Teller of Penn & Teller is suing a Dutch entertainer for stealing his copyrighted magic trick called Shadows. The Dutch entertainer, posted a video of a trick called The Rose & Her Shadow on youtube and offered to reveal the secret for money. Youtube has removed the video and Teller filed a lawsuit in Nevada on Monday.
Legally, it’s an interesting (to me) copyright issue. The Hollywood Reporter suggests that it comes down to the details of the illusion, not just the idea itself. Lots of people can saw ladies in half (see Penn & Teller do this below), but if they use the same set-up, props, etc. than it might constitute copyright infringement.
Here is a diagram from Teller’s copyright registration:
After watching the video, I think it is probably more dramatic in person. No idea how it works. Teller recently wrote an article on “how magicians manipulate the human mind.” Secret Number 7: If you are given a choice, you believe you have acted freely. Now I see why card tricks are so impressive!
Morer Penn & Teller videos:
Penn Jillette is pretty funny (if not a little earnest) and he seems like a nice guy. I have seen a few episodes of this season of Celebrity Apprentice and he is definitely smarter than most of the other contestants (Celebrity Apprentice is a miserable show; Donald Trump is insanely annoying and the challenges are lame). Also, Penn was on WTF with Marc Maron; he is such a chatty person that Marc could hardly get a word in edgewise 🙂