Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Angry Man of Magic - To the left. To the left


Because you have no rights! Not because I'm writing this from North Korea - where copyright law are as genuine as Olympic tickets for the men's wheelchair triple jump - but because those secrets that we hold so dear can not be protected under law. It's a set of instructions, and as such can not be secured. (It's the same for recipes, BTW.) You can protect the expression of the idea, but not the idea itself. If you didn't hear me first time, let me just repeat this for the hard of thinking : you can protect the expression of the trick, but not the trick itself.

But magicians (on magic forums, notably) still want to claims to have rights to tricks, and to discuss these points ad infinitum.

Whisky Tango Foxtrot?

The law governing the copyright in this area has not changed for many, many, years. Do you think it'll change because Dai Vernon showed you a double undercut in the lift, and told you that only you may perform it? Why are you citing a case of magician A asserting their "rights" over a trick that was settled out of court? It was settled out of court because magician A has a bigger war chest than magician B. No rights were exchanged, and none were proven. Stop using it to prove a point, as the only point it proves is that you're up inside yourself like a set of matryoshka dolls.

Phrases like "the only one allowed to perform this trick" are meaningless.

If you create an effect the only right you have are moral rights. They are asserted with kind words and loaded guns. Share the uniqueness of your work with the community, so anyone copying looks like the pale imitation they are. If you're buying an effect, buy only from the creator (or their agents) to keep your moral compass true. Don't encourage the immoral releases. But as a creator, accept the law as it stands and stop whining - or start training and work to change it.

In short...

If you want to protect the method - patent it, and hope it's original. (yeah, right!)
If you want to protect the presentation - copyright the script, choreography, or whatever it is you do.
If you want to protect the trick - I have some snake oil to sell you...


observer said...

Angry man of magic, I'm not sure if you have been waiting for a response like mine deliberately or if you are just a pig headed cunt. You are not funny, and from what I've seen so far, you are not getting better either. Please stop defiling rolands page.

observer said...

angry man of magic? more like slightly aggravated man who wants to be humorous

Roland said...

The cool thing about my blog is the fact that I allow different opinions. I don't delete them like many forums and blogs. So your comment will be here. And so will be the Angry Man of Magic.

Instead going out calling someone a pig headed cunt you could, be more civil if you have different views.

The past has shown, that even in a heated debate often the readers have preserved their sense of "civilisation". And that's why I think highly of those readers who wish to participate. This is an offer!

observer said...

sorry roland i have a bad habit of releasing anger after it has been built up by trivial things. i will not do this again

Marplots said...

Please! Let's be more civil.

Try: "porcine-faced vagina."

Korbinian said...

Actually, I don't understand your anger. He is right, when he is talking about judicial situation. So why this anger? Just look it up in wikipedia or ask a lawyer, with a background in intellectual property rights. And I think his call for moral and ethical standards is absolutely justified.

So just once for real: Why does it seem to be impossible for some people to accept facts? I mean he didn't even voice a opinion. Just stating facts. What is going on here?

Tensai said...

lol, you kids are still worried about tricks? It's not the tricks that make a magician good, it's the magician that makes the tricks good. If ya have good presentation, you shouldn't have to worry about people copying ya, because even if they manage to copy your tricks, they can't copy you.
So instead of spending time worrying about people ripping ya off, why don't ya instead spend that time practicing. That way, even if someone does manage to copy your tricks, you can do them better.

Here is a quote for thought:
"The message of magic doesn't lie in the tricks themselves,

but in the sense of wonder and control provided by the character of the magician himself."

-Bob Cassidy

But then again, I'm Tensai. What do I know? You can take my advice, or not.

Tell ya what. You kids can stay here and debate about how to copyright your effects, and I'll go and practice my routine. That way, everyone is happy.

Trickster said...

2 x TS

The Smiling Mule said...

I've always thought the problem with exposure is not directly in giving secrets away, rather it indirectly cheapens and trivialises the whole thing.

Especially so when someone like Copperfield does it.

Couldn't give two hoots about the youtube morons exposing stuff, but I would have liked to have thunk that this kind of stuff is beneath the likes of Copperfield.

Oh well.

Tensai said...

Well, maybe if the likes of Mr Copperfield and such are giving away rubber band tricks, maybe that ought to tell people something.

Maybe magic isn't about the secrets, at all. Maybe, just maybe.... the real secret to magic is the performer himself. :O

Imagine that. A world in which magicians didn't spend so much time hoarding their precious secrets and spending more time developing their persona, making sure the audience had a good time.

This is what the great performers understand, that magic isn't about knowing a lot of secrets. If I may present an example:

Thriller Movies. They have twist endings. But the cool thing is, if it's a good movie, people will watch it more then once, even they know how it is going to end.

Food for thought my children, food for thought.

observer said...

kids? my Children?

observer said...

although I do agree with your point Tensai.

The Smiling Mule said...

Tensai, that is precisely my point. The secret doesn't matter. The image and perception does. By engaging in petty exposure, Copperfield is trivialising the rest of what he does.

It kills that perception of "well I know uncle Bob does a few cheap tricks, but THIS guy is something different."

Trickster said...

1 x Extra special bonus TS