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bsears
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I don't get it. I've seen a ton of bands play "covers" and not get sued. Every highschool play I've seen was of a copywritten work. Magic is no different.

And, yes, shame on authors/publishers who would take our money and then put conditions on what we can do with the materail we buy. Has any case ever come to litigation in such an instance?
Tom Cutts
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Bsears,

I've seen people robbed but the culprit never prosecuted. That doesn't make it legal or ethical. A more clear knowledge of copyright enforcement is what you seek.

As they say, "When you point your finger [in shame] you have three more fingers pointing back at you."

Frank,

I'm not cranky, just pointing out the shortcomings and fallacies in your posts. If this is not an argument to be won, why did you assume victory in your post:
Quote:
I think that as long as we are discussing ethics...isn't it a bit unethical to produce a video or book, sell it and then claim the buyer has no right to perform the material? What do you know? ethics works BOTH ways.

So to be clear, NO it is not unethical to publish a work and not surrender the right to earn a due living off others performing that work. See again sheetmusic and scripts.

As of yet magic does not have such a legal system. Some choose to honor magic and its creators by holding the routines they do to the higher ethic of "higher" arts by contacting the creator and arranging an agreement on the individual's right to perform certain routines as they were originally created. Others... well, what they do and what they think speaks of how they "honor" magic, in my opinion.

Quote:
In fact I'll go one better, the performance rights are given to the potential buyer the instant the performer decides to publish his material.

So the "potential buyer" has the right to perform material he hasn't even purchased the directions to. As far as that goes, your ideal as written applies to works which are not yet published but it has been only decided that said work will be published some day. That sounds awfully wrong to me. Why buy the work as you already have the right to perform it. Just borrow the book, or better yet thumb through it at the magic store and take any of the routines you like. Frank has given you the rights to every trick ever realeased... and all the works which are decided on in the pipeline anywhere in between "an idea" and "ready to be produced".
TomBoleware
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JT, I have no problem with private distribution. But private stuff shouldn’t be stuck in a magic book that’s sold to everyone.

Tom
The Daycare Magician Book
https://www.vanishingincmagic.com/amazekids/the-daycare-magician/

When you come to the point where you have no need to impress anybody, your freedom will begin.
Jonathan Townsend
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Tom, I agree and had to hold onto stuff for years till the things I used in routine were published. You may be aware of a coin trick of mine that I have not given my up for publication. It remains private and may be some time before a "public" offering without NDA/NC is made. I'm spending some time to consider if I want ANY more of my material sold via public offering. One fellow decided to offer a "variation" of my wildcard for sale last year without consulting me first. Here is the basic problem. Many in the community are addicted to trick/secrets. I am not so sad about the sick few who would pander to an indifferent market, as I am about those who don't care how they get it, they just need the tricks. Everybody makes mistakes. Those who published without my permission made a mistake. My issue with them is separate from the issue in the community. The things that separate a 'cute' trick from a special routine are the same kind of rare artistic connections that make a great sculpture or novel kind painting. This basic lack of respect is why there is not enough money to make litigation over tricks viable. Likewise it is why so many magicians are scavenging the remains of magic from over a hundred years ago looking for things of value. Those who invent the stuff that works are not so eager to see their investments lost to the hungry hoards of copyists.

So there we are with problems. Folks are publishing the secrets of others, and the market sells to whoever pays for product.

My perspective is, for now at least, if you want my stuff, 1) renounce any of the stolen stuff and stolen stuff in general and 2) agree to keep the stuff I send SECRET.

Kind of ironic when you look at who's been offering references, suggestions and novel ideas around the community. Of course I'm open to suggestions.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Frank Tougas
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Quote:
On 2005-01-19 14:00, Tom Cutts wrote:

Frank,

I'm not cranky, just pointing out the shortcomings and fallacies in your posts. If this is not an argument to be won, why did you assume victory in your post:
Quote:
I think that as long as we are discussing ethics...isn't it a bit unethical to produce a video or book, sell it and then claim the buyer has no right to perform the material? What do you know? ethics works BOTH ways.

So to be clear, NO it is not unethical to publish a work and not surrender the right to earn a due living off others performing that work. See again sheet music and scripts.

I assume what you mean by my shortcomings and fallacies means my discussion and differing opinions.

As of yet magic does not have such a legal system. Some choose to honor magic and its creators by holding the routines they do to the higher ethic of "higher" arts by contacting the creator and arranging an agreement on the individual's right to perform certain routines as they were originally created. Others... well, what they do and what they think speaks of how they "honor" magic, in my opinion.

