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Topic: "TV Rights not included" <- legal?
Message: Posted by: Memory-Jah (Apr 22, 2015 09:44AM)
Hi everyone, I would like to start a very important topic here. I don't see any problems with people speculating, however a real profound answer from maybe experts might be the best.
The question is: If I buy a trick to know its secret, is it legal for a seller to deny any tv rights for this effect? I find this very problematic. I have a little tv gig soon where you get only like 200 bucks or so and I would like to perform a trick there where the seller put a note: no tv rights...I feel kinda cheated as the sole purpose of buying an effect is to actually perform this. So again, before we go into heavy back and forth, I really hope there are some experts on this subject here.

Looking forward to read some answers. As it might help other magicians too in future.

Markus
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 22, 2015 09:52AM)
You need to ask a German lawyer.
Message: Posted by: Memory-Jah (Apr 22, 2015 09:56AM)
Is there not a more general answer possible because the seller (sansmind) is not based in Germany.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Apr 22, 2015 10:35AM)
Yes, it's perfectly legal. Just because you purchase and pay for the secret in no way gives you permission, license or rights to perform it on television. These are usually separate rights and come at a much higher price as they aren't as widely granted and often are based on only a few issued with such rights.

In reality, just because you purchase a DVD, book or release really, unless specifically specified, actually does not even allow you public performance rights. Most do not enforce this, and some actually assume you will perform it live, but again a live performance before a very limited audience and a performance in a widespread broadcast or movie format are two different things.

Actually the better and more exclusive the release, the more expensive the rights.

It seems to be this way in most parts of the world but I'm sure there may be some exceptions somewhere.

You must understand there are different types of rights - public performance, broadcast, licensing and even implied rights.

For example, I license some of my program presentations and there are very specific terms and guidelines and it excludes television or broadcast rights (except for specific media rights of performances of :12 or less), which is standard.

Sorry you don't agree with it but it is the only way for the creator to control rights and it's widespread release outside of the intended or community.
Message: Posted by: dearwiseone (Apr 22, 2015 02:41PM)
[quote]On Apr 22, 2015, Mindpro wrote:
In reality, just because you purchase a DVD, book or release really, unless specifically specified, actually does not even allow you public performance rights. [/quote]

Not sure where the legal base for that comes from? I don't agree. (unless of course you're talking about copyrighted script, trademarks, etc.)

Mindpro is kind of right. It CAN be legal for a creator to deny those rights (just words on paper), but having the legal base to enforce them is another matter. It depends on too many factors, including the language of the license for the particular script, routine, or effect and whether or not the purchaser was made aware of these rights (or signed a contract) prior to purchase. The type of airing on TV (documentary, live TV, public broadcasting, etc.) also affects whether broadcast or "performance" rights can be enforced.

I don't support what a lot of "creators" are doing with the whole TV rights thing, but they're free to put whatever they want in the text included with their trick. Again, not speaking about everyone, just the popular trend I'm seeing with so many effects put out these days.

For your particular case, you would need to consult a real lawyer in Germany. We can all give our opinions, but you should consult a legal professional in your country.

Hope that helps!
Kevin
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Apr 22, 2015 02:55PM)
I really donít think that it is Ďlegalí to change things AFTER the sale. Only magicians believe that.:)

Unless you were told this before the purchase you have every right to a refund. Best to ask the one you
brought from and if he says no, ask for your money back.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Gerry Walkowski (Apr 23, 2015 04:04AM)
The same thing happened with David Copperfield years ago with Terry Seabrooke's Bill in Wallet routine.

Apparently, Terry's routine said "No TV rights granted." It's possible David used this on one of his TV specials. (I could be wrong here, as it was ages ago.) No matter what, though, I know David used Terry's routine in one of his touring shows.

The good news is that David and Terry talked and seemed to work things out.

Gerry
Message: Posted by: Joe S. (Apr 25, 2015 07:12PM)
Theory is one thing (YES... they can withhold TV rights), but reality is another.

Make no mistake... if you perform this trick on TV, you are in the legal (and I would argue, moral) wrong. However, it is then up to the creator to sue you. If they do, they can sue you in their jurisdiction. You'd have to either settle the claim or appear in their country at court. This gets expensive fast. Not showing means you automatically lose in many courts.

But would they do this? Most wouldn't, but would instead simply bash you on forums, or give you a bad Yelp review, etc. For some people, this also isn't worth the headache. Magic is a small world, and just a few burned bridges can have major consequences.

