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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Legal protection (or not) for magic tricks (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Ged
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16 Posts

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There has been a very thorough set of articles on the legal protection for and ownership in magic tricks in the last three issues of Genii for any who are interested in that sort of thing. As a lawyer (more than a magician) I tend to find that stuff interesting. But I've seen at least a couple of posts in other areas on this general topic so there may be some general interest. I believe the set of articles in Genii is the most definitive treatment of legal protection (or not) of magic. The bottom line seems to be that, in most cases, there is no easy, good, inexpensive way to protect magic tricks legally other than just keeping the secrets.
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
11047 Posts

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The only way I know of to protect a magic trick is to never do original material in front of another magician. I have several of them.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
JamesinLA
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Inner circle
Los Angeles
3400 Posts

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I agree. I was told early on that if you perform an original piece at the Magic Castle, you're asking to be ripped off. This person actually told me about how he confronted a regular performer at the castle because he was using a routine that was created by a friend of his.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Gerry Walkowski
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I know that Teller copyrighted his shadow illusion as a play. That was to give me better copyright protection. Still, that didn't stop some unethical performer from copying Teller's act and trying to sell it.

On occasion I have eliminated certain jokes and gags from my show because I knew that the magicians in attendance would just steal the stuff. Many of these guys suffer from what I call a "circus mentality." I think there is an unwritten clown rule that says if a routine is performed in the circus then anyone is free to use it. I have seen the same sort of thing done within the various branches of the allied arts.

To me, the best way to protect your material is to make your act so unique (like Sylvester the Jester) that your own profession would clearly recognize if your act was being ripped off by someone else. While anyone can still rip you off, you just make it very difficult for someone to do this.

Gerry
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
11047 Posts

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IMHO
The only thing that separates us is the "T" word. Yes gentlemen if you try to do a Shoot Ogawa, or a Jeff McBride routine you will soon find out that Shoot, and Jeff have more talent that you do.

Anthony Gatto (the world's greatest juggler) says "if you are good enough to copy my routines help yourself". When Anthony told me that he was laughing.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Legal protection (or not) for magic tricks (0 Likes)
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