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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Right or Wrong? » » Is exposing magic okay if you make money from it? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Red Shadow
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It seems to me that a lot of magicians have released DVDs teaching magic effects. There are books and CD-roms that do the same. They use the excuse that because the viewer has given them money for the video, that it is okay.

However, all magic clubs preach the fact that magic exposure in any capacity is wrong. But then they all turn a blind eye when it is sold over the shop counter as a DVD. They ignore the many magic books available for FREE in the library. They ignore 'Street Magic' and other magic DVDs available for free rental from love-film and netflix.

Almost every magic club has at least one dealer as a member, and someone else who has released a DVD. Why is this allowed when they are showing laypeople how magic is done? Why should the fact that they are making money from it have any factor on the fact that they are exposing secrets?

This argument is then reflected in the 'teaching' of basic magic effects on a website. I want to know why it is okay for one member to sell a DVD to a layperson exposing many, many effects yet another member cannot teach one effect through their own personal website, without being expelled from the magic society?

The arguments that have been presented so far are:

1. You do more research when buying a DVD or book.
- Rebuttal - Anyone can go into the local library and get the DVD for free. But it takes a lot of time and devotion to find a persons website, search it and purchase the right equipment and software that enables you to view the video. No website is forced on the viewer and it still takes a lot of work from the magician to actually get that web-address into the lay person hand and the layperson to actually go and access it.

2. Money is being handed over, so that makes it alright.
- Rebuttal - Almost all videos on YouTube and Revel make money. Each time they are watched, a penny goes into the owners accounts. This builds up until the artist can make quite a lot of pennies, sometimes in the millions...
With YouTube its called 'Partner program'. They place adverts over the video which helps their sponsors make money.
Also, the videos themselves drive customers to your website to hire your services, making money there as well.

3. Its copyrighted material.
- Rebuttal - I agree that no commercial effect should ever be exposed. A trick like the coloring book can not be useful to the viewer and showing it will be blatant exposure. Any effect that was invented by a particular magician e.g. Pressure should not be taught because it belongs to someone. But there are lots of effects in the public domain, which are many, many years old. This can be the afghan rings for example. This is a public domain effect and is therefore not breaching anybodies copyright.

4. Its okay if its not a video.
Why should the medium upon which the trick is taught have any variable in this argument, yet he does. Mac King exposes tricks via a comic strip accessible on his website. Other tricks are exposed on a variety of other members sites. But they are printouts and so that is okay. It seems to me that its is only video on websites that has come under scrutiny. I argue that no rule book for a magic society was written after the invention of the internet, and so the rules they are trying to enforce actually apply to books and printed material more so than videos.

Can you help me in thinking up what other arguments might I come across, so that I can prepare a rebuttal and give me your opinions on the idea that making money from secrets is acceptable, and the offshoot argument about why videos on websites are not allowed by a societies members, but the selling of DVDs is.

Many thanks,

Steve
Dan Bernier
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"Is exposing magic okay if you make money from it"

Depends on who you ask. If you ask the hundreds of people who are making money at it, they will tell you it's okay. If you ask the traditionalists, who don't feel a need to sell anything and everything to make a buck, but would rather make their money by actually performing for a living, the answer would be no.

Take a forum like this one, and guess what the majority of your answers will be? Smile
"If you're going to walk in the rain, don't complain about getting wet!"
scottds80
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I believe that exposing magic depends on whether they are exposing public domain, or invented effects as a whole.

There's nothing wrong with exposing a double lift and making money from it if you can help beginners with magic. However, if you exposed a complete routine which is the signature act of another magician, you are crossing the line.
"Great Scott the Magician", Gippsland
Mr. Mystoffelees
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Quote:
On 2010-05-30 02:23, Gospel Dan wrote:
"Is exposing magic okay if you make money from it"

Depends on who you ask. If you ask the hundreds of people who are making money at it, they will tell you it's okay. If you ask the traditionalists, who don't feel a need to sell anything and everything to make a buck, but would rather make their money by actually performing for a living, the answer would be no.

