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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Right or Wrong? » » What you buy when buying magic? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

jdmagic357
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I've heard it said by many a magic dealer, that when you buy a trick it's the secret that you pay for. If that's true would you not be free to do what you want with it? If I buy a new gadget to unclog my sink, can't I share it with my friends if their sinks are stopped up? Or for that matter could I not resell the thing to anybody on an auction site? We have to look at these things logically, once you buy something it's yours to do what you want. If that wasn't true then reselling magic in any form would be some kind of violation of law.

Lets look again at the ebay seller who resells a magic trick. Has he not already gained the benefit of the trick, if indeed the secret is all you buy when purchasing magic? You can't remove the knowledge from his head, so he has the secret in the minds vault. So why isn't reselling magic illegal? Because it's not the secret that you buy, it's the whole package. The props, instructions, presentation and yes the secret.

So fear not those who think they know, as they will always be unsure. Instead know you know, and be secure in your knowledge.

Peace.
Just cause they say it, doesn't make it true.
lebowski
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Okay jdmagic357 I agree when you buy a trick you buy the secret, prop, presentation, and you can sell that product on ebay. But I don't think buying that trick gives you the right to manufacture the prop and go into business with someone else's creation. And I don't think buying that trick gives you the right to expose its secret on youtube, in print, or on tv. While it's true that even patented sink unclogging gadgets might be knocked off and sold by pirate manufacturers, it doesn't make it ethically or morally right. In a small niche market like magic, this type of behavior can be extremely damaging in a number of ways to the creator of that trick.

Peace
jdmagic357
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I agree. Copy right infringement or patent violations are indeed unscrupulous. The knock offs being sold on ebay are definite violations of law. I think? I'm not a lawyer.

However when we try to extend this concept to the simple sharing of information for the sake of knowledge I think we go to far? How is discussing the secrets behind tricks at the Café any different from discussing them with fellow magicians after the shop closed, in say a coffee clutch? I know that the Café is an open board that lay people have access to, but do you really think anybody uninterested in magic will just troll the forums looking for secrets? And even if they did, we in the know, know that it's the presentation of magic that truly makes it special.

We spend so much time worrying about exposure and such that we forget even with the knowledge of how something works, it's often beyond our skill level to use. I know how to swing a hammer but I'm far from being a carpenter. I'm just putting this stuff out there for us to think about, not to be difficult. I hope I'm being clear in my intentions?

Peace.
Just cause they say it, doesn't make it true.
mightydog
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Buying a magic effect should be treated as if you had a bought a music CD. You bought the right to listen to the music for YOUR own pleasure. You did not buy the right for someone ELSE to listen to the music. You did not buy the right to re-sell that music CD. And selling that magic trick is exactly what you did when you downloaded it to someone else for another magic trick on the internet. Your renumeration? The magic trick you received in return. Renumeration doesn't have to be cash. This is just my opinion. What do you others think? Am I off base here?
mightydog
David
Illusion and magic is the same, if it was possible to achieve the impossible by genuine powers then it wouldn’t be impossible and therefore it wouldn’t be magic. That’s why magic is an art; the art of creating the illusion of the impossible.
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mightydog
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jdmagic357
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If I put a cd in a boom box, not only do I hear it but so does anyone in ear shot, so the first part of your argument is moot. The fact that I have a physical cd also give me the right to resell it as used anywhere I please. That takes care of your second point. Finally as to "remuneration" I truly don't know what your talking about?

Peace.
Just cause they say it, doesn't make it true.
captain10
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Mightydog...using your analogy of a music CD...would it be wrong if I buy a cd and play it on my home stereo while I had company? Obviously, someone other than me (the buyer) would be listening to it. What if instead of a music CD, we replace that with the a printer. Is it still wrong for the original buyer to sell it to a friend because the original buyer bought a "new, better" printer?
Personally, I don't agree with those individuals who post "how to" videos for anyone to see, nor do I agree with those who buy a magic video/book and then make it available, whether for free or to buy, for anyone and everyone on the net. About the only thing that a morally conscious person can do is to not buy from or frequent those sites. But, it is a big world. Unless the overwhelming majority of the population share the same moral values, it is the way it is...like it or not.
mightydog
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I do not believe you are buying the CD per Se, but rather the right to hear what is on the CD for your own use non-commercial use. It is similar to buying Windows Vista or XP operating system for your computer. You have the right to use it but not to sell, trade, or give it to someone else. The CD is simply the means to permit you to make use of your purchase. Not the purchase itself. The same applies in my opinion to magic. Erase the contents of the CD and replace it with something original and I am sure you would get no argument at all from anyone about reselling it or trading it away. I do not think that buying a printer is the same as buying a CD with information on it. In the printer you are buying (it) not what it can produce. Where with the CD you are buying the CD for the information on it, not the CD itself or buying a blank CD would be just as good and cheaper.
mightydog
David

