NEWS - May 2005:
I have recently received threats, both via email and personally, demanding that I take this web page down. The arguments were
A: I am using copyrighted images. (It is legal to use images in order to make comparisons. Pepsi & Coke do it all the time in each other's commercials. It comes under 'fair use' in the copyright act and is permitted for purposes such as criticism, review, news reporting, etc.).
B: This page contains slander. (I think they mean libel, slander is the spoken word. There is no slander here).
The threats to me included lawsuits (which would be thrown out of court), being investigated by the IRS (I'm Australian, so not too worried there), and shrouded "you don't want me as an enemy" threats. Threats were carried out by one man who called several magic shops to spread lies about us. When we confronted him about this he admitted doing it and felt justified because we had created this page.
So just in case someone hacks our ISP and destroys this page in order to prevent magicians from knowing about their "copy" products, we recommend that supporters of this page copy it a spread it all over the world wide web. They may take one of us out, but the others will continue to fight the good fight!
FAQ: "Is there some way for inventors to protect their inventions using copyrights or patents and then pressing charges when their inventions are copied? I only hear of when magic effects get copied, but I never hear about the original inventors challenging the copy manufacturers."
ANSWER: Most magic is invented by individual magicians, not companies. In the case of 'Healed & Sealed Soda' for example, it was invented by Anders Moden from Sweden. Once it was copied by another magic manufacturer and released on DVD as 'Crushed & Cured Cola' there was a perfect opportunity for him to sue. However, putting aside the fact that he lives on the other side of the world, he would first have to spend thousands of dollars assembling a legal team and putting together a case. The other manufacturer would argue that their product was different (the method is slightly different, not an improvement it actually leaves the can unexaminable, but in the eyes of the law that small change would be enough to throw the case out). Even if Anders was able to win, all that he would achieve at best would be to stop the company selling that particular product. Would he get damages? Probably not. Would he have his legal expenses covered? Maybe, maybe not.
When you weigh up the potential income for an inventor for a trick (usually only a few thousand dollars at the very best - exceptions like D'Lite and Card-toon are rare) the cost of suing a company is generally more than the profit.
On the other hand, the copy companies know the law and change the product just enough to avoid being successfully sued.
Even patented products like D'Lite are copied. Thousands of 'Light up thumbs' pour out of factories in China. When D'Lite sues them the general practice is to continue manufacturing until the last minute then declare yourself bankrupt a day or two before you are due to go to court. Suing a bankrupt company is fruitless. Generally the company will start up again under a new name and the process starts all over again.
The legal system, though well intentioned, works best for those with the funds to use it properly. In our small community of magicians, we need to rely on the ethical system instead
"HOW CAN I SUPPORT MAGIC FAKERS?"
1 - Drop us a line and let us know that you agree with our ideal to try to eliminate "rip-offs" in the magic world and send us a link to your home page. We'll add your link to our 'Magic Fakers is supported by' list.
2 - Spread the word about the Magic Fakers page and encourage others to check here before making their next magic purchase.
3 - Do your homework before buying, or releasing, a magic product. Respect the rights of the creators in our industry because without them there would be no industry.