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My rights or My Morals?

Jun 18, 2019
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Say I REALLY wanted to watch The Prestige, to be honest, first I'd see if You Tube has that movie uploaded (101 advantages of being multilingual--- You understand dubbed movies too, heh heh). Next I'd check torrents, The very very SLIIIGHT chance that even then I can't get the movie, I'd either watch it in parts or just move on.

But at the same time, I have no animosity towards Christian Bale or Hugh Jackman, and I want them to have all the happiness and money in the world, for they are fabulous actors. Yet the fact remains that I value my money more and also, to me, they're still fabulous actors (although I have watched the movie as downloaded on You Tube) and I'll be promoting the movie for the rest of my life.

HOWEVER there's this amazing pop-singer coming up (Camila Cabello) whose work I love and if I could, I'd buy her (Or Swift's, or Gomez's, or Puth's) albums. It's only due to the sheer reality that I don't have money of my own to buy these things that I prefer to just listen to them from YT MV's, knowing that it doesn't support them as much.

But I'm totally on board with the idea of buying something just to support an artist.

DERIVING FROM THE ABOVE EXAMPLES:-

Is it ultimately a magician's (or a would-be-magician's) morals that prevent them from pirating other's work?
I'm NOT talking about (say) claiming that I have invented the method for On Off by Nicholas Lawerence *BUT* what if I LEARN it from sources other than those directly sold by him (keeping in mind that he hasn't made it public domain yet), crediting him still? Is that pirating?

If so, is there any actual, legal rights magicians have on their products, or are there just morals involved?

In the example, I watched the movie on You Tube which prevented the actors, director, producer from making money that they deserved BUT the word spread, even if just a bit (replace The Prestige with any other recent movie).

So...is that kind of stealing, pirating and learning really that bad?

Doesn't it end up depending on me, whether I want to support the artist or not? And can new magic learners really be blamed that much, because most people who stock up or pile up methods are teenagers, who have lots of time to invest to learn things, but not money to invest in buying things, EVEN IF THEY WANT TO?

(Imagine if I'm reduced to watching a pirated version of Xavior's pass project instead of the paid one, or MAYBE (don't kill me, haven't done that yet, lol) I learn one of TXI's sold effects through free tutorials instead from the original source, JUST BECAUSE I can't possibly pay for them (and we're ignoring sub-standard quality of the external tutorials, just like we ignore sub-standard quality of torrented material). Do I still suck?)

Once again, is there a huge grey area in middle and ultimately only ones morals which decide whether in a certain situation there's case of pirating or theft?
 

WitchDocIsIn

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Sep 13, 2008
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But at the same time, I have no animosity towards Christian Bale or Hugh Jackman,

No animosity - but also no respect. They created something, you're not compensating them for their creation. That is saying you don't think their creation is worth your time and energy to pay them for it.

There are dozens of ways to compensate creators. In the example of music - buying their songs/albums is the obvious one, but if you can't do that -then watch the videos on their official channel(s) so they can get the monetization rewards. Actually watch ads and click on them occasionally, too. Share their official pages to encourage others to pay for their work.

Fully avoiding paying means you don't value it enough and you should just go without instead of screwing them over.

So...is that kind of stealing, pirating and learning really that bad?

If you're asking I'm betting you already know the answer and are just trying to justify your behavior.

And can new magic learners really be blamed that much, because most people who stock up or pile up methods are teenagers, who have lots of time to invest to learn things, but not money to invest in buying things, EVEN IF THEY WANT TO?

Yes, they can be blamed. They are making the decision to, essentially, steal.

Magic is a luxury market. There is not one product in this market that anyone needs. Therefore, anyone creating a product is free to ask any form of compensation they think is worthwhile, and anyone who can't give that compensation doesn't get it. Done and done. There is no grey area there.

Anything someone says in attempt to justify not giving that compensation is just that - justifying greed and entitlement.

No one has any right to someone else's creative work. Either the compensation is worth it to the buyer, or it's not. Either the buyer can offer the compensation, or they can't.

