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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Copy right law as it relates to published effects (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Tbone0804
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My name is Taylor and Im a student of business at Indiana University. Today in my Business 402 class, we began a discussion of generi products and their affect on the market place. We were tasked with finding a market that typicaly does NOT offer generic products, and why.

Being a mentalism hobbyist I immediately thought of the market for magic effects. Being a niche market, there is little room for generics. That coupled with the moral code of many profession magicians agaist buying any effect they consider a 'knock-off' it's no surprise generics don't exist in the illusion world (at least not as prevelant as in other industies).

My question is about the legally of potential knock off brand magic tricks. Magic is notoriously hard to copyright or patent. Most major cases dealing with the issue have been thrown out or ruled inconclusively. If, for instance, someone purchased a magic DVD, and found a single trick to be very good, while the rest of the DVD was only okay, is there a law keeping them from writing the effect in an eBook, changing the name and marketing it?

Put simply: an ebook (the generic form) of a market DVD (the name brand) is created explaining how a sinle trick is accomplished. The name of the effect is changed, but all sleights are the same. It is marketed at a much lower price. Is there a law against this?

The way I see it, the content of the DVD is copyrighted. That includes the performance, the audio, and all physical encryptions on the DVD. But are the explanations of the effects copyrighted? Or can they be reproduced in another medium as a generic form? It seems like the explanations ate like the plot of a book: the book itself and the words in it are copyrighted, but the plot is not. The plot can be repeated ad nasuem with minor changes. Such is done in Hollywood with mockbuster movies of main stream films.

Long winded first post I kmow, but any responses are appreciated. I have no intention of bootlegging any magic effects, I am merely wondering about the legality of the issue as it pertains to my class!

Thank you
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TheDean
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Ther is a 'Magic & The Law' blog somewhere that will help... I don't; have the link handy, I'm on my cell.

Anyone?
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Quote:
On 2010-08-09 23:54, Tbone0804 wrote:
My name is Taylor and Im a student of business at Indiana University. Today in my Business 402 class, we began a discussion of generi products and their affect on the market place. We were tasked with finding a market that typicaly does NOT offer generic products, and why.

Being a mentalism hobbyist I immediately thought of the market for magic effects. Being a niche market, there is little room for generics. That coupled with the moral code of many profession magicians agaist buying any effect they consider a 'knock-off' it's no surprise generics don't exist in the illusion world (at least not as prevelant as in other industies).

My question is about the legally of potential knock off brand magic tricks. Magic is notoriously hard to copyright or patent. Most major cases dealing with the issue have been thrown out or ruled inconclusively. If, for instance, someone purchased a magic DVD, and found a single trick to be very good, while the rest of the DVD was only okay, is there a law keeping them from writing the effect in an eBook, changing the name and marketing it?

Put simply: an ebook (the generic form) of a market DVD (the name brand) is created explaining how a sinle trick is accomplished. The name of the effect is changed, but all sleights are the same. It is marketed at a much lower price. Is there a law against this?

The way I see it, the content of the DVD is copyrighted. That includes the performance, the audio, and all physical encryptions on the DVD. But are the explanations of the effects copyrighted? Or can they be reproduced in another medium as a generic form? It seems like the explanations ate like the plot of a book: the book itself and the words in it are copyrighted, but the plot is not. The plot can be repeated ad nasuem with minor changes. Such is done in Hollywood with mockbuster movies of main stream films.

Long winded first post I kmow, but any responses are appreciated. I have no intention of bootlegging any magic effects, I am merely wondering about the legality of the issue as it pertains to my class!

Thank you


It should be noted that "copyright" is generally misused, as a verb. When copyright protection exists, it attaches upon creation (in a fixed medium). What most people mean by "copyrighting" is registering a copyright. Registration affords the creator some legal benefits, but the act of registration is separate from securing the copyright.
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Countage
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I have never heard of any magician sueing another magician for Copy right infringement.
Pizpor
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There was the patent infringement case between Yigal Mesika and Sean Bugonia. There's an open letter from Yigal in Magic Magazine, July 2010, page 20. I know its not about 'copyright' but it may lead you toward something that could benefit your research.

From what I understand, you can copyright a 'performance' very much like how plays are copyrighted. But I won't claim to be an expert on the topic.
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