My honest advice would be to contact this person, explain that you'd LOVE to perform their trick, and see if there's anything you can work out. I ALWAYS do this... even when the trick hasn't held any rights back. It's a great way to make friends with some big names, believe it or not. :-)

If they tell you no, then you already know the right thing to do.
Joe
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Apr 26, 2015 08:21AM)
RIGHTS GRANTED UNDER COPYRIGHT LAW

The U.S. Copyright Act grants certain exclusive rights to the owner of a copyright in a work. These exclusive rights are different from the rights given to a person who merely owns a copy of the work. For example, when a person purchases a book at a bookstore, they have received a property right in a copy of a copyrighted work (namely, the book). The book owner may then resell the book, or even destroy it, since they own the book. However, the book's owner did not receive any copyright rights when they purchased the book. All copyright rights are held by the book's author until the author specifically transfers them. Consequently, the book owner may not make any copies of the book, since the right to copy a work is one of the exclusive rights granted under the Copyright Act. This distinction allows a copyright owner to sell copies of a work, or even the original work itself (such as a sculpture), without forfeiting her rights under the Copyright Act.

The Copyright Act grants five rights to a copyright owner, which are described in more detail below.

the right to reproduce the copyrighted work
the right to prepare derivative works based upon the work
the right to distribute copies of the work to the public
the right to perform the copyrighted work publicly
the right to display the copyrighted work publicly
These rights are not without limit, however, as they are specifically limited by "fair use" and several other specific limitations set forth in the Copyright Act.

PUBLIC PERFORMANCE

The public performance right allows the copyright holder to control the public performance of certain copyrighted works. The scope of the performance right is limited to the following types of works:
literary works,
musical works,
dramatic works,
choreographic works,
pantomimes,
motion pictures, and
audio visual works.

Magic performances and scripts generally fall under Dramatic Works.

Under the public performance right, a copyright holder is allowed to control when the work is performed "publicly." A performance is considered "public" when the work is performed in a "place open to the public or at a place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances are gathered." A performance is also considered to be public if it is transmitted to multiple locations, such as through television and radio. Thus, it would be a violation of the public performance right in a motion picture to rent a video and to show it in a public park or theater without obtaining a license from the copyright holder. In contrast, the performance of the video on a home TV where friends and family are gathered would not be considered a "public" performance and would not be prohibited under the Copyright Act.

As Joe stated, this protection is only as good and effective as the copyright holders willingness and financial ability to pursue the breech through the legal system. Copyright law varies from country to country.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Apr 26, 2015 09:54AM)
Right, now isn't that exact;y what I said in the first place? Thanks for posting this, very nice.
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Apr 26, 2015 08:58PM)
Exactly, MP ... But, some folks don't believe it until a viable source is quoted ... And even then ... Good call.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Apr 26, 2015 09:18PM)
My point was: Normally a seller will make you aware of the limitations on licensed products before the purchase, not after it.
You certainly have a right to a refund if they donít. Otherwise they should be called out and exposed for what they really are. :)

The copyright protects the form of expression rather than the subject matter of the writing. For example, a description of a magic prop could be copyrighted,
but this would only prevent others from copying the description; it would not prevent others from writing a description of their own or from making and using
the prop. You need a patent to protect the prop, and very few magic props are patented.

Still I agree, it's best to just always ask the person you bought it from.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Tim Friday (Apr 26, 2015 09:48PM)
I remember once a well known magic creator posting on facebook about a young man who performed one of his effects on Ellen without permission. The creator was upset at the performer and at the Ellen show, I believe he had a right to feel upset. A number of magicians commented on his post agreeing with his indignation. I believe I remember the creator actually said in his post if the performer had asked him he would have given him permission and given him some pointers to help him prepare for the tv appearance. The effect in question was a type of "stand up monte" effect.

One thing I noticed in your original post that I am surprised no one has commented on - the fact that you are getting paid to do a TV appearance. Most tv appearances I have heard of you do not get paid. To my knowledge magicians do not get paid to go on news shows, Ellen or any of the major late shows (not 100% sure).

The fact you are getting paid when most tv appearances do not pay, then I hope you will do the right thing and contact the creator...