I prefer to talk about ideas and differing points of view. This is just attacking the messenger. I will however apologize for asking you to calm down as I can see you are passionate about this subject ad it was improper not for me to allow for that.

In fact I'll go one better, the performance rights are given to the potential buyer the instant the performer decides to publish his material.

So the "potential buyer" has the right to perform material he hasn't even purchased the directions to. Frank has given you the rights to every trick ever released... and all the works which are decided on in the pipeline anywhere in between "an idea" and "ready to be produced".

You have gone well past my point and given me a heck of a lot of power to boot. I did not say the potential buyer can perform anything yet to be released, it obviously means that when you make the decision to release something to the magical fraternity you have set in motion the opportunity for others to perform.

I would invite any and all intelligent discussion on this as I believe that such discussion helps the ethics in the long run. I would be willing to bet that if you truly looked at my position on using others material you would see we are not so very far apart. Apart - yes but not as much as you might imagine.

I will refrain from name calling and make an honest attempt to understand your point of view. I as only that you neither suggest why I should do or claim to know what is in my head. Good healthy disagreement is fine by me but to quote a recent newsmaker, "Please do not inpune my integrity."
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
chrisrkline
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I can't speak of most schools, but when a school performs a play they do often purchase the rights. Our church did a little Christmas play which they bought from a Religious publishing house. It is actually much simpler to do it this way. Frequently, school districts will require that their schools buy their play, music, etc, from legal sources.

As far a cover bands, I am sure that many receive permission for the music they play. I am sure not all do.

Libraries are legal, so there is no problem there.

As someone accused of being an ethical extremist (is that bad?) I don't have a major problem with buying something and then selling it. I try to own everything I do in my routines, but if someone else sells some books that contain one or two items that they do, hey, that's life. But if you are someone who makes this a major habit, and you constantly sell and trading material that you use, that is different.
Chris
Tom Cutts
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Frank,

Yes, I do perceive shortcomings and fallacies in your posts. That is why I wrote "in your posts". I fear you are internalizing some of the things I have written. I have not attacked you personally, only brought up contrary opinions and pointed out my issues with your opinions. If you lumped yourself into the "others" catagory that is your own internal doing.

Your posts make very definitive statements as to when you think rights are granted. First definitely at the time of deciding to publish, rather than the actual act. Secondly, the ambiguous "set in motion", which we have no idea of what you mean by that.

Suffice to say I will not suggest why you should do what is in your head or claim to know what is in your head. There are several other issues I have with your choice of wording which makes inaccurate statements, but I fear that would be belaboring the point. Healthy discussion requires accuracy.
Jonathan Townsend
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Folks, there are ways to inspect statements and inquire as to their meaning and intent, that are both pleasant and encouraging to other readers.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
bishthemagish
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Quote:
On 2005-01-19 12:52, bsears wrote:
And, yes, shame on authors/publishers who would take our money and then put conditions on what we can do with the materail we buy. Has any case ever come to litigation in such an instance?

Does this shame include the magicians that saw Don Alan on television and then started to do his not published routines in shows word for word? Or the magicians that saw Ricky Jay wow them on Television and then magicians worked out his routines and did them almost word for word in shows and at magic get together's?

Does that include video downloaded from my web site. That was put up there for people to enjoy. Then it appears by magic on other people's web sites?

Does that include my shell game routine that a magician saw me doing on TV and then he took it west and claimed it to the magicians out west as his?

How about downloading video of a magician and then doing his routines that are unpublished?

What if some of the routines are published and they don't buy the published items... Do they have the right to do the routines that they download if they don't have the published works?

How about showing a video of copyrited material to a group of magicians as a club activity???

I think the magic sub culture of magicians hurts magic in this way far more than the producers of magic ideas ever could by doing what you state in your post!!!
Glenn Bishop Cardician

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Jonathan Townsend
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Open note directed to a statement by BSEARS.

Folks who want to use my stuff can ask. I usually say 'yes' and offer to assist those who need additional attention beyond just my write up.

The conditions on my stuff have been pretty consistent over the long term,

1) No gossiping about the material or showing it to other magicians.
2) No publishing the novel ideas or 'variations'.
3) No teaching the novel ideas in any future works.

