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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Right or Wrong? » » Just what are the rules? (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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gimpy2
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I just can't seem to find out what the rules are when you are trying to produce magic effects. Is there an agreed on list of do's and don't's?

Is there a time limit that someone holds exclusive rights on certain effects, or is it forever?

How do you go about owning the rights to an effect? Do you sign up somewhere?

How much different does a trick have to be from something else out there to be new?

I understand that it would be wrong to say... make a tape measure that you would be able to predict a random measurement, but can you improve say...a duck bucket?

Thanks for any help, Gimpy
truthteller
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Gimpy,

FIrst, if the idea is associated with someone, just ask permission. Get permission and you are fine.

Sometimes, in obtaining that permission, one works out a financial agreement. I bought the license to a trick some time ago. I knew the person who was making/selling it and we came to a figure we were both happy with.

If you create something that IS new, then we would hope others would respect that and seek out your permission should they desire to copy it. As far as being known as the official "right holder" (baring copyright issues) there really is no database for that information. But if enough people know it to be your idea, I think you will find yourself defended should any issue arise.

As to the difference argument - that is a tough one. Getting permission will always take care of that issue. But I think if you are in doubt, then perhaps it is too close. Is changing the method enough? In which case a new tape measure could be perfectly ethical. Or, do we grant rights to the creator of an "effect?"

Different people have different opinions here.

I would think, though, that duck buckets are free for tampering.

Brad Henderson
Cleverpaws
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What if you wanted to recreate a magic effect from the late 1800s or early 1900s and the original creator has long since died (~1930) and the person that was making it with them died in ~1950?
How would you go about tracing the lineage of successors? Would it be ok to make this effect almost identical and sell it?
danaruns
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You can't "own" methods.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
longhaired1
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Are you talking about rules to market effects or perform them, or both?
Cleverpaws
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Im curious about marketing an actual item that is no longer being made. I’m going to guess Gimpy is asking the same as he’s a maker also.
Deckstacker
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Before discovering a current online source for the well-known "Pop Up Tie Gimmick" (having lost mine from years ago) I considered making one in my garage workshop for my own personal use. I'm guessing that would have been okay. (?) But what if I'd also made several more and offered them up on eBay or elsewhere? Would anybody have really cared? --I realize that this is probably a trivial example of a perhaps out-of-patent item, if indeed it was ever patented. It's the principle I'm more interested in here. Any thoughts---anybody?
JoshDude849
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If people were creative like they were back in the day, we wouldn't have to worry about using someone else's tricks.
Dannydoyle
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Yeah because back in the day with guys like Houdini nobody ever accused anyone of things like this.

I am going to suggest reading a little more about things "back in the day".
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Feb 2, 2019, danaruns wrote:
You can't "own" methods.


Ya can't "own" effects, either! Fitzkee "identified" only 19 effects in his "Trick Brain" in the mid "40s!

An "effect" is "what the spectator perceives". (production, vanish, transposition, transformation, restoration, penetration, levitation, animation, etc.)
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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RC
Quote:
On May 14, 2019, Deckstacker wrote:
Before discovering a current online source for the well-known "Pop Up Tie Gimmick" (having lost mine from years ago) I considered making one in my garage workshop for my own personal use. I'm guessing that would have been okay. (?) But what if I'd also made several more and offered them up on eBay or elsewhere? Would anybody have really cared? --I realize that this is probably a trivial example of a perhaps out-of-patent item, if indeed it was ever patented. It's the principle I'm more interested in here. Any thoughts---anybody?


Jack London,IIRC, "invented" that in the mid '40s. I had one. It was a visual gag, prop.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
landmark
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I had one from one of the catalogues when I was a kid. I wore it to elementary school on assembly days.

I forget who suggested using it as a Glorpy with hanky held in front of your chest.
Cleverpaws
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Any chance we can get back to OP's original topic/questions?
Julie
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It would occasionally "pop-up" in early movies and later t.v. shows, too. Smile

Julie
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On Aug 26, 2019, Cleverpaws wrote:
Any chance we can get back to OP's original topic/questions?


What is this your first day?
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Oct 9, 2008, gimpy2 wrote:
I just can't seem to find out what the rules are when you are trying to produce magic effects. Is there an agreed on list of do's and don't's?

Is there a time limit that someone holds exclusive rights on certain effects, or is it forever?

How do you go about owning the rights to an effect? Do you sign up somewhere?

How much different does a trick have to be from something else out there to be new?

I understand that it would be wrong to say... make a tape measure that you would be able to predict a random measurement, but can you improve say...a duck bucket?

Thanks for any help, Gimpy


An EFFECT IS WHAT THE SPECTATOR PERCEIVES.

Therefore: There aint no such list.

You cannot own "rights" to any EFFECT.

Darn near impossible to answer!!!

Duck Bucket? Use a wash tub, and a herd of ducks. Harry Jr. had a spectator look inside the bucket. He said, "You can see YOURSELF (!!!) the bucket is empty!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Feb 2, 2019, longhaired1 wrote:
Are you talking about rules to market effects or perform them, or both?


The EFFECT is what the spectator PERCEIVES! (ya CANNOT market OR PERFORM an EFFECT

Ya cannot market or sell (or buy) a TRICK. Ya CAN PERFORM a trick. (A trick, somewhat like music, only exists while it is being PERFORMED.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Aug 24, 2019, Dannydoyle wrote:
Yeah because back in the day with guys like Houdini nobody ever accused anyone of things like this.

I am going to suggest reading a little more about things "back in the day".


YUP! If you don't study history, you are "condemned" to repeat it!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Cleverpaws
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So it seems that we are now discussing technicalities of word definitions rather than magic or answering the original question.
I've been on the Café long enough to know that this is where many threads go (in a different direction) but for those of us that would like to have some good advice about " not an effect, not a trick" , but an illusion:

"Definition of illusion" according to the Webster dictionary
1a(1) : a misleading image presented to the vision : OPTICAL ILLUSION
(2) : something that deceives or misleads intellectually.

Perhaps someone on here could reply to the original question with some real advice. Or should we just start new threads each time a reply goes off track?
Dick Oslund
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I'll respond tomorrow, to your above post. I'm too tired tonight. Maybe you haven't been around, long enough. When you don't know what an EFFECT IS, it's obvious that you're a Johnny Come Lately, The OP, and, perhaps YOU, should read TARBELL, so you know what you are talking about.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
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