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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Right or Wrong? » » A warning for Vancouver professional magicians (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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The Burnaby Kid
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Quote:
On 2010-12-27 14:35, Gospel Dan wrote:
I may think it's unethical, and you might think it's unethical, but that doesn't mean everyone thinks it unethical. Using competitor's names in keywords is nothing new, and goes on all the time. Business's don't consider it unethical. What Rob is saying is, "Compare a $50 ballonist to Andrew Musgrave magic show." This clearly shows that you are NOT affiliated with him, and I can't see how any potential customer will think otherwise. He clearly shows you as a competitor, not an affiliate.


I suppose I'll have to repeat myself...

Prior to my initial communication with him, those videos you're referring to DID NOT EXIST. Instead, my name was listed in the description fields for other videos. It was only after my first communication with him that he started putting my name in the titles.

Seriously, do the google search. Look up every video or ad that lists me in the title. You will notice that they were posted starting on December 16th. Prior to that, I was listed only in the description field of his spam videos. Look at the titles in THOSE listings. Tell me they aren't ambiguous, especially with my name bolded in the results. Those were the videos and listings that led to the initial complaint. Everything after that was escalation on his part, and they lay bare his strategy -- spam the internet with whatever names he can scrape off resources like the VMC roster or wherever, and when he finds a hit, start using the names in the title.

Again, seriously. Do the legwork and check the dates. I'll wait.

As for the rest, when you're done checking up on that, go have a look again at what Rob is saying specifically with regards to the Canadian Competition Act. Now, this might just be a case of my lack of reading comprehension skills, but it seems to me that what you're SAYING he wrote with regards to the CCA might not jive completely with what he ACTUALLY wrote. If you could copy and paste the relevant paragraphs so that I can see the error of my ways, I'd appreciate it.

Again, I'll wait.
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Dan Bernier
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This is what surprises me. Rather than checking out what kind of legal stand you have or don't have, or checking out what the CCA states, you are going on a vendictive smear campaign.

Yes, I did check all the dates. He's still not doing anything illegal. He retaliated by using your name more, and posting new video's with your name as a keyword. He's still not doing anything illegal. Keywords always show up bold.

Unfortuneatly it was not Rob who esculated things, it was you who esculated things by your aggressive attempt to publically make aware of your disproval of Rob's marketing tactic which can be construed as a smear campaign, What you are also doing is stooping to his level that you seem to be so adamantly protesting against. You have instead decided that you will ruin his name by posting derogatory remarks about him in what is clearly an attempt to hurt his business.

He is also playing you Andrew, and goating you into continueing to persue your campaign against him. He obviously knows the law better than you do, that's why I suggest that you look at getting some legal advice. I do believe that student lawyers give free legal advice in Vancouver, check them out.

I'm no lawyer, and even though my wife's cousin and uncle own one of the largest law firms here in Regina, ( MacKay & McLean Barristers & Solicitors) I'm still no lawyer. (lol) I'm just trying to pass off what I believe to be very good advice for you before this gets out of hand.

If you had more presence on the web, such as having your own website, you could easily solve this problem by optimizing your meta tags, and keywords which would push him further down the search.

I ran several Vancouver magician names through google, and those with websites seem to be still at the top of the list while Rob's video's are way down the list.

I will leave you with this.

A competitor who is systematically trying to destroy someone elses business by consistently harassing them and leaving negative feedback online such as websites, blogs and other social media sites about them or their business. This person has never been an actual customer, and is out to defame your business.

Reacting is negative and only perpetuates the problem, and can reinforce the negative attacks.

Legal action in this matter would be expensive. However, the CCA would set up a tribune to first try to solve the issue. If that doesn't work fines and criminal charges can be laid. A claim for damages can also be made.
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The Burnaby Kid
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Quote:
On 2010-12-27 16:30, Gospel Dan wrote:
Sorry, but you'll have to look up the info for yourself.


It figures you couldn't be bothered.

