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Bill Palmer
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The moment you start distributing copies, even privately, you are publishing. That's a cold, hard fact.

If you translate a work that is in the public domain and distribute the translation, for profit or not, you are not violating any law at all. Your translation is copyrightable, and, in my opinion, you are doing a good thing.

However, if you translate someone's work and that work is still copyrighted, in order to publish it, you must get permission from the copyright holder, and you probably will have to pay a royalty. However, this is not a big problem, because the royalties usually come out of the fees you get for selling the work. In some cases, you might need to pay a fee up front. That's up to the owner of the copyright.

Distribution can be through Lulu.com or you can have it printed and sell it to the bigger wholesalers or you can set up a web site to distribute it.

Sell it by all means. Translating is not easy work, especially if it's a good translation.

Almost all of my translations have been at the request of the original author or publisher. Those that weren't at the request of them are by their permission.
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zhouluyi
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Thanks Bill,
At first the books I'm mostly interested in translating are the old classics, Erdnase, maybe some Hoffman, Maskelyne, Devant, and so. Most of those are Dover reprints, and I guess that all of them fall in public domain (BTW: Any reliable way to check for that?)

My idea is to give the oportunity for the younger to study the old, instead of just watch mindless one effect dvd.

Yesterday I began searching for information about self-publishing, how much it would cost and so on. Since my intention isn't profit I don't feel like overpricing the book, I want to get then done at about 10 dollars a piece. If it get's very expensive I will try to restrict myself to online distribution, maybe the Lulu service would be good for that. I've made some estimatives of shipment to Brazil and it gets VERY VERY expensive from Lulu, about 100 dollars for a 10 dollar book (I guess the service must be broken).

Hope to get the costs right by the next week, and with luck get this project going.

EDIT: Also I'm studying the ISBN question, it is a requirement by Law in Brazil that every published book (in paper) must have an ISBN, regardless of anything.

Thanks,
Luiz Borges
Bill Palmer
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The key to this is to publish in paperback. That cuts the shipping costs way down.

Check and see what kind of publishers you have in Brazil as well.

I don't know how you could check on the Dover material, but I am reasonably sure that the bulk of their publications are in the public domain. the Hofzinser books aren't though. They fall under that new law, the restoration of copyright act. Ottokar Fischer's estate still owns the rights to them. These will expire in 2011.
"The Swatter"

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zhouluyi
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Thanks again Bill,
The publishers here have no interest in magic books (no enough market for it), so I will have to take the independent approach. Also, I had no intention to put it on hardback, that would be extremely expensive.

I just found out of a company here that does the same kind of service as Lulu.com, maybe that is my solution. I requested a cost estimative from them today. I also requested estimatives from a printer house.

About Hofzinser, I didn't even know he had material published, I heard about him in descriptions from other magicians. I just looked it up and found that:
"What ws known about Hofzinser was mostly based on the work of Otokar Fischer (1873-1940) who published his findings in his books, Kartenkünste (1910) and Zauberkünste (1942) though many of Fischer's findings turned out to incorrect. In recent years, Austrian magician Magic Christian has discovered many new facts about the life and magic of Hofzinser, publishing them in his books Non Plus Ultra, currently available only in German."

These were published in Germany, so, I would have to check it up more clearly. At first I would focus on the ones I'm sure its in public domain.

Luiz Borges
Lawrence O
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Quote:
On 2008-10-16 01:59, Bill Palmer wrote:
You misread the sentence. I never said any of it had a valid US copyright. The material in question had valid copyrights in the country of publication, but not in the US, due to various quirks.

1) Magic by Robert Harbin -- no copyright in the US due to lack of simultaneous publication. Now protected.

2) Anything published in an Iron Curtain country -- example, anything by Kabalevsky.

3) Anything that was published in Germany where the copyright fell into the hands of the Nazis, also material published in Austria and/or Czechoslovakia. Ottokar Fischer's work, for example. There is a question about the legality of the Hofzinser translations, because they are derivative works of material that is still protected by Austrian copyright. This is not the case, though, with Illustrated Magic, because the rights to the book were purchased before the Nazi's took over.

An interesting case would be that of a tune called "Modřanská Polka." This is a Czech song that was written in 1927 by Jaromir Vejvoda. The copyright on the tune fell into Nazi hands when WW II started, so it may have been completely legal to play this tune without any form of royalty payment (after the start of WW II), if the player did not sing the lyrics or announce that they were playing ... "Beer Barrel Polka."

Now the copyright to the melody has been restored to the Vejvoda estate.