* ) when I release a work via magazine... it is open season. Enjoy and do as you will, with the possible exception of teaching the thing. The because there is now a published place for others to work from. Please do cite the published works, just DON'T copy out the ideas from works in print.

IMHO this seems pretty liberal. Watching folks squabble over stuff they copied from others is not so comfortable to me. To my eyes it looks like those bird things squabbling over rags in the movie The Dark Crystal.

From the other side of things, I usually ask inventors directly about any works I wish to explore. The the older material in books by and about folks long dead are open for performing unless somehow there are issues. Works already adopted as signature pieces by students or others are an area of open discussion.

I was told that somebody was chided for performing the cups and balls at the magic castle because some guy (not Vernon) had claimed the trick as his signature piece. When I heard that, back in 75, I went over to the Ramsay book and decided to stick to stuff NOBODY is doing, and to material that I had invented.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Frank Tougas
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Yes Tom, healthy discussion does indeed require accuracy. Therefore I hope that in the future, when you publish and produce video, you make an honest effort to include your feelings about not granting performance rights to the purchaser boldly within the advertising copy.

This way I will be able to make an informed decision regarding purchase. As far as anything else I have said regarding performance rights, I stand by what I have written (and at times re-stated) and am comfortable with other readers drawing their own conclusions regarding my accuracy, motive, intent, or for that matter my spelling.
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
TomBoleware
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Of course it’s wrong to steal. I feel for those that’s been robbed, I really do, but if the legal system can’t help them, there’s not much we can do. We can’t help much with personal problems. Or can we? Should we?

But all this has nothing to do with the main question:
“When do I have the right to perform a routine or effect that I have learned from an instructional video, DVD, or book?”
My answer is, as soon as you pay for it. It then becomes your’s to perform.
Do I feel it’s wrong to put something on an instructional video or in a book and then claim you don’t have a right to perform it. Of course I do.
Of course that’s just my thoughts.

Tom

PS I have learned that when in doth and you want permission, All you have to do is ask them, most will give it to you.
The Daycare Magician Book
https://www.vanishingincmagic.com/amazekids/the-daycare-magician/

When you come to the point where you have no need to impress anybody, your freedom will begin.
Jonathan Townsend
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First on the track of performance rights,

Unless stated clearly before purchase time, AGREED, the rights are implied with the purchase, at least till we get some sort of ASCAP or performance based rights consensus on magical pieces. If we want to go to a performace royalties situation... we can work on that.

Quote:
On 2005-01-20 13:31, TomBoleware wrote:
Of course it’s wrong to steal. I feel for those that’s been robbed, I really do, but if the legal system can’t help them, there’s not much we can do. ...


Get your but(t) in gear and

1) Don't do stolen tricks
2) Don't associate with those who steal
3) Don't show stuff to those who steal
4) don't buy from those who steal

And that's the LEAST you can do if you have any personal convictions on the matter.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
bishthemagish
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As an interesting footnote I just got a PM from someone I assume that is a young person in magic and he is very excited about the shell game. In this PM he told me that he has watched the routine and is learning it step by step from the video at may web site.

And he had a question about the routine.

I told him that if he did not have my book or my DVD that explained the shell game (I told him where to get it) that if he learned it from downloading it from my web site. That is stealing...

Because the video is put there for entertainment!

I get e-mail and PM's like this from time to time. The most interesting one was last year from a young person that told me that he did not need to buy the book or video because he downloaded the video from my web site and he was going to do it and there was nothing I could do about it...

I do my best to help people learn magic and I like to share what I do with magicians often. But sometimes people in the magic sub culture make things very hard... When they have the above attitude and then justify stealing with some weak reason...
Glenn Bishop Cardician

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Publisher of Glenn Bishop's Ace Cutting And Block Transfer Triumphs
Alan Wheeler
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I just saw Max Maven's parting thoughts at the end of his wonderful DVD series. He said that the ideas he has developed have a long history, and that those ideas have value. Mr. Maven constantly shows he values those ideas by giving credit to all his sources. He asks to be remembered also as others develop and evolve the ideas he is passing along. Like Jonathan Townsend, he seems more concerned about the ongoing publishing and development and "variations" in the magic community and doesn't really mention performance rights or ethics.

I am very thankful for all the comments on this topic. I have a much better idea of what is right and wrong now, and I will continue to reflect on these matters.

peace, alan wheeler
The views and comments expressed on this post may be mere speculation and are not necessarily the opinions, values, or beliefs of Alan Wheeler.
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bsears
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Excellent discussion.