Why does it matter? Two reasons. One, the creator put their time and energy into making this product. Hopefully they've tested it front of live audiences and it is worth what they are asking for it. If someone comes along and takes that work without compensating the creator, they are giving a big ol' middle finger to that creator. They are saying, "I want this, so I'm taking it, but I don't care if you can pay your bills or eat." That's very disrespectful to the creator, and to magic, and also to the creative industry as a whole. That's the same as saying, "I want you to perform at my event, but I'm not going to pay you."

And second reason - When a creator puts work out, and then sees it get pirated and distributed in ways that they don't get compensated for, they stop wanting to put work out. Or, alternatively, they start releasing the stuff they don't care about at super cheap prices and then the stuff they do care about is very expensive. The expensive price tags help reduce the willingness of people to give it away for free.

So when you're browsing new products and think, "Dang! That's expensive! Why does it cost so much!?" Look at your list of torrents and YouTube reveals. That's part of why it's so expensive.

Once again, is there a huge grey area in middle and ultimately only ones morals which decide whether in a certain situation there's case of pirating or theft?

Not really. It's pretty cut and dry.

Is this product on the market for a particular kind of compensation?
Did you provide that creator with that agreed upon compensation?

Where's the grey area?
 

trikuxabi

Elite Member
Aug 14, 2010
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When talking about movies I always say piracy is wrong, but if you really can't afford to purchase a legal copy, it's better to pirate it than not watching it. Cinema is culture, and should be accessible to everyone, if money is keeping you from enjoying cultural products, then something is wrong and until there is a change, piracy is the way to go. However: have you checked your local library? Have you looked for affordable digital copies? Have you looked for a friend who can lend you the film? There are legal alternatives to purchasing movies at full price.

More or less the same goes for magic, as there are hundreds of magic books at libraries, your local magic club will have a collection of books you can read for free, you may know a magician who can lend you his copy, or maybe instead of getting the latest and greatest tutorial of the pass, you can look for a more affordable version, as thousands of books and DVDs have explanations for a pass. It may not be your favourite pass, but it should be better than stealing material.

Also, most YouTube channels with explanations are crap, any professional material will probably be better than those.
 
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Jun 18, 2019
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If you're asking I'm betting you already know the answer and are just trying to justify your behavior.
Not really, but on the brighter side, I know NOW, so all's well that ends well :D

That's part of why it's so expensive.
Point...part of the reason why adsense does not make so much money happens to be that nobody (or very few) actually watch or click on them...

Where's the grey area?
The intent.

Also, most YouTube channels with explanations are crap, any professional material will probably be better than those
And we agree to disagree :)
have you checked your local library? Have you looked for affordable digital copies? Have you looked for a friend who can lend you the film? There are legal alternatives to purchasing movies at full price.
Point taken and understood...thanks!
Share their official pages to encourage others to pay for their work.

So...if I learn a move that is paid, and I purchase it legally, and then in a magic convention I teach it to somebody else who wants to learn...
What do I do? Do I then ask for money for that, to pay the original creator or something?
 

WitchDocIsIn

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Sep 13, 2008
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So...if I learn a move that is paid, and I purchase it legally, and then in a magic convention I teach it to somebody else who wants to learn...
What do I do? Do I then ask for money for that, to pay the original creator or something?

Simple - don't teach someone else's material unless you have explicit permission to do so.

This is one of the biggest problems I have with YouTube's sort of culture of exposure. The model it teaches new magicians is that one should feel free to share anything they know, even if it's not theirs to share, and that one is entitled to anything they want, just because they want it.
 
Jun 18, 2019
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This is one of the biggest problems I have with YouTube's sort of culture of exposure. The model it teaches new magicians is that one should feel free to share anything they know, even if it's not theirs to share, and that one is entitled to anything they want, just because they want it.
Hmmmmmmmm...

That, by the way, *is* a problem with YT magic...I never gave that much thought to this...
Well, I'm sure that can be worked around, but nobody has really worked around that yet (among those online) ...
 

WitchDocIsIn

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We actually had a pretty in depth conversation about this some time ago, which I recently looked up as I was asked to write an essay on exposure. Here's a link: https://www.theory11.com/forums/threads/is-exposure-a-significant-problem-in-magic.50483/

In my opinion, as long as there is a group of people making the 'secrets' (meaning the method in this context) of magic valuable, there will be a market for someone to reveal those secrets without permission. Until the magic world as a whole has an overhaul of ethics, respect, and morals, that will never change.