Hi Bill

Whenever you wish to use the word nazi, could you please drop the capital "n". It has been ruled by an international court, lead by American judges that they had lost the right to any respect and are just a "criminal organization" and being a member is sufficient to make one a criminal (1949 ruling: proceedings reported in the "Green Books")... So please no capital "n". The ruling made it clear that there is no possible prescription to this condamnation.

Thanks
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Bill Palmer
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That was not intended to be an honorific. In German, all nouns are capitalized, even the evil ones, I tend to capitalize German nouns when I use them in English. I'll see if I can get the moderators to change that.

I apologize.
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Justin M. Monehen
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I know I am a bit late on this thread - but it was a very interesting read.
Just a quick question about the public domain issue of some of the Hugard books? Is the different countries and their copyright rules the reason that Dover's version of The Encyclopedia of Card Tricks is not available in the UK? Is this book public domain in the US and still under copyright in the UK - if so who owns it as I see so many versions of the book in shops and as ebooks that I wonder how the internet (which after all is worldwide) can possibly cope with different copyright restrictions and time periods for books (and other media) to become public domain.
Bill Palmer
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I don't know why it isn't available in the UK. The original edition was published by Louis Tannen, but my copy, which is of the third printing, has no copyright date in it. This clouds the waters somewhat. There is a good chance that the book has a different copyright in the UK. This should have been equalized by the legal changes in the Uruguay round.

It may have to do with Hugard's citizenship. He was born in Australia. If the Encyclopedia had a separate English copyright, it would expire in 2029.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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Justin M. Monehen
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Contacted Dover and they confirmed that the copyright for some of their magic books were different in the EU to the US (Encyclopedia of Card Tricks being one of them). So yep, 2029 sounds like the date of copyright expiration for Hugards work in the UK.

Posted: Apr 1, 2010 5:45am
As a side note on copyright and old books.
Does anyone know if Burling Hull (who died relatively recently 1982) has an estate looking after his copyright (I know he was rightly most concerned about patents and copyright). I want to reprint and excerpt from one of his very early books and I absolutely want to get the correct permission. Any help would be much appreciated.
Bill Palmer
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Contact Bev Bergeron.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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Justin M. Monehen
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Wow - thank you.
All the very best,
Justin
Bill Palmer
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You are welcome. Bev was basically Burling Hull's closest friend during the last years of Burling's life.

I met Burling in 1980. I had just finished working at the Largo Renaissance Festival. On the way back to Houston, I drove through Orlando, just to visit with Bev for a little while. When I was leaving, I asked Bev about Burling Hull.

He said, "He is as blind as a bat and as sharp as a tack."

I asked Bev what Burling would do if I dropped by his place, which was not far from Orlando, and told him that I had learned a lot about showmanship from the series he had written for the Linking Ring. Bev said, "He would flip out!"

So I went up to DeLand, phoned Burling from a pay phone nearby, and went to visit him, figuring that I would be able to tolerate the man most people called "Hurling Bull," for a maximum of a half hour. Then, hopefully, I would be able to get his autograph and I could get on down the road.

Instead of the dour, humorless curmudgeon I thought I would find, I found a brilliant man. He had a great sense of humor. He was extremely knowledgeable about illusions and showmanship. After about three hours, I finally had to get on down the road.

And I did get the autograph!

I will never call him "Hurling Bull" again, either.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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Mark R. Williams
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That remembrance of Berling Hull was a nice read!

I think a lot of people can be quite different than the public perceptions. I even know of a famous person with a Wonderful "Guy next door" public persona that in private you would not want to be around.......................

Regards,

mark
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Bill Palmer
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I wish I had met him ten years earlier.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Mark R. Williams
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Bill,
I wish I could have met him at all!!!!! I am thankful for those I have met, real mentors like Jay Marshal, Marshal Brodien, and many others. I have met many a good person in this hobby of mine......... There really are a lot of good people out there when you start to count them.

Regards,

mark
"One more step on the pathway of Knowledge, that is if we don't break our leg crossing the street"
Bill Palmer
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Jay Marshall was a good friend of mine. He was very generous with his knowledge.

Marshall Brodien contributed quite a bit to my cups and balls collection.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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jnrussell
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After carefully reading through this older thread, while the information on public domain was interesting and helpful, I think Jonathon's original thoughts were lost.

While I appreciate his sentiment, the horse is so long out of the barn, that it becomes an argument in futility. The secrets are out there. They can't be pulled back in. And as long as current magician's want to publish, it will never change.

I agree that most people may want to know how something is done, but how much time are they actually going to invest in searching? In today's world, youtube will about be the extent of it. And again, as long as someone wants to expose, there's nothing that can be done about it.

