Magician Dinged For Copyright Infringement For Doing The Same Trick

from the nothing-up-my-sleeve dept

A few years back, we wrote about how the magic industry was an example of a creative industry that thrived without intellectual property protection. As we noted at the time:
The magic community uses social norms to reward those who discover new magic tricks and punishes those who disclose them to non-magicians. Because magicians rely so much on their professional network of other magicians to learn about new tricks, new equipment, and new performance opportunities, maintaining a good reputation within the magic community is essential to the career of a successful magician. A magician who uses another magician's trick without giving the originator proper credit, or who reveals secrets to non-magicians, is shunned by other magicians. That kind of ostracism can be a much better (not to mention cheaper) way of disciplining wayward members than getting the lawyers involved.
But in this age where the maximalists of the world seem to think that everything creative must involve copyright, apparently that's changing. A recent legal dispute in the Netherlands has ended with a magician having to pay $16,725 to another magician for doing the same trick. The magician argued that there was no "secret" in the trick and that lots of other magicians did the same thing, but the court said it was infringing.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 1:22pm

    That article ends on a weirdly whimsical note, as though the reporter was crushing on the magician:

    Klok, whose long blond hair is constantly swept by a wind that seems to arise from nowhere, said he will reshuffle his act after Wednesday’s ruling.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 2:14pm

    I'm worried

    What will happen when hookers start suing other hookers for doing the same 'tricks'? Pimps are going to have to start raising prices for legal funds! Oh the humanity....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    ScytheNoire, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 2:25pm

    Copyright is way out of control

    What's next?

    Porn star sues others for doing same sexual position?
    Gamer sues because others are using cheat he found?
    Techdirt sued because they had similar editorial to another website?

    Copyright is so broken, so far gone, that it will take some extreme measures to fix it, if it can even be fixed.

    At this point, we'd be much better off in a world without Copyright, and think of all the good that wasted money could go towards. Same goes for Patents.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 2:29pm

    Re: Copyright is way out of control

    "What's next?
    Porn star sues others for doing same sexual position?
    Gamer sues because others are using cheat he found?
    Techdirt sued because they had similar editorial to another website?"

    Hey, those are next weeks headlines!

     

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  5.  
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    PlagueSD (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 2:44pm

    ...and for my next trick, I'm going to make $16,725 disappear.

    Can I have a volunteer??

     

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  6.  
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    Tech42 (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 2:44pm

    Re: Re: Copyright is way out of control

    Next week's headlines?!

    Just wait until lawyers work out the details of retroactive infringement; then we'll see some real fireworks!

     

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  7.  
    icon
    Jeffhole (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 2:44pm

    My daughter has fun at the park. If anyone elses daughter also has fun at the park I'm going to sue their asses off.

     

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  8.  
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    slopoke (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 2:44pm

    Re: Re: Copyright is way out of control

    So, when Techdirt uses tham next week he can sue for copywrite infringement :-)

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 2:47pm

    Can I copyright masturbation techniques?

     

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  10.  
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    Jeffhole (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 2:53pm

    Re:

    Beat you to it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 2:54pm

    But without patents, magicians would never reveal their secrets!!

    Oh, wait ...

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 2:56pm

    Pick a card . . . of crime!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 3:02pm

    Re: Re:

    God, you're such a jerkoff

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 3:08pm

    Re:

    dun dun duuuuunnn

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 3:16pm

    Well, social pressure should be put on the one who sued.

    Actually, this piece just says you've no knowledge of human nature:
    "A few years back, we wrote about how the magic industry was an example of a creative industry that thrived without intellectual property protection. ... apparently that's changing."

    Quit living in the 20th century, Mike. That was an idyllic time when The Rich were briefly suppressed, but now everyone is trying to imitate them.

    Anywhere money is a goal -- particularly when it comes easily and the basis of the biz is in fooling the public -- then it's going to bring out the typical human response to stifle competition any way that can be thought of.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 3:34pm

    Re: Well, social pressure should be put on the one who sued.

    The people dumb enough to believe that money is the answer to problems will find themselves without it.

    Real work, people producing something no matter what the conditions are the real solution, just like ants don't work for money and can create large colonies or bees or any other social beings.

    At the end of the day it all ends on the simple fact that work done equals prosperity, money is not that, it is a tool that it is showing its limitations, other countries like China wouldn't be able to grow if it was just about money, it is about work they work for way less and produce things, Americans are losing their jobs because nobody wants to produce anything without money, maybe they should rethink that or face a real threat of being thrown into the developing world class.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 3:40pm

    Re: Re: Well, social pressure should be put on the one who sued.

    "being thrown into the developing world"

    I wouldn't suggest doing that. The developing world is starving, and lest just say Americans look suspiciously like well-fed pigs, they might be mistaken for them.

    mmmmm, American bacon.

     

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  18.  
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    Valis (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 3:41pm

    Re:

    More like he took poetic license with the translation. The original Dutch reads; "De illusionist met de weelderig wapperende haardos...". "Weelderig"="luxuriant", and "wapperende" can be translated as "windswept" :P Apparently he's famous for his hairdo, hehe.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 3:43pm

    Re: Well, social pressure should be put on the one who sued.

    So.... then you support the complete abolishment of copyright and IP laws worldwide?

    I'm so proud, ootb.

     

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  20.  
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    Valis (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 3:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Well, social pressure should be put on the one who sued.

