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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Latest and Greatest? » » Timmy Toilet Paper Notebook by Tom Burgoon (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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PCoreyB
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Quote:
On 2010-12-14 12:31, Domino Magic wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-12-14 11:58, PCoreyB wrote:
If a routine is published in a magazine like Genie, isn't it done so with the intention that people use it? I didn't see the issue it was in so correct me if I'm wrong, maybe there was some kind of disclaimer, but when I learn a routine from a book or mag, I don't pay the contributor for the rights to perform it...maybe I'm missing something.


This exact topic was discussed a number of years ago here: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=10. Tom published the routine in Genii because he wanted the credit for it. He had seen a performers who had taken the routine without his permission and wanted to make sure everyone knew it was his routine. There were no performance rights given and that came out in the magazine, I think during a mock interview with "Timmy".

Quote:
"We decided that at least we should get credit for our ideas. It certainly doesn't mean that we want anyone else doing our act. How about a little professional courtesy!"


It's an ethical issue.


Well that does clear things up for me. That being the case, I would certainly agree that others should not be using his routine without permission. Tom can certainly charge whatever he wants for performance rights...again for me, I couldn't do his routine and get the kind of response he gets...I have to come up with stuff that fits my personality. Not that I don't use lines and bits from other sources.

If you get a usable routine that makes you money, then $200 is a great investment.

BTW, I'll bet you guys would love my Peter the Paper Towel routine!!
Domino Magic
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On 2010-12-14 13:48, PCoreyB wrote:
BTW, I'll bet you guys would love my Peter the Paper Towel routine!!


That better not be a knock-off of my Kenny Kleenex routine!
EventEntertainer
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But isn't Kenny based on my Carl the Cardboard Box? Smile
Mr. Mystoffelees
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Which is a blatant rip off of my Terry the... Oh, never mind...
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
toberman
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Does anyone know the exact issue of Genii that this routine was explained?

Terry
Domino Magic
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It is described in the February 2004 issue. Tom is on the cover.
Engine
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I've seen Tom live dozens of times. This routine is in every show and it KILLS every time. So four minutes of solid killing comedy for 200 bucks...expensive you say? If you're a hobbyist then I guess so...but if you charge - AT ALL - for your shows then no...not expensive.

Magic will never be an art until it begins to take itself seriously. Part of that means it's practitioners begin to show respect for themselves and other creators. Would you steal paintbrushes if you were an amateur painter? These routines are our tools.

The techniques are misdirection, comedy, timing, sleights, and so on which you can use to make your own routine for free. Or you can a master who's done the work (and hopefully add a but of yourself in the mix to make it "you".)
emyers99
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Agree completely...except for the stealing part. Performing something freely published in detail in a magazine is not and never should be considered stealing.
Engine
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On 2010-12-27 22:09, emyers99 wrote:
Agree completely...except for the stealing part. Performing something freely published in detail in a magazine is not and never should be considered stealing.


...provided performance rights are granted - which is not always the case. Sometimes things are published to establish ownership.
Steven Conner
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On 2010-12-27 22:09, emyers99 wrote:
Agree completely...except for the stealing part. Performing something freely published in detail in a magazine is not and never should be considered stealing.


I am reminded of Hal Holbrook's "Mark Twain Tonight" which he has copywrited. While it is published, one would not be wise to perform it.
"The New York Papers," Mark Twain once said,"have long known that no large question is ever really settled until I have been consulted; it is the way they feel about it, and they show it by always sending to me when they get uneasy. "
Cyberqat
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On 2010-12-29 12:46, Steven Conner wrote:

I am reminded of Hal Holbrook's "Mark Twain Tonight" which he has copywrited. While it is published, one would not be wise to perform it.


Okay, those who know me a bit already could see this coming... but I do a feel a need to correct misunderstandings about Ip when I see them.

(1) The word is Copyright. Not Copywrite. Not Copywright, etc. Copyright == The right to copy. That shouldn't be hard to remember.

(2) No one "copyrights" anything in the US. It is a noun, not a verb. Copyrights accrue to the creator of any artistic expression of significant size automatically and immediately upon the fixation of that work in a tangible medium. (Film, written word, what have you.) One can *register* a copyright with the US Copyright office, but this just gives you prima facia evidence of the date it was fixed in the medium and opens up some additional legal remedies if you do go to court. Even if it was never registered with the copyright office the author still owns all copyrights. (The one exception is so called "work for hire" where the work was created as part of your regular employment. In that case the employer owns all the copyrights, not you.)