Included at the bottom of this post is a link to an image snapshot from a google search. You'll notice the title: "How to find the best $75 Vancouver Magic Show for Family..." and you'll notice that my name is bolded in the result listing. Similar results show up for videos that offer an Elmo mascot, and that ask consumers to compare no-name magicians to XXX's magic show, where XXX is another professional in the region.

If you'll watch the video for that search, you'll see that he offers "face painters", a "balloon artist", "games clowns", and "magicians", and later makes references to "entertainers" and "performers". He withholds his name and his company's name, providing only email and phone number contact information. He had no problem including a list of magicians in the area, though. Why are their names there? Why isn't his own name there?

This isn't the only video of its kind.

As for this, referring to the CCA... "Rob was kind enough to direct you right to the specific sections of the act. Did you even read them?" I swear I must be missing something, because in the entirety of my correspondence with Rob, he mentioned the CCA just once, and said that he believed Roland was the one violating it. I saw no specific sections of the act referred to, just its full title.

However, seeing as how you are interested in the CCA, perhaps you might be interested in reading up on 74.01(1)(a). I'd post the contents here, but, well you're probably right in that we can't always copy and paste things for each other.

As for the insinuation that I've not educated myself... I've got a background in journalism and I am aware of what one's rights are as a journalist and/or blogger on the internet. I've posted on this issue publicly in five places -- my current blog, a former blog, Roland's blog, here on the Café (where there exist magicians in Vancouver that have an interest on the issue), and once on a different spam thread started by Matthies which was later deleted by the administrators of that forum. That's it. It's hardly a smear campaign. I'm within my rights with regards to what was posted on the sites I run, and if the correspondence I've been in with other magicians is any indication, by making these tactics of his public, I'm acting in the interest of magicians who are also the victims of his deceptive marketing practices. A smear campaign would involve things like posting on Craigslist or random forums about this and dropping hyperbolic references to mass-murderers -- something Mr. Matthies has engaged in, not me.

Just some stuff for you to consider, Dan. Feel free to keep sermonizing if you want, of course.

Click here to view attached image.
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Dan Bernier
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You said, "and if the correspondence I've been in with other magicians is any indication, by making these tactics of his public, I'm acting in the interest of magicians who are also the victims of his deceptive marketing practices. A smear campaign would involve things like posting on Craigslist or random forums about this and dropping hyperbolic references to mass-murderers -- something Mr. Matthies has engaged in, not me."

The real indication here is you continue to act like you are representing all these other magicians you deem to be victims, yet they are not standing up with you. I personally believe you don't have any authority to speak on behalf of other magicians who do not want to get involved, yet here you are constantly involving the other magicians in the Vancouver area. You think that by not mentioning their names you are keeping them out of this, but on the contrary by continuing to act like you are acting in the best interrest of the other magicians in Vancouver you are indeed bring their names into it. Any simpleton can read the names on the keywords on your last post. You know, the snapshot of google you posted. If they are victims like you claim they are why are they not speaking up for themselves? You're a lone ranger on this Andrew.
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The Burnaby Kid
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Quote:
On 2010-12-27 18:28, Gospel Dan wrote:
You're a lone ranger on this Andrew.


It should suffice to point out that on the previous page there is at least one comment that demonstrates this to be untrue. By the end of January, you'll get a better idea of just HOW untrue it is.
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gaddy
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Good luck Andrew. I hope you work this out to your satisfaction. This sort of (imo) unethical advertising is distasteful in the extreme, and while I am unfamiliar with the specifics (not being directly involved) it would seem to me that you've got plenty of recourse here.
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
Dan Bernier
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I too wish you all the best Andrew. I echo gaddy when I say I do hope that everything works out to your satisfaction.
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Steven Youell
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Quote:
On 2010-12-16 13:44, Andrew Musgrave wrote:
At the moment, if somebody searches for my name and "magician", then one of his videos pops up with the title "75$ Elmo mascot assists magician" as one of the results. Yesterday it was on the bottom of the first page of results, and today it's at the top of the first. There's an ambiguity there that suggests that I have some sort of connection to this guy. I find that unethical. Even worse, if people follow the link, they might see a video of some nameless guy performing on the street doing something with a change bag and assuming that it's me.

