We Remember The Magic Café We Remember
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » I'm a real boy! » » Vent mask ripped off ? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page [Previous]  1~2~3~4~5~6~7~8~9 [Next]
Servante
View Profile
Inner circle
1328 Posts

Profile of Servante
I'll meet you back here in twenty years. Just see if I wasn't right.

-Philip
Howie Diddot
View Profile
Inner circle
San Francisco & Los Angeles California
3268 Posts

Profile of Howie Diddot
Tom;

What you say sounds logical, and in any other field you would have a majority of your peers agree with your reasoning.

In my short experience I have observed that Ventriloquist’s believe differently.

I remember a post in this forum that discussed Jeff Dunham picking up a figure at a convention and performing his original routine using the figure in front of other Ventriloquist’s; for some reason Jeff did not purchase the figure at that time, but eventually crafted a similar figure that he named Walter.

Walter was a prop, Jeff had scripted an original routine using Walter and I read in various posts and blogs that for years and even now many Ventriloquist’s are very upset that Jeff “stole” and copied the figure.

Why did Jeff suffer the indignation of people stating he copied a figure (prop) for his original routine while Ron’s creation of a mask goes into the utility prop category after he claimed ownership and at one time went so far as to successfully threaten litigation to others manufacturing the mask.

The figure was a prop; no one had an exclusive on that figure.
tacrowl
View Profile
Inner circle
Maryland
1633 Posts

Profile of tacrowl
Quote:
On 2011-07-21 00:07, Dr. Solar wrote:
Sing his song, that would be a no-no.


Not so sure I agree with that - Ronn didn't write the song. At worst it shows a lack of any creativity. And since we are discussing rights - songs are copyrighted. Is the venue ascap licensed to pay royalties? At some point this stuff becomes ridiculous.

Buzz - the Walter issue is over. Jeff discussed it in his book, Bill put it to rest. That was more gossip than issue looking back at it. Success often breeds jealousy.

As for successfully threatening litigation - huh? Anyone can threaten litigation, it doesn't mean they have a case. Threat of litigation is often enough to scare people into succumbing to your wishes. In Bill Boley's case, he was having medical problems, he wasn't a rich man and it was easier for him to stop making the mask.

Let me ask everyone a simple question: If Ronn had the rights to the face mask, why would he allow Paige Parnell to sell the Ventrilo-Mask? She is in the U.S., so borders aren't an issue. She has used them on TV. She sells them for other vents to use. It is a mask that is placed on a volunteer. So why? No case.
Tom Crowl - Comedy Ventriloquist

ComedyVentriloquist.com

Learn-Ventriloquism.com

Image
Servante
View Profile
Inner circle
1328 Posts

Profile of Servante
Tom's right.
But it's been an interesting discussion, eh? Smile

-Philip
Servante
View Profile
Inner circle
1328 Posts

Profile of Servante
And, I guess, it could continue to be if folks want to talk about it. I think Dr. Solar's contribution up at 12:07 am is particularly interesting.
What I like about this bunch here is that we all discuss these things like ladies and gentlemen. In some other locations people get a bit nasty. What I like about this bunch is that everyone's supportive of everyone else. Even in heated discussions, we are civilized.
The Mr. Horowitz idea is a fun one. It's also an old one. I could probably dig up any number of similar vent figure and puppet characters that predated it. The Major Domo puppet in the old Johnny Jupiter TV series comes to mind immediately. Of course, a good many folks here have brought up the Charlie McCarthy that Bergen had carved with a deep scowl. Jeff Dunham liked the idea. Something sparked for him when he picked up the figure at the convention. He built one. He didn't steal anyone's material. It was the grumpy character he liked. An idea.
You can't copyright an idea.
And Ronn Lucas can't copyright the IDEA of a vent mask. I don't know Mr. Lucas. I have long admired his work. I can see what probably motivated him in the incident Dr. Solar mentions. He wanted to stake SOME sort of claim on something that was working for him...something he was known for. But Frank Sinatra only SANG "New York, New York." He didn't write it. Others can sing it, too.
Provided, of course, the proper ASCAP or BMI contracts have been signed...the proper music has been purchased and so forth.
Again, like many of you, I own copyrights on things that are published. You can't present my plays without paying a royalty. If you do, you get sued...and you lose.
But you can't copyright an idea.
A vent mask is an idea.
A scowling vent figure is an idea.
And Tom's point here is a good one, too: "Ronn didn't write the song. At worst [using it in your act]...shows a lack of any creativity."
SOME things may be unethical, but scowling vent figures and vent masks aren't. Stealing a line without permission or stealing a routine? These are both unethical.
And, in the spirit of full disclosure, I've got a scowling figure with crossed arms. His name is Cooter. He was built in Buenos Aires. I'm not sure the builder had actually ever heard of Walter or Mr. Horowitz at the time. Maybe so. Maybe not.
I love these conversations.

