Producers and artists who has the rights?  A study
 
In the last few months there have been a lot of issues regarding certain re-releases within the magic community. When I say re-release I mean a trick that was released in the past whether it be basic form then updated or extra routines added later the basic method/trick is still the same.
 
So where do the producers come into this? Say the producer is going to release the effect for the artist who invented it. They will either pay for the tricks rights in full or give the performer a percentage of the profits. At this point if the performer sells the rights to the trick at no point in the future unless they have the producers permission or stated in their contract they cannot re-release the effect themselves or with a different company/producer.
 
Contracts are key in this…this will decide your terms of payment, what trick you are selling and a lot of other key points. If you do a release with any producer/company always have a contract in place as this is evidence to any future issues.
 
Lets create a scenario …say a producer brought an issue up as the artist they worked with had re worked a release and sold it to another company. So who is wrong ….the artist, old producer or new producer? Answer…all of them (in this case).
 
  1. The new producer should not have taken on the material knowing it had already been released and without the permission of the other producer.
 
  1. The old producer in this case did not have a written contract so had no evidence to go back on in claim the rights to the effect.
 
  1. The artist should have not resold their material as it did not theoretically belong to them having previously sold it and contract or no contract morally you should stick to the agreement.
 
I myself have been on both ends of this topic and it kills me that I cant re-release my own effects that I have improved on or even some tricks I sold the rights of have never seen the light of day which is even worse for the effort I put in to its creation.
Also as a producer to put your heart and soul into a project for it to only be re hashed and sold a few years later.
 
The reason I write this is to straighten people’s views and not take sides and be narrow minded without the full information to hand. Yes this is a business but morally you should see what you are doing if reselling material to different producers. So before you do any work with anyone always have a contract in place, read all the terms and what your restrictions are and understand them before you sign on the doted line. As my head teacher used to say “think before ink”. I hope you find this interesting reading.
 
Chris Webb