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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » SansMinds Magic » » Chinese Coins Matrix: New Generation (11 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Christopher James Rose
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Just in case anything is unclear, the product I'm referring to can be found at the following link:

https://www.stevensmagic.com/shop/chines......eration/

I originally posted in the Latest and Greatest forum since this is a very new product, but I can't say that this post will address the positives or negatives of the prop since I don't own one. Nor will it be about questions I may have about the product (for those of you that own one). My reason for bringing this to everyone's attention is an ethical one. On viewing the video, it is obvious that this table and performance (as well as choreography) was copied from another source. The source being Will Tsai's performance on AGT. The product that Steven's Magic is carrying even copied the vines that are going up the legs of the table Will used on TV. I can't help but imagine that this was done as a means of psychologically suggesting to the unsuspecting viewer that this is an officially endorsed product from Will Tsai.

It isn't.

The reason I know it isn't is because over the course of the last few months, myself and a small handful of colleagues have been busy contacting all of the producers of different knocked - off Will Tsai tables in an effort to get them removed from the market.

As anyone can imagine, this process has been hard and heartbreaking. While there is certainly a legal component to these issues, the real question here is about ethics and the race to bring an idea to market... even if it's a stolen idea. When Will's performance aired on AGT and then on YouTube, the magic world had an explosion of interest in the coin matrix. Specifically the handling he used on TV. What they don't know is the near hundred thousand dollars that was used to develop this routine and make it work. It's certainly a lot easier to copy something once someone else has done it and showed it to you. But what it took to imagine this particular prop and routine from nothingness into a real performance (for AGT, no less) took a substantial amount of effort.

Given all of this, it's painful to see how quickly everyone is willing to steal it just to make some money on someone else's fame.

We had a lot of difficulty stopping different producers from making a prop that can accomplish this effect. This mostly involved civil arguments, and recommendations based solely on legal standings.

But the fact of the matter is, the legal system is not fast enough to solve these problems in a meaningful way. Capitalism moves faster than the courts, and so we have decided on a different approach.

Anyone that wants to rip this off can just go ahead because they will be wasting their time.

Will Tsai has decided to officially release his table and routine to the public through SansMinds magic. And we have further decided that we will make sure the cost of the official table is always lower than the costs of these copies, without a reduction in quality.

What if you just want to know the secrets but don't want a table. That's fine, too. We will also be selling a short explanation video of how the table works for everyone that is just curious but doesn't want to spend much money. We will charge the same for the secret as one of our regular instant downloads, and that video is being produced right now.

So if you want one, buy it from the actual inventor. It will be a lower price, and you won't have to worry about any ethical dilemmas. We solved it all for you since the interest is so high in the product and Will is ready to move on to other projects.

Hopefully this makes everyone happy.

---
mh1001
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Thanks for these informations.

I understand now. Several months ago, I have been notified by Viking Magic about such a product. It had a demo video, which looks exactly the same as Will's performance. I even remember the description, it's not for close up, be careful about lighting, and best for video, in other words, the same condition as Will's situation back then. But then, few days later, the link has disappeared. Yeah... I was surprised. But when I thought about it, I had the feeling that someone may have it removed. Maybe SansMinds, I don't know.

What you say now, makes perfect sense.
tonsofquestions
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I'm of two minds here.

On the one hand, Will and Sansminds don't really have a great track record on this topic, in general.
They've been known to release products without proper research or crediting, alter their planned timelines after new information from competitors, and not pull products after complaints. All of which are happening here, so my sympathy is a bit low. Perhaps they now know what it feels like.

On the other hand, two wrongs don't make a right, and I think it's an unfortunate problem in magic, in general. I also applaud Sansminds for being willing to release an explanation video - both for those just wanting to know the secret, and for those who feel they need to know more about the limitations and requirements before purchasing the table. Perhaps they'll include a discount code for the full table (the amount of the download price) along with it. It would make a nice gesture.

All that said, I do think it's an interesting topic. I'm curious to hear other's thoughts on it.
Christopher James Rose
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Quote:
On Feb 12, 2018, tonsofquestions wrote:
I'm of two minds here.

On the one hand, Will and Sansminds don't really have a great track record on this topic, in general.
They've been known to release products without proper research or crediting, alter their planned timelines after new information from competitors, and not pull products after complaints. All of which are happening here, so my sympathy is a bit low. Perhaps they now know what it feels like.

