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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Right or Wrong? » » Trademark & copyright trick questions? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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12345
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I would never rip off the creator, but I am going to make my own ID and sell it... I was just making a point of its trickey to patent a effect and the loop holes and such, like look at Ellusionist.CON what a joke! why are people in the magic community letting his team CON get away with that?? I guess he used a loop hole...man if that guy ever punked of Andrew Mayne or Fearson I will hack his site and direct it to some porn site
MacGyver
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yeah.... that's what you'd do.... lol

You are an evil mastermind!
Billgussen
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Quote:
On 2003-09-18 03:29, MacGyver wrote:
I am not a law major or history major, but for some reason I am pretty sure that when copyrights were first envisioned, it was to protect the creator, not prevent you from listening to it/ performing it as LONG AS IT DIDN'T HURT THE AUTHOR.


What the lawmakers who created copyright law envisioned is irrelevant -- what's relevant is what is written in the law and how judges interpret those writings.

Carla wrote a long, intelligent, and pretty eye-opening post. Pay attention to it, especially if you thought that the world worked differently. She's the the one with the experience in this field.

Way to go Carla!
Bill
p.b.jones
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I would personally say a trick becomes public domain, when the creator/creator's heir isn't receiving any money from it because they have stopped making it and others have taken the idea to sell...

Hi,
But this is also a difficult thing to truly know. Many performers sell there product to a dealer who gives them a royalty/one off payment or combo of both lets say the performer goes down the royalty or combo route. the dealer may be the sole distributer but many supply other dealers giving the immpression that it is in the public domain if we follow your criteria. however to rip it off is 1. hurting the inventer 2. hurting the original dealer who bought it from the inventer (though the dealer buying new products is often overlooked new magic owes a lot to them too)
3. it is hurting any dealer who bought it from the genuine distributing dealer.
Phillip Smile
Thom Bliss
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The problem with making your own invisibles or Svengalis is not in the manufacturing and sell of the deck. They were invented long ago (much more than 20 years ago). It's with the instructions. They may very well be copyrighted. And don't think that just the text and pictures you're copying doesn't have a copyright notice on it doesn't mean it's not copyrighted. The person your copying it from may have copied it from somebody else and left the copyright notice off. To be safe, write your own instructions and draw your own illustrations, or have somebody do it for you. And be sure to pout a copyright notice on it.

As far as making small changes. That doesn't work. If it did, people could publish, say, "The DiVinci Code," with a minor revision on page 33, and get away with it. Or produce a version of "The Sound of Music," by changing the name of one of the kids.

When you make a new invention, it's yours - sorta. But the old invention is still the inventors, his heirs and assigns, until the patent runs out. Suppose that I invented and patented the chair. You decide to add rockers to it, making it a rocking chair. You'd still need to get my permission to manufacture your invention (or have to buy the chair part of your rocking chair from me), until my patent on the chair ran out. Now suppose somebody else figured out a different way to make a chair rock (springs and such). If my patent of the chair was still enforce, they'd need to get my permission to make their invention, same as you. But they wouldn't need your permission to make their version of the rocking chair, because even though the effect is the same or similar, it's achieved in a different way, a different mechanism.

Thom

Thom
Clay Shevlin
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Carla, many thanks for your good post. Smile I'm definitely no IP expert, but as one who's dabbled in small-time publishing, do have a couple of comments/questions.

Quote:
On 2003-09-17 20:00, carla wrote:
... Copyright exists the moment the work is fixed in a tangible medium; the author does not need to register with the Copyright Office to obtain rights, but it is advisable (and sometimes necessary) to do so if you anticipate ever enforcing your rights in court. ...

Here’s the very general way I’ve thought about it: a work is “fixed in a tangible medium” if it can be retrieved and seen or heard, directly (like in a physical book) or indirectly (like hearing/seeing the contents of a DVD by using a DVD player).

I could definitely see the advantage of registration in cases where priority was a critical issue in a copyright suit, but the “sometimes necessary [for enforcement]” comment roused my curiosity. Isn’t registration always necessary in order to bring a U.S. copyright dispute to the courts? And once in the U.S. court system, are there situations where the failure to register a work would, in and of itself, prevent enforcement of an otherwise legitimate copyright?
Lawrence O
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Hello Clay

Nice talking to you here.

Carla, what would we need to do for our associations like the SAM IBM or Magic Castle, MMagic Circle... being able to launch class actions about the disclosure of trade secrets which are already well delineated?
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
landmark
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Informative as carla was, the post was from seven years ago Smile
NabsS
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I am not a lawyer, but I have studied IP rights for quite a while now (in the IT field where they are very much abused), and I have a few views about intellectual property in Magic.

First of all, trademarks are no use in protecting magical effects. They only protect the name (and other identifiers such as logos, etc.).

Secondly, copyright, as said before, does not protect ideas, only their expression. It can protect patter, instruction manuals, etc. It lasts a very long time (too long, IMHO).

Thirdly, patents can be used for protecting magical inventions. But they have the following drawbacks.

1) Patents are PUBLIC! If you want to keep an exclusive secret, don't patent it. (Of course, you can patent part of your invention, and keep the rest as trade secret, but that's bordering on abusing the system)

2) Patents only last for 20 years, not more. And since patents are public, after expiry anyone can use it.

3) Patents are not cost-free. You need to apply for one, and it cost money PER COUNTRY in which it is applied.

