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tommy
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Eternal Order
Devil’s Island
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I wish tricks and sleights published in books came with a date rather than just the name of the inventor.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Spellbinder
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The dates are harder to track down. In my brief biographies of magic inventors, I have tried to list the date next to the invention where it is known, but it usually is listed with a "c" for "circa" in front of it, which means that it was invented "around the time of" that date. That's about as close as we can get unless some inventor remembers "Hey, I invented that trick on April First at 3:00 AM" which almost never happens. You get the idea, you work on it and it evolves, you put it into your show, it evolves some more, and finally you get around to reallizing you have an original new effect. With any luck, you publish it somewhere, and most of the dates listed reflect when an invention was first published, rather than when the idea popped into the inventor's head.
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Bill Palmer
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One thing that helps to some degree is advertising. This is one reason I'm glad that the ads are catalogued along with the rest of the text at Conjuring Arts.

For example, I know when the Chop Cup was first advertised, and where. It may have been sold before that, but I know when it was advertised. I also know when Elmer Biddle's famous move first appeared in print. Again, you have to add a certain amount of lead time to figure out when they first started using a particular move, etc.

Sometimes it involves a lot of detective work, though. Tracking Professor's Nightmare back to Bob Carver is an example of that.
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Lawrence O
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Quote:
On 2008-06-17 07:07, Spellbinder wrote:
The dates are harder to track down. In my brief biographies of magic inventors, I have tried to list the date next to the invention where it is known, but it usually is listed with a "c" for "circa" in front of it, which means that it was invented "around the time of" that date. That's about as close as we can get unless some inventor remembers "Hey, I invented that trick on April First at 3:00 AM" which almost never happens. You get the idea, you work on it and it evolves, you put it into your show, it evolves some more, and finally you get around to reallizing you have an original new effect. With any luck, you publish it somewhere, and most of the dates listed reflect when an invention was first published, rather than when the idea popped into the inventor's head.


There is also the case of performer who wabt to predate something and claim they were performing this for XXX years. Therefore it seems to me that the "legal" date should remain the first written communication concerning the effect (publication of the effect or advertisement).

For example I'm very slow in my freezing of an effect (or close to that) to be classified as good enough for me because I'm a maniac about effect perception through showmanship and misdirection details. In the same time the script has to be polished by confrontating with many types of situations to slide smoothly right through: even with experience, there is no shortcuts to that.

Some performer follow the same slow path but some other are just quicker or wish to take precedence (which I don't care) and publish fast claiming that they are at the effect for longer than they actually were.

My point here is that you are right in doing your "circa" dating, but publication date (effect or advertisement) should remain the "legal" date.
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
Bill Palmer
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I'm not sure I agree with that completely. For example, if you have a move that you simply don't want to share with anyone, but you want to establish when you invented it, a notebook with a date entry, plus a dated, registered letter is usually considered to be proof of origination.

Part of the problem is defining publication. If you restrict this to magic magazines or books available to magicians, then I don't know if that's really valid. However, if you do a limited run of books, for example, you publish five copies via lulu, but don't distribute them, they probably would generally be considered to be published.

Under US copyright law, publication does not necessarily mean putting something in print. A performance, if documentable, can be considered publication. Digital media has made this a quagmire, though. Because of the state of technology, a person who knows how to manipulate digital media can, in theory, "prove" that he invented something as far back as 1980. I won't go into detail about how this can be done, because people who don't know it don't need it.

Publication on the internet is another matter as well. An update to a web site or a reconstructed backup can mess up all the "proof" a web site can give someone.

It's not a simple problem.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
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