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.
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...
Labels: Angry Man of Magic