Question(s) about Rights...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by SIWSMLEG, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. if you were to hear about / read about an effect that was published in writing and devised your own method and handling for it, without knowledge of the original version... would credit still be given to the original trick creator... perhaps would it matter if the method devised was the same or different... the same for the handling... just a few questions... what is the general consensus?
  2. There is no general consensus. Just follow your own moral compass.
  3. if it is simply a variation on a trick you can credit it by saying "inspired by..."
  4. Obviously, research should be done into comparing methods. Also, at the very least, credit the original as inspiration, even if the end effects (and/or handlings) are completely different.

    Personally, I would also advise contacting the original creator and running what you have by them.

    In general, just make every effort you can to prevent stepping on anyone's toes.

    This is, of course, if you are planning on publishing your method. If you are merely playing around with something, unless you will be performing it to a very public audience, ie, televised, then crediting/contacting creators is not a big concern. Just don't be telling every one it's something all your own ;)

    At least that's my opinion.
  5. There IS a general concensus.

    If you plan on publishing or releasing the trick commercially, you must give credit. If the item is recent and a commercial offering (being sold via book, dvd, or trick) then you should also get permission.

    But this begs the question, if you honestly don't know the original's method, then how can you be sure you are not offering a knock off let alone an inferior idea?

    To claim sanctuary in ignorance is a bad idea.

    If you intend only to perform the idea, then the ethical thing is to compensate the creator by purchasing his work.

    Again, to intentionally remain ignorant of their method is to try and create with only one eye open. Why cheat youself, your audience, and the creator?

    If your goal is simply that of a creative excercise, there are no concerns.

  6. Like has been already said, while credit is not necessarily required, it is usually expected (there has been some backlash in the past (as well as recently) when a few companies/creators haven't given proper credit when they released some effects).

    Like hasn't yet been mentioned, the reason credit is usually expected is because without the prior effect to give you the inspiration to create the new effect, you likely would not have created the effect in the first place. That creative step (coming up with a concept/idea) is generally overlooked as a small step, but it's definitely an important one, as it leads to everything else that follows (coming up with what you want the effect to look like, the method of achieving that, etc).

    I hope that helps! :)
  7. That may be what you think, but it is not a general consensus in any way shape or form.
  8. Would you not say that it is the general professional consensus? All reputable books that I own have followed this procedure. On which point, if you do, do you disagree? Not attacking you or anything, just curious.
  9. I think the procedure should be, if in doubt, give credit. I can't really see any reason to deliberately avoid doing this, unless you wish to try and hide the fact that your "invention" isn't totally original. Most serious magicians will probably want to vary your effect anyway to suit their own style, so having some reference to extra source material is useful in this process.
  10. As per usual, I would listen to Glen West on this one - he has many of his own effects and has been through the process.

    You may think, wow, that is so much work - but it is supposed to be. It is respectful, in good ethic code, and allows us to keep our magic history. Imagine you put something out and said you created it, without doing research, in the corporate world - YOU WOULD BE SUED - as the world respects origin - however, in magic, we want SO badly to put our own stamp on something - we don't always correctly pay our respect to those whose shoulders we have stood on to create these items.

    Think of it this way - REALLY what is original in your magic - did you create the DL? Pass? Cull?

    I know guys that credit ALL of it - any time a sleight is done - it is always based on something before it.

    Look at Lee Asher's crediting on Pulp Friction - the guy credits stuff that is different, yet inspired him, so he credited it. Why wouldn't you? It makes us all take magic more an academic study of our moves/history/craft.

    So - again - read what Glen said and TeeDee is right - when it doubt - CREDIT!
  11. Really joshua? And your expertise stems from where exactly? The ellusionist forum? The magic cafe?

    How does your position reconcile the published statements of the IBM or SAM? How does it reflect the general concensus of magic magazine reviewers or the advertising policies of major magic magazines? What about the general positions published by men such as sadowitz, racherbaumer or any vetted name in the magic community?

