Ethical question

Jun 2, 2008
5
0
Sacramento, CA
A friend and I have always been amazed at what we've seen, and when we were both younger, we used to learn some tricks and try to impress each other. I just joined and purchased the first of hopefully a few cool tricks I've wanted to learn.

I do have a question to everyone though. This friend of mine I'm talking about, will undoubtedly hound on me to show him how it's done. I don't plan on revealing anything to him but sometimes he can be damn persistent. Do you think it would be 'unethical' to tell him to come here to buy another one and then we can both work together as a team to learn them?

Again I'm really green here with experience and I want to know what the consensus is in this community. I want to learn a few select ones and I have the money, but I'd also like a person to work with as we both really dig this stuff.

Thanks!
 
Feb 27, 2008
72
0
France
Try to let him figured how it's done before revealed the secret.
And if he don't find don't revealing him....(i think that's not a very good english sry)
That's only my opinion...
 
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Sep 1, 2007
557
2
32
Porthcawl, Wales.
Well I have friends who pester me like this, what I do, is show them a simple very basic trick, something that you could learn from a kids magic book, i then wait, see if they practice it and take it serious, if they do, i'll give them a further insight to magic, but i wont jus go and show them all my secrets, jus some easy stuff and some advice on how to get started.

Hope this helps.

Lloyd
 
Dec 22, 2007
643
0
[EDITED -- This is seriously one of the best tricks I perform. Always gets reactions. Shhh...] - jonraiker
 
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Jun 2, 2008
5
0
Sacramento, CA
Well it's not so much having to worry about my friends in general, it's just my buddy-n-crime if ya know what I mean. We're both really close and have known each other 30+ yrs.

I guess my point was that I want to get him involved with helping me learn and later perfect my art and I know he'd be into it as well. If I basically learn one on my own, show and 'wow' him, I'd like to think I could convince him to learn one and then we could both learn more together. Kind of a 'tag team' if you will...

We both have large families and I figured we could learn together and share the cost... that's where the dilemma came in.

Are there people that learn with others or is magic really a 'solo' type of art? I figure having someone there to critique me along with a mirror, camera, etc. can only help.
 
i think most repliers did not understand the nature of your query. u want to know if u can share the secret of a trick with your friend or not when you have purchased the trick.

what if you had a brother and both were interested in magic ? would you ask your brother to buy the trick before you can share the secret with him ? if your father or mother is interested in learning magic as well would you hide the secret from them ? if u think this friend of urs is not a blood relative then let me ask you have u ever purchased a music cd or a cool book or a dvd of a recent movie and shared it with a friend ?

humans share things, we are social animals after all.

what most ppl are against is the blatant act of making copies of the videos and putting them on p2p sites so that in the end the artist who created the effect loses a lot of revenue. that is not right, but sharing a secret with another magician is cool i guess.

and next time why don't u guys pool ur money together and buy a magic trick or a book ? this way there will be no moral dilemma to deal with.. right ????
 
Jun 2, 2008
5
0
Sacramento, CA
i think most repliers did not understand the nature of your query. u want to know if u can share the secret of a trick with your friend or not when you have purchased the trick.

what if you had a brother and both were interested in magic ? would you ask your brother to buy the trick before you can share the secret with him ? if your father or mother is interested in learning magic as well would you hide the secret from them ? if u think this friend of urs is not a blood relative then let me ask you have u ever purchased a music cd or a cool book or a dvd of a recent movie and shared it with a friend ?

humans share things, we are social animals after all.

what most ppl are against is the blatant act of making copies of the videos and putting them on p2p sites so that in the end the artist who created the effect loses a lot of revenue. that is not right, but sharing a secret with another magician is cool i guess.

and next time why don't u guys pool ur money together and buy a magic trick or a book ? this way there will be no moral dilemma to deal with.. right ????
Oh I definitely agree with ya, and I'm glad you knew where I was coming from. There's obviously a core belief that secrets and tricks are kept that way for a reason. But then again, it's always revealed for the right 'price' so I just wondered if it's ok to waive that if you know it won't be exploited.

I'm all for supporting the artists anywhere and if the other products are as well done as the one I just bought, I'll definitely invest in a few others. And I might just bring a friend here too....

