had thought to use Angelo's input method. Dismissing something as obvious is extremely easy to do in hindsight.
Message: Posted by: Badger (Oct 27, 2014 02:36PM)
Angelo,

I have always been a big fan of John born going back to his DVDs from years and years ago so everything he has put out Has been nothing but pure jams and also has boosted my own creativity. So there for when he says he's coming out with an app I am very excited about it John born is one of the few creators who I admireand respectboth for his really cool skills and creativity. I wish there were more like him.
Message: Posted by: Tom Cutts (Oct 27, 2014 08:33PM)
John, it really looks like you knew the right thing to do, did it, but when you didn't get the answer you wanted you came here with vague, misleading, inaccurate statements to drum up support for disrespecting the wishes of the person who first created this idea. And now you are trying to smear the person who came here to shine the light of detail on your vague charade.

We are indeed not talking about taps and swipes. Shame on ou for misleading folks so. We are talking about using a specially designed and modified screen which someone else came up with before you. I'd guess you probably knew about it before you decided to use it in your app, but that's my own conjecture.

Here is the crux. The act of giving is that of the person who first owns a thing. The taking of something because you think it to be obvious is still theft.

I have a strong suspicion that Apple will reject your app for appropriating part of another app without permission. Yes, they are rather strict about that when they find it.
Message: Posted by: Exitmat (Oct 28, 2014 07:25AM)
[quote]On Oct 27, 2014, Tom Cutts wrote:
John, it really looks like you knew the right thing to do, did it, but when you didn't get the answer you wanted you came here with vague, misleading, inaccurate statements to drum up support for disrespecting the wishes of the person who first created this idea. And now you are trying to smear the person who came here to shine the light of detail on your vague charade.

We are indeed not talking about taps and swipes. Shame on ou for misleading folks so. We are talking about using a specially designed and modified screen which someone else came up with before you. I'd guess you probably knew about it before you decided to use it in your app, but that's my own conjecture.

Here is the crux. The act of giving is that of the person who first owns a thing. The taking of something because you think it to be obvious is still theft.

I have a strong suspicion that Apple will reject your app for appropriating part of another app without permission. Yes, they are rather strict about that when they find it. [/quote]

First off, "the right thing" is subjective, so let's get down off the high horse and stick to discussing this issue at eye level. That's the point of this thread. Also, I think John has initiated conversation on this topic as cordially to anyone invested in it as he could have. It would have been disrespectful to start calling out names of people who didn't want to be part of the discussion. So he initiated discussion on the topic itself, without being personal about it, to get overall objective feedback from the community. To condemn that approach to the topic is nothing short of dismissively silly. Also, who did John "smear" and what is the "charade" is going on? Those are quite dramatic and accusatory words you're throwing around there, and reading through this thread, I don't see any evidence at all to support them. So how about we holster those pistols until there's enough evidence to fire off those shots, cowboy? (You wouldn't want to shoot yourself in the foot, you know...)

Everything you're saying is debatable, which is why I think this discussion has come to be. You say someone "owns" the idea of a dummy lock screen, and that implementing the same idea in another app is "theft". I totally disagree. As do many others apparently. And that's what we're discussing here. So clearly it's something worthy of discussion.

So how about we support our claims instead of just throwing out vague accusations without evidence? You seem way too eager to attack someones character rather than the argument itself, and to misrepresent and exaggerate someone's argument to make them easier to attack. How about we go back to discussing this topic the good ole fashioned way: making a non-emotional or personal statement on the topic at hand and then supporting it with evidence? You know: like John Born did when he started this thread.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Oct 28, 2014 07:33AM)
I think if someone first came up with the idea of a dummy lock screen in a certain way, yes - that would make them the creator/owner of that idea... if people wanted to use his/her method - then they'd need permission...if they come up with an alternative way, then a credit would be fair...
Message: Posted by: Tom Cutts (Oct 28, 2014 08:42AM)
First off, you can't offer holstering pistols while shooting yours off in the library. Your language choice is every bit what you are complaining about.

Second off, you can justify theft all you want. It is the badge of entitlement.

Third off, it would have been entirely possible to, without naming names or apps, say:

"I would like to use a dummy screen which someone else thought of, developed, and implemented before me, but when I asked that person to use this they said "no". Can I use it anyway?"

Instead we get inaccurate "information" which certainly appears on its surface to be purposely spun to gain support. THAT is the charade.
Message: Posted by: Angelo Carbone (Oct 28, 2014 09:11AM)
[quote]On Oct 27, 2014, Exitmat wrote:

Clearly several creators disagree with you here [/quote]

Who are these "creators" who disagree with me? I don't mind if they do but would like to know who they are unless you are just making it up. You can't just make a statement like that. Several is more than two and more than a few. I listed three names that feel the same way as I do about their inputs in their apps. There could be more but I haven't spoken to them about it.
Message: Posted by: Exitmat (Oct 28, 2014 09:34AM)
[quote]On Oct 28, 2014, Tom Cutts wrote:
First off, you can't offer holstering pistols while shooting yours off in the library. Your language choice is every bit what you are complaining about.[/quote]
There you go deflecting again. Nice.