On the other hand, two wrongs don't make a right, and I think it's an unfortunate problem in magic, in general. I also applaud Sansminds for being willing to release an explanation video - both for those just wanting to know the secret, and for those who feel they need to know more about the limitations and requirements before purchasing the table. Perhaps they'll include a discount code for the full table (the amount of the download price) along with it. It would make a nice gesture.

All that said, I do think it's an interesting topic. I'm curious to hear other's thoughts on it.



I think all of this is a really fair and reasonable way to look at it.

The facts of the matter are that SansMinds has upset a lot of people in the past, and we know all about it. So what's the solution?

The solution is that we listened to everyone and we changed the way we do thing. We changed our website, hired better people, we have higher standards for quality control and we are currently developing better customer service. Our efforts are finally beginning to be noticed.

That's why we feel that this is the best approach to solving this issue of stolen IP.

As for your suggestion about offering a discount code for a table with a purchase of the explanation video, I think that's a great idea and I'll be sure to help make that happen.
tonsofquestions
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Ahh, you're part of the Sansminds team. I hadn't realized that - it would be great if you could indicate that in your description/signature somewhere to make it clear (e.g. http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/bb_profile.php?mode=view&user=6225).

Some honest feedback: that you've changed your stance is news to me, at least, I've heard less of it in the past few months, but it wasn't obvious if it was a concerted effort, a brief lull, or folks rolling their eyes (Sansminds again :sigh:) and becoming desensitized to it.

Reversing a negative brand image is tough - and requires a concerted effort. Get the word out and post about it somewhere. Tell us why you've decided to change, what you've been doing about it, and how you plan to make sure you don't relapse. You have to actively get people considering the new possibility or they (like me) will assume the status quo. And then you have to win them over, because they'll be skeptical at first.

Of course, you probably know all this already. But since I haven't heard of seen any of it, it suggests there needs to be more.

Anyway, that's just my two and a half cents.

As far as the actual "copied" IP goes, this may be the best approach, but that doesn't mean it's going to be effective. It's an uphill battle no matter what.
Christopher James Rose
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It's definitely an uphill battle, but we are taking all of the steps in the right directions.
dooblehorn
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On Feb 13, 2018, MindControlArtist wrote:
It's definitely an uphill battle, <snip>.


Certainly will be, considering Sanmind's not so great reputation.

And If nearly a hundred thousand dollars was really spent developing this effect, I seriously doubt Sansminds will be selling a version for less $ that works exactly like Tsai's.
But tell me I'm wrong about that and I'll be first in line.
Christopher James Rose
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On Feb 13, 2018, dooblehorn wrote:

Certainly will be, considering Sanmind's not so great reputation.

And If nearly a hundred thousand dollars was really spent developing this effect, I seriously doubt Sansminds will be selling a version for less $ that works exactly like Tsai's.
But tell me I'm wrong about that and I'll be first in line.



You are wrong about that.

The money that was spent was on the research and development necessary to make it work. Not on the actual equipment used. We will release more marketing information about it soon. I just thought it was important to let everyone know about this and get a discussion about ethics going.
The Unmasked Magician
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I just thought it was important to let everyone know about this and get a discussion about ethics going.


If you like discussions about ethics I can wholeheartedly recommend you use the search engine and type "Sansminds" and "misleading advertisement". More than enough discussions there, no need for a new one.

Sorry, but this doesn't sound very sincere to me. It's very easy to state "we're sorry and we will make things better". That's the easy way out and costs you nothing. On top of that you follow that up by saying "Look! We have a great product! Go ahead and buy it!" Which makes it sounds like THAT is the motivation for your apology. Oh wait, that and the fact that you are afraid of losing money by others copying Will Tsai's table. But you know what? I think I can recall more than one item put out by Sansminds that was accused of being blatant plagiarism.