Take a forum like this one, and guess what the majority of your answers will be? Smile


Dan- An excellent point!

Jim
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
Dannydoyle
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Well is it not all exposure? I mean when you have a secret and you sell it are you not simply exposing it for money? Isn't that really the end result?

I enjoy the arguement that it is about numbers of people. I bet a million different people have a million different numbers which they think is "too many".

I honestly think this arcane hatred and confussion over exposure is what holds magic back in the first place and why it is not taken as seriously as a whole as it could be. Somehow the more you guard something the more dependent you seem on that thing. People think that magicians as a whole are little more than the sum of their secrets, and but for the fact that they know those secrets they would be nothing. Heck this theory bares itself out in many a performance.

I mean yea exposure on a massive scale is not great, and for there to be mystery there must be some sort of secret in general. But people in magic get so worried about exposure and such. I tell you this, with SOME sort of exposure we would all start at ground 0 and magic itself would stagnate more than it already has. While I am not a fan of the new Criss Angel David Blaine, look like a homeless person fashion, it beats a 104 year old tux any day of the week!

Really this arguement, debate is old and pointless. It is just sad to get caught up in it is all.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Steve_Mollett
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Is this question intended to label magic dealers and publishers as "exposers?"
Author of: GARROTE ESCAPES
The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
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Domino Magic
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Thank God for exposure! Seriously. If it wasn't for the so-called "exposure" described above, then 99% of us wouldn't be here.

I agree with Danny's post. It seems that there are always some who feel they've made it in to the secret city and now want to keep the rest of the world out.

There are no qualifications to say you're a magician. Magic dealers aren't in business to protect secrets, they are in business to sell products. The real secret in magic is that secrets are there so magicians will buy more products.
Dannydoyle
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Wait I have it. When you tell me it is "brotherhood" when you tell someone else it is "EXPOSURE".
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
55Hudson
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Steve,
How do others learn if not for some level of "exposure"? I doubt there is a magician alive today that hasn't learned from another magician -- a mentor/teacher, at a magic shop, book or DVD.

It seems to me, the focus should be on differentiating between mentoring/teaching magicians/would be magicians versus exposing magic secrets to curious laypeople. So then, how do we keep laypeople from learning magic secrets and spoiling the enjoyment of watching magic without knowing how it is done?

Hudson
Pakar Ilusi
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We were all laypeople once.

Who decides who gets in or not?

Anyway, the cat's out of the bag already...

No use crying over spilled milk.
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
Red Shadow
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Yeah, I agree with you. The problem I have is that I was just kicked out of my local magic society because I taught my clients a few basic effects via tutorial videos on my website. They were all public domain effects, such as the vanishing a coin in the piece of paper and the afghan rings. They were all presented as teaching videos and not simply exposure videos. But they saw them as exposure and kicked me out.

I initial removed the videos for a year, but there going back up this week and for that they kicked me out. But those videos helped numerous children and a mentally disable person find happiness. They showed me the trick they learnt when I went to their party and I saw what difference these tricks were having on them it was amazing. They were happy and had learnt new skills. I had to take them down a year ago because the society bullied me through contacting another society. But it saddened me to do so, and now its time to put them back.

Even though I know I cannot win, I plan to fight the club on this issue. It might wake a few people up for the future and at least get the members of the club frowning at the bosses for booting out one of its most active members over something so trivial as this. But I need to be prepared with facts, and need actual examples to go at them with.

It seems to me that a dealer and an author are both exposing secrets. It doesn't matter if that exposure is to another magician, it is still exposure in some capacity. My arguments so far with the president have all come down to money. They say if they have to pay for the secret, then its okay.

I want to prove them wrong, and using dealers and authors seems like a way to proceed, but will probably end up with them getting booted as well, so I have to tread carefully.
edh
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Ku7uk3, why would you want to belong to a club such as you describe?
Magic is a vanishing art.
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2010-05-30 19:01, ku7uk3 wrote:... I want to prove them wrong...


