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Inner circle
New York, New York
1617 Posts

Profile of bugjack
I'm a relative newcomer to this board and someone who has just reconnected with magic after some time.

I've been struck by all the marketing of effects that are in themselves variations on other effects... tricks where a principle from another trick is used but the handling is changed, for example. Sometimes these new tricks credit others for inspiration, sometimes not. For the magicians involved, is the issue involved respect for the people who have come before, or is it about money and the profiting off of someone else's creative labor? Are arrangements usually done between magicians when someone else's idea is incorporated into another's effect?
The Bonnie Kids
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Sweden (Västerĺs)
267 Posts

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Good question...... I really don't know.
I hope somebody with direct experience will contribute here.
// Andrea
Bill Palmer
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Eternal Order
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This is a topic that has been explored very deeply here and on other forums. There are several factors here. Let's consider one very common example.

In 1972, Frank Garcia wrote a book called Million Dollar Card Secrets. It's an excellent book, primarily because the material is well thought out, and most of it is fairly easy to do. It doesn't require a lot of heavy work, and the impact of the tricks is generally strong. The first trick in the book is called "The Chicago Opener." I've used it a lot, because of its impact.

He doesn't give credit for the trick, simply stating that he learned it in Chigago. Well, that's true, but he learned it from Al Leech, who originated it, as "The Red Hot Mama." It was Al's signature trick. He should have given credit, and he should have asked permission.

Magicians later learned this was not unusual for Frank. In The Heirophant, many examples of downright plagiarism on his part were exposed by Jon Racherbaumer. None of this affected Frank in the least, but he did hurt a lot of feelings.

The right thing to do is to ask permission and then to credit the originator, if you know who it is. Magicians are getting more and more sensitive to this issue, so there are many who simply collect information to help with this kind of thing.

Legally, there's not much that can be done, because copyright infringement only applies in a limited number of situations. But people do get their feelings hurt, and rightly so.

Now that Frank and Al are both gone, it's a moot point, anyway.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."
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