Wednesday, June 22, 2011

On Creative Ownership and Crediting

The HaLo Cut is a perfect example of a move that ANYBODY could have come up with. And some come up with it, not knowing about the HaLo Cut. Then someone points out to them that Harry Lorayne has come up with this 40 years before that. Does the cancel the creative ownership of that move automatically?

No of course it does not. If you came up with it, you can be damn proud. If you gonna publish a routine including this, you might add that Harry Lorayne did something similar but you came up with this yourself. But you don't have to do that. Simply because Harry Lorayne had nothing to do with it.

Another example is the principle of the false transfer. ANYBODY could have come up with it. It is not a mind blowing mystery that only reveals itself to the most elite of magic geniuses. I have not read any publication involving the principle crediting it's first publication in the "Discovery of Witchcraft".

Another example is the dual world principle in mentalism. I never saw anyone crediting Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale "The Emperor's New Clothes".

Another example is the subtlety in a the classic color change of a card, where not one card is added from the palm to the face of the deck, but three or four, allowing to thumb off the changed card without the first card to show up. Anyone who played around with that move eventually comes up with this.

So if you publish something credits are nice... because they help research. Do dead people need crediting? Well, technically no, as they will not care. They are dead. Some might say, it's not to stroke their ego, but to honor them. Well if that is your main concern, go for it.

But if you came up with something, independently from someone else who happened to have had the same idea before you, you do not need to credit him. Unless you wanna stroke this person's ego, honor him or make research easier.

Why involve another person in YOUR creative ownership? Just because people tell you to? Do some thinking!


chris said...

i know what you mean. lots of times magicians come up with something and then someone comes along and says, oh thats done already, it puts lots of people down. I recently started working on a project with a gimmick that i came up with but someone else created a similar version and i received some flack from it. but it doesnt get me down. it forced me to try to evolve the idea into something new and better.

Jacko said...

Just to play devil's advocate. If I was working on something specific, say something from Marlo's Revolutionary Card Technique and I happened upon something new or different, I would definitely credit it as inspiration.

However, If I came upon something completely independently, I might not/probably wouldn't credit it.

Gordon said...

It's easy to rationalize why you think you don't need to do it. But it doesn't make it right. Excuses are a dime a dozen, as the saying goes. If that's the sort of person you want to be, it's your choice, but don't ask me to condone it. Willfully ignoring our history serves nobody but yourself.

Markus said...

If it is truly a matter of independent creation, then recognition of another's work is merely courtesy. Your ideas, are your ideas. One can not be expected to know everything that someone else has created.

However if you were inspired, or lead to a certain concept through another's work that is a totally different situation.