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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Right or Wrong? » » An interesting exchange regarding Intellectual Property Rights. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Partizan
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You get my point about material in the public domain?
"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus."
- Mark Twain
Bob Johnston
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Quote:
On 2005-07-28 17:40, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Oliver, we have not heard from the "newguy". I for one won't take sides in this, and instead post some suggestions about things we can do.

Given that most people don't offer cogent and forthright arguments in casual discourse, there is much to question and discuss in the correspondance as presented. We can use the meta-model to ask questions from "newguy"'s side and still only come to some questions "newguy" may not wish to hear much less answer.

Where I lose some comfort in this is how a guy down on his luck would be helped by that one trick as opposed to so some help getting things together. It takes a while to get a new trick into action, and someone who is not doing well needs to focus upon making things better for their family.

I was not entirely joking in my post about respecting inventors and respecting their intellectual property. Joe's Zombie, Alan's chop-chop cup, my coins across, Peter's wildcard... long list of things that folks take for granted. Likewise outright "borrowing and publishing without permission" is there in the Hoffmann books, the Germaine books and his tricks and Expert Card Technique. What then?

For now my thoughts go to "newguy" who may actually be asking for help to change his lot for the better. How then to help?


I did not solicit this set of PM’s from “new user.” He picked me (and not Mr. Townsend) perhaps because I looked like a nice old guy that would teach him the SECRET, plain and simple.

I am not sure how much more of his point of view one would need.

I think all the posts on this thread have been interesting and noteworthy, but I choose who I help, and I help people all the time. This is not someone that I choose to help.

He taped me after only a few posts on this forum. I thought his ATITUDE would be of interest to the forum members. I did not care if someone sided with his point of view about stealing or not.

He is a long way from being able to see this thread, but if someone wishes to engage him in a discussion on theft, I would be glad to forward your user name to him.

Bob
Jonathan Townsend
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It's cool Bob. Given the chance later on a public thread perhaps we can guide him toward more socially acceptable patterns of behavior.


Posted: Jul 28, 2005 9:11pm
---------------------------------------------
Partizan, if I had my way, the only thing that would be in the public domain about magic is that "if you want to know more, ask a magician."
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Lee Darrow
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Quote:
On 2005-07-28 08:19, bootweasel wrote:
Quote:
I might GIVE them a book


How is this different to giving an individual the instructions to a trick? We are after all paying for the secrets, not the media that contains them.


Simple. In this instance, the material, the original, bought-and-[aif-for material, has been bought and paid for and given as a gift to the receipient, as opposed to the original material being taught to the person without the originator (or their representing agency, the publisher, distribution house, etc) being paid for it, according to the rules of copyright law.

In the gift instance, the actual trick, props, instruction sheets and all are bought and given to the person. In the taught-to (piracy) instance, the material is NOT bought a second time, the creator receives no compensation or credit for their creation and is, essentially ripped off.

Does that clarify the situation?

Lee Darrow, C.H.
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
bootweasel
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As I posted above, the situation that I was alluding to is where the book given is your own copy. Not an additional copy, bought for the purpose.

Larry said:
Quote:
If you buy a limited edition magic book (not sold in bookstores etc) you are certainly entitled to sell it to another magician.


Larry may well be right, I'm certainly not trying to cast doubt on anyone's moral character, just raising a point, but I fail to see how this is more ethical than simply giving away the secrets it contains. The originator is only paid once (when you buy the book), then YOU profit from selling on the originator's work.

You cannot un-learn the secret, so you cannot transfer ownership of it. It's not like selling a CD, when you can no longer listen to the music - I can still perform 'Bold Business' long after I've flogged Kuff's DVD to the highest bidder.
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2005-07-29 04:23, bootweasel wrote:... I can still perform 'Bold Business' long after I've flogged Kuff's DVD to the highest bidder.


You could. Some of us chose to own the sources (license) for any works we use.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
bootweasel
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Quote:
You could. Some of us chose to own the sources (license) for any works we use.


I agree, that's definately a standard that we should hold ourselves to.

However, say for example I bought a book and felt that the contents were not quite what I was after, is it ethical to sell it on to recoup my costs given that I still know the secrets?