They are dealers, and don't take kindly to you interfering with them moving product.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
55Hudson
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Steve,
If your objective is to help individuals -- you mention children and disabled -- would you consider password protection for your videos? That way you control who has access and the random exposure of effects.

I don't think you will get support for putting up videos that show magic secrets from any magic society or club. The value of magic as entertainment is that people can't explain how the magic happens -- once they know how it happens, the entertainment factor is gone. Imagine if you were on set when they were filming an action movie and could see how the main character was never in danger -- or was replaced by a stunt person! You would never enjoy the movie in the same way again. It's the same with magic. The value to the audience lies in part because they don't know how it is done.

Hudson
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On 2010-05-30 19:01, ku7uk3 wrote:
Yeah, I agree with you. The problem I have is that I was just kicked out of my local magic society because I taught my clients a few basic effects via tutorial videos on my website. They were all public domain effects, such as the vanishing a coin in the piece of paper and the afghan rings. They were all presented as teaching videos and not simply exposure videos. But they saw them as exposure and kicked me out.

I initial removed the videos for a year, but there going back up this week and for that they kicked me out. But those videos helped numerous children and a mentally disable person find happiness. They showed me the trick they learnt when I went to their party and I saw what difference these tricks were having on them it was amazing. They were happy and had learnt new skills. I had to take them down a year ago because the society bullied me through contacting another society. But it saddened me to do so, and now its time to put them back.

Even though I know I cannot win, I plan to fight the club on this issue. It might wake a few people up for the future and at least get the members of the club frowning at the bosses for booting out one of its most active members over something so trivial as this. But I need to be prepared with facts, and need actual examples to go at them with.

It seems to me that a dealer and an author are both exposing secrets. It doesn't matter if that exposure is to another magician, it is still exposure in some capacity. My arguments so far with the president have all come down to money. They say if they have to pay for the secret, then its okay.

I want to prove them wrong, and using dealers and authors seems like a way to proceed, but will probably end up with them getting booted as well, so I have to tread carefully.


Any "society" or "brotherhood" that would have you removed when those videos helped challenged children find happiness does not strike me as an orginization I would ever want to be part of. I applaude you.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Red Shadow
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Quote:
On 2010-05-30 20:41, 55Hudson wrote:
Steve,
If your objective is to help individuals -- you mention children and disabled -- would you consider password protection for your videos? That way you control who has access and the random exposure of effects.


That would only limit the number of people it would help - why would I want to do that? It would completely go against the reason I make these videos in the first place.

And while its true I don't really want to belong to the society due to its politics, its not as if magic clubs grow on trees and there are others you can go to. The club also have auctions and competitions which are useful to see.

I'm also not one of those people that likes to run away - I'm a fighter whether they like it or not. It might not be a scrap I can win, but all I need to do it break a few noses and I'll be happy. You have to stand up to bullies otherwise they will continue bullying someone else, again and again, because no-one dares to stand-up to them.

Steve
Whit Haydn
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For the most part, I would rather stand up to magic bullies, than say, street gang bullies. Smile
Jonathan Townsend
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Steve, perhaps you could discuss with the group starting the process with some mentorship and from that offer levels of access to stuff online. IE get them started with some understanding of how secrets are important and how they are starting to explore a world that is very discreet. See how they feel about that. Amazing really as those kids you are helping are also potential customers for mail order items, props, books and more.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Pakar Ilusi
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Quote:
On 2010-05-31 12:28, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Steve, perhaps you could discuss with the group starting the process with some mentorship and from that offer levels of access to stuff online. IE get them started with some understanding of how secrets are important and how they are starting to explore a world that is very discreet. See how they feel about that. Amazing really as those kids you are helping are also potential customers for mail order items, props, books and more.


Mentor Special needs kids because they have the potential to become Customers for Magic stuff in the future? So that it might appease a Magic Club's sense of right and wrong?

Did I understand you right JT?
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
Jonathan Townsend
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That's an interesting interpretation. I've spoken out against the addiction model earlier so let's look for other interpretations.

How about treating that "because" as a side effect and potential benefit to the market? Most folks in magic don't build all their own equipment and design their own props.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
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