A couple years ago I sat in a room full of magicians and watched a young man do his linking rings routine. Every single one of us knew the mechanics of how he did what he did. But we were blown away as this young man performed pure magic in front of our very eyes. After his performance, I turned to a fellow magi next to me and said, "After watching him, I'm not sure what to call what I do... that was magic!"

Secrets are one thing. Performing magic is quite another. That can't be learned from exposure.
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Peter McMillan
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I find research thru these old volumes to be most instructive. I am constantly finding that effects that may be though of as "new" today were presented 100, 150 or more years ago. Some methods may have been refined, however I find it all the more amazing they were able to make it work given the technology of their time. And now it is all right there for the gleaning in these public domain publications.

Personally, I hope they stay lost.

And John, you are sooooo right.
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Michael Landes
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Quote:
On 2012-09-27 09:03, jnrussell wrote:
After carefully reading through this older thread, while the information on public domain was interesting and helpful, I think Jonathon's original thoughts were lost.

While I appreciate his sentiment, the horse is so long out of the barn, that it becomes an argument in futility. The secrets are out there. They can't be pulled back in. And as long as current magician's want to publish, it will never change.

I agree that most people may want to know how something is done, but how much time are they actually going to invest in searching? In today's world, youtube will about be the extent of it. And again, as long as someone wants to expose, there's nothing that can be done about it.

A couple years ago I sat in a room full of magicians and watched a young man do his linking rings routine. Every single one of us knew the mechanics of how he did what he did. But we were blown away as this young man performed pure magic in front of our very eyes. After his performance, I turned to a fellow magi next to me and said, "After watching him, I'm not sure what to call what I do... that was magic!"

Secrets are one thing. Performing magic is quite another. That can't be learned from exposure.

So, so true. Exposure has never posed a risk to the survival of magic. It is simply a non-issue.
I'm not a history buff, but I believe...

The back palm was exposed practically into extinction in the early years of the 20th century,
yet It remains one of the best things you can do on the stage, and has always been a Lance Burton specialty.

While Houdini was performing in the Hippodrome as a major star, shills were hawking pamphlets right outside
explaining his entire act, accurately, for a few pennies. Meanwhile, people were fighting to buy tickets for
a small fortune to watch Houdini perform that very act inside.

Many magicians were originally truly concerned that Penn & Teller would be the death of magic because they
pulled away the curtain and showed the methods. Well, they DID, and do, a lot of exposure, it's true.
Has it irreparably harmed magic? Or didn't all that PENN AND TELLER ARE THE DEVIL talk die decades ago?

In the seventies I had a very close friend named Paul Chosse, whom I name only because his name has come up
on the forum from time to time. Paul was a great lover of magic, but was never awed by the idea of
SECRETS. Any one who asked him how he did something was told. Not just any magician, ANYONE. (He always
found it funny and rather sad, that magicians only had to ask him how something was done, but they
almost never did (in fact this is how we met). It was always about trading SECRETS, about having something
HEAVY enough to offer in trade. So, yes, he too had his special items that he would pull out in order to
loosen someone else's tongue. But he never liked this aspect of hanging out.

But more to the point was his attitude with regard to spectators. For example, if someone asked, or accused,
or guessed, CORRECTLY, about the workings of something he'd done, he would often just say, "Yes, you're right!"
and then go on to fool him again with the same trick. Now, I know you are thinking, "of course, he used a different
method." But, no, he would do THE SAME TRICK. the same method. He would just SAY he was doing something different.
And since he performed it PROPERLY, they were fooled. THEY HAD NO CLUE! they were more baffled than ever! \
He said to me more than once, that if you couldn't fool someone with a trick even though they already knew the method,
then you didn't know/understand the trick properly and demonstrated this to me over and over.

SECRETS are the cheapest, most common, coin of the realm. There is nothing rare and precious about methods. They are
legion, they are everywhere, they are endless. Good magic, however, is indeed rare and a precious thing of wonder those
few times I've seen the real thing. Here is a great, I think, negative example. One of the really great acts I've seen
was the Goshman act, which I saw Al perform at least 3 times. the video doesn't really capture it (do videos ever?)
Now, check out the book on his act. Hm......... all the secrets are there (for what they are worth). But everything
that made the act great is missing. One of the worst magic books ever, IMHO of course, yet all the SECRETS are there.

Or, more succinctly, yes I agree.
Bill Palmer
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One of the lessons I learned shortly before I formally retired from performing was that the mechanics of the trick are not the secret.

Figure that one out.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
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