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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The International Brotherhood of Magicians! » » I.B.M. Code of Ethics !!! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Kondini
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Ok, so what action, if any can and will the IBM (Mainly British Ring) Take regards the blatant exposure of magic on UK TV.

The Magicians.
Penn & Teller.

Both aired in the past week.

Ken.
mrunge
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Probably the same action taken in this country. Nothing. Smile

Mark.
Redwulfe
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Honestly I don't think any organization can do anything short of not allowing them to be apart of their individual organization. The question in my mind is will this change anything, the answer probably not. All in all if someone wishes to go out and expose magic they can. I know that several effects have been exposed over the years and I some times wonder if it really matters.

Take for instance cups and balls. This effect is exposed by pen and teller in their clear cup routine but they can still do the trick and make money doing it. I still perform the effect and it still fools people and I always get a good reaction. Many people in street performances still perform it and it still gets good reactions. If the performance is strong I think it can outweigh wither or not the method behind the effect is known. but that is just my opinion.

All in all I think magic is way too exposed but there is nothing I can do about it so I focus on the aspect I can control and that is my performance of the effect and try to make it a strong as I can. If I get to many "I know how that's done!" reaction that seem to not be overshadowed by the "WOW, that was really entertaining!" reaction then I switch out eh effect.

Red
mrunge
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Great post Red. And welcome to the Magic Café! Smile

Mark.
Kondini
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If that is the case then, what is the point of any organization having codes of ethics.

Ken.
mrunge
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Just makes them feel good! Smile

Mark.
Redwulfe
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I feel that the code of ethics is like any social constraint that is place upon a group or organization. It is simply an agreement to be followed if one wishes to continue to participate in that group. Every person has a choice to make with regards to any social group. You can conform to the laws or codes of that group and be a part of them. You can challenge those laws by breaking them or rattling the cage, which may or may not result in your expulsion from that group, or you can choose not to be a part of that group and strike out on your own. Whether you wish to be a part of that group is usually a mater of gain versus restriction. How much are you going to restrict yourself to gain whatever it is the group has to offer.

In my case the group gives me critique and feedback on my perform ace helping me hone my presentations to gain more bookings and a feeling of success both personally, from a job well done, and financially through bookings. Not only do gain this from the group but I also get a companionship in magic that is lacking when I am with my non-magical friends. For this gain I am willing to comply to the code of ethics set down by that group. I allow my freedom to be restricted. I like the feeling of helping others with their magic and the companionship that I get more than anything and would probably restrict myself for that alone.

In other peoples cases the restriction of not being able to go out and perform the way they want, exposing tricks or performing other peoples effects and such is not worth the gain. This is especially true if the representatives of the group near them do not give them anything but the restriction. No companionship or help in their own growth or sense of community and whatnot. this I feel is worse than a violation of secrecy as we helped drive this category to wish to remove themselves or in some case harm the group.

The third case is the most likely and can be seen on youtube or the torrent sites and that is the people that do not wish to be a part of the group at all because they are not serious magicians in the first place. they just seek fame because they can give you the solution to the puzzle. This are the kind of people that leaked the ending to Harry Potter and such. This is the modern day heckler. content to sit in annonimity(sp? sorry)behind the internet and heckle away. The only way I feel to stop this group is to make their job harder, which I feel will never happen, but you can do your part to help fight it if you wish.

Stop producing and buying magic DVDs, stop posting your performances on youtube, stop giving them exposure to magic unless they see it on TV or in person. This is what I call drastic but exposure was not as big a problem until the internet made it so easy to mass expose. It is easy to copy a DVD and put it up on the net, or for that matter download it from someone that feels that the cost of the DVD is to high and, in what he feels is well intentioned, puts it up on a torrent for everyone to learn from. You have to make it hard for them to get the magic in the first place so that they have to work to expose it. The restriction, having to scan in every page of a magic book or sneak a camera into a live performance so it can be watched over and over to be analyzed, has to out way the gain, which is the feeling of popularity that one gets from having everyone attention because you know the secret. Remember every heckler wants the attention that you have while performing, that's why they heckler to steal the attention to themselves and people who expose are just hecklers all in all. If magic was rare or hard to come by I feel that people would be more driven to be apart of the groups, make the groups more gainful, and be in higher demand because they have a unique talent.