There are too many benefits from a tv appearance such as having a professionally shot clip you can use for future promo, having a tv credit, and just the elated feeling from the whole process - it would be a shame to have it all tainted just because you did not do your due diligence.
Message: Posted by: Memory-Jah (Apr 26, 2015 09:51PM)
I did contact sansmind a couple days ago and half a ****storm appeared on the magic Cafť. Check out the thread for their new effect: Imprint the last two sites or so, there is the result of that.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Apr 26, 2015 10:14PM)
[quote]On Apr 26, 2015, Tim Friday wrote:

One thing I noticed in your original post that I am surprised no one has commented on - the fact that you are getting paid to do a TV appearance. Most tv appearances I have heard of you do not get paid. To my knowledge magicians do not get paid to go on news shows, Ellen or any of the major late shows (not 100% sure).

The fact you are getting paid when most tv appearances do not pay, then I hope you will do the right thing and contact the creator...
[/quote]

This may not be an entirely true sentiment as some television appearances do pay scale. Typically not news programs or news-based talkshows, but others do pay union scale. There are many variables involved but it can happen at least here in the states. I remember on one t.v. show I was not only paid scale, but I received $78 as a wardrobe allowance for wearing my own clothes on camera. I remember many famous performers not cashing their first check for appearing on The Tonight Show and keeping it for a keepsake.
Message: Posted by: Stucky (Apr 26, 2015 10:57PM)
I would like to see an actual lawyer come in here and inform us. Copy and pasting is one thing but a yes or no is more preferrable.
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Apr 27, 2015 09:09PM)
Yeah many of these sellers do not state that up front, they stick you with it after you buy it which should not be legal. I don't see what the issue is though they want your money but yet don't you want you performing it. Do they honestly think people want to just buy the effect to watch it and just learn the secret and tha is it? Maybe some do but not working professionals. Even David Penn made fun of some of these idiots on the WPR, "You buy it but you can't do it!" I would never buy a thing from these morons and would get a refund quickly otherwise I perform it when and where I want. I don't do TV shows anyway most of the time.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 27, 2015 09:29PM)
[quote]On Apr 26, 2015, TomBoleware wrote:
My point was: Normally a seller will make you aware of the limitations on licensed products before the purchase, not after it.
You certainly have a right to a refund if they donít. Otherwise they should be called out and exposed for what they really are. :)

Tom [/quote]

You keep saying things like "right" or what not. You do understand that this term means something different in Germany than it does in the United States right?

People say stuff like this as if the United States is the only country on the planet for pity sake. You have no idea, he may very well have NO rights. Heck he bought it from a guy in another country than his own! Talking like a lawyer does not make one a lawyer.
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Apr 27, 2015 09:31PM)
I am sure these idiots would never know anyway as the odds of someone doing that particular effect on a big show are slim. Also even more stupid is that are affecting their sales, as I have bought effects that I have seen on Ellen and other TV shows.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 27, 2015 09:58PM)
Yea that is the ironic part. Probably the BEST sales tool is it being done on TV and other magicians seeing it!
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Apr 27, 2015 10:16PM)
[quote]On Apr 27, 2015, Dannydoyle wrote:
[quote]On Apr 26, 2015, TomBoleware wrote:
My point was: Normally a seller will make you aware of the limitations on licensed products before the purchase, not after it.
You certainly have a right to a refund if they donít. Otherwise they should be called out and exposed for what they really are. :)

Tom [/quote]

You keep saying things like "right" or what not. You do understand that this term means something different in Germany than it does in the United States right?

People say stuff like this as if the United States is the only country on the planet for pity sake. You have no idea, he may very well have NO rights. Heck he bought it from a guy in another country than his own! Talking like a lawyer does not make one a lawyer. [/quote]


Danny, right is right and fair is fair no matter where you live.
Or thatís my opinion, yours may be different.


Tom
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 27, 2015 10:29PM)
Tom a "right" to something is not the same as what is "right" all the time.

"Fair" is subjective. What is fair to one may not be fair to another.

You were using "right" as a noun. A "right" to a refund. Sometimes, rights means that which is due to anyone by just claim, legal guarantees, moral principles, etc. It is absolutely absurd to tell someone in another country that he has a "right" to ANYTHING! You are not an American lawyer much less an international one! But you think it is "fair" to give legal advice to others in another country. Yea I happen to have a different opinion.

I don't care what your opinion is Tom. You have NO IDEA what this guys "rights" are. Also you have NO IDEA what recourse the author may have if the OP was to " be called out and exposed for what they really are."