If you truly want to make up for mistakes in the past first of alle specify what you think you did wrong. Name specific items, advertisements and ways you treated customers. Then apologize for those specific things. And then don't EVER overpromise and underdeliver again. It's called doing business honestly. And it can be done. Even in magic.
Please check regularly if you are becoming the type of magician Jerry Seinfeld jokes about.
dooblehorn
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And considering the two dealers mentioned may have or had similar products, and the fact that no mention was made of Tsai's version in the ad copy that I recall, and the fact those same two dealers have pretty stellar reputations, exactly how would one know that nobody but Sansminds would be allowed to sell it? I bought mine direct from manufacturer before Stevens ever carried it. And I have always made it a point never to buy a knockoff from anyone, so saying anyone who's bought this is supporting ripoffs is a bit unfair.
The Unmasked Magician
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I agree, dooblehorn. I feel Sansminds is getting a taste of their own medicine. There's a magical word for this, Will & co: KARMA.
Please check regularly if you are becoming the type of magician Jerry Seinfeld jokes about.
codydavismagic
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This Chinese coin matrix was getting sold previously for 400. Wonder if sansminds will beat that price as well. Can't wait to see it come out!
Christopher James Rose
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On Feb 13, 2018, The Unmasked Magician wrote:

If you like discussions about ethics I can wholeheartedly recommend you use the search engine and type "Sansminds" and "misleading advertisement". More than enough discussions there, no need for a new one.

Sorry, but this doesn't sound very sincere to me.


Sincerity is hard to read on here. I'm sure if we met in person you would feel differently.

Trust me, I've read all of the messages and what people have to say about the company. In the past few months, we have operated in a way that I am proud of. We have removed products that creators had legitimate compliance issues with, we have offered refunds for anything that made people unhappy, and we have gone out of our way to examine every individual case of customer service to try and come to the best solution.

Everyone is working hard and we want to prove everything by our actions.
Christopher James Rose
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Quote:
On Feb 13, 2018, The Unmasked Magician wrote:
I agree, dooblehorn. I feel Sansminds is getting a taste of their own medicine. There's a magical word for this, Will & co: KARMA.



There's nothing supernatural about it. It's human behavior. But two wrongs don't make a right.
catweazle
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Out of interest did everyone get their vapr watch, that thread is mysteriously quiet.
codydavismagic
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On Feb 13, 2018, catweazle wrote:
Out of interest did everyone get their vapr watch, that thread is mysteriously quiet.

Yes got my watches, but never got my gift package. I was an original backer (the first 300) and got two watches and they both had to be fixed. However they both have been returned and they work great! Still waiting also on a replacement remote but I think they are just swamped and they are taking care of it. One of the best magic devices in my opinion. I'm excited for this release and can't wait to hear about all that went into this from the creators and what they have thought of.
tonsofquestions
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On Feb 13, 2018, Christopher James Rose wrote:
Trust me, I've read all of the messages and what people have to say about the company. In the past few months, we have operated in a way that I am proud of. We have removed products that creators had legitimate compliance issues with, we have offered refunds for anything that made people unhappy, and we have gone out of our way to examine every individual case of customer service to try and come to the best solution.

Everyone is working hard and we want to prove everything by our actions.


I hear the words you say, but that doesn't seem to be the general impression still.
See this post just hours ago on the Silent Assistant thread: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......art=60#5
Doesn't sound like refunds and happiness abounding. And certainly not with the whole SA vs Control drop right around the same time and the agitation there.

So no, I don't think you've done everything you can - and certainly not broad-scale messaging to try and reset people's expectations and awareness of what you're doing. Hell, even after some cursory searching, couldn't find anything about there being a change in heart and/or management recently. Which isn't to say that there hasn't, just that it probably means a lot of others are unaware of it, too.
codydavismagic
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On Feb 13, 2018, codydavismagic wrote:
Quote:
On Feb 13, 2018, catweazle wrote:
Out of interest did everyone get their vapr watch, that thread is mysteriously quiet.

Yes got my watches, but never got my gift package. I was an original backer (the first 300) and got two watches and they both had to be fixed. However they both have been returned and they work great! Still waiting also on a replacement remote but I think they are just swamped and they are taking care of it. One of the best magic devices in my opinion. I'm excited for this release and can't wait to hear about all that went into this from the creators and what they have thought of.


Not to take away from this post, but to follow up, update, got replacement remote and gift package. Everything is exceptional and I am super pleased. Will be picking up their mat when released
Teddy Meagher
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I am very excited for this release, I am really interested in the workings of the mat and what else is possible with it.
The Unmasked Magician
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I really wonder: why would you buy this, it only seems to make sense when you regularly do shows on a stage where what you do is projected on a screen? (Not trying to put the effect down, honestly curious)
Please check regularly if you are becoming the type of magician Jerry Seinfeld jokes about.
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