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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Right or Wrong? » » Looking for some senior community member advice (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Cyberqat
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Alright,

Here is the situation. About 9 months ago I saw Bob Kohler's velocity, and loved the concept, but couldn't justify $800.
Knowing a few things about paint-ball markers, I built my own paint-ball catch and developed my own routine.

While I have never owned, or even touched Bob's props and developed my own method details, I feel my work is derivative of
his in that (a) I wouldn't have started down the path at all had I not seen his performed and (b) a key prover (the tissue paper hoop)
is really his idea that I just refined a bit by making a gun-mounted holder.

I feel comfortable performing mine, but I've had some interest from others in potentially buying the illusion in some form. I'm less
sure about the ethics of selling it.

Here are the questions:

(1) Does anyone know if Velocity is still in production? Everywhere I've looked it says "sold out".... is that temporary or permanent?
(2) If Velocity IS still being marketed, is it ethical to sell mine (I'm thinking no.)
(3) if Velocity is off the market for more or less good, does that change the ethics any?

I really want to do the right thing here. Advice is much appreciated.
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
Tom Cutts
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Ethics should dictate you be totally honest and tell them you couldn't afford the commercially available version, so you made your own. Recommend they either buy the commercial version or make their own, since it isn't yours to sell.
Cyberqat
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Thanks, I appreciate the honest opinion.

Either it's a fair use of an idea, since the method and routine were created by me, or it's not because it was inspired by the previous work and a wish to create an effect similar to one I had seen.

Thanks.

P.S.. I don't *think* you answered the question as to whether velocity is still on the market, or it would make a difference in your mind if it wasn't.
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
mastermindreader
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In my opinion it doesn't matter if the effect is or is not currently on the market.

In either case I think the right thing to do would be to send the details of your creation to the originator and ask his permission before selling the effect. (As you noted, you have never handled or seen the commercial effect. This indicates to me that you really don't know if your method is original or not.)

Good thoughts,

Bob
Michael Daniels
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OK, I'm not a senior community member, but I'll throw in my twopenny worth.

I always find the reverse-perspective test helpful in these situations - how would you feel if you were the originator and someone did this with your effect?

Mike
Andrew Zuber
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I simply give you kudos for asking the question in the first place. Too few people do this, so the fact that you even brought it to the table shows a lot of class.
"I'm sorry - if you were right, I would agree with you." -Robin Williams, Awakenings
Tom Cutts
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Ethics are not black or white. One person's ethical can be, and often is another person's unethical.

If there were a patent on this would that patent be void if the product were no longer being manufactured? If you answer "No" then why would your ethics change based on the product being commercially available or not?

Heed Bob's advice, contact Scott. He will have your best answer.
rowdymagi5
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Sometimes the problem is, how the heck do you know? You may have an original idea, run it by several "knowledgeable" magicians, and later find out it was something developed years ago.

Then you get into the mess of, if yours is different, how different does it need to be to become acceptable to sell it.

Look at the market now, there are some really big names selling items that are just a little bit different than previous releases and it is deemed okay because they are a "big" name. Let a local magician that is "semi-famous" do that and everyone jumps on him.

Just some food for thought.
Cyberqat
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Hmm. Maybe this is because of my engineering background, and maybe its different.

But in engineering we have the concept of a "clean room."

The more research I did on the specific effect (Velocity), the more likely I would be to learn things about its details and, intentionally or not, copy them.

So at least in my field,during development such research actually * increases* the ethical risk.

But I do take your point, and thank you, that if I was going to pursue permission to sell it, I need to know who to ask. That sounds like the path forward IF I wanted to sell it. OTOH I could just say
"okay, the ethics really are to keep this to myself" and just do that.

Thanks.

Posted: Mar 28, 2011 11:19am
So, just to open the conversation, does anyone know if Scott Alexander is a member here and what his PM is? if no, does anyone have an email I could send a note to?

Thanks

JK

Edit: Is this the same Scott Alexander? http://scottalexandermagic.com/page0005.html

Posted: Mar 28, 2011 1:25pm
I had a nice note from Bob K.

My catch will stay only in my own repertoire.
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
M Sini
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Quote:
On 2011-03-28 13:25, Cyberqat wrote:
I had a nice note from Bob K.

My catch will stay only in my own repertoire.


Good to hear you got things ironed out!
rowdymagi5
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It's a slippery slope!

Glad you got it all worked out
gaddy
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Read you the riot act, did he?
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
Cyberqat
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Quote:
On 2011-03-28 18:31, gaddy wrote:
Read you the riot act, did he?

Not at all.
He just basically said that they had a lot of time and money invested in Velocity and he asked me, as a gentleman, to keep mine off the market.

As a gentleman, I agreed.

Bare facts, He and other professionals have to make a living at this. I don't. and I have too much respect for those that do to ever want to feel like I was impeding them inappropriately.
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
mumford
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Nicely handled. Kudos Cyberqat!
Cyberqat
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Thanks guys.

Money comes and goes, but self-respect and that of your community once lost is a very hard thing to recover.

It means a lot to me that you guys feel I did the right thing Smile
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
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