[quote]On Oct 28, 2014, Tom Cutts wrote:Second off, you can justify theft all you want. It is the badge of entitlement.[/quote]
Again, theft/creation/rights/etc. is subjective. That's why we're discussing it. Please reference the words FACT and OPINION and compare and contrast them, then come back to this discussion.

[quote]On Oct 28, 2014, Tom Cutts wrote:
...it would have been entirely possible to, without naming names or apps, say:

"I would like to use a dummy screen which someone else thought of, developed, and implemented before me, but when I asked that person to use this they said "no". Can I use it anyway?"

Instead we get inaccurate "information" which certainly appears on its surface to be purposely spun to gain support. THAT is the charade. [/quote]
That wasn't the point of the thread. There: I just spelled it out for you. You're welcome.

[quote]On Oct 28, 2014, Angelo Carbone wrote:
[quote]On Oct 27, 2014, Exitmat wrote:

Clearly several creators disagree with you here [/quote]

Who are these "creators" who disagree with me? I don't mind if they do but would like to know who they are unless you are just making it up. You can't just make a statement like that. Several is more than two and more than a few. I listed three names that feel the same way as I do about their inputs in their apps. There could be more but I haven't spoken to them about it. [/quote]
Read this thread. You're capable of that. As for any others who haven't posted here, it's not my place to name names.
Message: Posted by: John Born (Oct 28, 2014 09:43AM)
Tom, thanks for your thoughts. However, I am completely confused how anything I said was vague, misleading, or inaccurate. I explained EXACTLY what I was working with, once asked, I provided the SPECIFIC method I created to achieve my effect that was being questioned, and without any room for misinterpretation, PRECISELY detailed my thoughts on the matter in a cordial and organized way. But in case you missed any of it, it is there for you to read again. Enjoy.

I have literally no reason whatsoever to "steal" from any creator. Anyone who has any insight whatsoever on the kind of things I work on for my personal use knows that I easily develop and throw away material every day that is much deeper and smarter than anything that has been discussed on this thread. Any accusations of "direct borrowing" while I state otherwise is not even a consideration. But I do understand where you are coming from. When you don't have a logical standpoint, might as well try to shoot darts at my character. If anything, that just gives us a little insight about you.

AND NOW, TO BRING THINGS FULL CIRCLE...

Want to know my favorite part of all of this? Before I even started this thread, I already had two methods worked out that are better than the one I had asked Angelo about. After all, having the spectator put in a passcode really kind of gives a spectator something strong to lean on for potential method once looking back at possible methods, and I wanted to avoid any and all chance for that. I guess you can say this is my interesting revelation at the end of this routine. I wasn't even going to bring up Angelo or the method we discussed in private, but he appeared along with a couple backup singers and wanted to talk specifics with regard to him, so I let them whine and rant, and now you have my thoughts.

The real reason that I put all of this together is because 1) The topic is important, as others have had the same issue. I was a bit horrified that app developers think they can deny others from using such basic approaches, and so getting the community to express their viewpoint on what is a general tool is important as this medium matures. Great to see most have their heads on straight. 2) Has been a long time since I visited themagiccafe. Interesting to see that things are still the same, and how quickly accusations of stealing start to fly, regardless of a reputation as a legit and forthright creator, and how simple the idea at hand may be 3) How I had a gut feeling that even if the magic community agreed with my logical position, the few people that wanted the app monopoly would quickly appear, not have a leg to stand on, and come across as petty children. Turned out to be like sharks on chum. Entertaining boys, thank you for your time, and for allowing me to make all three points in a direct and jovial manner. Sometimes I like to have a bit of fun with those that have a skewed perspective, and a few of you have made quite the nice playtoys.

Enjoy "your" methods.

John Born
Message: Posted by: Angelo Carbone (Oct 28, 2014 10:15AM)
Exitmat, thanks for your patronising "Read this thread. You're capable of that."

You said "creators" disagree with me not just other forum members. That's my point. Just by seeing other people post on here disagreeing, doesn't make them "creators" as you said. So please don't generalise and make assumptions that creators disagree with me if a) you don't know and b) you can't prove it.

Merci beaucoup!
Message: Posted by: Angelo Carbone (Oct 28, 2014 11:28AM)
[quote]On Oct 28, 2014, John Born wrote:
However, I am completely confused how anything I said was vague, misleading, or inaccurate.[/quote]

You say "demand residuals" when I never asked you for money.
You use the word "we" a lot to give your complaint more weight and support when in fact it seems only you have the problem. No one has complained to me in four years since my app has been out.
You contradict yourself when saying "we are being threatened into using inferior methods" and yet in your above post you say "Before I even started this thread, I already had two methods worked out that are better than the one I had asked about". So even before starting this thread you had better methods all along and yet you were threatened to use inferior methods???

[quote]Want to know my favorite part of all of this? Before I even started this thread, I already had two methods worked out that are better than the one I had asked Angelo about.[/quote]

Ok serious question. Can I use your methods in other apps please?

[quote]I had a gut feeling that even if the magic community agreed with my logical position, the few people that wanted the app monopoly would quickly appear, not have a leg to stand on, and come across as petty children. Turned out to be like sharks on chum. Entertaining boys, thank you for your time, and for allowing me to make all three points in a direct and jovial manner. Sometimes I like to have a bit of fun with those that have a skewed perspective, and a few of you have made quite the nice playtoys.