-Philip
Howie Diddot
View Profile
Inner circle
San Francisco & Los Angeles California
3268 Posts

Profile of Howie Diddot
Steve Martin did not invent the arrow through the head gimmick, since he performed the joke on TV I have not seen any other comedian duplicate this.

It was branded as Steve Martin’s signature routine.

The TOM has been branded as the signature routine of Bill DeMar, he did it for many years without anyone duplicating it, when others did insert it their routine, it was called stealing; Bill used a prop, a roll of tape; anyone using a roll of tape to cover a mouth was called a copy of Bill’s routine, I read that here on the Café and no one disputed it; and one post stated that one person sent Bill $500.00 just to use a roll of tape in his routine even though he was not using the same routine.

When I first came on the Café and landed here last year, everyone knows I was buying stuff left and right. I saw the mask and sent an email to inquire about the price; while searching on the internet about the mask, I came across the document I linked here; after reading about its history and thinking about other threads here concerning the copying of routines I decided not to purchase a mask.

I think it’s a wonderful prop to use and I can think of many uses for it in my show, I just don’t feel right buying it

Tom, I only brought up the litigation to point out at one time Ronn was very serious about protecting his mask as his creation.


Please allow me to repeat myself. “I am not talking little R’s or bunches of papers for licensing, I am asking about the gentlemen’s agreement, that an entertainer does not copy a routine from another entertainer”
Howie Diddot
View Profile
Inner circle
San Francisco & Los Angeles California
3268 Posts

Profile of Howie Diddot
I just looked at the ventrilomask on youtube; Paige claims to own the copyrights and trademarks to the “Ventrilomask”; it is constructed differently than the Ronn Lucas mask, so it is impossible to contest the copyright; it is not the same mask and legal to produce and sell.

If I were to construct a vent mask that worked by remote control and had a different face on it, I would have not trouble having a trademark issued since it would be much different than the Ventrilomask

I would like to know who performed the “we’ve been everywhere” routine first, Paige Phillips or Ventriqulistpatty?
Servante
View Profile
Inner circle
1328 Posts

Profile of Servante
You don't copyright a mask. And perhaps the term "Ventrilomask" is trademarked. Now, if Paige claims to own the PATENT, that'd be another thing. Smile

-Philip
Howie Diddot
View Profile
Inner circle
San Francisco & Los Angeles California
3268 Posts

Profile of Howie Diddot
This is a copy of a post on a website on the internet, I cut and pasted exactly as I read it

Alice:

Yes, I own the copyrights and trademarks to the Ventrilomask. I am getting ready to put them on the market, so check back with me in 2-3 weeks. I will be selling a male and female mask.

Thanks for your interest!

Warmest Regards,
Paige
Servante
View Profile
Inner circle
1328 Posts

Profile of Servante
As for Bill DeMar's tape over mouth...heck, I don't know WHAT you do about protecting a method...except keep it a secret. You couldn't copyright it, although you could write it down and copyright what you've written down, but that would protect only the writing. I don't think you could patent it, as it's not a THING, it's a method. You couldn't trademark it, though you could trademark whatever you named it. Bill DeMar first started doing it in 1959...but I vaguely remember seeing other vents doing similar acts in my childhood (and I'm, like, old). Jay Johnson did it not so many years later on the Mike Douglas show. Did Bill DeMar teach it to him? I dunno.
We walk a thin line here, don't we?

-Philip
Servante
View Profile
Inner circle
1328 Posts

Profile of Servante
Buzz...again, she doesn't own a "copyright" on a thing. That's okay. She's doing what she can to protect a revenue stream. Can't blame her.

