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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » All tied up! » » Stealing Ideas Has Anyone (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

The Donster
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Ever have this Happened to Them. and if so how did you deal with it. I'm only posting this to Help Other Escape Artists/Magicians out. I'm posting this to get advice to share with other people please only post the information on what/how you dealt with it. Don,
KingStardog
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No, not really for me. I have about a half dozen or so realy good magic effects and ideas that are unique to me. Tons of lousy half baked ideas. I know how some people out there are about those things but that is them and not me. I shared one this last year with some folks here at the Café in the hopes it would make it into a book or video that someone was doing. It involved a new Okito Box move that can be done almost completely surrounded. It is in fact the best coin box handling move since Okito.

Sharing the idea was my choice. I do not want my name stuck on it, or anything that may come from it. I want folks to use it and perform better with it.

I have a couple of card and coin effects that I am thinking about selling the rights to, privately.

That being said, I also have my ideas burned to a write once CD and put them in a mailer and send them back to myself postmarked. I started doing this way back when burners were only 2x speed.

This is what protects me in case somebody says my Okito move is theirs and they want me to pay them money for giving it away for free. If that was the case, we would let a judge unseal the proof and find out who was paying whom.

The whole thing is rather complicated, even when you are giving away ideas and get nothing from them.

I think that you should protect yourself if you ever plan on sharing, selling, or giving away ideas.
...think not that all wisdom is in your school. You may have studied other paths,but, it is important to remember that no matter who you are or where you come from, there is always more to learn.
KerryJK
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I'm not naive in either direction; firstly I realise that everyone's working with the same basic principles in what is an art all about deceptively simple things, so it's entirely possible that two people will come up with the same method independently, so getting obsessively paranoid about everyone being out to steal my work will just alienate the people I want to learn from and could be especially embarrasing if it's subsequently demonstrated that someone else had already used the same idea previously (I have already developed one method which I then found out to have been done already by someone else). Hey, I just created this fantastic card trick, I found out if you pick up two cards together you can make them look like one...
Also remember that mere ideas are worth very little (pretty much for the above reason), to claim copyright you need to have something tangible (a full written method, or better still a prototype or images of the same).

That said, I'm also aware that I'm entering a scene inhabited by people who pride themselves on their ability to get one over on people, and I've had enough experience in showbusiness not to let people do me, so to be on the safe side I keep my cards close to my chest about my original methods, even to other magicians, until I feel comfortable letting it go; this may happen if the trick isn't good enough and I can't be bothered developing it any further, if (though this is unlikely at the level I'm currently working at) it gets well known enough for it to be in serious danger of being nicked anyway (Houdini often revealed the secrets of his older tricks in order to stop them being used by rivals) or many other reasons, but until I make that decision all the specifics are on a "need to know" basis. If people figure out the methods, I can't stop them (hell, that's precisely how I've learnt.. I have less interest in doing tricks where I am told every detail, the challenge is gone), but I do have dated proof of the workings of what I've created in case I ever need it, whether in cases of actual theft or more importantly to defend myself against accusations of the same.
Blitzen
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Tricks are almost certainly not covered by copyright so having proof that you 'invented' something won't help at all. The proof would probably invalidate a patent someone else filed on the same thing although you probably wouldn't be able to then get a patent yourself since you abandonned the invention (abandonned in this context would include concealing it after it was ready for patenting). Assuming, just for fun, that you could copyright a trick and you didn't register it with the copyright office, all you would be able to recover would be lost profits and maybe get an injunction to keep the infringer from selling it.
KingStardog
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Quote:
On 2004-03-16 16:49, Blitzen wrote:
The proof would probably invalidate a patent someone else filed on the same thing


Yes, that's what I was getting at, in protecting yourself. Obviously you wouldn't want to sell the same thing someone else is in a market that pays for origionality.

If you indeed created an effect, you also wouldn't want someone to steal it and market it after learning of it from/through you, and then turn around and try to sue you based on a patent they obtained.

This is far more of an issue with stage illusions than anything else due to the very high prices of a finished product.
...think not that all wisdom is in your school. You may have studied other paths,but, it is important to remember that no matter who you are or where you come from, there is always more to learn.
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