Thanks for the feedback!
 
Dec 14, 2007
823
2
Let's put the shoe on the other foot:

You are a magician who has spent a lifetime developing some amazing material. You finally decide to release it in a series of books.

You are at a convention and two guys walk up to you. They ask about the price and walk away. Later, one comes up and buys one book, the other another.

You KNOW they are going to take them home, copy and share them.

How would you feel? (This is not a made up story by the way, it happened to a friend of mine, someone you would all know.)

How would it make you feel to know that people were using your ideas who had never thanked you for them in the easiest way possible - by buying the ideas!

Now, I will not say that people (friends) don't or shouldn't share ideas. We all do it. But I think you can see that it is not a cut and dried situation. (And the notion that trading secrets is fine because we are social being is ridiculous. By that logic, no company should be allowed any trade secrets because we are "social beings.")

Here is a possible solution.

Let's say you and your friend share some ideas. In one of the DVDs you bought is a trick he loves and he's going to actually use. Well, I think in that case the right thing to do would be for him to buy a copy from the creator. He found something, he's going to use it, he should pay for it.

Just a thought.

Brad Henderson
 
Sep 1, 2007
1,706
1
31
I will say this. I have a magic buddy who just knows my tricks and I perform on him all the time so he can critique me. He doesn't really do magic, but he's sort of my confidant. I'll explain a trick after I do it to him and he'll keep it to himself.
and practicing tool for me.

I also used to do this all the time with my dad.
 
Feb 3, 2008
237
0
33
Raleigh, NC
i think most repliers did not understand the nature of your query. u want to know if u can share the secret of a trick with your friend or not when you have purchased the trick.

what if you had a brother and both were interested in magic ? would you ask your brother to buy the trick before you can share the secret with him ? if your father or mother is interested in learning magic as well would you hide the secret from them ? if u think this friend of urs is not a blood relative then let me ask you have u ever purchased a music cd or a cool book or a dvd of a recent movie and shared it with a friend ?

humans share things, we are social animals after all.

what most ppl are against is the blatant act of making copies of the videos and putting them on p2p sites so that in the end the artist who created the effect loses a lot of revenue. that is not right, but sharing a secret with another magician is cool i guess.

and next time why don't u guys pool ur money together and buy a magic trick or a book ? this way there will be no moral dilemma to deal with.. right ????

I have to agree, there is nothing wrong with buying only one copy for the both of you or you guys sharing a copy. Just like a friend of mine is showing an interest in magic so I may let him borrow some of my stuff sometime. There is nothing wrong with that, you bought the dvd and therefore you can let whomever you want borrow it. This is only a problem if you copy it or do it for profit or even spill the secrets to everyone you know. I also agree, some of the people replying here aren't reading Kadin's whole post.
 
Dec 4, 2007
1,096
1
www.thrallmind.com
This is taking the exposure issue out of hand.

If sharing is bad, shut down the magic castle. Its library is FILLED with books you can peruse. All sorts of magic associations, too. The one I'm in? We share all the time. The magicians code, which is where the whole exposure thing came from, states its only wrong if its revealed to non magicians.

If you are with other magic buddies, who you know respect the art, and aren't in it to reveal stuff on youtube, then you're fine.

-ThrallMind
 
Dec 14, 2007
823
2
Thrall,

You bring up an often used argument, so let me ask:

Are all magicians created equal? Let's say some guy came up to you at a party and said, "You can tell me, I'm a magician too." He owns a Dlite and a pack of invisible thread. Should you "share" everything with him?

And what about the creator?

Should the creator be rewarded for their work? If your friend started performing a marketed trick you had bought, shouldn't the creator be paid for it? Or do we, as a community, feel that as long as one person paid for it, anyone should be able to use it?

See, I don't know if this is just an issue of "exposure" but one of rewarding a creator for the use of their ideas. When you look at it in those terms, do things change?

Just some questions...

Brad Henderson
 
May 16, 2008
50
0
Should the creator be rewarded for their work? If your friend started performing a marketed trick you had bought, shouldn't the creator be paid for it? Or do we, as a community, feel that as long as one person paid for it, anyone should be able to use it?

