Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Is this a precedent?

So Hans Klok got sued by his former sidekick Rafael van Herck for copyright infringement. The court decided that the claim was just and Hans Klok needs to pay the sum of 16.000 US dollars. The routine involves Hans Klok reaching through his sidekicks body to grab a glass of water off a tray, then smacking off van Herck's head momentarily. Here is a link to a Washington Post article.

Keywords of the article are:
Klok argued the tricks are no secret in Las Vegas — one was even used by Siegfried & Roy. But the court ruled Van Herck’s combination is unique.

Here you see a version of that at 2:53. (Not actual routine, but the whole setup.)

So does that mean it is possible that we finally have a precedent, that we can sue fellow magicians if they use just two things in the same order that we do? If so... is that a good thing?


Tomsk192 said...


A disgruntled Rafael van Herck consults a rather brilliant lawyer, who sees an arguable case in IP.

Hans Klok receives writ and ignores it, as a damaging verdict would be not only unprecedented but (in his mind) unreasonable.

Crash, bang wallop! A new precedent is set. Genuinely bad luck, Hans.

Bedroom music producers have had to live for a long time with limited sample lengths, unless paying royalties to the samplee. (Which, as it happens I think is a good thing.)

The problem here, as I see it, is that the judgement comes from the top down. A major European magic performer is sued over Intellectual Property, but the same issues occur all the time in the magic world, and are often even more bitterly disputed, by individuals or limited companies who cannot afford to sue.

The issue is cash. "Don't sue if they can't pay" is a maxim. "Don't sue unless you have serious capita"l is another. Many people ignore these, and a very few who do get lucky. The music industry generates enough to sustain IP suits. But magic? Not in our lifetime, unless a magical master of jurisprudence steps in to settle it.

Bannon? Hollingworth? There are others...

Laurent said...

Glad you never sued me for that rope routine, Roland.

Roland said...