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Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2006-06-19 10:59, Bonnie Kids-A wrote:...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!...


If I see your house, and think of a better way to decorate and live in it, do you mind if I have the construction crew over?

if not, then please explain how you wish to distinguish between private property and IP which is private?

If that's just too much to bear at this time, consider your credit card info. Let's say I have it and think I can spend your money better. Any problems there?

As long as you stay clear of my property (person, property and IP) I will stay clear of yours. But I will alert my friends that you have issues and leave them to do as they please.

Remember, good ideas are quite scarce. There is no shortage of people. Let's be wary of the law of supply and demand.

To close this on a positive note, if you like somebody's idea, you can support them by buying their work. If you are not so well funded as to be able to afford their work, perhaps you could just write to them and let them know what you'd like to do. They may choose to help you simply because you asked.
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abc
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Jonathan is right except I don't like the examples and that is what makes this a difficult problem to discuss.
As for the house you may not have your crew over but if you think of how to incorporate what you see in my house into yours and change it would you consider that stealing? Even if you don't change it. Yes if it was designed by an architect that has his design rights protected legally but if they are not protected you have to consider the ethical implications which are not governed by the law. This is why this is such a difficult discussion.
The Bonnie Kids
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Abc,
I do not really understand.... Do you mean that I am arrogant or not? and also I do not understand why should people explode on what I said.
Maybe my English is too poor at that level, but please try to explain you in other words..

For you rinformation:
I AM COPIED EVERYDAY!

Not only in magic, but also in the "normal" life.
What is the solution I found? When people copy me, they are already late, because I have already invented something new.
Of course this is also cause of frustration for me, because I do not like to be copied as very few people give me the credit.

But let's remain in magic: I do not want to be arrogant, I want to understand. If I see a magician presenting a trick in a nice way, can I do it also or before starting the show I should mention him? Or should I ask him permission to present the trick?
Please tell me, just try to answer this question.

You understand I am in disagreement with that, as I see it "against the art". How could the art evolve with such barrieers?

I agree instead that if you write a magic book (that you sell), and in this book you mention some tricks or ideas or presentations that actually you have "copied" from somebody else, it should be fair to give the correct credit (even if that "somebody else" has probably copied another "somebody else"..

// Andrea
abc
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Andrea,
I didn't mean you are arrogant. You are not in the least arrogant and I did say I am on your side.
I also don't think Jonathan Townsend is arrogant. In fact I think he is the biggest contributor to the magic Café.
I think magicians who "invent" some stupid sleight that they think no-one else could possibly come up with and then try to sell some below par instant download or DVD they made and cry when someone else does the same effect is arrogant. I think someone who does some effect that I can look at and then see a much easier or more effective way to do it because I have studied literature of magic and then incorporate their effect into something I do is not only not stealing but when they cry foul they are doing so because their livelihood depends not on performing or inventing magic that one can perform but by selling inpractical nonsense from a website and then think they are the gift to magic.
On the flip side I think guys who sit in fromt of the computer and browse through demo videos to see what they can copy need to get a life.
The truth about ethics is that you can NEVER make it black and white. If my friend engages in insider trading is it unethical for me not to report him. Most of the time yes. But what if he only bought 10000 dollars worth of shares, he didn't know what he was doing was wrong and has a family to take care of and stand to lose a lot by getting convicted of a crime he didn't know he was commiting. Would it be ethical to report him.
In my book no. never!
Ethics is designed to make us live purer better lives and do what is right and like in this example I think there are times when a new person may copy and effect and try it and I do not consider it wrong.
I do consider someone who habitually lloks at new effects and try to copy them wrong.
I don't think you are the latter so like I said I support you in what you feel but please try to not just copy. Individuality in magic makes you a magician and entertaining not becoming the clone of Tommy wonder or David Blaine.
think about it.
How many new magicians that are great are told "Man you are just like David blaine" the answer is NONE.
I also disagree with the way some magicians try to overly protect their rights but that is a disease born out of the lets just copy and download and everything disease. Almost like we can ensure that you wont die of HIV but then you have to jum out of a moving plane without a parachute.
Like I said before very catch 22.
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2006-06-21 02:30, abc wrote:
Jonathan is right except I don't like the examples and that is what makes this a difficult problem to discuss....


