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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Illegal copies of VHS and DVD (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

FCpreacher
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Elite user
PA
439 Posts

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It really irks me when someone makes copies of videos to sell. Some jokers do it on ebay all the time. They are STEALING from the boys who spent their time and money mastering moves and putting them into routines, then buying copyrights, then designing covers, then finding someone to produce them, then getting wholesalers to carry them. There's some guy on ebay doing that right now. Is there some way I can report him?
JSMagic
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Loyal user
Boston
202 Posts

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If you know his name, yes-Just go into some help pages and you will be able to find a place where you can report some people-tell me who it is, i'll do it too! Josh
If a magician is not intending to "trick" a spectator, why is every "trick" called a magic "trick"?
Maxim
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London
113 Posts

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What else is new? There's a black market in all sorts of entertainment like movies, music and computer games. It's gonna happen in magic too. Now you know why the music industry is so cheesed off with kazaa etc.
magicgirl
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63 Posts

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FCpreacher - I think I know who you are referring to. I bought a Jay Sankey Live video from him back in November or December, received it and didn't think anything of it because it looked legitimate. Then another person who bought the same video contacted me and asked me if mine was a fake because he suspected his was but wasn't sure. Once I inspected it, I saw the the color jacket for the tape had "Epson Photo Paper" watermarked on the back. A sure sign that this was a scanned copy of the original printed out on a color photo printer. That same Ebay seller was also selling Greg Wilson videos which I assume were also counterfeit. The other buyer had sent e-mails to this seller about this but had not gotten a response back. If this is the same guy, he lives in Canada.

If nothing else, Ebay could be contacted and would hopefully ban and/or cancel his auctions. Jay Sankey and Greg Wilson could be notified along with any other magicians who he is stealing from. I'm not sure how the U.S. law applies to someone in Canada...but they could be contacted also.
Tim Trono
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Inner circle
1117 Posts

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If you have this person's contact info, could you e-mail me privately along with any other facts you have. The more facts the better. I'd be happy to contact the FBI about this. As you might have heard, L&L recently had a problem with one of their recent DVDs being ripped off. The FBI is now pursuing this. I support L&L 100% and I hope they prevail on this and the idiots who are ripping them off get put away.

People have to understand this is a SERIOUS issue! It can involve heavy fines and jail. Producers of videos, DVDs, book, etc. have THOUSANDS of dollars tied up in these and we WILL protect our investments.

Also, if you ever see anything like this going on e-Bay feel free to contact me and I'll work on getting the individual shut down and passing the info on to the artist/producer. They are hurting the producers and the artist but they are also hurting the end consumer as well. It's like you might have heard about shoplifting... the stores ultimately end up passing he cost on to the rest of us because of a few scum bags.

I cannot tell you how prevalent this problem is. It’s amazing. We’ve had to go after quite a few individuals who are ripping off products we represent. It blows me away, in particular when I visit some shops or clubs who basically buy one video and lend/rent it out to essentially be duplicated.

My good friend, Dean Dill has been having a terrible time with people blatantly ripping off his “Dean’s Box”. I’ve helped him with this problem somewhat but every time we get one handled another seems to pop up. People are making cheesy, extremely poor quality rip offs and using his product name on it. Dean is one of the all time great people in magic and it makes me sick that someone would hurt him by blatantly ripping off his magic… this is personal… this is how he supports his family. And some idiots are just out there capitalizing on his hard work, time, and effort in making the item successful.

Tim Trono
Murphy's Magic Supplies, Inc.
MichalMystic
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326 Posts

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Great Post Tim!
I really do suggest if anyone see this type of activity to contact Tim not only is a a good guy but also well connected in the magic industry as our company does biz with him and he always been great with us.

Ive also come across this with Steve Fearson and his url being giving out for the direct download of his effects without paying.
Of course i notified Steve and suggested some way to prevent this.

The bad thing is besides going after them legally there no real way to stop this.

With so many programs coming out to rip dvd and video cards that can back up vhs on digital.

I personally back my vhs up on digital but this is for me personally as vhs wear out and Im lazy to push rewind all the time!

Piracy is a big issue in all formats of film.
From magic to big time movies.

People that work hard loose thousands to million of dollars which to me is just sad as all there hard work goes down the drain.
yosef_dov
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NYC area
242 Posts

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Good luck trying to get the FBI or Ebay to pay any attention to you...

Good luck trying to find someone at an FBI office that is even responsible for handling this kind of case...

After various agencies go on the news talking about how they want to crack down on this that or the other, I've tried reporting various frauds and ripoffs that I've helped gather evidence against and got absolutely no where...

I even served on a grand jury for 6 months, and was taught that ANY US citizen has the legal right to demand a grand jury convene to investigate a matter for indictment... good luck trying to get that to happen too... they'll probably end up investigating you as a kook!

But they'll pay attention to you if you become a vigilanty! Smile
debaser
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Boulder
553 Posts

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People
say the name so we can all know

why protect this guys identity if hes ripping people off.

lets keep him from doing it again.

Matt
Dave Egleston
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Ceres, Ca
632 Posts

Profile of Dave Egleston
Yosef: I'm sorry about your experiences - However, with eBay, all you have to do is just bring up the possibility of something the least bit hinkey - They'll take it off the board poste haste - Just ask Mr Busybee - he illogically claims an intellectual and trademark propriety on original items that are being resold!!?!
Tim Trono
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Inner circle
1117 Posts

Profile of Tim Trono
The FACT is that the FBI IS looking into this issue as I noted above. Some may not have had luck but I think it is important to TRY to stop this type of illegal and unethical activity. If we don't try to stop it we can't complain when it gets out of control.