(3) Since copyright very specifically pertains to works fixed in a tangible medium they are only violated when you make a copy from said medium. Which is to say if I had only seen "Timmy Toilet Paper" as a live performance, and I took no notes or other tangible copy therefrom, I am not in violation if I perform what I remember. IF however I perform based on learning it from any tangible medium, even my own video recording or notes taken from the live act, I am in violation.

Note that it can often be tricky to prove that I am "clean" with regard to exposure to tangible fixations of many works. And as this is civil law, not criminal, there is no presumption of innocence. The test is the "preponderance of evidence" not "proved beyond a reasonable doubt."
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
emyers99
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Engine or anyone else for that matter, name me one trick from the last 70 years of Genii that has been explained in detail but where performance rights were reserved. To say that he explained it in detail but didn't want anyone to perform it is simply nonsensical from both a legal and practical standpoint. If his intent was to simply establish ownership, he chose a very poor way of doing so.
Engine
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@emyers you might find this thread interesting http://www.geniimagazine.com/forums/ubbt......er=32544

But also you say, " If his intent was to simply establish ownership, he chose a very poor way of doing so." I don't think so at all. One could publish in an obscure journal but by releasing it to the subculture of magicians you create potential thieves and potential watchdogs. Magicians typically know where other magicians are performing and just like in the world of comedy there's a network of pros who know the skinny about people who steal bits.

Of course who knows, maybe I'm full of it...why don't you try taking it to the castle and see how far you get Smile

Sill we're not just talking about a bad rep. but legal and moral obligation. Tell you what...just read this thread...I'm tired of typing and the only thing that keeps an honest man honest is himself: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......m=177&61
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Strange thread on Genii's BBS where the august group seems to not now how to spell remunerated and instead discusses non-renumbered when the word unpaid would suffice. From there things got interesting when Tom Stone cited ideas currently held in some countries in Europe yet almost unknown in the magic community after claiming that the state of affairs in magic is simply wrong as regards creator's rights to control their novel works.

As to to doing other people's tricks using their scripts - it seems a pretty good place to start but hardly a place to pick as an end or goal for most purposes.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
emyers99
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As I stated above, he has no legal protection for what was published in the magazine (unfortunately, I'm a lawyer). Ethically, he would have protection had he not published detailed instructions in a magic magazine along with detailed instructions for two other tricks. If he simply wanted to establish ownership, he could have stopped with the interview...but he didn't.
Cyberqat
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On 2010-12-30 10:50, emyers99 wrote:
As I stated above, he has no legal protection for what was published in the magazine (unfortunately, I'm a lawyer).


really? an IP attorney? I'm not, and am careful to make that clear when I talk about this, but I am the son of authors and a published author himself who 'grew up' with copyright so to speak.

Certainly, there is protection of the printed work from piracy, correct? If someone where to pick up the magazine article from genii and run it somewhere else, they would be in violation of somebodies copyrights (Either the Author or Genii depending on how the article was sold.)

Similarly, if I buy a collected edition of Neil Simon plays in print, this does not automatically confer professional performance rights any more then it confers the right to transcribe it to any other medium and distribute it, yes?

So then, what is different here?
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
emyers99
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The magazine has protection against republication of it's articles. So the article is protected. Tom's routine is not.
Cyberqat
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Well ,I fully admit to knowing *nothing* about performance rights and how they fit into this. All my experience is print and film.

But Im still curious about the law regarding a published book or play. I know you need to negotiate rights with the author to make it into a movie, but that's fixing in a tangible medium. Is the difference here that live performance is not tangible? If so does that mean that anyone who buys a script in book form is free to stage that book as a play so long as they make no copies of that printed word for others?
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
TStone
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Quote:
On 2010-12-30 10:50, emyers99 wrote:
As I stated above, he has no legal protection for what was published in the magazine


There are two states for any artistic creation (painting, script, choreography, magic routine etc).
1: Copyrighted (comes into effect the instant a piece becomes realized, tangible, repeatable... i.e. not just a loose idea, but an actual piece).
2: Public Domain (Comes into effect 50-70 years after the creator has died).
...then there's a third state, less common.
3: Orphaned Works (the limbo between the passing of the creator and the time his works becomes Public Domain, if there are no heirs or estate).

So, have Tom died, and have 50-70 years passed? No?
Then his work is not in Public Domain, but is copyrighted and is not up for grabs against his wishes. It is as simple as that. No other argument is needed or required. And if you really are a lawyer, then you can't be a good one.
Quentin
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I hope that anyone planning to use Tom's routine will buy it from him and avail of all the additional touches that can only be developed with thousands of performances..

Turning to the other question: It is the established practice that tricks published in magic magazines are for the reader to use, develop or adapt for their own personal use. I know a number of magicians have published tricks and routines in obscure publications for the purposes of establishing ownership. But they can't complain if someone finds them and uses them.
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