Posted: Jan 9, 2011 11:42am
Suppose you want to Buy a Windows operating system. you are buying the system period. Not the method in which it is delivered. What if rather than A CD you bought the operating system and downloaded it off Microsofts website? What would you own then other than the operating system? If you bought a secret of magic or a trick and downloaded it off the internet and another bought it on a CD. Neither in my opinion has the right to re-sell or trade it away for something else. You bought content nothing more. at least that is my opinion.
mightydog
David
Illusion and magic is the same, if it was possible to achieve the impossible by genuine powers then it wouldn’t be impossible and therefore it wouldn’t be magic. That’s why magic is an art; the art of creating the illusion of the impossible.
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mightydog
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Peter Loughran
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Hey Everyone, as a long time creator, perhaps I can shed some additional light on the subject.

The magic community or what was at least known as a brotherhood at one time, is such a small and niche market/industry, that copyrights and patents are hard to police and pursue(economically) in this industry even when one obtains or owns the right to an effect legally. Also a lot of copyright laws and patents are only valid in certain parts or countries in the world, making it very easy for outsiders to still come in and rip off magic effects that are the intellectual property of others. With that being said, the magic community has always policed its own network. Its worked fairly well thus far, but with the age of the internet it becomes more and more of a challenge every day. But word of mouth travels fast in the magic industry, and it is not wise for anyone wanting to make as serious career in the magical arts one day, to practice un-ethical activities, such as passing on someone else's intellectual property for free.

The whole idea of one paying for the "Secret" is in place for a completely different reason, rather than trying to stop people from sharing the secret. Its actually in place to protect magic shops, creators, and magic retailers. A lot of people buy magic solely based out of "curiosity" to learn how a trick is done or accomplished. So retailers make it aware that not only are you paying for the whole package with props, instructions etc, but also the secret. Once the secret is learned the product cannot be returned for a refund like most other products in the world. If they did allow people to just buy magic tricks and learn the secret just for them to simple return it for a refund, the entire magic market would collapse, magic shops and creators would go out of business. People would simply buy a product and learn the secret, that would either fill their curiousity, or perhaps they find out that they can now make it themselves, or learn all the moves, so now lets just return the product and get our money back. So this paying for the secret concept is to protect the creators and vendors of magic, so magic secrets and new magic will continue to grow and prosper.

Now there is also one other thing you are buying that is not just the secret, and the props, instructions etc., but also the Performance Rights. A creator has not only come up with a secret and manufactured props, but also a performance or routine, and when you purchase a product a portion of those funds is compensation for the creator for the rights for you to perform that routine, on stage and make it your own. This also takes place in all forms of entertainment in some way shape or form. Learning the secret and buying the props is only part of it. that's why learning the secret of a prop without buying it, and then building it yourself and then performing it without the creators permission is ethically wrong. However if you buy their original version, you are purchasing the rights, and thus I don't think it is wrong if you want to make a better prop, or change it etc(only for your own use obviously and not for manufacturing) since you have paid for the performance rights. However everyone you tell or explain how it works or how to build it, non of them have paid the creator compensation for his ideas and routines, thus it is ethically wrong, and in my opinion theft.

Well that's my insight on the subject, take it for what it is. But ultimately people will know in the heart when they are doing the right thing and when they are not.

Best,

Peter.
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mightydog
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I would have to agree with Peter on this.
Illusion and magic is the same, if it was possible to achieve the impossible by genuine powers then it wouldn’t be impossible and therefore it wouldn’t be magic. That’s why magic is an art; the art of creating the illusion of the impossible.
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mightydog
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jdmagic357
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Peter makes many good points but contradicts himself at the same time.

If the buying of secrets is to protect creators from the curious, then what would that have to do with performing rights? The argument suggests that the curious won't be performing the effect and so the point is moot.

Peter also fails to mention that there are some very smart people in the world who don't need to "steal" and or share the actual deprivation of an effect to know it's secret. They can in fact deduce it through deconstruction and or logical reasoning.

So again secrets are not as important as what you do with them and so the patter, routine, props and such need to be of the highest quality to protect the creator from "knock offs". If one would take pride in their work they would have nothing to fear from pirates and the like. Rarely will a ripoff artist manufacture things at a high quality. They are more likely to use the cheapest materials and manufacturing methods to maximize profits.

So keep the quality high. Keep the methods simple but different. Give bang for the buck, and yur should be in business for a long time.
Just cause they say it, doesn't make it true.
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