On the flip side though if magic is rare then we wouldn't have as many magicians as we do today most of which are helping each other out. All in all I don't think the measures needed to stop exposure, the restriction, outweighs or hurts the current influx of magic's popularity and new magicians, the gain.

Red
mrunge
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All good things to think about.

Mark.
Skip Way
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Aristotle defined ethics as the character of the moral person rather than rules or consequences. He saw ethics as a means of safeguarding human relations, in particular close interpersonal relationships and friendships; as something individual and internal rather than a behavior that can be externally enforced upon a particular person or group.

The I.B.M. and S.A.M. Code of Ethics are guidelines that express the desired morality of each member regarding the secrets of magic. Aside from expulsion from the clubs, how can we enforce ethical rules and who would qualify as judge?

Do we expel the likes of Walter Gibson, Harlan Tarbell, Mark Wilson, Harry Blackstone and Harry Houdini from the club rosters? They all exposed magic through writings or lectures for the lay public. Do we protest their actions and blot their names from the historical rolls? If not, then how do we justify expelling Joe Plumber down the street? And without expulsion, where is the club's power to protest a violation of the code.

Under such conditions, the codes are unenforceable. They can only be supported and projected through the example of the members who appreciate their value. The codes are a guide. Nothing more. It is up to each of us to abide or abuse.

In short, it isn't what "They" can or can't do. It's all about what You alone are willing to do.
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
mrunge
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It's the same as a fence. Only keeps the honest people honest!

Mark.
Redwulfe
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Well said Skip.

Red
Skip Way
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Thank you, Red. I simply expanded a bit on your original thoughts.
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Bill Palmer
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I have posted about this elsewhere, but I will post here again for those from Rio Linda.

There is nothing illegal about exposing magic tricks, even magic tricks that are being currently performed by professional magicians. The only LEGAL action that anyone can take against a person who exposes the material that is being done is for the person whose material is being exposed to file a civil suit and prove damages. This is almost impossible, for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the plaintiff would have to prove that it was the specifix exposure that caused a drop-off in his business, and not some other factor.

The only thing that the IBM or any other magic group can do is to boot the exposer out of the club. The people doing the exposing are usually not members of any magical organization. Penn and Teller are not members of any of them.

So that's basically it.

They can't do anything unless you are a member.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
rsylvester
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In addition to my interest in magic, I make presentations across the country about the use of new technology and social media in journalism. One of the lines which always gets a laugh is, "As a news reporter, when I married an attorney, we were both shocked, SHOCKED, to learn that each other's profession had a code of ethics."

The Society of Professional Journalists has a code of ethics. It is totally voluntary, and you can't be banned for not following it, at least in the U.S. That would violate the First Amendment of our Constitution. But I have worked 30-plus years to try and strictly follow it. I seek the truth and report it. I don't accept gifts and try to stay independent. I am sensitive to victims of crime. I try not to exploit people. During my career, I have seen it all. People who make stuff up -- in the New York Times (Jason Blair). I see people exploit the weak. Just tune into any channel that has Charlie Sheen on it this week. It's terrible. But good reporters survive and get the greatest respect. When I call people and say, "Can I read your quotes back to you before I print them?" I get as astonished response as when I do a great magic trick. "You mean you do that?" they ask.

The point here is ethics is up to the individual. Frankly, I don't think anyone will Google the secret to a magic effect, unless they are really interested in learning magic. Those who do just trying to ruin it are the Internet hecklers. They're the same ones who make anonymous posts on blogs and news stories and try to ruin the party for everyone. In the old days, they were the ones who'd shout out how you did a trick, even though they didn't have a clue.

