Let’s talk a bit more about protecting your marketed magic creations. I’m amazed at how many creators and magic companies don’t take the most basic step of copyrighting the art and ad copy for the magic tricks that they release.
Before we go any further, let me say that I do understand that technically you have the copyright to whatever art/ad copy as soon as it’s created, but you can’t enforce that without registering it with the copyright office. It costs about $65 to register a copyright, so it’s not a huge hurdle.
Once you have that copyright registration number, you can actually enforce it.
It’s been a while since I’ve gone onto AliExpress to have knock off products removed. I did a search and there were five knock off products.
There’s one listing that was blatantly using my copyright protected Evaporation artwork, so I filed a claim and that was taken down the next day. That left these four knock offs of my Evaporation trick.
All four of them use “Louie Foxx” and I own the trademark to that. Trademarks are like copyrights in that you technically have a trademark when you start using it in business, however you can’t really enforce it until you have it registered with the government. This cost about $300 and took some time to be approved, but it wasn’t difficult for me to do by myself without a lawyer.
My next step was to file a trademark violation with AliExpress and they immediately took down three of the four listings, and a new one popped up.
The new one that used my Evaporation artwork was pulled the next day, but there was still one listing left.
I’m not sure why this one wasn’t taken down by AliExpress with the rest of them as it’s a clear cut infringement on my trademark. I took a peek at the listing and noticed that in the listing they show my copyright protected instruction sheet.
That let me file a copyright claim as well as the trademark claim on the listing. The next day that listing was taken down and as of this morning there were no more products on AliExpress that I could find that used my trademark or copyrights!
It’s an easy process, I had probably 30 minutes total put into getting the listings pulled. It’s not hard to do, and I’m really surprised more magicians don’t take the very basic step of copyrighting their artwork. Sure you shouldn’t have to do this, but actually doing something is better than just whining about it!
Yesterday I did my second day of senior shows and it was a lot of fun. I think I may finally be figuring out how to make my coat hanger thru silk routine work. I just need to let the effect marinade and sit with the audience even longer. The trick is a very strong and visual trick, and I think brains just take a long time to process it.
Another thing I’m learning is how much people use their eyes to listen. When we listen we also do a lot of lip reading. When someone is masked, it’s harder to understand them because we can’t lip read. This makes a ton of sense looking into the past. For example my wife uses the captions when she watches movies on a smaller screen like her phone. It makes it easier for her to “hear”. Because of this I’m talking a lot more slowly and deliberately in my shows.
It’s an interesting idea, it’s basically a book that’s just one trick, with a lot of methods for it. It sounds like it’s a bit of a journey through how the trick was created. I haven’t really had a chance to dig into it yet, but I’m excited to read it!
This week I’m performing in Minot, North Dakota. I’ve worked out here many times over the years. When getting into town, I drove by a Menards hardware store.
Normally this isn’t a huge deal, but this is the hardware store where I bought all the stuff to create my Evaporation trick! It’s also the store where I bought a lot of the parts for all the previous unsuccessful versions of the trick.
Many magicians think that finished ideas just pop out of people’s heads, and while that does happen, it’s rarely the case. Usually it’s a idea, that eventually after a lot of work gets to the final idea.
The key is to trying to create a new method for a trick is to not give up. I tired many, many bad (in retrospect) ideas for how to make the trick bottle. However each bad idea taught me something, and they all moved me closer and closer to the final goal!
Many years ago I used to buy magic collections of magicians who had passed. I would keep the books or props that I wanted and resell the rest. It’s been a while since I have done that for myself. Last year a did sell off a collection of magic that was a friend of mine who had passed and all the money went to his son.
The other day I was contacted about a magic collection and went out and picked it up. The person had one of my Evaporation tricks, and this was from the original run of 36 that I sold at a magic convention in Canada.
One thing that I think people don’t realize is that most of the stuff in a magic collection is worthless. Usually about half is unsellable because it’s damaged, counterfeit or shipping would cost more than the prop.
You should be realistic about what your collection is worth and to not really count things that have a used value of less than $20. Sure, they do add up, but they are hard as hell to sell!
One of the hardest things to do is to sit down and try to come up with ideas. Your options are too broad, you need to narrow it down and give yourself some rules. Some examples would be doing trick with a dollar bill, or an animation that doesn’t use invisible thread. When I travel … Continue reading “Easy Way To Be Creative…”
One of the hardest things to do is to sit down and try to come up with ideas. Your options are too broad, you need to narrow it down and give yourself some rules. Some examples would be doing trick with a dollar bill, or an animation that doesn’t use invisible thread.
When I travel I make videos of magic tricks using things that I find in my hotel room. Limiting the main prop of the trick to things in the room narrows your focus.
Another way to narrow your focus is to find one of the calendars online that lists all of the national days. For example today is National Coffee Day. You then create a magic trick for whatever today is.
Here’s an example of three tricks that use a coffee cup that I did for the tricks in a hotel video series:
While scrolling through facebook, I saw that Dom Chambers got passed through to the semi-finals of America’s Got Talent. This was of interest to me as I had made a prop for him to use on the show. Here’s video of his act from AGT last night: He uses my Evaporation trick to pour the … Continue reading “Fun Surprise!!!”
While scrolling through facebook, I saw that Dom Chambers got passed through to the semi-finals of America’s Got Talent. This was of interest to me as I had made a prop for him to use on the show.
Here’s video of his act from AGT last night:
He uses my Evaporation trick to pour the beer into the video screen. The bottle was custom made for his act. It was a fun project, and I’m always glad to see people use magic that I’ve created!
How I’m using the Evaporation trick in my show right now is pretty simple. I take pour red liquid into a cup and when I turn the cup over a red ball falls out. Not much to it. There is one little thing that I sometimes have to do to the liquid. Sometimes the … Continue reading “Red Evaporation Trick”
How I’m using the Evaporation trick in my show right now is pretty simple. I take pour red liquid into a cup and when I turn the cup over a red ball falls out. Not much to it.
There is one little thing that I sometimes have to do to the liquid. Sometimes the liquid it too clear, so I have to make it a little more opaque. How I do that is simple add a few drops of non-dairy creamer to it and that makes it cloudy.
Using non-dairy creamer makes cleaning up the bottle little bit easier. Something in the dairy that makes the bottle get a little gross over time. There’s no reason why you can’t use milk, or half and half as long as you clean the bottle well after each use.
Lately I’ve been using the RED version of the Evaporation trick. Since I travel frequently I don’t always have the same access to juice that I’d have at home. For example when I travel my “orange juice” is actually Tang. For the red juice when I travel am am staying at a hotel that has … Continue reading “Red Evaporation”
Lately I’ve been using the RED version of the Evaporation trick. Since I travel frequently I don’t always have the same access to juice that I’d have at home. For example when I travel my “orange juice” is actually Tang. For the red juice when I travel am am staying at a hotel that has breakfast I use the following concoction:
Fill the bottle to the desired level with cranberry juice. This will work, however I prefer my juice a little darker, so I add a drop or two of coffee creamer and that will make the juice opaque.