Andrew-- you and I have had our differences, but I support you in this. I've read your blog regarding it and I want to say something-- particularly since he mentioned my name and referenced an interaction between us (me and Andrew). I don't know why he did that because not only do I not know him, I've never even heard of him.

This man is evil. In my opinion he is a classicsociopath.
It's also fairly obvious that he will file false reports to any organization he can find in order to be allowed to continue his behavior.

He has no ethics, no morals and no remorse.

I wish he had not mentioned my name, but I'd like people to know that I want as much distance from him as possible. I do not want to be associated with someone like this-- someone who is so low he has to look up to see the bottom of the barrel.

Just in case I was not clear enough: I do not know the man you reference, I've never heard of him and he has set a new standard for the phrase "the worst in magic". He should not only be banned from all existing Magic Organizations, but dealers should refust to sell to him and he should never be allowed to practice magic again. (I can dream, can't I?)

SEY
The Burnaby Kid
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Steven,

Given our past, that offer of support is classy. Humbling, actually.
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I guess I understand why Dan (or anyone) would want to play Devil's Advocate here, but I don't understand the extent of the argument, or for that matter why the legality is being used over and over again to overshadow the obvious ethical concerns here.

Just because someone is doing something legally doesn't mean it's right. Add to that the fact that this jerk is undercutting those who do this for a living and potentially damaging both reputations and the art itself and it becomes everybody's problem.
Bill Palmer
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Whatever you do from this point, you MUST do the following:

1) Ask the moderators to remove this thread.
2) Get whoever does your web site and your blog to put an "anti-archiving" file on your index page. This will keep him from finding old archives of things you have posted.
3) Do not post anything else about this until he has gone away.
4) Consult an attorney to find out what ALL of the ramifications and solutions are.
5) Protect your name legally using all of the techniques that have been mentioned here so far.
6) Do not mention this guy on any of your web material.
7) If you decide to do something you don't want him to throw back at you, use other forms of communication.

Good luck to you.
"The Swatter"

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J.Warrens
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Quote:
On 2010-12-24 19:21, prestyman wrote:
I still contend that this is a non-issue. Rob Matthies is a hobby magician who seems to have a lot of time to experiment with video internet marketing, but he is not a credible threat to the entertainment industry in Vancouver. Case in point:

I booked one of our magicians into a family show this Christmas for an event in Chinatown. They had used Rob's company last year and to be honest they said the kids were happy with him and the price was right. But they came to me this year because they wanted a "more professional" magic show and not a kiddy show.

They understood they would have to pay more for a professional, so we negotiated a fee and everyone was happy. They got a magician who has won 7 international awards for Children's magic and they now had a comparison of a professional entertainer versus an hobbyist.

And really that's all Rob Matthies is doing; comparing his hobby magic shows to those of a professional. Let the buyer decide what their child's happiness is worth.

There are real problems in this world that a far greater than this issue. Andrew, take the money you would spend on a lawyer and give it to a charity. Rob, maybe take a short break from filming and editing videos and use the extra time to help out at a food bank. We're magicians... let's bring magic into people lives.


Merry Christmas,
Clinton W. Gray


I could not have said it better.

I am in the process of healing a really tragic phase in my life, where violently mean people and excess ruled the day. I mean, I've seen people get beat into a coma for asking for a cigarette, or for having a differing opinion. Not pleasant at all, but this is where I was.

I had lost my sense of right and wrong, and many days I could not tell you down from up. I lost touch of who I was and what was important to me, and lost a lot of face.

Lately, I've been discovering that just trying to be a good person person and trying to make the world just a little bit better by helping others who need it (where possible) make me feel more alive than I ever felt before, and it's helping me to heal and forgive myself.

I was really bitter before. Some magi who know me (and there are lots) can confirm this. I had some pretty bitter exchanges with other magicians in the past, but I have moved on. Perhaps some of those disputes helped fuel my fall from grace, I don't know.

The point I'm trying to make here, is that, you're right. There really is so much more to worry about and so much more to life than worrying about stuff like this. Real quality and genuine talent and enthusiasm still rule the day. It's just how the universe works.