But just like in any profession -- and while there may be arguments on this forum whether magic is an art, it is a profession and a craft and something even "amateurs" should respect -- those who adhere to the ethical boundaries will continue to amaze and gain admiration for what they do. Those who don't will remain hacks. They won't entertain anyone and people will actually come to despise them for ruining their sense of wonder.

That's what I truly believe.
Peter Marucci
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A few groups -- doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc.-- have LEGAL organizations to prevent illicit operations by those individuals. Until magic has the same enforcement, there is NOTHING that can be done to prevent exposure, revelations, or just plain bad work by anyone.

And magic will NEVER have that kind of group.

The I.B.M. and SAM are powerless to stop exposure. They can protest all they want but it will have no effect.
Tim Hughes
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I have just been reading Jim Steinmeyer's book Hiding the Elephant - with its exposures regarding the illusions of the masters of the 19th and 20th Centuries - and his descriptions of the espionage between Kellar and Maskelyne and Devant. I then went on to read 'Our Magic' and am reading 'Secrets of My Magic' by David Devant - for which he was asked to leave the Magic Circle for exposure, only to be reinstated many years later. His take on it was that the 'secret' is only a tiny part of the effect, and he was probably fed up with people nicking his material and feeling clever, so deliberately diminished the secret in favour of the presentation. I can see where he is coming from, but having inadvertently dumped a package of torn newspaper on the floor whilst performing the Gene Anderson newspaper tear to some people on Saturday night last I can recommend keeping some mystery about the actual mechanics of the mystery.
Reuben Dunn
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Quote:
On 2011-01-21 15:44, Skip Way wrote:
..Do we expel the likes of Walter Gibson, Harlan Tarbell, Mark Wilson, Harry Blackstone and Harry Houdini from the club rosters? They all exposed magic through writings or lectures for the lay public. Do we protest their actions and blot their names from the historical rolls? If not, then how do we justify expelling Joe Plumber down the street? And without expulsion, where is the club's power to protest a violation of the code..


There's never been, IMO, a clear cut definition of what constitutes "exposure". When the topic is brought up, statements such as the one above are used.

It's like Porn. I'm not sure how to define it, but I know it when I see it.

As I've said eleswhere, it's a storm in a tea cup, the general public has the attention span that runs out after the third commercial break.

I've lived in the UK for 20 years. I've seen the Lucha Libre wanna be on TV, I've seen the amazing Randi bebunk "pychics" and do an Ian Rowland style demonstration on cold reading to real punters who thought they were getting their signs, palms etc., read.

The flack was momemtary. The spill over was, in that specific instance non-existant, outside of the mentalism community.

These things happen.

I.B.M. and S.A.M., as well as most other socities, have their own code of ethics. Back in the day, when I.B.M. and S.A.M. were it, that code meant something, undoubtedly because the magic community was a tad smaller and more close knit than it is today.

The internet has blasted the doors off of the hinges and there's no way of doing any sort of repair job.

An earlier incarnation of this forum would have been restricted to a round robbin letter of some kind. A monthly "fanzine" would carry these debates over the slow mail.

Those days are, sad to say gone.

I would suggest that we might be tilting at non-existant windmills in this instance. The arguement crops up fairly regularly, and, aside from ire, and some rather in depth, and, on the odd occasion, profound comments (myself excluded.), there's never been any kind of satisfactory answer. And I think there will never be one.

How do you deal with those who are not part of an organization who expose?

How do we define/draw the line on what is/is not exposure if we use, what I consider circular arguments, as the statement above?

If the problem is there, then the Rings etc., need to consider having their demos on a members only basis, rather than on a public basis. That's one way of keeping the goodies "in-house".

But, at the end of the day, the problem will still continue, YouTube will be the source of much distain/hostility etc., at those who show the workings of a card or book test effect. (Funny, I've never seen anyone expose the workings of the "Run, Rabbit, Run" trick yet. I guess somethings are just too sacred to mess with.)

The wheel keeps spinning and many are getting dizzy. Unless of course, like me, you choose to stand near the hub of the wheel.
Good Thoughts.


Reuben Dunn


www.reubendunn.com
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