I'm not directing this at you personally, but do you send S.W. Erdnase's family a little money every time you use one of his ideas? No? That's all right, no one else does either. Why should other magicians be different? If you are going to sell their trick, on a dvd/1on1/pdf/book/lecture/etc, that's one thing, but using the trick and showing it to your close personal friends for no benefit of your own is another. I'm not saying that magician's shouldn't be compensated for their hard work, they definitely should, but let's not turn magic into one more thing that everyone is rushing to copyright just to make a quick buck. That will kill it faster than exposure ever could.
 
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Dec 4, 2007
1,096
1
www.thrallmind.com
Thrall,

You bring up an often used argument, so let me ask:

Are all magicians created equal? Let's say some guy came up to you at a party and said, "You can tell me, I'm a magician too."

ThrallMind said:
If you are with other magic buddies, who you know respect the art

Brad Henderson said:
And what about the creator?

If sharing is not allowed, at least between those who I would consider appreciative of the art, and not just bought a few tricks off the internet to impress people, sooner or later progress will slow. Innovation will slow.

Imagine a magician. Fairly new to the art. He doesn't have the money to buy a certain effect or book. However, at his local magic group, be it IBM, SAM, what have you, some other magician has this book. He lends it out to the new magician to learn from. Something sparks an idea in his mind, and he goes on to create something new. Would you want this possible innovation hindered because of a technicality?

Moreso, (I am NOT bashing them, I'm just using as an example), Born to Perform Card Magic. In it, you are taught th double lift. I can assure you Penguin did not create this move. Yet, they feel they are allowed to teach it. Why? Because the original innovator is gone, and people find its okay to teach some stuff from those who have walked before us.

If it wasn't for this liberty we take, many utilities would go untaught to new magicians, and the ability for on to learn would be inhibited by someones bank account as opposed to someones love of the art.

Who's to say that Aaron Fisher wont become revered like Hugard, Braue, Marlo, and Vernon? Maybe it will be Fishers moves which we, years down the road, accept as public domain, moves which every magician should know to enhance his repertoire?

Sorry for the long post, but I feel if people get too...oh no, Godwins law, Nazi'ish about what can and cannot be taught, progress and innovation will halt.

Before I go, one last thought. Do you see any of the magicians whose stuff is being exposed making a huge stink? Or, do you just see those who know the effects complaining? I feel the exposure issue is one of selfishness and ignorance: People don't want others to know what they do.

And yet, even with all the exposure issues, somehow, Magic still, excuse the pun, flourishes, and we still see new eager magicians joining the ranks.

-ThrallMind
 
One of the first rules of magic is this - a magician never tells his secrets.
However, it's more of guide line, really, because magicians tell their secrets sometimes, and it's okay. I tell my mom some of my secrets, when I need critique, and one of my friends also, whom I can trust not to spread the secrets. But the idea is to tell your secrets only to people who are worth it, and who work hard and seriously to get the secrets.
If he is your close friend, and you are sure he wants to get into magic seriously, I don't see why you can't share the DVDs... Just make sure it will also work the other way around - tell him to also buy DVDs you both want, and share them with you.
And if there is a DVD he really likes, tell him it would be a nice gesture for the artist to buy a copy of his own.
There's nothing wrong about sharing your secrets, as long as you don't share them with some bloke on the street who asks you for it, but with people who are willing to put some serious effort into learning these tricks.
 
Dec 14, 2007
823
2
Ah, the "do we pay Erdnase" or "get permission for the double lift" arguments.

The double lift has been around for a very, very long time. It is part of our lexicon. It is not proprietary. One need not get permission to perform it or use it.

Lennert Green invented the Angle Separation. Not only did he invent it, he sells it as a manuscript. We KNOW who invented it, and this person makes part of his livelihood by offering his ideas for compensation.

If you want to use the double lift in a trick, there is no problem. But if you want to use Lennert's move, then there is. Now, Lennert may be happy for you to use his move. He may not care. But shouldn't that be HIS decision, not yours. (In truth, this move may have moved into the common lexicon, but that should be Lennert's decision.)