The funny part to me is that people who decide to pirate/trade/reveal are shooting themselves in the foot in multiple ways.

First - they're selling themselves short by overloading on material with no hope of ever giving it the attention it needs to actually be any good at it. This is a major reason for the frequent burn out people see - they think learning more secrets is how they get better, when in reality they just stay mediocre because they never take the time to get good at anything.

Second - By moving in those circles they surround themselves with people that have similar levels of skill. This leads to a wildly inaccurate assessment of their knowledge. They see themselves on par with their peers and it seems like there's nothing new to learn. Another cause of the burn out.

Third - By associating with those people they cut themselves off from the people who actually respect magic and the mystery arts.

So, by assuming that all magic products should be freely available just because they want them, these people are handicapping their ability to learn properly and making the people who could teach them distrustful.

Whereas if someone simply sticks to learning from good sources which are acquired legitimately, they will not only develop their skills more fully, they'll develop the relationships that lead to easier acquisition of products in the future.

Creators constantly share their creations with each other, for free or trade. I've given away plenty of copies of my books and/or given people ideas I had that they wanted to develop further. Likewise, folks I know that create will send me things to test or just because they thought I'd like, or to trade for my products.

It pays to think in terms of community rather than the individual.
 
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Jul 6, 2019
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No animosity - but also no respect. They created something, you're not

And second reason - When a creator puts work out, and then sees it get pirated and distributed in ways that they don't get compensated for, they stop wanting to put work out. Or, alternatively, they start releasing the stuff they don't care about at super cheap prices and then the stuff they do care about is very expensive. The expensive price tags help reduce the willingness of people to give it away for free.

As somebody who studied piracy academically for awhile this isn't even remotely true. The only real deterrent to piracy is to compete with it by making things easier to access without pirating than it is to pirate them, and this is a lesson that the music industry had to learn the hard way and one that the magic industry steadfastly refuses to learn (though at east Ellusionist is trying with their streaming service).

My personal stance is that you should always support the artist. The only exception I'm willing to entertain is with out of print books, because even if you buy an extortionately expensive used copy the artist doesn't make any money, and I think the prevalence of super tiny book runs in the era of print on demand does nothing but reward crappy predatory behavior.
 
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A passing comment and highly irrelevant to the original post BUT since I had this question and it seemed unnecessary to start an entire thread for it...

Is ECT's Invisible Pass (turnover basically) good?
 
Jun 18, 2019
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As somebody who studied piracy academically for awhile this isn't even remotely true. The only real deterrent to piracy is to compete with it by making things easier to access without pirating than it is to pirate them, and this is a lesson that the music industry had to learn the hard way and one that the magic industry steadfastly refuses to learn (though at east Ellusionist is trying with their streaming service).

My personal stance is that you should always support the artist. The only exception I'm willing to entertain is with out of print books, because even if you buy an extortionately expensive used copy the artist doesn't make any money, and I think the prevalence of super tiny book runs in the era of print on demand does nothing but reward crappy predatory behavior.
That's...oh man that's pretty smart too!

So you're saying that piracy can be effectively combated, if the creator themselves put out work easy to access (while of course, there'll be added benefits for those who access the paid stuff, yeah yeah)? Or have I understood wrong?

This reminds me of something Brian Brushwood said, that the temptation is often to think that what is online is a teaser, vastly inferior to the REAL (paid) stuff. BUT WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN (as per him, at least) is that creators (magicians or otherwise) should provide value FIRST, and then those who support the creator will support them as soon as they can.
 
Jul 6, 2019
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Yeah that's exactly what I'm saying, for example musc piracy went down substantially once iTunes got big, same thing with movies and Netflix (though the fragmentation of streaming services is starting to cause an uptick in that again) GOG and Steam are effectively reducing game piracy by providing better services and support (though once again fragmentation and one competing service using shady business practices is starting to cause problems). Also all of these services provide regional pricing, which is something no magic company does and something that nobody really seems to think about, granted it is a little harder to that on the relatively small scale that the magic industry operates on.
 

