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.