    The great irony is, the obese Americans are also suffering from malnutrition.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 3:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Well, social pressure should be put on the one who sued.

    sorry, but they'll never convince me that your American malnutrition is the same as underfed malnutrition. Sure, they may be missing some vitamins and minerals, but try not eating for a few days and lets compare.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 3:58pm

    Re: Well, social pressure should be put on the one who sued.

    No one said magicians wore not trying to make money until now. All thats being said is that the ways magicians normally make money don't involve copyright, that appears to be changing.

     

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  23.  
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    Fabio, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 4:07pm

    Re: Re:

    I will get my lawyers on that right away.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 4:07pm

    Re: Re: Well, social pressure should be put on the one who sued.

    yet more money for the lawyers, gain. Hooray? Better get that law degree then, looks like even in these hard times it's a booming business.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 4:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Well, social pressure should be put on the one who sued.

    Europe isn't 'the developing world'

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 4:27pm

    Re:

    Chance or community chest?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 4:29pm

    Re:

    While your having fun with it... I think its been done.
    Some of the "lengthening exercises" out there are marketed and sold and are nothing more than special ways to work your junk.

     

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  28.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 4:39pm

    fixed

    Where's the fixed medium now, bitches?

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    dwg, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 4:40pm

    Um...

    ...I don't mean to spoil the party, but this ruling happened in the Netherlands. Dutch law does contain some significant differences from US Copyright law, and those difference could at least go some distance to explaining why this ruling could happen there and not here. That's not to say it couldn't happen here, but the instant conflation of their laws with ours in order to show how stupid copyright protection is is kind of a stretch, and one folks should at least be aware they're making.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    dwg, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 4:42pm

    Re: fixed

    dude, that was awesome.

     

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  31.  
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    Calvin (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 4:45pm

    Re: I'm worried

    Think of the fun that could be had if the NFL allowed teams to copyright plays!!!!

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    europeeon, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 4:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Well, social pressure should be put on the one who sued.

    Coulda fooled me.
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_MkbiuJCuROI/S6wjy9kEaSI/AAAAAAAAAL0/FGaxHJdZV1s/s1600/7149.jpg

    Having driven across Europe, it sure felt like it compared to driving across America.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 4:48pm

    Now it's only a matter of time before someone goes to jail for pulling a rabbit out of a hat without a license.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
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    Prashanth (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 4:49pm

    You're a magician right?

    If you're a magician, can you make the lawsuit disappear?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 5:02pm

    Re: Re: Copyright is way out of control

    You copied the post above, you will be contacted by my lawyers. -ScytheNoire

    Now, I just need to sue TechDirt to get your "real" identity.
    Then, I'll have to sue your computer manufacture.
    Then, sue your 3rd party mouse maker.
    Then, sue your IP.
    Then, sue the manufacture of the chair you’re sitting in.
    Then, sue your parents for giving you birth.
    Then, sue….

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 5:04pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Blow me. Oh, sorry, wrong category...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 8:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Well, social pressure should be put on the one who sued.

    Honestly, don't go there. Some of us do go without food for a few days at a time. A cup of ramen isn't a meal, and isn't enough for that last week of the month.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 12:48am

    Re: I'm worried

    You better run out and patent the swirl. It would seem to fit the definition of a useful art.

     

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  39.  
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    Richard (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 2:35am

    Re: Um...

    Plus I think everyone missed on important phrase in the linked article.

    The plaintif was a former sidekick. This is not about one magician copying another "from the outside" this is about someone who developed a trick for his boss and (feels he) hasn't been properly paid for the work. Although it seems that copyright law has been used here - it isn't a normal copyright case.

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    Mark Gisleson, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 6:19am

    Re: Um...

    Also, the WaPost article was pretty thin but they seemed to describe the "act" as being protected as much as the trick. In fact, I'm not sure it was the trick so much as it was the staging.

    I'd like to learn more about this decision. Is the actual illusion being protected, or the act? Both acts used a butler. That seems to have been an easily changeable part of the act.

    Not the best news article, imho.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Knuckles MacDonald, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 8:25am

    I'm bigger than you and I make the rules

    I've always been a bit confused re: patents vs. copyrights (thingies vs. ideas?)... whatever. I'll take the round wheels. You can have the square ones.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    icon
    Jeremy Lyman (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 8:25am

    Re:

    It's an illusion, Plague. A trick is something a whore does for money... or candy.

    I just bought this new illusion called The Aztec Tomb. It cost, like, eighteen grand.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 9:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Well, social pressure should be put on the one who sued.

    across America on a 'highway' I assume right? Like the autobahn? The most sophisticated and well maintained highway in the world. Thats the E.U.

    Or should I post pictures of Detroit and Jersey and the terrible roads there? You know, to supplement the non-European picture you posted. (the picture is from Eastern-Europe. Never really considered part of traditional Europe)
    So double fail my American friend

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Well, social pressure should be put on the one who sued.

    "Jersey and the terrible roads there?"
    Really please do. I quit frequently drive in the back woods of Jersey to go offroading and also drove across Europe a few years back can say I agree. Felt like a third world country. I imagine it could be considered "charm", but looked like trash. Even Jersey dirt roads were better. Sorry Eurotrash. Smile now.

    "(the picture is from Eastern-Europe. Never really considered part of traditional Europe)" Semantics, still eurotrash.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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