I am truly sorry our world puts such a low premium on human life.

Likewise I am very annyoed our culture puts such a low premium on good ideas.

What do YOU hold as valuable and what would you like to trade for using my ideas?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
abc
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Jonathan,
I don't want to steal your ideas. I just though the house example didn't portray the message clearly which is why I did say you are right. I did also in my previous post say I think you are the biggest contributor to the Café.
I maintain though that there are people who do not have unique ideas but will fight until death that they are unique. These are the people I am annoyed at because they sell sub par nonsense to new magicians and promote their material as if they are ex or future world champions.As for trading to use your ideas I will galdly pay you of and when I use one of your ideas. No questions asked.
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2006-06-22 04:34, abc wrote:..As for trading to use your ideas I will galdly pay you of and when I use one of your ideas. No questions asked.


Thanks for the compliment.

One of the best compliments you can give (me or other creative types) is to ask those questions. Questions are part of how new things come to be.
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The Bonnie Kids
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Abc,
I asked you to clarify because I didn't really get your English. Problem is not you, is me.As long as we discuss mats or electrical engineering in English it's fine for me, but in the everyday's life discussion I'm lacking so some rethoric sentences are over my head. Now I understand you and I also agree with you.
Actually I would like to say that I might copy one idea, but it is always changed according to my personality or according to the "local situation". I think I have never performed 2 equal shows, even if maybe looking at the trick-list they were the same. I always change my presentation according to the feed-back I see from the audience, and also change the tricks according to this feed-back.

I have to confess that I have never thougt about ethic in magic (apart for not reveiling the tricks) in the way you are discussing here. Interesting because also The Linking Ring starts to push in the same direction with srticles on Ethics.
But I have also to say I am confused. It looks a too smoky and complex situation to be formalized, even in our "magic branch".
Maybe the solution is to accept to be copied and always invent something new to stay ahead. If Johnatan does not copy me, I'll always find other 10000 people ready for that...

// Andrea
bclay
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WOW, What a topic! So here is my Question about this? I have some woodworking skill and I want to make my own sub trunk or head chopper and I know the inner workings of these, do I have to go buy the plans from some illusion builder to be ethical? I don't feel I should have to pay Paul Osbourn $15.00 to show me how to build it if I already know how to. So does that make me unethical? I don't think so. When I was in high school there was a kid in another high school that actually won some national magic compitition by coping Lance Burtons dove and candle routine right down to the clasical music(cant remember if was the same score but classical music non the less) to me that was the highest from of unethical behavior but he still won this national event?? With Lance giving out the award???
Theres my two cents
Brian
Jonathan Townsend
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Brian, the answers to your questions are in an old book, Our Magic. I am sorry the judges in that magic competition tolerated, much less rewarded, the guy who did the copy of Lance Burton's act.

As to the illusions... you might find some critical data in the full/proper blueprints.
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The Bonnie Kids
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I have been performing the egg bag with a bag done by me and by my brother some 15 20 years ago. Instructions were in a magic book (probably Patrick Page).
The Square Circle I used till some 10 years ago is built by myself. I was teenager and I had time. Now I do not have it anymore and I bought a "standard" one.

Is all of this unethic?
Andrea
sehrgut
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I think a few of you are missing the core of what this discussion has been about: that is, using effects which are being exclusively marketed. Egg bags are standard effects marketed by anyone who wants to, since no one holds the rights to them. Square circles are the same way: non-proprietary effects may be produced by anyone. I don't know a whole lot about stage illusions, but I have a hunch sub trunks and head choppers fall in the same category (well, maybe not the "latest-and-greatest mondo make-everyone-faint" choppers, but those working on the traditional principle). Make whatever you want -- from the tried and true stock of traditional props -- and no one will think the worse of you.