    In fact, can you offer one published source that runs contrary to that which I offer - someone preferable who has not been accused of theft?


  12. Andi Gladwin also deserves a mention for impressive crediting in 52 Memories, Jack Parker's book - I love reading that stuff, credits influences as well as literal roots.

  13. Let me take a swing at this post, and the bellow at once.

    You [Spoken in the cosmic sense. I'm not addressing you in particular Praetoritevong] are assuming that the person asking the question is planning to market the [insert whatever]. From what he said I don't get that impression at all.

    If he was going to market it, you cannot copyright an idea. Thus I could take Chris Kenner's Twister, change one tiny detail, give it a new name, and pass it of as original without fear of being sued. Those two things in mind, legality is not an issue. So, all that is left is ethics to guide us. Let's look at some scenarios.

    First scenario: Let's say I saw an effect that was called Twister that inspired me to make something I call Pocket Full of Re-set: Clutch Edition. (Here on referred to as "my trick".) This effect calls for a Riffle Pass, a Top Change, a Palm, and a Zarrow Shuffle. Am I going to run down through the list and credit Mr. Zarrow, Erdnase, and who knows what all? Of course not! That would be silly.

    Second scenario: Lets say that I see twister, then run off and make up my own method. Sure I'm not original, but the person who made the trick wasn't either! He was inspired by someone, who was inspired by someone else, and so on. All I have done is make a trick the same way Kenner did! Is the method the same as the Twister? If so then I can't market my version of Twister, (Kenner beat me to it.) but it's still just as much mine as Kenner's. I thought of it after all!

    There are as many opinions on this as there are magicians, but one thing is for sure: no one besides you decides what should happen here. You shouldn't be concerned with what other people think, you should do what you think is right!

    Third scenario: I'm going to market my trick. I would give credit so I could avoid problems such as over ethical magi not buying my effect, not because of what I thought about weather it is ethical or not.

  14. Hmm - actually joshua - you should credit all those guys for their moves, many great pro's do - but honestly, if you want to deliver lowered expectations, that is fine...but I probably won't buy your book and look forward to seeing it get ripped by respected reviewers.

    First scenario rebuttal: Consider where you would be if you didn't have those moves by those greats to put your effect together...hell, sports figures thank can't even thank the giants of magic? It is this lack of crediting "common" moves that hurts magic - as WHAT if someone’s first book was YOURS? What are you teaching him - you created the move. This same crediting problem happens all the time with guys posting stuff on Youtube, and people think that person created it. SO - credit - credit the people before you, the moves...the effect...give the history...this is what makes magic better for all.

    Second scenario rebuttal: Here is the deal - if the method is the same and it's published - no, you can't market or publish it - and you are talking to a guy that has had stuff stolen that he created and shared...which is why I keep my stuff to myself. Think of it as something else - you can write a book - and if were word for word the couldn't re-publish's already in existence? Does that make sense?

    There are many opinions - but there are truths and opinions too...and the truth is - if you don't credit you are not doing magic justice. You are creating a gap in the history of an effect, because of laziness? I don't get it - Do what you feel is right? I would agree with that, but what is right is giving credit to those whose moves and effects have inspired and FED your effect to exist. I wonder if you don't respect the secrets because they came to you too easy - if you had to learn them by proving yourself to another magician or only had one book to learn from...rather than all these DVD's and Books that are usually not paid for...I wonder if you would realize the importance of thanking those before you, so people after you can look into their work - and perhaps learn from it.

    Edison didn't invent the light bulb, J. Swan did, it wasn't until he hired a group of scientist to research others past mistakes and successes....he then realized he was re-inventing the wheel (or the bulb) in making the same errors - and his work was pushed forward BIG TIME by OTHERS work - he then invented the modern light bulb...hmm, where would we be if nobody created their past the dark!

    Where will magic be if we stop giving credit to those who worked hard on magic so you could have a book of card moves that you would have NEVER thought of in your lifetime!?

    Third scenario rebuttal: I will never buy anything from you - as I think it is ridiculous that you would credit to sell more...but not credit to improve magic. It is scenario that made me realize I may have wasted my time.