Enjoy "your" methods.[/quote]

Do you realise how that makes you look? If you don't then poor you.
Message: Posted by: John Born (Oct 28, 2014 11:46AM)
[quote] You say "demand residuals" when I never asked you for money. [/quote]

Once again, you think this is all about you.

[quote] serious question. Can I use your methods in other apps please? [/quote]

Absolutely - I am using general input methods. As long as you do not duplicate my effect, have at it boss.

[quote] Do you realize how that makes you look? If you don't then poor you. [/quote]

The bottom line is you are out of your league here. Yes, I made a bit of an example out of you. Hook, line, and sinker. Poor you. I have made all of the points I wanted to make. Feel free to keep digging yourself into a deeper hole.

JB
Message: Posted by: Angelo Carbone (Oct 28, 2014 11:53AM)
Wow!
Message: Posted by: Exitmat (Oct 28, 2014 12:18PM)
[quote]On Oct 28, 2014, Angelo Carbone wrote:
Exitmat, thanks for your patronising "Read this thread. You're capable of that."

You said "creators" disagree with me not just other forum members. That's my point. Just by seeing other people post on here disagreeing, doesn't make them "creators" as you said. So please don't generalise and make assumptions that creators disagree with me if a) you don't know and b) you can't prove it.

Merci beaucoup! [/quote]
First, it is not for me to reveal someone's name behind their handle.

Second, just because YOU don't know someone's name does not mean they haven't created some fantastic stuff.

Also, you are laying the burden of proof on ME when it is YOU questioning the claim. If you don't know who the people replying on this thread are, then stop being lazy and do your own research and homework and answer the question for yourself. Or don't; I really don't care. You seem to be hung up on thinking a discussion is about winning a popularity contest when really it's a small point in passing on what this whole discussion is really about: it's about you thinking that a stupid fake lock screen is something you "created". How many apps are there on tying knots? Or voice recognition singing apps? Or guitar tuning apps? Or picture editing apps? Or apps that stream music or podcasts? Nobody "created" these things. People are just finding ways to make use of the technology already available on the platform given. You didn't "create" a fake lock screen, dude: you, like some others, stumbled upon one way to use the technology that was already in your hands. You didn't create the iPhone. In essence, you were just the first to publish the idea of switching a real quarter for a gimmicked quarter for a coin in bottle effect, and now you think you have the right to ban anyone from switching a real penny for a gimmicked penny so that they can do a bent penny effect.

Get over yourself already. And consider yourself fortunate when the day comes that someone out there comes out with an app with a fake lock screen input that they credit you for being the first to implement the idea.
Message: Posted by: Angelo Carbone (Oct 28, 2014 12:25PM)
You are a very nice person aren't you.

You are saying I am the lazy one for not researching who is who and yet you were the one to assume who were creators without checking your facts.

I see.

Lovely people on here. What a wonderful "brotherhood"! :)
Message: Posted by: Exitmat (Oct 28, 2014 12:41PM)
I know who the people on here are, and what they've created, Angelo. (Badger, for instance, has created the absolute best swami I've ever seen.) That's part of the brotherhood I suppose. Sorry you're not a part of it.

Anyhow, you might want to brush up on those reading comprehension skills as you completely misinterpreted what I said, and it was through no lack of clarity on my part. Or should I say you "created" an entire meaning that wasn't even there. Maybe you can write an app that misinterprets speech patterns so you can claim to have invented misinterpretations?
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Oct 28, 2014 12:42PM)
[quote]On Oct 28, 2014, IAIN wrote:
I think if someone first came up with the idea of a dummy lock screen in a certain way, yes - that would make them the creator/owner of that idea... if people wanted to use his/her method - then they'd need permission...if they come up with an alternative way, then a credit would be fair... [/quote]

Agreed.
Message: Posted by: juggernought (Oct 28, 2014 01:12PM)
John you wrote on here that you have a lot of respect for Angelo and yet you say you used him as an example to make fun of and branded him a petty child. This just shows me I can't believe anything you write and now I have lost my respect for you.
Message: Posted by: Tim Cavendish (Oct 28, 2014 01:13PM)
[quote]On Oct 27, 2014, Angelo Carbone wrote:
Its about protecting one's work.[/quote]
Actually, that's only half the story.

Here's the thing: What's best for one creator isn't necessarily best for the field as a whole.

That's why real world intellectual property laws seek to balance TWO interests: (1) protection for the creators AND (2) progress/development in the field.

That's why real world terms of protection for inventions expire, and require publication of secrets and eventual forfeit of control: so the field may advance.

If your app is 4 years old already, that's ancient in computer years. Congratulations! You've had a good long run! BUT in tech terms you're a dinosaur, and there's a meteor on the way.

See those small, annoying furry mammals down by your feet?

They are the future.
Message: Posted by: John Born (Oct 28, 2014 02:47PM)
Hi Juggernought -

I started this thread to have a general discussion. Some of the inspiration for it was due to my interactions with Angelo. Even though I did not at all feel that he was justified in his position, I moved past it and developed other ways of achieving what I needed. However, for the general discussion, none of those details needed to be shared, and I kept all of the details in private, just as they should be.

