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Anti-piracy movement, like charity, should start in our homes and in ourselves.

Any unauthorized use, distribution, or reproduction of copyrighted/patented material (whether in video, printed, or electronic form) for the purpose of financial or material gain is considered piracy.

Says who?

Says me, of course.

Let’s examine our conscience, video shelf, library, and bag of tricks against the following list of acts of piracy:

1. Copying somebody’s routine/act.
2. Copying another magician’s patter.
3. Copying another performer’s presentation and style.
4. Duplicating music CDs.
5. Burning copyrighted video materials (VHS, VCD, DVD).
6. Photocopying books, lecture notes, and other copyrighted magic literature.
7. Knocking off tricks and props.
8. Electronic file sharing and swapping (ebooks, videos).

He who is sinless, let him cast the first stone.


DVDs are the easiest to duplicate of all media. That must be the reason for the proliferation of pirated copies hawked on street corners at ridiculously low prices.

I won’t cast the first, second or last stone…because I reserve the stones to the sanctimonious magicians.

They are recognizable in the way they explain away their copied acts as “derivative work” that they “improved”, “tweaked “, “added their own personality” and “innovation” by “adopting a new presentation” to “avail of artistic license.”

These are all erudite rationalizations. Erudite but not compelling. If a magician derives, improves, tweaks, adds, innovates, adopts and avails artistic license of an act, it probably was not his originally. If he did not ask permission from the originator to do all or any of this, then he may be guilty of the very act he is “anti” of.

Stay away from the pirates if you must, but don’t be dazzled by the “holier than thou” moralism of the pirates’ cousins, the Holy Amazing the Greats.

Stay magical,



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