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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Right or Wrong? » » I kind of find this funny..., does anyone know this guy? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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David Alexander
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Before I moved from Southern California I did a show for a group of high school kids. The school hired me to give the "A" and "B" students a special treat. They were nice kids and an excellent audience...however, when I used the school's most popular teacher for my guillotine dozens of cell phones appeared to record the event.

I am protective of my guillotine routine...I get 12 minutes out of it and while I use tried and true gags I have several original bits of business that help put it over. I've manged to keep this quiet as I don't think that more than a handful of magicians have ever seen me do it..and they were all people that I trust.

I didn't want to say anything to police the kids with the phones, slowing down the presentation or coming across as a grumpy adult, I just performed as usual, however I watched YouTube and sure enough in a few days there was my routine in all its glory.

I sent the kid who posted it a short note but didn't hear back so I sent an email to YouTube and the video was gone within hours. Only 50 people had looked at it and they were kids from the school. I did hear from the kid who apologized as he thought it was OK.

The tact I took with YouTube was that this was a private performance, not open to the public (it wasn't) and that my presentation was protected by copyright. Not a bit of argument from YouTube and it was gone.
Tom Cutts
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Would you share with the board the process by which the copyright was attained?
David Alexander
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I work from a script that I wrote.
Tom Cutts
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So no official documentation, just a copyright exists from the creation of the work (as the law states) or did you fill out paperwork and file it with the government?
David Alexander
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What is your need for the details?
Tom Cutts
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I'm establishing the facts. I don't think many people realize that copyright begins when it does as the law is written. If you filed no paperwork, you clearly either believe copyright exists without need to declare it, or you used that as a nice ploy which YouTube wouldn't call you on since it all made sense.
Servante
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No paperwork is a common law copyright. David could stop someone from doing his material, but couldn't sue for damages. Registered copyright allows you to sue for damages.
entity
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Note entirely true.

If you don't register a copyright before the infringement occurs, you still have some rights against someone if the courts rule that they have violated your copyright. You still have the right to obtain damages for your lost profits, the infringer's profits and an injunction, but you cannot obtain statutory damages (pre-established amounts determined by a scale or formula) or attorneys' fees.

- entity
Ken Lam
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Oh my god... this guy has no shame. Ethics sure don't mean anything to this loser.
Dan Bernier
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This is sort of interresting. A guy gets accused of stealing, and accused of being a thief when legally he has done nothing wrong. In fact, he has the law on his side to do what he is doing. It may not be ethical to most, nor do most of us find it morally acceptable, but slandering him, and deformation of character is against the law, and he has legal rights to do something about that if he should catch wind of this thread.

NOTE: I am not condoning what this fellow is doing, or has done, but I can't condone the deformaion of character either. For me, it works both ways.

You can't accuse someone of being a thief when he has not broken the law. From where I am from this is considered slander and deformation of character.

Believe me, I'm not defending this guy, but I thought I should make it aware that the only law being broken is accusing someone of stealing and being a thief when he by law is not. Where as Eric has no law to learn on, the guy from Pubtricks can take legal action.

I just thought I would share that little tidbit. Smile
"If you're going to walk in the rain, don't complain about getting wet!"
Josh Chaikin
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A bar band does a cover of "Welcome to the Jungle," which is copyrighted, as is all music, they don't pay for performance rights to the song, very few, if any, bar bands do, in my estimation. They're paid for their show, are they thieves, did they do anything wrong?

No, magic doesn't have the same protection as other performance arts, and I suspect things would get very muddled if they did (it would help stop exposure, but it would also cause other problems as far as performances are concerned). Strictly speaking, legally, no; nothing illegal was done. Ethically, however, it is very, very wrong. Since we can't use the law to fight these, we must police these sorts of things ourselves, and we are by discussing it whenever examples are brought to our attention.

As for not being able to call him a thief because he hasn't legally done anything wrong...it's not quite so cut-and-dried. Are you familiar with the story of Les Miserables? Jean Valjean is imprisoned for 5 years for stealing a loaf of bread, to feed his sister and her child (the 19 years comes from escape attempts). Clearly, this is theft, coupled with breaking and entering. But is it wrong? Just because something is illegal, doesn't mean it's wrong and shouldn't be - so the corollary must have some sort of application.

Assuming it's not independent discovery, I'm not willing to give him the benefit of the doubt here (when kids these days come up with something they think is cool to sell, they go to the big three - Penguin, Ellusionist or Theory 11). That being the case, he willingly and knowingly explained a routine that was not his for profit, without attribution to Eric nor any sort of commission. That is theft.

The copyright page of my CCNA textbook contains the following passage (one that I've seen in many magic books as well):

Quote:
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise..."


Does the absence of that caveat in a video provide a loophole? Perhaps, but the counterargument is that if the material, in different form (I believe it's in Eric's notes) comes with that same warning, and other material of the same nature does as well, it would naturally have the same protections under copyright law across different mediums.
Andrew Zuber
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One thing I think that has been left out of this discussion (and I am aware that I'm late to the party) is the idea of research. Say the guy HAD come up with it on his own and had never seen Eric's routine. This would mean that:
A) He did no research into the history of the move, or
B) He didn't do ENOUGH research into the history of the move

Assuming that Eric can show that he published or was selling the move before this guy, the reasonable thing to do would at LEAST be to credit Eric on the video as well. I recently purchased a routine and the creator wrote in his notes, "if you see any of the moves that I haven't credited to someone else in print, let me know and I will amend this document." In other words, he did as much research as he could, but was also open to the fact that someone else could have come up with it before he did, and he would happily give credit where credit was due.

That's an interesting point about the text from the CCNA book. Does that mean if I create a video, and I put that somewhere in the credits, I have more of a leg to stand on than if I didn't add that?
"I'm sorry - if you were right, I would agree with you." -Robin Williams, Awakenings
Graham Ahn
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Binding documentation has been created in the past between magicians that restrict performances in a geographical area, or within a set time period.

Why can such documentation not be created today - between creators and performers - to include performances posted on the Internet?


Graham
Graham Ahn
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Quote:
On 2010-06-29 00:43, gaddy wrote:
Who owns this crap site? Anyone know?


http://www.robtex.com/dns/pubtricks.com.html#whois


Graham
Dan Bernier
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Quote:
On 2010-12-25 18:23, Graham Ahn wrote:
Binding documentation has been created in the past between magicians that restrict performances in a geographical area, or within a set time period.

Why can such documentation not be created today - between creators and performers - to include performances posted on the Internet?


Graham


Because a lot of them are not legally binding. The agreement is usually only as good as those who honour it. Also, most binding agreements have to have a time limit on it. In other words, the agreement can only be for a fixed time, not forever. Even trade secret agreements have a time limit on them.

I should mention that you can't get trade secret protection on a routine though. You can have the script copyrighted, but that just protects the written work from being copied, not performed.
"If you're going to walk in the rain, don't complain about getting wet!"
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