Even after he showed up and tried to just make the discussion about him, I wanted this to stay on topic, and get a feel for what people felt are general tools of app development for magic.

I am not here to make friends. I am introducing a discussion for a logical debate I find concerning. Once I was accused of trying to lift anything, I saw this in a bit different light, and so decided to make quick work of you for going there. And thank you for making it so easy for me. So no I am not surprised that you did you enjoy that experience.

I think that will conclude my contributions to this thread. All of my points are laid out nicely and are easy to understand. Even for the computer guys.

All the best,

JB
Message: Posted by: Badger (Oct 28, 2014 02:49PM)
If I buy a telescope tonight and discover a new planet tomorrow does that mean that the planet is mine along with all of its resources and minerals. Does that mean that I can send a probe to that planet get its golden silver and platinum bring it back and sell it here? So who will own that planet? the makers of the telescope? Well I own it? Well the most powerful country on the planet take it from me? How will it all play out.

John I really hope you go with your intuition and instincts and put this app out on the market for everyone to enjoy it because I'm going to tell you personally what I have seen. I have seen people buy a magic affect and fall in love with it and do it every day and then talk trash about the creator. Magic is a very political place just like anything else I suppose. You'll never make everyone happy all you can do is the best that you can do to contribute to the world of magic. Just look at how many three fly routines are out there and how many fourth dimensional telepathy routines are out there. If you break any affect down to its lowest level you will find that there are probably hundreds of people behind the creation just make the app produce it give as much credit as you can and know in your heart that you did the best that you could do and you wanted to share your excitement enjoy with the community.
Message: Posted by: John Born (Oct 28, 2014 03:01PM)
[quote] So no I am not surprised that you did you enjoy that experience. [/quote]

So no I am not surprised that you did *not* enjoy that experience.

Anyway, for everyone else thank you for your thoughts on both sides. Will be interesting to see what happens as things move forward in this genre.

JB
Message: Posted by: Badger (Oct 28, 2014 03:02PM)
One more point I would like to make nobody here on this board or anywhere else really knows who came up with that idea with the app first okay nobody can say for 100% certainty. And to let you know there are a lot of apps on the market and on the black market that allow you to do a lot of crazy things and a lot of concepts that I've seen in magic apps stem straight from apps that will be used to steal information to ease drop to steal people's credit cards drivers license info etc. those who know me on this form know exactly what I'm talking about. I have seen apps out there that will make your eyes water and that could easily be used in the field of magic for mentalist.

So Angelo if you really think that you are a creator of an app idea I would really check into that.
Message: Posted by: Angelo Carbone (Oct 28, 2014 03:12PM)
[quote]On Oct 28, 2014, Badger wrote:
So Angelo if you really think that you are a creator of an app idea I would really check into that. [/quote]

I don't understand what you mean. You want to know which app I created and if its original? I can say with 101% certainty that no one used the method I did for my app before I used it if that is what you are asking.
Message: Posted by: John Born (Oct 28, 2014 03:21PM)
Badger - I see your point, but may argue that even when a concept, principle, or piece of technology is developed in a different market (non magic), we as a community should still credit the first person that utilizes that concept, principle, or piece of technology in a magical effect and introduces it to the magic community for that purpose.
Message: Posted by: Pasteboard Alchemist (Oct 28, 2014 03:31PM)
[quote]On Oct 28, 2014, Angelo Carbone wrote:
I don't understand what you mean. You want to know which app I created and if its original? I can say with 101% certainty that no one used the method I did for my app before I used it if that is what you are asking. [/quote]

Hi Angelo. I'm not looking to throw fuel on the fire here or the like, but I think Badger is saying that the concept of displaying a dummy lock screen, keeping the phone active (so it doesn't actually lock) but dims out until a third-party person attempts to enter a code, at which time the app is triggered to do something may have been in development before you (independently) thought to use it for a magic effect.

That being said, I've had an app on my phone that does that since mid-2010 called "Big Brother Camera Security" that displays a dummy lock screen, keeps the phone active (so it doesn't actually lock) but dims out until a third-party person attempts to enter a code, at which time the app is triggered to do something.

My intent here isn't an "A ha! someone developed using that as a method for capturing information/triggering actions in the app before and/or at the same time you did!" It's simply to say: this has existed in at least a few apps, one of which I've been using for about 4 1/2 years. Are you the first to apply it to magic? I imagine so. But, as a general method, it was out there.

I wish [i]everybody[/i] luck on their respective apps. The more creative effects that are out there, the more everybody wins.
Message: Posted by: JanForster (Oct 28, 2014 03:35PM)
[quote]On Oct 28, 2014, Tim Cavendish wrote:
That's why real world intellectual property laws seek to balance TWO interests: (1) protection for the creators AND (2) progress/development in the field.