In this instance, the author gets paid once but the book may get passed around an entire magic society.
bishthemagish
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Quote:
On 2005-07-29 09:56, bootweasel wrote:
However, say for example I bought a book and felt that the contents were not quite what I was after, is it ethical to sell it on to recoup my costs given that I still know the secrets?

Try doing some shows to recoup your cost. One of the great things about magic is that you can do shows - make money and then invest it back into getting more magic.

I feel that if a magician gets a book and gets one good idea from the book then the book is a worth while investment. Are magicians buying books just to learn magic secrets or is it an investment in their magic education?
Glenn Bishop Cardician

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Larry Barnowsky
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Authors print restrictions regarding duplication of their books after the title page. I've never seen one say you can't sell the book. If you sell the book, you will likely get less than you paid for it unless it's rare or out of print. In that sense the book price was paid by two people.
Suppose a magic club buys books for its members to use (like The Magic Castle). It it unethical for members to read these collective books? I think we have use some common sense here. Books should not be duplicated, scanned, or have the contents placed on the internet for anyone to use. Many people treasure their books and enjoy having a magic library available in their home.
My wife is an avid reader. When she finishes a book (she reads one a day) she often sells it on HalfCom or lends or gives it to a friend or family member. The book industry accepts that as reality and have never showed any impression that doing this was illegal or unethical.
We as a magical community should strive to protect the creators of these works by using common sense, courtesy, and good judgement.
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2005-07-29 09:56, bootweasel wrote:... say for example I bought a book and felt that the contents were not quite what I was after, is it ethical to sell it on to recoup my costs given that I still know the secrets?...


That is a good couple of questions.

I can offer you MY anwsers, and as an adult it is up to you to have your own answers on this stuff.

Whether I sell or give away my property (the book is property) is my decision.

Sure I still remember some of what I've read and may make casual reference or citation to the work when it might help someone.

Let's say I decide to work on something that is in that book... do I buy a copy again. My answer is yes. The license for the ideas etc in the book come with the book. That is my approach to the situation.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
bootweasel
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Quote:
Try doing some shows to recoup your cost.


Sound advice, although the situations I'm mentioning are purely hypothetical (I'm not selling my copy of Kuffs DVD!). I'm just trying to debate the ethics of the situation, rather than resolve a personal issue.

Quote:
If you sell the book, you will likely get less than you paid for it unless it's rare or out of print. In that sense the book price was paid by two people.


I respectfully disagree. Say you buy a book for £25 and sell it for £15, the amount the information cost you was £10. The amount the new owner paid for the information was £15.

Together you paid £25 - the cost of one book. The author doesn't get any richer.

Quote:
The book industry accepts that as reality and have never showed any impression that doing this was illegal or unethical.


I don't think that Magic books can be directly compared to novels, because you retain the secrets - the essence of the book even though you no longer posess it.

I still think that selling a magic book whilst still using the effects, is as, if not more ethically dubious than simply giving the book away.

Quote:
Suppose a magic club buys books for its members to use (like The Magic Castle). It it unethical for members to read these collective books?


A club is merely a group of people with a common interest (and possibly badges and a funny handshake). Is it ethical for me to share my Osterlind DVDs with a group of friends? What if I gave them badges? What then?

Seems like double standards to me.
Larry Barnowsky
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Why assume it was a novel? It could be a physics or engineering book. Say I want to learn how to make a device. I get the info from the book. I sell the book for half price. Only one person has the book. Sure, two have the info. So what. The author got paid for the book. He put no restrictions on the use of it, other than duplication or republications. If he had me sign a non disclosure agreement, then that would an entirely different matter.
Say I discover a cure for cancer and it involves taking a combination of readily available herbs and over the counter medicine. I write a book about it. Does anyone who wants to the use this info have to purchase the book? The Supreme Court has ruled that you can't patent an idea.
You buy a magic book limited to 500 copies. Only 500 have it. You create a new routine and publish it. Mr X who bought one of the copies says you shouldn't have published your effect since it was explained in this book. All copies of the book have been sold. Nobody will sell their's because they feel it is unethical and they still use the material. How do you find out what's in the book? Should you have contacted all authors of all books ever written on magic to see if they wrote about a similar effect. These rules are not only unenforceable in any sense but they lead to absurd results. If you believe sharing books in a club is unethical then go ahead and let the magic Circle and The Magic Castle know that they are unethical.
Jonathan Townsend
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Larry, you are correct, we do not have protection for intellectual property in our society. Who knows if somebody found a cure for cancer? IF someone does, and they wish to profit by healing... they will not publish or publicize so they can protect their profits.