E-Bay COMMONLY closes people down and, in my opinion, just a little too freely. I have had friends get shut down because they are supposedly in violation of using a trademark when, in fact, the item they are selling is 100% original and there is no verifiable trademark or evidence that they are in violation of anything. This is referred to above. I think FACTS and EVIDENCE should determine their action but apparently e-Bay would rather err on the side of caution.

I am currently working on stopping illegal duplication by a company in Korea and will be contacting them followed by various national organizations. I feel the IBM, SAM, etc. need to work together on taking a stance on this. When the Masked Magician shows created a stir, these organizations united to work at hindering the exposure. In my opinion, the illegal duplication hurts magic more than some idiot hiding behind a mask. People quickly forgot about the Masked Magician but the illegal duplication has long and resounding effects. Thus I would encourage you to contact the various organizations and encourage them to step up, unite, and work against some of this illegal, unethical, and harmful action. Part of their “job” is to help magic and to preserve it. We all need to do our part.

Tim Trono
Jon Gallagher
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Elmwood, Illinois
395 Posts

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There's a guy out in Ohio on Ebay who keeps changing his identity. Under one alias, he sold me a Carl Andrews bootleg tape which he didn't even try to disguise. There was no cover box and he hadn't even removed the tab on the tape that keeps you from recording over it. Then, he produced a CD on marketing and sold it under a different alias. I didn't know this till the return address turned out to be the same as the first one. This CD was basically nothing more than him visiting Dave Dee's website and culling info off of it. That lesson set me back about $45.

Finally, I purchased a book (still a different alias) from the same guy on restaurant magic. It was three pages printed on a home computer. Whoopie! He also sent along a cassette tape that he recorded as a bonus but even turned up as loud as my stereo will go, it's basically inaudible.

Each time, I reported him to eBay. Several times, I've found him before I bought things from him (he started using the same background for all his auctions which was a giveaway). Each time I reported him, Ebay shut him down within 24 hours. I also reported him to Carl and Dave, and I'm not sure which one was responsible, but within a couple weeks, I had someone from the FBI at my door asking if I would provide them with the tape and CD. I did so, but have heard nothing back.

I'm not sure if the guy is still operating or not. It got so that if I saw someone was from Ohio on ebay, I just wouldn't even bid.

Oh yeah.... when this guy wasn't busy being a great magician (according to him), he's a street minister. I wonder if he preaches anything about breaking that commandment about stealing?
www.jongallagher.com

Hey! I'm finally a Dot Com!
martini
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delta, pennsylvania
543 Posts

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Tim I wish you all the best in proceeding in these matters. I for one have had items I manufacture copied by parasites who live off the hard work of others. It is a never ending battle, and as you know, a lot of time, money and work go into producing a trick or a book. Then along comes some guy who does nothing more than buy one and make copies to sell to his buddies or on E-bay.
E-bay does cut them off when you bring the issue to their attention, but I have found no recourse with the court systems, they just do not feel a few magic tricks are worth their time and trouble.
At a national convention years ago, I found pirate copies of two books that we produce on another dealers stand. When I asked him where he got them he told me to ****off. I brought this to the attention of the dealer chairman who told me that this dealer was a well known dealer and a lot of people liked having him there. I asked if I was just chopped liver or what, and all I got was a shrug of his shoulders. My solution to that was to stop attending the nationals as a dealer and not support them by not attending as attendee. I guess ethics only apply to certain people in certain groups.
This problem will continue to rear its ugly head as long as people keep buying from these guys.
We recently put General Grant's video tape set (which we produced) on DVD. Someone just called to ask why we were selling it for one price but there was a dealer advertising it for $10 less. I explained that was not possible because we have not supplied any dealers with the DVD yet. All sales so far have been to members of the Café and at two conventions we attended in Nov. & Dec.
In the old days, one would use their freedom of expression to adjust the attitude of the pirate. Maybe we need to return to these tactics, who knows.
Anyway, I support your battle, and want you to know you are not alone in this matter. there are a lot of us out there who play the game right, hopefully people will read these coments here and stop supporting the parasites who do not play fair.
All the Best
Marty
sugam
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Regular user
Toronto, Canada
175 Posts

Profile of sugam
I've recently stumbled across some effects on video like cardiographic (Lewis) and that "coin burning hole through cards one" (Sankey?) on eBay. Such a shame!
aznviet6uy
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Veteran user
Santa Rosa, CA
315 Posts

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Problem : cheap dvds
solution : stop buying them on the internet

I don't know how much my opinion on this subject matters or not, but if you ask me, it helps people who cannot afford the dvds being able to, sure the creator of the DVD is getting ripped off but its a small fraction, you say its not fair, but what is? its life buddy. Hope no one was offended, but contacting the FBI and all this I believe is a waste of time, you get rid of one person, theres 10 that pops up. What can you do though right?

-Chris
shhh..... I see Magicians.....
Partizan
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Inner circle
London UK
1682 Posts

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This whole situation was bought about by big companys like sony being too greedy. In the end people were fed up with being ripped off and thus a fertile ground for piracy was cultivated.
Just think. An 800 page novel £7. A 70 minute CD £15. VFM is off balance here.
Now most gen public wont bat an eyelid at the latest movie on pirate dvd. You see them flock to stalls that sell them in markets and bootsales.
"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus."
- Mark Twain
irossall
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Special user
Snohomish, Washington
529 Posts

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Just make sure that the person you plan on turning in is indeed guilty of ripping off copywrite material. There are some products that are in the public domain and it is equally not right to spoil their sales as well.
Iven Smile
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