We received the following open letter to the Chinese Magic Community from Inside Magic Favorite Walter “Zaney” Blaney.
We debated whether to include the domain name for the offending web site. We did not want to give the pirates more traffic. We can attest, however, the site is as Mr. Blaney describes. They do indeed have David Copperfield performing Mr. Blaney’s world-famous Ladder Levitation. The image to the left is from the listing for the knock-off hoop. We pixelated the domain name the pirates used to prevent folks from copying their images. Ironies abound.
We fully support Mr. Blaney in his crusade against those who steal, knock-off, copy, or even “improve” on the inventions of our best magical minds. Mr. Blaney has always fought on behalf of all magic inventors — not just himself.
Some would suggest it is a losing cause. We think it is one of the most important causes in our craft and well worth fighting.
I wish I could have attended the spectacular FISM convention in Beijing. everything I have read and heard about it, appears it was a tremendous success.
Congratulations to you and your country.
It has come to my attention that a magic builder in your country is ripping off various intellectual property tricks and illusions belonging to various American inventors.
Inventors make their living creating new effects, building them, perfecting them and marketing them, with a lot of time, money and hard work put into a new product.
To keep them creating, the magic societies of the world have in their constitutions an Ethics in Magic tenet that tries to help protect the inventors in magic.
Some years ago I wrote an open letter to Francesco Martorana of Dominik Magic Studio in Palermo, Italy. was signed by 200 of the biggest names in magic asking that he stop building illusions with intellectual property rights belonging to the inventors.
Now there is a company in China known as China Magic, with their website magic.com.
Among other priority tricks, they are now selling my Zaney Blaney Miracle Levitation Hoop for an advertised price of $1550 U.S dollars.
My hoop sells for $3495.
They conveniently leave out Zaney Blaney in the title of my trick hoop: It is simply listed as The Miracle Levitation Hoop. They show a photo of it, and use my exact same word-for-word advertising copy from my website.
They also use the exact animated video of David Copperfield doing the hoop pass using my hoop.
They took these things right off my website without permission, and it is all my copyrighted material, and Copperfield’s copyrighted material.
I don’t care if the government of China chooses not to honor copyrights and patents.
We have a magic fraternity worldwide that attempts to have rules to protect magic inventors so they will keep on inventing.
There are relatively few in magic that have this ability to constantly create new magic, and infringers of their work help diminish any creative incentive, to the detriment of all magicians.
This fact should be readily apparent to everyone who loves magic.
The Zaney Blaney Miracle Levitation Hoop has quite a history. I invented it in 1965 and got the first one made with great difficulty.
After that I could not get another made to work. tried fifteen long years, spent all that time, $11,000 cash, and finally got only one more that worked properly, and it became my spare hoop ($11,000 in 1965 is $75,000 in today’s U.S. dollars).
I sold my first Ladder Levitation to Copperfield for his 1986 TV Special (in China). I had to sell my spare hoop to him.
A few years later I at last found a metal craftsman who could make the metal parts of the hoop perfectly, and there was at last a hoop even better than my original, has become known as the Rolls Royce piece of magic apparatus, and most of the top pros around the world own and use one.
I have just ordered parts for another 22 hoops, at $2500 per unit.
I thus have to write a check each time for $55,000 for the parts alone for 22 hoops.
And I have to spend one week on each unit to make the parts into a working hoop. That’s 22 weeks of work in my shop.
Now you can imagine what kind of hoop you will get if you buy one from China Magic.
There is no name connected with this rip-off magic company.
You send your money and hope you get some kind of hoop actually shipped.
If nothing ever arrives, or if you get a piece of junk that doesn’t work, you have been ripped off yourself. And there is no one to complain to . . . just a nameless website address.
I hope there will be some among our new Chinese magic friends after FISM 2009 who will understand the points made in this OPEN LETTER, and try to put a stop to the flagrant rip-offs of China Magic.
I think calling themselves China Magic is a disservice to your great country of China.
Sincerely, Zaney Blaney
Walter Blaney firstname.lastname@example.org
3603 Spring Arbor Way, Kingwood, TX 77345
Banquet Show Website: http://www.walterblaney.com
Illusion Website: http://www.walterblaney.com/illusions