WitchDocIsIn

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Sep 13, 2008
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As somebody who studied piracy academically for awhile this isn't even remotely true. The only real deterrent to piracy is to compete with it by making things easier to access without pirating than it is to pirate them, and this is a lesson that the music industry had to learn the hard way and one that the magic industry steadfastly refuses to learn (though at east Ellusionist is trying with their streaming service).

My personal stance is that you should always support the artist. The only exception I'm willing to entertain is with out of print books, because even if you buy an extortionately expensive used copy the artist doesn't make any money, and I think the prevalence of super tiny book runs in the era of print on demand does nothing but reward crappy predatory behavior.

I'm not going to try to argue with someone who's genuinely studied - but I will say that the products I am thinking of just don't end up on the pirate market (that I've seen).

Limited print runs and high prices mean the people who have genuine interest in the product are more likely to be the ones to end up with them. I have several products in my collection that have never hit the pirate market to my knowledge, because the only people who purchased them are those who valued them and don't give the secrets away. While the music and movie industry have certainly had to content with piracy issues, I think it may be different for the magic industry.

That's not even taking into consideration the number of products that the general magic consumer will never hear about because one must know the creator to even be alerted to it.

What I do see (as someone who is consistently alerted to piracy of my company's products) is that cheap to moderately priced downloads and books end up being pirated fairly quickly. Expensive products are rarely reported. What does sometimes happen with those is that the instructions only might be uploaded, which apparently satisfies some people's desire to know the secret.
 
Jul 6, 2019
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Well if the really expensive stuff involves props/gimmicks, then yeah obviously that's an impediment to piracy. As for who "ends up" with stuff, what you're discounting here is the idea that a lot of the pirated work is coming from dealers/people who work for distributors, who sell the stuff to one of those chinese bootleg sellers and then it gets leaked to the general piracy market from there. Basically what you see that's resistant to piracy is mostly stuff that's sold by the individual creator or very small companies that do their own distribution.

Also pretty much every gimmick contracted to Chinese manufacturing ends up getting bootlegged by the factory that made it, which is always fun.
 
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Jun 18, 2019
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In my opinion, as long as there is a group of people making the 'secrets' (meaning the method in this context) of magic valuable, there will be a market for someone to reveal those secrets without permission. Until the magic world as a whole has an overhaul of ethics, respect, and morals, that will never change.
Read your reply in that thread and well, in my opinion (which may be woefully misinformed, BUT...) you've pointed out the exaxt viscious circle that magic community is in, and has been in, since 52Kards and Disturb Reality blew up...

Again, on a tangent, while I feel all this does make magic so much beautiful if a performer transforms it into art (and becomes an artist themself) YET I feel this strong urge to grumble and groan at how other art forms have it so much easier, (forgive my language but...) DAMN magic *is* hard T_T
 

WitchDocIsIn

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Sep 13, 2008
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The concept of "provide value now and hope you get paid later" is disgusting to me.

My mortgage company doesn't accept exposure to keep me from losing my house. The grocery store doesn't take "I'll pay you when people respect me" when I need to eat.

The point I'm trying to get across is this - the reason the magic market is flooded with crap is because creators all learn that cranking out $5 downloads is an effective way to make a quick buck and that putting effort into creating a quality product is an utter gamble that is as likely to bomb as it is to pay off.

The high price ranges of things that don't need to cost anywhere near that, and the strictly limited print runs, are the result of creators knowing they'll only get x amount of time worth of sales out of anything they put their blood sweat and tears into.

People thinking they are entitled to another person's work is why those people aren't encouraged to put out the work they actually care about. Not only that, but how can we expect laymen to think magic is worth paying proper pricing for if we, as a community, treat it with so little respect?

Again, on a tangent, while I feel all this does make magic so much beautiful if a performer transforms it into art (and becomes an artist themself) YET I feel this strong urge to grumble and groan at how other art forms have it so much easier, (forgive my language but...) DAMN magic *is* hard T_T

There is nothing in magic that makes it more difficult than any other theatrical art. The problem is that WAY too many magicians think they can do it all.

Being an actor is difficult - learning to memorize scripts, express someone else's emotions, etc. is tricky.

Being a writer is difficult - creating engaging and immersive stories that keep people wanting more.

Being a director is difficult - taking a group of people and getting them to convey a story effectively.