-Philip
Dickens & Dave
View Profile
Inner circle
North Central Florida
1813 Posts

Profile of Dickens & Dave
Quote:
On 2011-07-21 11:30, Howie Diddot wrote:
I just looked at the ventrilomask on youtube; Paige claims to own the copyrights and trademarks to the “Ventrilomask”; it is constructed differently than the Ronn Lucas mask, so it is impossible to contest the copyright; it is not the same mask and legal to produce and sell.

If I were to construct a vent mask that worked by remote control and had a different face on it, I would have not trouble having a trademark issued since it would be much different than the Ventrilomask

I would like to know who performed the “we’ve been everywhere” routine first, Paige Phillips or Ventriqulistpatty?

I know with copyrights on songs, that can be tricky because all someone has to do is change a few lyrics, a few notes and it's considered a different song, so probably it's the same way with an item, a few subtle changes and you're home free.

The “we’ve been everywhere” routine - are you talking about the song? In that Dumbstruck video, they showed Kim (Yeager?) performing that in a beauty pageant, and isn't that the song the recent beauty pageant one, Alyse Eady, did.
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
Servante
View Profile
Inner circle
1328 Posts

Profile of Servante
Changing a few things wouldn't be enough. Consider "He's So Vain" and "My Sweet Lord." As for the song "We've Been Everywhere," It's been around about fifty years.

-Philip
Servante
View Profile
Inner circle
1328 Posts

Profile of Servante
And...um...it's been everywhere. Smile

-Philip
Howie Diddot
View Profile
Inner circle
San Francisco & Los Angeles California
3268 Posts

Profile of Howie Diddot
[quote]On 2011-07-21 12:19, blueshawk1 wrote:
Quote:

The “we’ve been everywhere” routine - are you talking about the song? In that Dumbstruck video, they showed Kim (Yeager?) performing that in a beauty pageant, and isn't that the song the recent beauty pageant one, Alyse Eady, did.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1n30NKvITo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUunRWoxYIA

In my opinion Patty beats Paige in this routine
Servante
View Profile
Inner circle
1328 Posts

Profile of Servante
Don't quote me...but I have this eerie feeling I've seen Jimmy Nelson and Danny O'Day sing that song, too. I could be wrong...but there's something just on the edge of my memory that I can't quite bring forward.

-Philip
Servante
View Profile
Inner circle
1328 Posts

Profile of Servante
It's way back in my memory. I know it wasn't Winchell...and it SEEMS more like the kind of rapid voice change stuff Jimmy used to do. Anybody have any similar memories, or am I just imagining this in my dotage?

-Philip
ColinDymond
View Profile
Special user
Gloucestershire, England
675 Posts

Profile of ColinDymond
Some song just seam to work for ventriloquists. There are at least 3 of us in the uk using the same song for our veny mask routines! I'm looking for a new way to finish my show, infact I'm looking at a whole new way of presenting the vent mask. One of the problems with ventriloquism is there are way too many people using the same ideas, it's hard to break away from them but I think we should try.

I liked Paige's routine but I think the string on her masks is way too short, I have what I think is a Bolley mask and the string is much longer so your hand is not in frame with the volunteers face!
Bob Baker
View Profile
Inner circle
1104 Posts

Profile of Bob Baker
Quote:
On 2011-07-21 11:57, Servante wrote:
Bill DeMar first started doing it in 1959...but I vaguely remember seeing other vents doing similar acts in my childhood (and I'm, like, old). Jay Johnson did it not so many years later on the Mike Douglas show. Did Bill DeMar teach it to him? I dunno.

-Philip


I do. Jay's routine uses one small strip of vertical tape over his mouth, but his mouth is still open. Bob's mouth is taped in a similar fashion. Bill's routine involves completely taping over the mouth with 4 pieces of tape. It looks very different from Jay's taping and indeed is used in a different sort of routine. I happened to discuss the two routines with Bill at the recent ConVENTion, and he considers his own routine to be very different from Jay's.

Regarding Howie's statement that someone paid Bill $500 to use a roll of tape, that is not what happened. The other performer saw a video of Bill's routine and figured out how to do it. When Bill started licensing the routine to other vents, the performer who had been using it bought a license. He performs on the other side of the world but still did what I consider to be the right thing.

Bob
Servante
View Profile
Inner circle
1328 Posts

Profile of Servante
Thanks for clearing that up, Bob.

-Philip
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » I'm a real boy! » » Vent mask ripped off ? (0 Likes)
 Go to page [Previous]  1~2~3~4~5~6~7~8~9 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2019 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.21 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL