A Dialogue on Rip-Off Artists between Walter “Zaney” Blaney and Peter Marucci

Dominik Magic’s Version of Bar Stool Levitation

Mr. Blaney’s “Open Letter” to Francesco Martorana of Studio Magic Dominik in Palermo, Italy was originally published on November 6, 2003.

AN OPEN LETTER TO FRANCESCO MARTORANA,

STUDIO MAGIC DOMINIK, PALERMO, ITALY

We the undersigned magicians ask that you stop building and marketing the following stage illusions. They are all proprietary illusions of the designated magic inventors.

1. #0005 Owen?s Magic/Bill Taylor Temple

2. #0006 Mark Wilson?s Train Sawing

3. #0014 Jim Steinmeyer?s Walking Through a Mirror

4. #0023 Franz Harary?s Slicer

5. #0024 Jim Steinmeyer?s Interlude

6. #0025 Jim Steinmeyer?s Pole Levitation

7. #0027 Jim Steinmeyer?s Origami

8. #0029 David Copperfield?s Death Saw

9. #0030

Dominik Magic’s Version of Bar Stool Levitation

Mr. Blaney’s “Open Letter” to Francesco Martorana of Studio Magic Dominik in Palermo, Italy was originally published on November 6, 2003.

AN OPEN LETTER TO FRANCESCO MARTORANA,

STUDIO MAGIC DOMINIK, PALERMO, ITALY

We the undersigned magicians ask that you stop building and marketing the following stage illusions. They are all proprietary illusions of the designated magic inventors.

1. #0005 Owen?s Magic/Bill Taylor Temple

2. #0006 Mark Wilson?s Train Sawing

3. #0014 Jim Steinmeyer?s Walking Through a Mirror

4. #0023 Franz Harary?s Slicer

5. #0024 Jim Steinmeyer?s Interlude

6. #0025 Jim Steinmeyer?s Pole Levitation

7. #0027 Jim Steinmeyer?s Origami

8. #0029 David Copperfield?s Death Saw

9. #0030 Doug Henning?s Water Levitation (Now owned by Kirby

Van Burch), with the Pendragon?s 360-degree revolving

feature.

10. #0031 Levitation with Pendragon?s 360 degree revolving feature.

11. #0032 Andre Kole?s Squeeze Box

12. #0034 Pendragon?s Crystal Sawing

13. #0040 Daniel Summers? Compressed

14. #0041 Jim Steinmeyer?s Modern Art

15. #0043 Gunter Puchinger?s/Chalet Magic – Mini Cube Zag

16. #0048 Jim Steinmeyer?s Acupuncture

17. #0049 Walter Zaney Blaney?s Ladder Levitation

18. No # Jim Steinmeyer?s Audience Dismember (Cutting a

Spectator in Half)

19. No # Jim Steinmeyer?s Windshear (Fan Illusion)

Mr. Martorana, you have not secured the building rights from any of these magic inventors, and you have given us no answer to our previous direct requests to stop.

An important segment of our magic craft is the constant invention and creation of new tricks and illusions.

Magic inventors must use their considerable knowledge of the art of deception; spend a lot of time in heavy thinking and inspiration, and finally take great risk and a good deal of their own money to develop, perfect and successfully market their new ideas.

All the magic societies around the world recognize the need to protect the rights of magic inventors, and they clearly state this tenet in their various Codes of Ethics.

By just ignoring the rights of the inventors who did all the hard work, and who are trying to earn a living from their creations, it becomes easy for someone like you to unfairly build and market cheaper, inferior copies we have all come to know as ?rip offs?. You are not alone in the rip off business, Mr. Martorana, but you are currently the largest.

We again respectfully ask you to cease and desist in copying and building these illusions, to remove them from both your catalog and website, and from those of your dealers around the world.

We believe it is in the best interest of all fair and honest magicians to join us in standing up for the rights of the magic inventors in order to protect and preserve the incentive so necessary for them to continue producing the newest creations we all need and want.

Sincerely,

(Listing of 175 interested magicians and inventors can be found here).

Mr. Marucci’s Response to Mr. Blaney’s “Open Letter” of November 8, 2003:

Zaney Blaney refers to ? . . . an ?open letter? naming the world?s largest magic builder of Rip-Off Illusions.?

Maybe it?s just me, but . . .

In that rather strange missive, does Walter really mean that every single one of the 175 people listed, whom he says signed the letter, REALLY have such an intimate knowledge of the illusions named that they can all state, without a doubt or fear of contradiction, that they have unarguable first-hand knowledge and proof of the origins of each and every illusion listed?

Even combining the encyclopedic knowledge of Phil Willmarth, Dave Goodsell, Jon Racherbaumer, and Max Maven, that?s quite a stretch! And, if all 175 signatories do not have first-hand knowledge and experience with the illusions listed (and I know for a fact that some of them don?t), then the whole thing is a meaningless sham! I have absolutely no connection with anyone on either side of this issue; it?s just that when I see the truth so obviously being distorted?even for a good cause?I must take issue.

(No doubt I will be ?flamed? on this?but that won?t alter the facts, or lack of them!)

Cheers,

Peter Marucci

Dominik Magic’s Version of Steinmeyer’s Origami

Mr. Blaney’s Reply to Mr. Marucci’s November 8, 2003 email was sent on, November 9, 2003 and published on IBM Ring2100.

TO: Peter Marucci

Dear Peter:

Thank you for taking the time it took to read our WAM “open letter to

Francesco Martorana”, the world’s largest dealer in rip-off illusions. I just wish you had perhaps taken even more time to read it.

You did not tell us which of the illusions listed should not be there. They all appear in Martorana’s printed catalog and on his website (go see www.dominikmagic.com). I guess your knowledge of these illusions is more than that of the inventors and builders who signed on to the list. They actually made the list.

Maybe Jim Steinmeyer is wrong to claim as his own invention the Origami, Interlude, Pole Levitation, Modern Art, Acupuncture, Audience Dismember, Windshear, or Walking Through a Mirror.

Maybe Andre Kole has no right to his Squeeze Box, or Franz Harary his Slicer, or Mark Wilson his Train Sawing, or David Copperfield his Death Saw, or Dan Summers his Compressed, or Gunter Puchinger his Mini Cube Zag. And God forbid that I would claim the Zaney Blaney Ladder Levitation to be the invention of Zaney Blaney.

So when the likes of David Copperfield signs on, or Lance Burton, Peter Reveen, Rick Thomas, Joaquin Ayala, John Calvert, Ali Bongo, Andre Kole, the presidents of the six largest magic societies, a dozen past presidents, the editors of The Linking Ring and MUM, a dozen of the top magic builders who have arranged for proprietary rights to build some of these illusions, and about a hundred of the real working pros in our business who are actually performing these illusions every day on the road, and who have paid the royalty fee required, I find it hard to understand that you would say our letter is “a meaningless sham…the truth so obviously being distorted…(that you)must take issue” because the “lack of facts” makes us all wrong for daring to get these magicians to sign onto such a letter.

I will let the vast magic community decide what the facts are. You should see the outpouring of agreement coming into my office from magicians around the world since the WAM letter was posted to various internet magic groups just two days ago.

After months of work by WAM on this project, I am sad to see someone say “the truth (is) so obviously distorted.”

Respectfully yours, Walter

Walter Zaney Blaney

WAM President Emeritus.

Mr. Marucci published his email response to the above post by Mr. Blaney on Sunday, November 9, 2003:

Walter Blaney writes: “I guess your knowledge of these illusions is more than that of the inventors and builders who signed on to the list. . . “

Now, really! I never said, anywhere, that it was!

But I did say that there are signatories of the letter who I know have not even seen some of the illusions mentioned, let alone are able to judge who was the creator.

I have no trouble accepting that fact that (a) your list of originators is accurate; and (b) the offending company did, indeed, rip off the illusions.

What I object to is the WAY in which that is done in your letter.

Two wrongs, as the saying goes, do not make a right.

And neither does one wrong.

Cheers,

Peter Marucci

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