    Good luck with magic - it's too bad you don't want to leave better than you found it...and when I say too bad...I mean childish.
  15. Joshua: I'm a little bit confused, so I'm hoping you can clear this up for me. If, in your hypothetical situations, you weren't planning to market the first two "situations" and only the third, where would you have credited these people in the first place, and why? Crediting is only an issue with tricks that you market anyway. I'm not trying to be rude, I'm just trying to understand what you're saying, thanks. :)

    Where I do disagree with you, though, is in scenario two. You say that because you watch someone else's performance and create "your own" method (which happens to be the same), it makes the trick (or the method, I'm not sure what you're referring to--either way, it's beyond the point) just as much yours as his? Aren't you ignoring the fact that you watched his performance, and created a handling based on how you saw him perform it? I wouldn't consider someone who does that an "inventor" by any means...neither the idea nor the handling would be yours. The reason I say the handling wouldn't be yours, despite your coming up with it "independently" is because when you watch a performance, as a magician, you get certain cues as to how something is done--it's hard not to tell when someone uses a double lift, for example, when you see it--there are just certain cues that you pick up on as a magician. Whether you do it consciously or not, you are picking up on it, and it's influencing your "creative process" from then on.

    I dunno, that's just how I see it.
  16. I would like to quote Lee Asher here;

    "If you don't credit anyone, who will credit you?"

    ...the rest is up to you.
  17. So essentially, I could steal an effect you created in its entirety, both the routine and the sleights, and by changing your original control for a pass, and I shouldn't have to care about crediting you at all (unless I'm selling it, in which case I should just to make sure I can extract every cent from your creation)? I wouldn't credit your routine, on which my "new" effect was based, I wouldn't credit your sleights, which you created over several years, because hey, they were probably inspired by something else too.

    That's pretty much the culmination of what you're arguing...
  18. Well, you could say that he inspired me to make his trick.

    Listen guys, I personally take the ethical high road when it comes to these sort of things, both to avoid conflict, and because I wouldn't like it if someone didn't credit me! Also I wouldn't "steal" someone else's effect. What I would do though is not run down the list and credit people for the Pass and stuff like that.

    So what was all that about? Well those were the arguments I've heard from various magicians, and I can kind of see it their way. Can't you? The whole point is that you don't have to give credit. In fact you can "get away with it" easily. So it's up to you SIWSMLEG, you make the choice and don't worry about what everybody else is doing.

  19. Joshua: Ohh, right. That didn't even cross my mind--it's so automatic for me to just say "This is my take on so-and-so's trick" when performing a similar trick to someone else's that I didn't even think of it as an issue, heh.

    Also, I agree--you don't have to give credit. However, not doing so kind of takes away from how you'll be seen by other professional magicians.

    Beyond that, I don't see why you (general "you") wouldn't want to cite your sources--what better way to lend strength to your method then to show that it was built on the backs of the giants of magic? This is one of the arguments as to why it's important to cite your sources in any scientific fields, as well, which is what led to my applying it to magic, since it fits so well.

    So no, you don't have to cite your sources, but it definitely doesn't hurt you to do so (on the flipside, it can definitely hurt you to not cite your sources--look at the early days of Ellusionist videos when they didn't cite their sources. It caused a huge backlash against them, to the point where they reedited their videos to include sources just to save face).
  20. Comes down to this from what I have seen in my many years of watching the magic community in action.

    There is no such thing as the magic police. However, there are people who will call you out and hurt your feelings if you don't credit properly.

    I know people who go above and beyond crediting and I know people who leave out a few things here and there.

    I will give you this bit of advice. If you decide to publish something that was derived from someone who is still alive, you better find a way to contact that person, ask for permission then discuss your new move/trick and make sure it is okay with all parties involved and credit everyone. Many magic friendships are made and broken by this one little tidbit.

    Anyway. That's all I got right now.



Share This Page

{[{ searchResultsCount }]} Results