But by all means keep dispensing potentially harmful legal advice to people in other countries. After all it is "fair" and you have the "right" to do it.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Apr 27, 2015 10:43PM)
Danny, I donít care what your opinion is, mine will not change.

I do have a ďrightĒ to one, you know.:)

and of course it is just my opinion and not legal advice.
We all know that so please stop trying to make something else out of it.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 27, 2015 11:00PM)
And I guess I have a right to point out how uninformed that opinion is. It only Seems fair.
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Apr 27, 2015 11:38PM)
Yeah it makes no sense, how exactly is worldwide exposure of your trick/routine a bad thing? Especially when you are selling it? Seems to me these idiots think that some magician is going to get rich and famous off their little trick, and they want to cover themselves so maybe they can get a piece of the pie later. When in reality no one gives a crap except maybe a few magicians who catch it on TV and then might want to buy it. They are biting the hand that feeds them. The only way worldwide exposure would be a bad thing was if you were not selling the trick/routine and wanted to keep it to yourself. In that case don't sell the *** thing!
Message: Posted by: Memory-Jah (Apr 27, 2015 11:42PM)
Exactly
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Apr 27, 2015 11:52PM)
And as I said when you sell a DVD and do not disclose that information before someone buys it, and they see it only after watching it much like Craig and Dave did on the WPR that is fraud. You don't just leave that information out to get sales and charge someone who buys it to perform it, which is the whole point of buying it. These self-centered idiots have a lot to learn about business and ethics.
Message: Posted by: Memory-Jah (Apr 28, 2015 12:14AM)
In this case (Imprint) they have it written on each dealer's website. So this does not cover previous releases obviously and still it is open to debate in how far they can legally permit you from performing this trick with just the note.
Message: Posted by: MaxfieldsMagic (Apr 28, 2015 09:04PM)
You already have a good cite on the copyright law aspect of this - the contract law aspect is that you can only be bound by the terms of a contract that are spelled out during the offer/acceptance/consideration phase. That is, Sans Minds makes an offer to sell you a tutorial DVD, and clearly states in the advertising (and on the outside of the DVD box, in this case) that they are withholding TV rights. You accept that offer. The contract is consummated when you pay for the DVD (consideration). Boom, you and SansMinds have an enforceable contract, and you have agreed to its terms.

This case differs from one in which no initial mention is made of withheld rights until you pop the DVD into your machine and hear the creator say he's withholding such rights. That situation, which we have also seen recently, is not enforceable as a contract, because it was not part of the offer, and you didn't accept the term before you supplied consideration (ie, paid for the DVD).
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Apr 28, 2015 09:41PM)
Well said Max. Yes if itís on the dealer's website and written on the box, he is covered.

He can legally sell you an empty box if he tells you itís empty up front.:)


Tom
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 28, 2015 09:48PM)
And Tom how does that apply internationally?
Message: Posted by: MaxfieldsMagic (Apr 29, 2015 05:49PM)
[quote]On Apr 28, 2015, TomBoleware wrote:
Well said Max. Yes if itís on the dealer's website and written on the box, he is covered.

He can legally sell you an empty box if he tells you itís empty up front.:)


Tom [/quote]

In fact, here's an ad for one now: http://www.amazon.com/Pratt-Recycled-Corrugated-Cardboard-Standard/dp/B00E81LBCS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1430347712&sr=8-1&keywords=shipping+boxes
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Apr 29, 2015 06:09PM)
[quote]On Apr 29, 2015, MaxfieldsMagic wrote:
[quote]On Apr 28, 2015, TomBoleware wrote:
Well said Max. Yes if itís on the dealer's website and written on the box, he is covered.

He can legally sell you an empty box if he tells you itís empty up front.:)


Tom [/quote]

In fact, here's an ad for one now: http://www.amazon.com/Pratt-Recycled-Corrugated-Cardboard-Standard/dp/B00E81LBCS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1430347712&sr=8-1&keywords=shipping+boxes [/quote]


LOL




Thinking: If I buy that and there is nothing in it when I receive it, can I take legal action?

Or would that depend on where I live? :)

Tom
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 29, 2015 07:55PM)
Yea Tom whatever you think is right. You are the worlds foremost authority on things you never studied. You are an advertising expert an international lawyer and a magician plus anything else you want to pretend to be an expert in.

Congratulations. But sarcasm does not make you either right or smarter.

But what mechanisms do you suggest exist to enforce international disputes of commerce?