But this thread has strayed. It started off about performance ethics: is it ethical to perform a proprietary effect which was observed and whose method was deduced independently without purchasing the effect? It has along the way gotten around to publishing ethics, and I'm afraid some folks have gotten the idea that a lot of us think you shouldn't perform any effect without purchasing it from someone, which is not what any of us (I think) have implied.

Now, back on the original topic, Jonathan, I'd like to hear your take on the original question, since the topic had already strayed by the time you joined. What do you think enters into the ethics of performing a proprietary effect that you've seen performed and deduced the (or rather, a) method to (for example, a PM demo clip)?

Cheers!
Keith
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One must always write of February while weeping."
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The Bonnie Kids
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"Now, back on the original topic, Jonathan, I'd like to hear your take on the original question, since the topic had already strayed by the time you joined. What do you think enters into the ethics of performing a proprietary effect that you've seen performed and deduced the (or rather, a) method to (for example, a PM demo clip)? "

In my opinion, even if I am not Jonathan, I see no problem in that, from the formal point of view.
From the ethical point of view I think it should be mention the source of the idea if you in someway publish it and get credits for it.
If you just use it for your show, I do not see how you could manage to start the show with the list of credits... Audience does not care about that.

What is a proprietary effect? I think this sentence is the cause of the digression... is there anybody deciding once for everybody what a proprietary effect is?

// Andrea
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2006-06-27 06:29, Bonnie Kids-A wrote:...What is a proprietary effect? I think this sentence is the cause of the digression... is there anybody deciding once for everybody what a proprietary effect is?


Have you read Our Magic?

I could also hold back on this discussion till folks here have read Atlas Shrugged.

Most simply, for those who have yet to enter highschool... monkey see -> monkey do relegates you to being treated like a monkey. If you want to be treated better you will have to do better.

When the inventor of something publishes their work, your purchase of that work usually gives you license to use that work as given (in magic as we don't yet have separate performing rights).

Not to malign the apes on this one, as it seems pigeons also learn by imitation. Some friends call them rats with wings. I guess that makes copyists rats with wands.

How is your self respect today?
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George Ledo
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I've been following these ethics discussions for a couple of years by now, and I keep getting a very strange feeling...

For instance, let's say I watch Jon (not to pick on you, Jon, but I will) do his version of Six Coins to the Pocket. I like it and I want to do it. So I look around in my library a bit (bear with me here) and find out that there's a version of this trick in J.B. Bobo's book, but it's different in the presentation and method. So I proceed to study and perform J.B.'s version right out of the book.

So far I think we can agree this is okay.

As far as a "general public" audience is concerned, it's the same trick: six coins go from my hand to my pocket. The patter is different, the routining is different, and the method is different, but the six coins still go from my hand to my pocket. The only reason I could think of for wanting to do Jon's version is to show it to people who "already know" J.B.'s version -- in other words, people who are interested in magic.

See where I'm going? I have to wonder how much of this ethics issue is really based on wanting to do stuff for other "magicians."

I'm all for innovation (I'm a theatrical designer, so that puts me in a creative field), but gee whiz, if I were performing strictly for the general public, I could pull together a whole world tour just from what's in Tarbell, Rice, and Adair. I wouldn't feel like I have to have the latest and greatest, especially if the general public has no clue that it's the latest and greatest.

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I think you're hitting the nail on the head, George.

I can't figure out why anyone needs to buy much of the stuff that's out there.

Instead of Jon's Six Coins to Pocket, how about, um, cups and balls? First, even with a cheapo plastic set, you're going to get instructions. Mark Wilson has a routine in his Complete Course book. There's stuff in Henry Hay. There's the original Hocus Pocus Jr. routine (admirably transcribed and annotated by Bill Palmer and available through him).

Now, I've seen a little online demo by Al Schneider. Hmmm. . . He's selling CDs. So what happens if one incorporates something from that clip into a routine without buying Al's CD? What happens if one coincidentally performs something that's on a tape or in a book by GAmmarzzo or somebody?