Being a juggler or other physical skill demonstrator is difficult - learning these skills and keeping them up to performance quality takes constant practice.

But any of those on their own are perfectly manageable with training. The problem with magic is that magicians seem to think they need to do all of those things on their own. The physical skills are about the same as good object manipulation. The acting skills are around the same or less than actual acting if you ask me. Directing the show is the same, really. But people think, "I can do a card sleight so I must be good enough to do every aspect of theatrical production myself".

If magicians learned to respect their 'art' enough to take the steps to make it the best it could be, they'd find it much easier to do so.
 
Jun 18, 2019
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The concept of "provide value now and hope you get paid later" is disgusting to me.
*drags Brian Brushwood in front and crouches behind him*

Being an actor is difficult - learning to memorize scripts, express someone else's emotions, etc. is tricky.

Being a writer is difficult - creating engaging and immersive stories that keep people wanting more.

Being a director is difficult - taking a group of people and getting them to convey a story effectively.

Being a juggler or other physical skill demonstrator is difficult - learning these skills and keeping them up to performance quality takes constant practice.
Yeah but there's no secrecy there. There's no make-belief, that let's assume I'm acting well, nah. I'm acting well or writing well because I simply am. I don't have to be good at one thing but make it seem as if I'm doing another thing and good at that impossible thing--- It's complicated sometimes. And if we take the simplest, no-joke-direct definition as magic, that is the word magic at its simplest face value...

Singers sing.
Dancers dance.
Writers write.
Actors act.
Directors direct.
Jugglers juggle.

But magicians *don't* do magic.
 
Jun 18, 2019
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The concept of "provide value now and hope you get paid later" is disgusting to me.
Oh and, since I quoted Brushwood on that, I feel I have the responsibility of making sure the correct context of the quote gets out (which everybody can still disagree to, of course)

He specifically said that for content SOLELY online. And you'll find that that's the reason many online services have things like 'first purchase free' because they provide value first.
 

WitchDocIsIn

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Sep 13, 2008
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But magicians *don't* do magic.

While I agree that most magicians don't do magic, I agree because most magicians don't actually understand what is magical.

The more I learn about theatrical skills the more I realize why it's so easy to train an actor to perform magic and so difficult to train a magician to act.

I've been involved with a variety of skills throughout my life. Sleight of hand fits right in with all the rest of the fine motor skills I've learned over the years. The important skills that separate juggling from magic are the acting and story telling.

The physical skills of magic just take practice and the willingness to accept guidance when given. Learning to present those skills in such a way that is interesting (in the least) can be a challenge, but again if one does what any other theatrical endeavour does, and works with directors, writers, etc. then it becomes much easier.
 
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While I agree that most magicians don't do magic, I agree because most magicians don't actually understand what is magical.

The more I learn about theatrical skills the more I realize why it's so easy to train an actor to perform magic and so difficult to train a magician to act.

I've been involved with a variety of skills throughout my life. Sleight of hand fits right in with all the rest of the fine motor skills I've learned over the years. The important skills that separate juggling from magic are the acting and story telling.

The physical skills of magic just take practice and the willingness to accept guidance when given. Learning to present those skills in such a way that is interesting (in the least) can be a challenge, but again if one does what any other theatrical endeavour does, and works with directors, writers, etc. then it becomes much easier.

You're not wrong about any of that, but I think the issue she's talking about is the whole veil of secrecy that magic has and other performing arts don't. That absolutely can make it difficult, especially with a lot of magicians disparaging the more accessible methods of entry, like youtube.
 
Jun 18, 2019
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The more I learn about theatrical skills the more I realize why it's so easy to train an actor to perform magic and so difficult to train a magician to act.
And that's hitting the nail directly, exactly on it's head, Sir!

You're not wrong about any of that, but I think the issue she's talking about is the whole veil of secrecy that magic has and other performing arts don't. That absolutely can make it difficult, especially with a lot of magicians disparaging the more accessible methods of entry, like youtube.
True.

And so we return to the original topic and I guess the answer is that while it IS my right as a creator (say) to receive complete compensation for whatever moves or effects I invent, I think a bit of that can be sacrificed (voluntarily, if the creator so wishes especially) to allow magic to be more accessible, only so much so as to allow newer people to get sucked in.
(?)
 
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