Then there are trade secrets. These may apply to methods, not to effects. I am not an expert with these laws, but what I know is that you need "reasonable measures to keep the secret undisclosed", and I just read on Wikipedia about it. That includes signing an NDA with each person to whom you teach the effect to, and shredding all documents, etc. And you cannot sue anyone that reverse-engineers your method, and then you LOSE YOUR SECRET, with no legal recourse. And if someone discovers your method independently and patents it (since it is secret, it can not be found as prior art), not only will your secret be lost, YOU SOMETIMES WILL LOSE THE RIGHT TO USE IT.

What's the solution: Lobby the parliament in your country to make laws protecting magicians, defining the status of a magician, defining a magical secret and preventing both knowledge of secrets by non-magicians and using secrets from other magicians. Good luck with that one:)

More seriously, the solution is: KEEP INVENTING. Don't worry if someone borrows your idea, keep working on the next one. Magicians of the past haven't stopped inventing, even with no legal recourse against exposure and copy.

Nabil

PS: Class actions against exposure of trade secrets? Again, I am not a lawyer, but I doubt it is possible.
aechecop
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The magic industry is of such a small size that is is almost impractical to copyright or patent effects and even more impractical to enforce any infringement. Sad but true...
Dan Bernier
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What an interresting thread. Smile

As far as E goes. I have to hand it to Brad for doing something that everyone didn't think of until he started making millions at it.

What Brad did was open up the Brick and mortar style of magic shops, and widely marketed and made available tricks to the general public. He cashed in on the popularity of David Blaine and Chris Angel, and now owns a very lucrative business.

Brad has had many well known magicians and creators work for him and publish their material through him.

Before you knock Brad or E keep in mind that you are also talking just about almost every other magician, creator, or dealer today. Most of them now sell tricks in very much the same way. One trick DVD's, downloads, custom decks, etc. All to anyone who has the cash to buy. Do you really think Theory11, Penguin, Murphy's, etc care who they sell too?

E doesn't have a bad reputation, and I'm not hear to defend them either. I just finished reading several ignorant( not knowing the facts) posts and thought I would chime in.

I have seen both Svengali and Invisible Deck's sold in the malls many times in my life. And anyone is legally allowed to make their own, and legally choose to sell them if they want.

Jay Sankey makes and sells his own ID, and so do many other dealers. If "they" can do it, so can anyone else.

It's like IT. Once dealers found out what it was, they stopped buying it from the originator and started making their own with no regards.

Ethics today in magic business is like a revolving door. There is absolutely no consistancy to it.

One of the things that is happening in the magic business is well known dealers lying in their adds, and making ridiculous claims. Some of the adds border line on false advertising, while others cross the line. They get away with it because none of us report them to the right channels.

I used to think that the magic fraternity had a very solid group of ethics, but it turned out to be just another illusion. The love of money is at the root of the demise of our ethics.
"If you're going to walk in the rain, don't complain about getting wet!"
aradia
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Quote:
On 2010-07-06 19:26, Gospel Dan wrote:

I used to think that the magic fraternity had a very solid group of ethics, but it turned out to be just another illusion. The love of money is at the root of the demise of our ethics.


"For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil" -- 1 Timothy 6:10
markmiller
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From this point forward valuable secrets should be kept secret and not be published in any way or the value of our craft will eventually diminish.
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2010-07-07 12:53, markmiller wrote:
From this point forward valuable secrets should be kept secret and not be published in any way or the value of our craft will eventually diminish.


markmiller, that point was long, long ago. What to do with those whose love of money kept them from noticing the damage done ... that's where we have a question of ethics.

Those who wish to use an idea in performance are most often going to get help when they ask me. Where I draw the line is more about whether I can give a thing, a reference or have to point the questioner to another person who is more likely in a position to give that thing by way of direct ownership or as secrets keeper in that field. Is what someone asks about in my trust to choose whether or not to give and in giving to extend that trust? That is the ethical question IMHO.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
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I own a good many copyrights, as I make my full living as a published playwright. The law is still the author's life plus seventy years...unless the author is a huge corporation, in which case it's ninety years, but let's not worry about that fine distinction at the moment.

Registration of copyright is cheap and easy and I recommend it. As has been mentioned, you can't copyright a device. You COULD copyright a PICTURE of the device, or the printed PLANS for a device, but that only protects the picture or the plans from being copied and sold...and you would have to notice it, because nobody else is looking out for you (In my case, the publisher looks out for me).

The moment a thing is written, you have common law copyright, which means that you can stop someone from using your work (In my case, plays) in any way--copying, performing based on the work itself, etc. BUT, with common law copyright, you can't sue for damages...you can only stop the perp. With registration (I've forgotten for the moment how much it is...thirty bucks, forty bucks, something like that), you can stop the perp AND collect damages.

You could also copyright several individual pieces as a group. For instance, if you write multiple short performance pieces, you could put them all together under a single copyright.

But you can't copyright an idea. Ideas are too nebulous. You CAN patent a thing that is based on your new idea...but that's a different animal altogether.

-Philip

-Philip
Servante
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Hm. I seem to have signed that twice. Go figure.
markmiller
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Certainly pointing someone in the right direction where a thing might be found in print is ethical. Divulging that which you has been entrusted that is not published ethically requires permission from the creator.
markmiller
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Sorry for the poor grammer. Sometimes my fingers don't work in conjunction with my brain. That's why I took up magic..
Jonathan Townsend
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@mm, grammar counts in spelling.

@servante - what was your intent in stating what has been stated on this BBS many, many times about fixed expressions and copyright protection? Or in the grammar of Vicky Pollard : "yes, but no, but you can't copyright an idea. Ideas are too nebulous. You can patent a thing that is based on your new idea...but that's a different animal altogether." Smile
...to all the coins I've dropped here
markmiller
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Touche.
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