That's why real world terms of protection for inventions expire, and require publication of secrets and eventual forfeit of control: so the field may advance.
[/quote]

That's basically the whole story - as long as credit is given. Without that agreement there wouldn't be any progress, nowhere. And if John asked this question only, that's he answer. Jan
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Oct 28, 2014 03:56PM)
Personally, I've never refused permission to use one of my ideas PROVIDED permission is requested, credit is given, and the new creation is significantly different, rather than just an obvious variation.
Message: Posted by: Angelo Carbone (Oct 28, 2014 04:12PM)
[quote]On Oct 28, 2014, Pasteboard Alchemist wrote:

That being said, I've had an app on my phone that does that since mid-2010 called "Big Brother Camera Security" that displays a dummy lock screen, keeps the phone active (so it doesn't actually lock) but dims out until a third-party person attempts to enter a code, at which time the app is triggered to do something.
[/quote]

Hi thanks! I had a look at the app you suggested but I don't think it is a fair comparison. It does not simulate the real iphone lock screen and passcode screen. It is just a generic security keypad. Also, my app does not require a third party to trigger the app, it all happens automatically on a timer. It's not based or similar to it all but I understand your point.:)
Message: Posted by: John Born (Oct 28, 2014 04:21PM)
[quote]On Oct 28, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
Personally, I've never refused permission to use one of my ideas PROVIDED permission is requested, credit is given, and the new creation is significantly different, rather than just an obvious variation. [/quote]

Hi Bob - am glad you mentioned this. When I contacted Angelo I sincerely expected to hear "Great to hear from you man. Cool idea! Yeah I can see guys having fun with that. I can also see how lockscreen concept was thought of as a solution to make it happen. If you don't mind, please credit me with the lockscreen idea - I think I'm the first to use that in magic, and seems to work pretty well! Let me know when it is finished."

Is really the same answer most of us give when we are approached by people with a different vision on ideas that we decided to make public, regardless if they were independently created or directly inspired.

JB
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Oct 28, 2014 04:26PM)
[quote]On Oct 28, 2014, John Born wrote:
[quote]On Oct 28, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
Personally, I've never refused permission to use one of my ideas PROVIDED permission is requested, credit is given, and the new creation is significantly different, rather than just an obvious variation. [/quote]

Hi Bob - am glad you mentioned this. When I contacted Angelo I sincerely expected to hear "Great to hear from you man. Cool idea! Yeah I can see guys having fun with that. I can also see how lockscreen concept was thought of as a solution to make it happen. If you don't mind, please credit me with the lockscreen idea - I think I'm the first to use that in magic, and seems to work pretty well! Let me know when it is finished."

Is really the same answer most of us give when we are approached by people with a different vision on ideas that we decided to make public, regardless if they were independently created or directly inspired.

JB [/quote]
so in all honesty, is this really just down to Angelo saying "no"? as in, you were expecting a yes, and when you didn't get it, you felt that you should start a thread on the subject? (not saying that's wrong - just trying to understand everything properly)..
Message: Posted by: John Born (Oct 28, 2014 04:28PM)
Hi Iain -

Please reread my posts. This was already clearly addressed. Was an attempt to understand what can and can't be used and / or claimed as input methods when trying to introduce independent effects for the community. Am still concerned at how much I was having to dance around in my attempt to use concepts based on the core functionality of the phone because people felt like they were owners of basic approaches and obvious solutions.

Best,

JB
Message: Posted by: magicmarcuk (Oct 28, 2014 06:34PM)
[quote]On Oct 28, 2014, John Born wrote:
Hi Iain -

Please reread my posts. This was already clearly addressed. Was an attempt to understand what can and can't be used and / or claimed as input methods when trying to introduce independent effects for the community. Am still concerned at how much I was having to dance around in my attempt to use concepts based on the core functionality of the phone because people felt like they were owners of basic approaches and obvious solutions.

Best,

JB [/quote]


John, I'm curious here, but do you have intention of listening to Angelo's decision? And if you don't feel that it's his decision to make, then why ask in the first place?
Message: Posted by: Badger (Oct 28, 2014 07:02PM)
Overall whose decision is it?
Message: Posted by: juggernought (Oct 28, 2014 07:24PM)
If John felt it was important to ask Angelo initially, and even offer him some money for it (before retracting that offer), I can only assume that John knew in his heart that it was Angelo's decision to make.
Message: Posted by: Doc_Z (Oct 28, 2014 08:19PM)
I had this idea before either of you.


...nah, just kidding.
Message: Posted by: Tim Cavendish (Oct 28, 2014 08:32PM)
[quote]On Oct 28, 2014, juggernought wrote:
If John felt it was important to ask Angelo initially, and even offer him some money for it (before retracting that offer), I can only assume that John knew in his heart that it was Angelo's decision to make. [/quote]

By asking, John B was acting according to magic's established protocols, which give credit and respect to creators while also allowing advancement of the field, with the expectation that Angelo would similarly observe that protocol.

Bob Cassidy lays out the standard response to such a request:
[quote]Personally, I've never refused permission to use one of my ideas PROVIDED permission is requested, credit is given, and the new creation is significantly different, rather than just an obvious variation.[/quote]

Angelo does not appear to be acting in accord with that protocol.
Message: Posted by: John Born (Oct 28, 2014 08:40PM)
Guys - this isn't about Angelo or the lockscreen. As mentioned before I created two methods to achieve what I want that are more deceptive than duplicating the lockscreen, before even starting this thread. Ideally the topic is whether duplicating core functions of the smartphone, as well as the input options listed earlier are fair game for everyone, assuming the effect offers the community something new.
Message: Posted by: juggernought (Oct 28, 2014 08:58PM)
Tim, What nonsense! So the protocol is to let anyone have something simply because they ask permission in the way you set out above? Asking someone for permission is more than a mere formality.

And what about offering to pay? Is that a mere formality too? Or does that not suggest to you that John, unlike you, actually initially recognised the importance of permission?

I find it funny how you lay out your views as if they were a sort of law: 'protocols', 'acting in accord with that protocol', 'standard response' etc Creators are entitled to respect (which even you have said in your above post), and it is clearly up to them to respond to requests how they see fit. They need not respond in accordance with your tin-pot test you have based on one creator's approach.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Oct 28, 2014 09:02PM)
Just to be clear- I don't ALWAYS grant permission. Note the proviso that I mentioned in my last post.
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Oct 28, 2014 09:10PM)
[quote]On Oct 28, 2014, John Born wrote:
Guys - this isn't about Angelo or the lockscreen. As mentioned before I created two methods to achieve what I want that are more deceptive than duplicating the lockscreen, before even starting this thread. Ideally the topic is whether duplicating core functions of the smartphone, as well as the input options listed earlier are fair game for everyone, assuming the effect offers the community something new. [/quote]
NO!!!!!
Message: Posted by: juggernought (Oct 28, 2014 09:13PM)
Bob, I would be astonished if you always did! Your approach certainly sounds reasonable - it was just that Tim seemed to be twisting its meaning around and advocating its use as a universal 'protocol'.

And John, to pretend this thread is not about Angelo is disingenuous. I do agree that the thread is about discussing whether a creator's input methods should be used by others without their permission. But to answer that question, we must look at the situation from the creator's point of view. And since Angelo has been facing (from you) the exact problem you set out, his views are crucial to answering your question generally.
Message: Posted by: Galileo (Oct 28, 2014 09:30PM)
Man there goes my chance to pitch Bob my Place and Name routine that uses a little bit of his prior work.
Message: Posted by: John Born (Oct 29, 2014 10:02AM)
Hi Juggernought -

Was partly inspired by Angelo, not about him. Only reason we are even talking about him is because he showed up here to discuss details that were meant to be between he and I.

JB
Message: Posted by: Genie Gene (Oct 30, 2014 12:43AM)
John you said you came here to make sure the community was on your side. Read the responses and count the "likes", the majority disapprove. Since you're asking, I can tell you that I also disapprove of your position as well as your behavior.

You won't be moving forward with this, since gaining approval from the Café users was a prerequisite. Unless you've changed your mind about being the "bad guy".

"I and a few others feel like our hands are tied until we get feedback from you, as we are hesitant to move forward until we know that the general population of the community is on the same page. Would hate to be the “bad guy.”"

-JB
Message: Posted by: John Born (Oct 30, 2014 07:53AM)
Hi Genie -

For the third time, I do not want or need to use the password lockscreen. Please, actually read what I have written before responding with a position telling me what I will or will not do. With that said, I and most others very much do consider his and most other input methods to be general use, obvious tools to achieve a wide variety effects on this medium, and fair game for everyone.

Best,

JB
Message: Posted by: CThomas (Oct 30, 2014 07:56AM)
I just have one very small point to make to all this. I think it's a serious mistake to start saying that John's decision to discuss this issue with a particular web application developer, or to raise it on here for discussion, creates an inference that he knows he's wrong, or that he recognizes the ultimate decision belongs to someone else. It seems to me that it's in everyone's interest to promote advance discussion of these sorts of issues rather than just put something out and have the discussion after the fact. If somebody has that discussion, it seems to me it should be viewed as an admirable attempt to discuss the issues in recognition of the fact that somebody else might disagree with you rather than some sort of admission. (Of course, in practice, it's ***ed if you do and ***ed if you don't, because I'm sure that if someone just put out an application using a pre-existing input method then there would have been similarly indignant cries that it should have been discussed and vetted in advance. So you really can't then turn around and use it against someone when they do have that advance conversation.) Of course, it sounds like all this is academic in this particular instance since it sounds like John doesn't even intend to rely on the disputed input method and is just raising a general point for discussion.
Message: Posted by: CThomas (Oct 30, 2014 07:57AM)
I guess the site viewed that expression as profanity. In case the sentence is now incomprehensible, the parenthetical should say "darned if you do and darned if you don't . . . .").
Message: Posted by: John Born (Oct 30, 2014 08:23AM)
It would be great if the three app developers that are taking part in this discussion list what they feel are the techniques and input methods that are fair game. Have yet to see a logical argument against any of the points made by the many contributing here that understand my point (and no, three guys liking posts over and over that simply scream "mine" is not a logical argument).

Why do some feel they get to pick and choose what input method is and isn't claimed, when they all are utilizing or duplicating core functionality laid out by Apple? At this point in time, most input approaches have been used on some level in magic, and all of them on my list have been used by other communities - so no matter what a new developer chooses to use, their input is very likely going to be the same, or some sort of variant of something that already exists. I feel that with such limitations we should be allowed to choose whatever input method suits our desired effect so that we can develop what we consider to be the best version of an app possible. I see absolutely no point whatsoever in adding unnecesary process to an input method for the sake of originality in the way information is secretly sent to the app. I already started the list earlier. Seems like you think the lockscreen, one of the more obvious ones in the list, doesn't belong. What others should we also avoid, and why are these different than the techniques left on the final list?