Because when you make it your decision, here's what happens: The people who used to offer their ideas will STOP! In fact, many already have. They see people use their ideas, republish them without credit or permission, and figure - why should I help these thieves.

Two of magic's most inventive geniuses walked away from sharing their magic for this very reason. One now has nothing to do with magic, the other only shows a very few close friends.

Because of our attitude of entitlement, people have lost out.

Now, what about paying Erdnase? Well, Erdnase is a book that is out of print. The creator does not make money of the sales of that book (and after he sold his stock to Drake, there is a question if he ever did). But, Paul Harris makes money off of his books. Daniel Garcia and Dan and Dave make money off of their DVDs. If I wanted to use a Paul Harris trick, I should do the right thing and buy a copy of the book/DVD to compensate him for his work. Do you think it's right to take ideas from people you admire and not compensate them for them? After all, if they meant for their ideas to be "free" why did they sell them in the first place?

Now, what if I don't pay Paul for his trick. Maybe he'll start to feel the way the other two gentlemen I mentioned did and decide it's not worth it. Why take the time out of your life to release something you may have spent years on, and not get anything in return for it? If your favorite creators stopped sharing, how much better off will you be.

As to this idea that you have to have access to free material for the art to grow - that's nonsense.

At this time in history there is more free sharing of material than ever. Has innovation improved?

Not at all.

There are more derivative half baked ideas on the market than at any time in history. Sure, there are greater numbers of items, but the quality overall has diminished.

Now, I am not saying magicians shouldn't brainstorm or share ideas or even resources. But there is a difference between saying to your buddy, "Hey, I just found a cool trick I think you might like" and "Hey, why don't we go in together, each buy one of these books, and copy them."

And ultimately, it comes down to what you think is right. If I find a trick and I know I am going to get value out of it - I pay for it. Even if it's in an out of print book, I track it down. I know the creator gets nothing for that, but at least I spent some time and energy in honor of the person who was kind enough to give me a gift.

If you don't care...you don't care.

But trust me, it DOES impact your world, and a lot of great material will never be shown on DVD or at a convention or sold in a book just because of the attitudes shown here.

Do what you will, but remember - it matters.

Brad Henderson

p.s. Thrall, this is not about EXPOSURE. As long as you think that, you are missing the point. It is about intellectual property and respect for creators.
 
Dec 4, 2007
1,096
1
www.thrallmind.com
Ah, the "do we pay Erdnase" or "get permission for the double lift" arguments.

But who decided that it was part of our lexicon? Wouldn't it be unethical to not track down the original book it was published in? You dismiss this on the grounds of a theoretical lexicon which we all claim as ours?

And ultimately, it comes down to what you think is right. If I find a trick and I know I am going to get value out of it - I pay for it. Even if it's in an out of print book, I track it down. I know the creator gets nothing for that, but at least I spent some time and energy in honor of the person who was kind enough to give me a gift.

So, what about tracking someone down who has the same passion about magic as you do, who happens to know the trick. You still had to put time and energy in finding the person who knows it. Is this wrong?

p.s. Thrall, this is not about EXPOSURE. As long as you think that, you are missing the point. It is about intellectual property and respect for creators.

I realize this, and I believe you misread the intention of my original post here, and therefore I responded as I did.

Take this, for example:

Brad Henderson said:
Or do we, as a community, feel that as long as one person paid for it, anyone should be able to use it?

He isn't asking about a whole community. He is asking about a single person. A friend of his. You're telling me there is no one you know who you practice for who helps you with any problems you may have? Or, why not get on the case of people who have magic jam sessions.

Basically, this question is one we cannot answer for him. He said it in the posts title. "Ethical Question." Everyone has their own beliefs and set of ethics. In the end, we are trying to debate about beliefs, and not facts. In computers, Psychology, and others, there is a written ethical guideline format to be followed. We, as magicians, do not have something like this other than the magicians code, and debating that would only open a can of worms.

Jussayin'

-ThrallMind
 

Xel

Dec 26, 2007
20
0
Los Angeles, CA
Do you think it would be 'unethical' to tell him to come here to buy another one and then we can both work together as a team to learn them?

If your friend has a genuine interest in magic, it is not unethical to guide him to learning resources such as Theory11.

--Xel
 
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