If we don't institutionalize basic IP rights, we will very soon and very likely see the "secrets" of magic published on the web.

Any cogent arguments against?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Larry Barnowsky
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Jon,
It's a tough problem to tackle. In the past what's kept the secrets out of the public domain is a respect for these secrets by people in magic who care about the art and are careful about who they share these secrets with. Right now, if you have the money you can buy almost any secret you want. Do we want price to be the guardian of our secrets? I think it has to be a community effort by people who love and resepect magic.
The coin moves that I have used for years were never at any threat for exposure because I kept them to myself and taught them to no one. Now they're in a limited edition book. My hope and expectation is that those who are willing to pay $50 for the book will use the information themselves and wisely. If they share it with friends it will diminish the value of their investemnt in the book and more importantly devalue the time and effort learning the material in the book. If they keep the secrets to themselves, the material will stay exclusive, retain value to them, and remain out of the reach of the curiosity seekers or Google searchers. One can only hope.
The Mac
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Wow! that is a different take on the subject of Magic ethics. I have to say I did feel for the person in question and wouldn't have minded giving him a lecture note or something.

However you cannot give what's not yours to give- someone elses property.

Maybe we should think of magic as rental or licencing-it stead of outright purchase. isn't that what you're truly doing - because you can't "own" the trick. If you did you could limit or even stop anyone from having it.

To the man in question - If you are able to do some kind of work - Im sure there are websites that offer work (job forums and boards) check them out.

And magic is a joy that's only expressed when its shared with others.Maybe you could take the magic you know and actually perform - make money that would enable you to buy more magic.
Jaz
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It's highly doubtful that any magi here, or elsewhere, has not done some of the things mentioned here.

Here at the Café', at magic gatherings, magician to magician, at magic clubs, etc, there is a constant reselling and auctioning of books, videos and tricks no longer wanted. There's also the sharing and exchange of techniques and secrets among practicing magicians.

If I buy something and no longer want it, I'll do what I want with it.
BUT..I will try to be a selective as to who I deal with and wouldn't sell my magic stuff at a garage or yard sale.

As far as giving up a secret goes I'll do that too if I want to.
HOWEVER.. if it would have to be with someone I know is serious about magic.

It's not about obtaining financial gain by secreting a cure for cancer, which would benefit mankind.

The big difference between magic stuff and a majority of other media and items is the secrets magic employs and how, when publicly revealed, it affects working magi, and that's what should be considered.

Yes, I know I may feel some heat from this post.
Let you who are pure cast the first fireball.

P.S.
If I ever send any of you a PM, do not publicly post it here. It will be meant to be Private. Thanks.
NJJ
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Its all a matter of fair exchange. I never expect anyone to show me something they have stolen unless I give them something I have stolen in exchange.


just kiddin'
Bob Johnston
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Quote:
On 2005-07-29 19:04, Jaz wrote:

P.S.
If I ever send any of you a PM, do not publicly post it here. It will be meant to be Private. Thanks.


If you send ME a PM (a long thread of PM’s) that I think would be of interest to the forum. I WILL strip your name and any personal information from it and post it on the open forum, as I did with the UNSOLISITED PM’s I received.

Bob
Bob Johnston
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Quote:
On 2005-07-29 19:04, Jaz wrote:

As far as giving up a secret goes I'll do that too if I want to.
HOWEVER.. if it would have to be with someone I know is serious about magic.



This “new user” is not a friend that I may want to share a trick with. He is someone that I do not know, that wants me to give him the secret of a new trick that a fellow magician is starting to market.

That fact has been missed by some of the posters on this thread.

Bob
Jonathan Townsend
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I reserve the right to mangle any text I come across in any way I see fit to serve my playful and artistic interests.

Jaz, your line of reasoning is intesting. Add the old quote from Senica and we might have something.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
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