Sure Amazon itself or eBay will have ways to do it but that is not international law.
Message: Posted by: MaxfieldsMagic (Apr 29, 2015 08:24PM)
Big secret: there is no "international law." The only international law that exists is treaties signed between consenting states. And even then you have to look to see if the domestic supporting legislation was passed in the affected countries, and then further to see whether there are differences in the supporting legislation and the terms of the treaty. It seems that some people here are looking for a "one size fits all" answer for a legal issue that crosses international borders, but in a world of sovereign states that's not how the law has ever worked.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 29, 2015 08:29PM)
Which has been why telling anyone they have "rights" to this or that in another country is not a good thing. Also why I said find a German lawyer.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Apr 29, 2015 09:03PM)
Danny, I donít know what your problem is but you certainly deserve the sarcasm.

Go back and actually read what I said. I made it clear from the very beginning that the best thing to do was to talk to the seller.
And he did just that and now we are talking. Just talking Danny, weíre not playing lawyer or anything else.

We understand his frustration with the whole TV right thing and actually agree with him that it doesnít really make sense to place such limits on a magic trick.
But if he does then it's not much you can do about it.

I also understand that your only advice is to get a Lawyer. You want him to go hire a lawyer, not consider anything else, not to listen to anyone here,
just go pay a Lawyer to advise him about this magic trick. He can certainly still do just that if he likes.

Still we appreciate your wisdom Danny.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 29, 2015 09:14PM)
Better to pay a lawyer than listen to barking on by wannabe everything on the internet. Proper legal advice is far less expensive in the long run. One day you are going to give some advice you shouldn't and it is going to backfire big time on some unsuspecting kid.
Message: Posted by: flyboy6541 (Jun 10, 2015 04:05PM)
How much of the effect would I have to change to my own patter and style before I can preform it without TV rights permission granted? For example, what if I preformed a version of Sam the Bellhop but changed the story completely, changes the club number, but still gave credit to Bill Malone. Remember when Daniel Garcia was on a pod cast and did Sam the Bellhop but made up his own story as he dealt the cards? I would hate to see someone get sued for making a joke for magicians or trying to get a gig or some views on YouTube. What happens if you come up with almost the same exact method all by yourself and preformed it on TV as your own--can you get sued for that? I've always been told that as long as you don't do the trick exactly like how you learned it and always gave credit to the creator, it was okay to preform. Also, what about YouTube and social media sites. Is there a line between TV and YouTube rights? Or does the word "Broadcasting" cover everything. There are a lot of famous YouTube Magicians that get paid for their videos and they preform tricks almost exactly how they learned it; what about review videos on YouTube that get the reviewer paid? I would hate to start seeing everything effect that comes out with broadcasting restrictions.

-Joe
Message: Posted by: ku7uk3 (Jun 28, 2015 03:33AM)
1. If you get sued, that usually means more publicity for yourself that actually works in your favour.

2. For a magician to try and sue you will cost them thousands which very few even have. Im not saying its ethically right to ignore, but neither is them selling a trick and witholding information until after you've bought it. That fact alone would mean should it ever reach the court, I reckon the case would be thrown out.

3. Sam the Bellhop is just a variation on Monty the Spiv, that is over 70 years old, meaning its now in the public domain. But a storydeck is just a title, its not a copyrightable trick. The script for sam the bellhop could be protected but make numerous changes or write an entirely new story and your fine.

4. Should you get sued, depending on what level it is, you can just delete the video file from the server and problem solved. They have to give you 30 days notice to remedy the situation out-of-court before getting a judge involved. In which case you remove the video.

Im not a lawyer, but agree that magicians releasing effects with tv rights reserved is nonsence. If they don't want people performing their effect, then don't release it. You cant sell something and then say your not allowed to perform it in these places. that's just ridiculous.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jun 28, 2015 04:10AM)
Umm is that 30 day thing a legal opinon on international enforcement?
Message: Posted by: ku7uk3 (Jun 28, 2015 11:14AM)
I don't know how that would work with international breaches. You would have to contact a copywrite lawyer in the country doing the breach. Each country has differnt laws, just look at China.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jun 28, 2015 11:51AM)
That was why I was wondering what would make you speak with such certainty.
Message: Posted by: ku7uk3 (Jun 28, 2015 05:09PM)
Because so far, there have been no known successful cases of any magician who performs a protected trick on TV, from an effect that has been released to buy being sued. There is no precedence and yes, there are shows where the rules were "bent". Usually the performer gave it their own patter and as we all know "ideas" cannot be copyrighted. Which means they got away with it.