JB
Message: Posted by: Angelo Carbone (Oct 30, 2014 09:18AM)
John I have every right to use my app as an example as this was the whole reason you started this thread. It's the WAY the passcode screen is used that I am against. For example, there is another app that uses the passcode screen too but the spectator does not enter the passcode, the magician has to do it secretly. Also the code entered in his app is exactly what the prediction is. Therefore I said ok to him when he asked as it was just about different. You contacted me saying you wanted to get the spectator to enter the code too in your app and disguise the passcode number as well and this is why I had to decline. Its not necessarily the passcode screen I am against but the justification, context, handling and structure I am against being used. That's copying. If a smartphone is a deck of cards and handling the cards is the same as tapping the screen, it's the MOVES that one has to protect and respect those that have come up with a move before. By your logic, just because something is obvious and anyone could have thought of it before then anyone can use it. That's flawed logic. Btw you can't change your story and say you don't want or need to use the passcode screen because a) that's the whole reason you started this thread and b) you would not stop messaging me about using it so you obviously wanted to use it. If you just accepted my answer and reason then life could move on.

As for other developers suggesting what is fair play as regards to inputting info, of course tapping, swyping, tilting etc are all fair game but it is how they are used and combined and disguised that we are protective about. You told me you are new to the app world so please learn from developer's experience. Thank you!
Message: Posted by: John Born (Oct 30, 2014 10:05AM)
Hi Angelo -

Typing a passcode into a passcode lockscreen is the exact same as swiping from the initial swipescreen. As magicians we must look as what Apple have given us, how people have to interact with that design, and duplicate those actions so that our inputs are hidden within the actions normal people do every day. There are only a few of those logical interactions by design, and simply duplicating them does not put you on a pedestal as an original creator. Anyone examining options in this way will easily consider both of these methods. If you were the first to hire a programmer to duplicate it, great am happy to give you that credit. However expecting to have the ability to deny others from considering it as an option as well is flawed. Recognition as a creator can sometimes be a product of construction and layering, when we take old ideas and put them together in new sequences that break into fresh territory (typically the benefits of the new construction are making the effect more direct, cleaner, or gives us extra opportunities that were not previously there). Ideally, garnering recognition as a creator would be accomplished through developing a new and exciting experience for an audience.

I wrote you because it was the first method that I created for the effect I designed, and the app developer I approached told me that you had already used the method, and seemed a bit protective of it. So I wrote you, expecting no problems whatsoever since it was obvious I had a completely different vision. When you said no, I asked if you would consider taking a cut of the profits if that changes your perspective. Not that I felt like you deserved a cut (if you talk with this designer you will very much know that I did not lol), but wasn't a big deal to me as the money is a non-issue. I just wanted to the developer to feel like he could move forward without having to deal with petty magician squabbles. When you declined this is when I stepped back for a day to try to see it from your perspective. I came up with two methods that were better, but was also a bit put off, so decided to ask other members of the community what they thought were and weren't general tools in app development.

If you want to use your effect as an example, I am happy to bite. The input method is simple duplication of the obvious, the construction is simply the option you chose (of course not original - many, many pieces of code have been written to cause a phone to text), the layering is a basic regurgitation of information (think of something, name it, look I can reveal it), and the effect is the biggest fail of all four as a creator, as out of all of the options possible you chose to revealing a piece of information that people hardly even relate to (a chosen playing card, in a way that is more convoluted and process driven than the average basic reveals offered to beginners in their first trip to the magic shop). Yay Magic SMS.

Back to the list - taps, swipes, tilts. Not a lot of options keep them coming.
Message: Posted by: Angelo Carbone (Oct 30, 2014 10:41AM)
You are unbelievable John! Again by insulting my app because it reveals a playing card that "no one can relate to" is also insulting about 90% of creators of other apps that also reveal a card. You know how to make yourself popular don't you? Convoluted method? You type a question and get an answer in a text. Maybe that is too convoluted for someone like you.

I have not degraded your app idea or insulted it but if you want to play that card so be it. So because your app idea doesn't reveal a playing card it makes it better than everyone else's app? How very arrogant of you. Your calendar idea and birthday idea is so impossible right? No one could possibly think as an alternative method that you simply facebook searched someone to get the info?

Keep going John. You are showing your true colours.
Message: Posted by: John Born (Oct 30, 2014 10:45AM)
You are arguing ownership based on being an original creator. I am simply telling it like it is. And it is cute that you are exploring the revelation of one of my effects before it is published, while ranting about ethics. Keep going. Still way out of your league Carbone.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Oct 30, 2014 11:02AM)
Could one of you guys create an app where it sends electric shocks to another phone? Then you could wait til one of you goes to sleep or having a poo and then zap him...
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Oct 30, 2014 11:11AM)
ROTFLMAO ... Love this thread.....
Quit stealing John....
Message: Posted by: John Born (Oct 30, 2014 11:26AM)
[quote]On Oct 30, 2014, Slim King wrote:
ROTFLMAO ... Love this thread.....
Quit stealing John.... [/quote]

This is just a discussion. No one is stealing, or intends to steal, anything.