In order to ethically perform cups and balls, must one buy every bit of material ever marketed AND get tutored by an older and wiser mentor AND buy cups that weren't made in India and sold by a firm named after a bird?

I just saw an anti-ripoff site where somebody was accused of being evil for making a paddle-type trick that looked something like somebody else's paddle-type trick.

Where, indeed, does one draw the line?

Barnum was unethical when he made his own "fake" Cardiff Giant, but that sly devil is quite admired in some circles.
"You know some of you are laughin', but there's people here tryin' to learn. . ." -Pop Haydn

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Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2006-06-27 21:46, George Ledo wrote:...For instance, let's say I watch Jon (not to pick on you, Jon, but I will) do his version of Six Coins to the Pocket. I like it and I want to do it. ...


There is the problem as I see it.

I belive the term "coveting" applies there.

If you asked things might be different.

The underlying rationalization "there is truly nothing new under the sun therefore I can make claims upon any work made from things under the sun" seems the issue here.

As mentioned in one or both books cited earlier, there is a distinction between things found in nature and things created by people, as the latter reflects the effort/work/choices of people which forms part of their claim upon the item.

The claim of the copyist is dismissed by another precident, that of the case of a finder of a ship who puts on new boards and sails and claims it as their own. Most simply, if you paint it green and call it something else, it still belongs to its owner.

Taking a different example to illustrate; If Fred works froms Shakespear's play though changes the names of Romeo and Juliet to "Mickey and Colleen" and stages the play in Ireland... it's not his original work to sell to others.
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Jonathan Townsend
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On 2006-06-08 23:16, sehrgut wrote:... the merest suggestion of untied shoelaces could cause the mark to see them. ...


Remember as you walk down the stairs that you are sure you did not forget to tie your shoelaces and are in no danger whatsoever of tripping and hurting yourself by being clumsy

And don't forget to use the spell checker so your typos won't improve your posts here either.

A B C D embedded commands
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The Bonnie Kids
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Yes,
I didn't answer for some days because I needed to think about all of that. I see you have already been thinking very much, so I needed my time.

Jonathan, if you find a boat in the see, and nobody is on teh boat, it is your boat. You do not need to paint it.

Anyway I think we should just discuss MAGIC and nothing else. No comparison with any other life experience. They do not help.

Nobody of you considered necessary to answer my questions:

"If I see a magician presenting a trick in a nice way, can I do it also or -before starting the show- I should mention him? Or should I ask him permission to present the trick? "

From some of you (Jonathan for instance) I believe the answer is YES.. am I correct?

I still say that: if you copy some ideas and put them in your show, just do it. This is part of he art. If you write a book or CD or whatever and publish those ideas I think it is nice and fair (call it ethic) if you ask permission and give credits for that.

More requirements on this word (ethics) I wouldn't put.

Another question: what's all this for? What is the puropse of this "overdriven" ethics (at least I call it like that..)?
To avoid to be copied? You can put any barrieer you want, you WILL be copied.
As I said also somewhere else, if you have the phantasy to invent something new (or to have new ideas), you can find some other new ideas. There is no way to protect themselves from this.

// Andrea
Jonathan Townsend
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Anyone CAN copy. The consequences though, of having ALL one's "secrets" lost to the public domain and being left outside the loop on development of new stuff keeps most self respecting folks from copying.

Magic is about secrets. If you can't keep secrets it simply does not help anyone else to discuss their new works with you.

If you want to "do" someone else's work, perhaps you could start by asking them about it.

If I find a trick in an old book, it still belongs to that inventor. If I publish something that evolved from that work, I still need to cite that inventor. I was using the case from Roman law as a simple example from common law. Your example is about "salvage". I counter your example and suggest that since no tricks in magic are found in performance without a performer, that the notion of piracy is more directly applicable to what folks are doing for the most part.

Remember, ethics is about the "good" habits in a society. Good is most simply defined as "that which is rewarded".

Okay folks, have you read the books cited? It is one thing to ponder on one's own, but a tragic waste of time not to learn from the lifetimes of effort that is there for the reading, especially when pertinent and cited in context.
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