Again, not saying if it's ethically right. But a performer claiming that TV Rights are reserved, but not having the money or power to enforce it, only results in bad reviews and reduced sales from what I can see of the situation.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jun 28, 2015 06:04PM)
Or it can result in having to pay legal fees.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jul 13, 2015 03:02AM)
Bob Kohler is selling this creations with no TV rights, as he explains, none of his tricks he is selling will be viewed by other magicians to steal. I believe he states none of the material can even be videoed, and thus none of the effects can be shown on YouTube or even on the purchasers website for promotion. Go to his website and read the agreement requirement for yourself. His $700 Missing Link (Linking Finger Rings) has these requirements before purchase.

I believe he does have the money to enforce his signed contracts he requires before purchasing the tricks he sells.
Message: Posted by: Edith (Aug 28, 2015 11:36AM)
Bill: It is different if you make a contract before. But if you are just selling and stating "no TV-rights" I don't think that will stand in court (and I briefly discussed this with a soon to be (German) lawyer). I don't buy stuff from people who do that because it feels like they are trying to make up laws that don't exist and make people believe that they do in fact exist. I find this dishonest and manipulative.
Message: Posted by: normative (Aug 31, 2015 08:56PM)
So, I was just questioning this in another thread. I'm not a practicing copyright attorney, but I am a senior policy analyst at a DC think tank who works on, among other things, intellectual property, and know this area of the law reasonably well. The current precedent under US law is reasonably clear: Magical effects *as such* are not copyrightable "works." The patter and dramatic performance of a routine are subject to copyright, and a sufficiently novel gimmick may be a patentable invention, but tricks as such are not covered. The exclusive "public performance right" that's part of copyright law is why you can't sell tickets for a public screening of a movie just because you bought the DVD, or stage a theatrical production of a play just because you bought the published script. There's a recent, somewhat well publicized case in which Teller sued a Belgian magician for releasing a video of himself doing Teller's "Shadows." The court found for Teller because the Belgian fellow had duplicated in great detail Teller's original staging and choreography, but was also quite explicit that the underlying effect ó causing parts of a rose to drop off by some secret method ó was not itself copyrightable.

So an exclusive right to publicly (or televisually) perform a *ROUTINE* (if sufficiently original, and not just "pick a card and watch" or "lemme show you something cool") would be enforceable. Rights over original visual material essential to a trick, like a photograph or movie clip, might be copyrightable. But there is no such thing as "TV rights" or "public performance rights" to an effect in itself. (It might get slightly more complicated if the only way to do the trick were to construct a patented deviceóóbut the performance itself would probably not be infringing.) If you don't want to take my word for it, you can look up the Teller opinion, or just consider whether programs like "Magic's Greatest Secrets Revealed" could really be broadcast on major networks if unauthorized performance of an effect violated an exclusive statutory performance right. It doesn't, so there's no real underlying legal basis for claims of reserved TV rights if you're not pretty closely following scripted patter or precisely emulating a specific unique performance.

Contract law can, of course, create specific non-statutory obligations. Someone could show you a method subject to an agreement not to perform it under certain conditions. But merely saying "TV rights reserved" in ad copy, or in a manual, or on an instructional DVD, cannot unilaterally create a binding contract. (Imagine if it could: "By continuing to watch this video, you agree to pay my rent for the next five years.") So barring scenarios where someone actually *signed* something as a precondition of, say, recieving personal instruction, there are unlikely to be enforceable contract rights at issue. Also, of course, even if such a contract existed, it would not bind anyone who learned the effect without being a party to the contract.

Whether it is *ethical* or consistent with professional norms to perform an effect on television when you know the creator has expressed a desire that people not do so is, of course, a completely separate question that I make no pretense of answering. But very generally speaking (and CYA disclaimer: this is not legal advice) my understanding of the current state of the law is that someone who knows the method to perform an effect is *legally* free to perform it without permission, provided they do so without replicating other copyrightable elements (like the specific patter script) in the process. In most cases, a "TV rights reserved" label will not be enforceable, because there's no underlying performance right under copyright law, nor would there be a real binding contract.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Sep 1, 2015 01:22AM)
DC comics has a think tank?

They should have used it before Val Kilmer as Batman.
Message: Posted by: brehan (Sep 18, 2015 10:27AM)
Ask the creator for permission
I don't think they give you a hard time
Yust ask before doing.