JB
Message: Posted by: DynaMix (Oct 30, 2014 11:38AM)
[quote]On Oct 30, 2014, Genie Gene wrote:
John you said you came here to make sure the community was on your side. Read the responses and count the "likes", the majority disapprove. Since you're asking, I can tell you that I also disapprove of your position as well as your behavior.

You won't be moving forward with this, since gaining approval from the Café users was a prerequisite. Unless you've changed your mind about being the "bad guy".

"I and a few others feel like our hands are tied until we get feedback from you, as we are hesitant to move forward until we know that the general population of the community is on the same page. Would hate to be the “bad guy.”"

-JB [/quote]

How strangely arrogant... Speaking for the thread and its members like you're some kind of authority.
Hilarious.
Message: Posted by: DynaMix (Oct 30, 2014 11:39AM)
John it sounds like you have a way to get this app out without stepping on anyone's toes.

Will we see it finally hit the App Store?
Message: Posted by: magicmarcuk (Oct 30, 2014 11:50AM)
[quote]On Oct 30, 2014, John Born wrote:
...Yay Magic SMS.[/quote]

Whilst I disagree with you, you have every right to voice your opinion. But there's no need to be condescending.

[quote]On Oct 30, 2014, John Born wrote:
Back to the list - taps, swipes, tilts. Not a lot of options keep them coming.[/quote]

All of this talk about magic moving forwards, but what worries me is that some seem to be saying that all input methods have already been used, and one should choose which to use for their own effect as if selecting from a catalogue.
It's clearly paradoxical: "we shouldn't bother creating new input methods in order to keep pushing the envelope and advancing the art of magic".

Sure, a new effect advances magic, but after devising a premise does that mean your next step is to automatically look to existing methods rather than be creative for the workings too?
Message: Posted by: John Born (Oct 30, 2014 12:09PM)
[quote] All of this talk about magic moving forwards, but what worries me is that some seem to be saying that all input methods have already been used, and one should choose which to use for their own effect as if selecting from a catalogue.
It's clearly paradoxical: "we shouldn't bother creating new input methods in order to keep pushing the envelope and advancing the art of magic". [/quote]

Nobody has even hinted that all of the input methods have been developed, nor that we shouldn't attempt to create alternatives. By all means push forward. But let's do so without cutting our legs out from under us.

And a decent magician would never need to pick a method from a catalogue. However, he should have the ability to access the general input options that are obvious, without hassle, to achieve his vision. Since it is clear that some are attempting to claim a few of these limited options, hopefully this thread can shed more light on what can or can't be used, and why these specific ones are so different than the others. As mentioned before, some of the obvious include flipping over the phone in different ways, timing, swiping, tilting, multiple tapping, swiping from initial swipescreen, using a code in the passcode lock screen, using a pebble, using a bluetooth remote, voice recognition, internet synchronizing, secret writing with finger (like a nailwriter), secret typing, phone switching, etc. These are all basic tools that we can use to create an effect.

My thoughts? Another couple of years and it is going to be funny that this thread even had to exist, and that these, plus many more, will be obvious options due to advancing technology. I guess in the meantime we can continue to play "Pong" on the Xbox One.

JB
Message: Posted by: John Born (Oct 30, 2014 12:44PM)
I do see a point here though. My grandma showed me a similar Mr. Wizard effect with a phone when I was a kid. At least there is a place for your creation.

J
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Oct 30, 2014 01:22PM)
I honestly don't know enough about app development to give an opinion here or to take sides.

But this has turned completely unprofessional and embarrassing. And since my personal feeling is that mentalism apps are almost universally suspect when the phone is an overt part of the presentation, it is really just may be a tempest in a leaky teapot that will soon be empty.

Good thoughts,

Bob
Message: Posted by: juggernought (Oct 30, 2014 01:59PM)
I have voiced my views already and they have not changed. However, John I agree with Bob - this really has become embarrassing. You're just being mean now and substituting arguments for insults. For your sake, please think more about what you write next time (if indeed you still think it is actually useful to continue this 'discussion'). Such behaviour in public forums does not reflect well on you.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Oct 30, 2014 02:05PM)
* The last sentence of my previous post should read, "It really may just be a tempest in a leaky teapot that will soon be empty."

That's what happens when I edit my own posts on the fly. :eek:
Message: Posted by: John Born (Oct 30, 2014 02:26PM)
Agreed - a couple of my opinions I should have kept to myself. Will do my best to stick to the topic as well. Came to a point of simply entertaining myself since, after 4 pages, I am not receiving direct or logical answers from the few that do not share the same viewpoint in this discussion.

I apologize about the Mr. Wizard comment. Not because the two effects are dissimilar, but because I don't think she would really be in the market to do your effect either, as it is sometimes a bit of trouble trying to teach a grandma how to text. Thanks for the fun.

J
Message: Posted by: juggernought (Oct 30, 2014 07:16PM)
You say you agree but you are being rude and sarcastic again.

You have received logical and reasoned answers. I don't know what else you want other than for us to agree with you.