Anyways sorry to let that out of the bag, but it feels better getting that off the chest. I agree 100% with Clinton's sentiments, though if you'd met me a little while ago............

Don't fall into the dark side.
naturalturn
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Hey, thanks for sharing J.Warrens - as well, I appreciate the magic you've shared with me in the past. Hope you're well on the mend.

Prestyman, thanks for the tag tips:
I've created a (my first) quick promo video...
Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4TmpW1oxz0

For those of you who are interested in a video I would be happy to recommend the production company I went with. Feel free to add a comment on the video if you like.

Cheers,
Ray
www.facebook.com/RayWongMagic
When Magic Went WONG!
Dan Bernier
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Quote:
On 2010-12-29 17:41, ablanathanalba wrote:
I guess I understand why Dan (or anyone) would want to play Devil's Advocate here, but I don't understand the extent of the argument, or for that matter why the legality is being used over and over again to overshadow the obvious ethical concerns here.

Just because someone is doing something legally doesn't mean it's right. Add to that the fact that this jerk is undercutting those who do this for a living and potentially damaging both reputations and the art itself and it becomes everybody's problem.


Aint nothing wrong with fair competition, nor is there anything unethical about it. Hindering, or interferring with fair competition is not only unethical, but illegal. Just because someone offers a lower fee than their competitor does not make them unethical.

However, Rob is being accused of doing many other unethical things in the past, that the accusers have not been able to prove. I would be very cautious to state whom is actaully being ethical in this case.

I have seen magicians fight because of price differences. Apparently magicians are supposed to have a certain fixed rate that we are all supposed to oblige to and agree to. We are apparently the only art form that is not allowed to undercut other artists in the same industry.

This is a little different though. This has to do with someone who has claimed unethical proceedures committed by another person. This is all a matter of opinions, and does not involve the law. The accusations of unethical marketing has proved to be futile, as no action has transpired to defeat the so called defendants actions. In fact, it has only inferiated the defendant even more.

He has also resorted to copying and pasting comments from this forum and posting it to other forums. I have only had a very brief incounter with this Rob fellow, and I recommend staying away from him. He obviously has a personal vendetta against sociecty, so let him have enough room to self destruct without taking anyojne else down with him.
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writeall
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It's a profession. A profession has ethics. A profession polices its own.
J.Warrens
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Thanks for the kind words Ray. I have been working on mending and healing -it's definitely a slow process for sure.

Perhaps, I'll drop in on one of the meetings sometime - it's been about 11 years now.

Take care.
The Burnaby Kid
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Quote:
On 2011-02-06 02:57, Gospel Dan wrote:
Aint nothing wrong with fair competition, nor is there anything unethical about it.


Fair competition?

The only way you can justify, both ethically and legally, the use of a competitor's name in your marketing is if you and your competitor offer similar services. Rob invents information about other magicians' pricing and services to justify using their names in his videos and ads, pretending that they're competition, in the same way that McDonald's might be competition with a Japanese Steakhouse just because they both apparently serve beef. He's got no idea what some of us charge, where some of us work, what sort of venues we perform... in my case, he doesn't even care that I'm not currently performing in BC.
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Dan Bernier
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Sorry Andrew, I was referring to "undercutting".

My last post didn't come out the way I meant it to. I was trying to respond about the undercutting. Your issue has nothing to do with that. That would be a totally different issue altogether.
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The Burnaby Kid
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Quote:
On 2011-02-08 17:40, Gospel Dan wrote:
My last post didn't come out the way I meant it to. I was trying to respond about the undercutting. Your issue has nothing to do with that. That would be a totally different issue altogether.


It's been the MAJOR issue, from the beginning.
A screed for scams, sorcery, and other shenanigans... Nu Way Magick Blogge

JACK, the Jolly Almanac of Card Knavery, a free card magic resource for beginners.
Dan Bernier
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You mean to say that this whole thing has to do with Rob offering cheaper rates and undercutting competition? I thought this had to do with him using competitor's names as keytags in his online advertising.
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