Townsend - your position regarding your own material is admirable. I hope those you show your routines take good care of them.

Am I the only one who still feels uncertain on the details about "Performance Rights?" I remain curious about what's considered right both in the eyes of the law, and within our fraternity.

I still think that when a local high school performs "Hamlet" that they don't need anyone's permission or blessing. And I'm pretty sure the guy I saw crooning in a bar recently does not have permission from Simon/Garfunkle, Gorgen Lightfoot, CSN, or James Taylor (or their respective labels) to play their tunes.

So how is that different from someone doing a routine they saw a magician do on TV? Or saw at a convention? Or read about online?

I don't expect us to come to a conclusion, but I enjoy hearing where people stand.
chrisrkline
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I believe the words in Hamlet are not copyrighted, although a particular published copy would be. So yes, anyone can do the play. But if a high school did Sound of Music, they would get permission. I don't believe for many plays and musicals it is that big of a deal.

I am not positive, but lounge singers don't always have to get direct permission from the artists to sing their songs, but there is an agency they can contact for performance rights. I gather that many, if not most, do.

If you saw the magician at a convention, and it was in a lecture, no problem. If it was a performance, you can always ask. I don't guess that what the magician requests will matter to some here, but if he is not marketing his routine, then I have enough pride to enjoy it, learn from it, but not to perform it without permission.
Chris
bishthemagish
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Quote:
On 2005-01-22 14:41, bsears wrote:
I still think that when a local high school performs "Hamlet" that they don't need anyone's permission or blessing. And I'm pretty sure the guy I saw crooning in a bar recently does not have permission from Simon/Garfunkle, Gorgen Lightfoot, CSN, or James Taylor (or their respective labels) to play their tunes.

I don't know about high schools but on the college level many of the colleges do buy the rights to the performance arts plays, music for the season... This is also done in dinner theaters and it protects the venue and the artists from lawsuits...

Night clubs and casino's do this to. Basically night clubs and places where they use music often protect their club by being part of the AMA and buying the music rights for the year. Then it doesn't matter what artist they book or the kind of music they play...

If the club doesn't do this they are taking a risk...
Quote:
On 2005-01-22 14:41, bsears wrote:
So how is that different from someone doing a routine they saw a magician do on TV? Or saw at a convention? Or read about online?

There is a very big difference because the AMA and other owners of the material will go after performers and clubs that abuse the law...

No magician has ever gone to jail for being a copy cat and doing another magicians copied work. But back in the old days if you were a copy cat the agents wouldn't book you. And you would be pressured by a group like the Varriety artists federation...

But in magic today the magic sub culture just out and out takes what they want when they want and don't seem to care about it...
Quote:
On 2005-01-22 14:41, bsears wrote:
So how is that different from someone doing a routine they saw a magician do on TV? Or saw at a convention? Or read about online?

I think a performance in a night club where the night club had purchased the rights to have the artist play the music is very different than what the magic sub culture does in the way of taking copyrighted material. And taking unpublished works from a performer... Off the internet or at a convention of magic...
Glenn Bishop Cardician

Producer of the DVD Punch Deal Pro

Publisher of Glenn Bishop's Ace Cutting And Block Transfer Triumphs
Ola
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I know this is an old thread but it is relevant to a current issue of mine.

It deals with TV PERFORMANCE RIGHTS.

I have just bought the Marc Spelmann dvd set for close to US$200 and the first thing that greets you is a screen telling you that you are not allowed to perform these effects on TV.

HANG ON!

I'm a professional entertainer who do appear on TV occassionally and I've paid top dollars for these routines and now I'm told I can't use them in one aspect of my work. I don't think this is fair.
Restricted performance rights are not mentioned in the advertising and as such what options do I have.
I'm not sure what the solution is but I do feel cheated as several routines will go straight into my repertoir.

I could:

1) Perform them anyway
2) Ask for permission to use the routines I have in mind. (But why should I?)
3) Ask for a refund as they do not fulfill my requirements.

What are your thoughts.

Cheers

Ola
You laugh because I'm different. I laugh because you are all the same...
jimtron
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You don't need permission from a songwriter to cover their song in a venue. In the US, music venues are required to pay fees to BMI and ASCAP (publishing companies) for this reason.

As far as Hamlet goes, royalties do not need to be paid. Copyright does not cover centuries-old content, as far as I know.

This is different with magic because generally speaking effects can't be copyrighted.
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