Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Dave Vaught's Dilemma

So let's go into the great world of proper crediting. Crediting is like the holy rule in magic. You need to credit every single thing you do if you didn't come up with it. It seems to be a unique thing among magicians. I cannot recall an instance within the juggling world. But it's a good habit. It shows how creative processes work and is a really good tool for research.

Let's assume the following scenario: You create an effect. All by yourself. A card trick. A gimmicked version of Twisting the Aces ending with a color change of the back of the cards. Let's further assume you decide that this is so good that you want to market this. Wouldn't this be the point of doing serious research. Show it to knowledgeable friends who could tell you what this tricks reminds them of.

This is where Dave Vaught comes in. A professional entertainer from Bristol. he owns a magic shop and has released a packet trick called Dave's Dilemma. Here is a video:

Does this remind of of something? Who hasn't seen ALL of Michael Ammar? An effect by John Cornelius perhaps?

So have we got a case of independent creation? Probably not! Here's why. When creating it is very, very likely that I take existing ideas and push them further. I combine old stuff to create new stuff. That's how the creative process works. So throwing a double backer into a packet of four cards could indeed be come up with again. Imagine writing a short story. Unbeknownst to your consciousness you worked in a structure or a plot twist you have read years ago. So not knowing about it you bunch together a whole lot of stuff that came from DIFFERENT sources. The overall story could still be called your own. (Hell, every single element in the Harry Potter books is lifted from other books)

However if the whole story is a 100% copy of the original source. With no change, this is no longer an independent creation. This is called a rip off.

I give Dave Vaught the benefit of a doubt by saying that for some reason he is unaware of his blatant copy. I even go so far that I believe that he believes this is truly his own... until I read a thread on the green monster about this very issue.

The fact was made aware to Dave Vaught. Yet he continues selling the trick as "Dave's Dilemma". All he did was adding "credit"....

....Excuse me!....

... adding "credit". What the fuck? It is not yours to sell. Have you got permission by John Cornelius? I think not. Again this is not a legal issue. Again this is a moral one.

And moral and magicians.... that's like environmental issues and politics. Whenever we feel like it. I guess!


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