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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Right or Wrong? » » Is this ethical? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Utkarsh Sinha
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Let say that I watch a demo of "coin through soda can" or any other effect. I think about it, and I devise a method of my own. Is it ethical to do it if I credit the creator?

I had a debate with a magician friend on this topic. He said that it was unethical.

I think it is ethical. Because while you are thinking about the method, you can come up with some new moves or effects. And these new moves can make magic better than it is today. It even improves your creativity, so you can create new effects!

What do you think?
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Erdnase27
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I think its ethical. You are not using the 100% exact same method as he does so I don't see the problem.
DomKabala
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Yes, it is ethical if you perform an effect and credit the creator with the plot. I can see no wrong if a magician creates a variation of an existing plot as long as he understands that it is unethical to proclaim the originality is his to begin with.
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Jonta
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It might also be that you don't even know who the creator is, so it would be hard to credit him/her.
Erdnase27
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Well in that case you made ur own moves etc with it so you made a own trick.
landmark
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I think most professionals would agree that performing someone else's original effect for public paying performance would be unethical, even with a different method. Sometimes it's hard for people to understand that an original plot is as important as an original method. Methods are the easy part, believe it or not--remember the method is invisible; the way an audience remembers you is by the effect they see.

However, if it's just something you're fooling around with, to show friends, that may be a different matter.

As to performing, even when crediting, the best thing to do is to check with the originator. Sometimes those folks can be pretty generous when asked nicely. This Café is a good network to help track people down.

Jack Shalom
Rik Chew
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Quote:
On 2006-06-04 15:25, landmark wrote:
I think most professionals would agree that performing someone else's original effect for public paying performance would be unethical, even with a different method.

So if I was to have a table hopping job would you say it's unethical to use Roth's hanging coin routine. Surely if someone puts out a trick they expect people to sue it...
Now is it unethical to watch a demo and work out the SAME method?
Magicshore
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Small

I agree with you. Sometimes I get a bit of a "bone" when I see people write about this. Thousands of tricks are sold ...close-up, comedy, stage etc. I think the vast majority of magicians buy these thricks and perform them both for friends and also for entertaining the general paying public. The way I see it, if it's sold..it's public domain stuff. I just don't get the argument that some make about it.

John
landmark
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Roth's Hanging Coin routine is published and on tape/DVD. When you buy a book or DVD, you get the right to perform it.

If you do not own it, then you do not have the right. It is not ethical.

"The way I see it, if it's sold . . . it's public domain stuff."

No one in any field, defines public domain this way.

Would you want your creation to be treated that way?

Yes you could work out how to do something from a demo. If you had created something and someone, instead of buying your effect, worked out a method--whether yours or not--would that make you happy? Would it encourage you to release more magic to the community?

Really, the question of ethics, as opposed to legality, comes down to the Golden Rule. Think about how you would feel if you were on the other end. People should be paid for their creative efforts.
Utkarsh Sinha
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But am I not "paying" them by giving credit to them?
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SOHA
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No, Landmark

If it is published, there is nothing wrong with working a method and performing it.

Wil
landmark
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Again, I'll invoke the Golden Rule, and then I'll bow out, as I don't have much to add.

If it was your published routine, with an original plot, and someone who didn't pay you for the plot, performed the effect--with or without your method-- how would you feel?

Would it encourage you to publish more or publish less?


Jack
James Alan
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I think that in order to be a creative magician you have to get your inspiration from wherever you can. I was reading the back of the box of a John Cornelius DVD and I saw there was a routine called "Every Card Trick in the World". I never bought the DVD and other than the title, I know absolutely nothing about John's routine. But I took the idea home and started to play with it.

There's nothing wrong with takign the idea of passing a coin through a can and running with it.
James Alan

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Hushai
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In the popular book "Magic Digest," published back in the 1970's, George Anderson writes, "I know a teen-ager who reads a description of a good trick in a catalogue and then tries to work out his own method of achieving the described effect. Sometimes, he succeeds. If he doesn't and really wants the effect that the catalogue describes, he buys it" (page 216). I always thought that was a pretty sensible idea, and didn't think there was anything wrong with it, till I started reading discussions like this on the Magic Café. Is this ethical concern about not doing a trick you haven't paid for something new, I mean since Anderson wrote that?
Utkarsh Sinha
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Landmark,

Open this page and download the demo video: http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=644

(please remember this thread is NOT a debate on Penguin Magic)

View the demo. You will probably see whats going on. So would you pay $8 for something that you already know or would you prefer to buy some new packs of cards?
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abc
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The purists.
If everybody spends as much time designing new effects or practising or trying to figure out methods as they spend discussing topics like these then we wouldn't have topics like these.
djrdjr
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Years ago, I purchased a packet trick called Bac-Flips. When I recently became interested in magic again, I purchased some cards and built the effect, just to see if I could remember the mechanics. I showed it to my son, who wanted me to teach it to him so he could perform it. I did so, but I also tracked down the "owner" of the effect and purchased an official version. This is what I will give my son to perform with.

I was amazed by the "self-tying shoelace" demo video for days, and then I suddenly thought of a simple, cheap way to produce the same effect. Is it identical to the creator's method? I dunno. Probably not. Would I perform my version of it? I don't think so. I'd probably be inclined to purchase the authentic version.

Yet, if I thought of a new way to tear-and-restore a card or rope, or vanish a coin or produce a scarf, I would have no such qualms.

I guess I really don't understand my position on this myself.
abc
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I just spoke to Criss Angel and he promised to pay Jesus for stealing the walking on water effect. There are more than 10 000 magicians on this forum. Do you really think you have any claim to an original effect to a point where we should discuss this on a forum like this.
I understand my position perfectly and it is GET A LIFE AND MAYBE A FEW GIGS.
djrdjr
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Edited out of existence. Please remove. Sorry.
lockedroomguy
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I kind of agree with abc that we could all spend our time better, but, like abc, I can't resist contributing my opinion...

Unlike the law, everyone has their own code of ethics. In mine, this is unethical.

I think you "pay" someone by paying them, not by doing anything else. If I would rather save $8 and buy some cards, then I'll buy some cards, but I won't also steal someone else's effect.

In consumer products this happens all the time. One company brings out a vanilla-flavored product, or toothpaste with Tartar control, and the competitor brings one out a few months later. It happens all the time, so obviously some people think it's ethical, or realize it's unethical and don't care.

My opinion is that it's unethical because the copier is benefiting from someone else's work, and the person who did the work is trying to sell it, not give it away. I think you have the option of not taking the work, or of paying for it, but you don't get to decide that you don't have to pay for their work. You can't say, I'm only using the idea, that's not worth paying for. I can just take that, and the creator won't mind as long as I give him credit. That's up to the creator to decide.

Besides, it's not like you're losing out on much. It's not that big a hardship to do one of the following instead of using someone else's idea:

1) Buy the effect and then devise your own variation and credit the originator;
2) Call up the originator and ask them if you can take the idea;
3) Use one of the THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of other effects available in the public domain. My god, nobody in magic should have a problem with a shortage of effects!

Regards
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