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Teller of 'Penn & Teller' Sues to Stop 'How-to' Disclosure of His Magic Trick

I haven't written about the practice area of "law and magic" lately (sorry, Law and Magic Blog!), but today brings an opportunity to get back into the field as Teller of the Las Vegas show "Penn & Teller" filed a lawsuit last week alleging that a Dutch entertainer is stealing Teller's copyrighted magic trick. Hollywood, Esq. reports that Teller alleges that Gerard Dogge (stage name "Gerard Bakardy"), is ripping off Teller's illusion called The Rose & Her Shadow, and is now offering to reveal the secrets of the trick for $3,050.

Teller claims that that he actually offered Dogge money if he would not disclose the mechanics of the illusion, but could not reach an agreement with Dogge. Hollywood, Esq. says the case, which is filed in federal court in Nevada, could set precedent concerning the level of protection that magicians have over their tricks.

Hollywood, Esq. explains that magic tricks are copyrightable in some circumstances, but typically require the magician to present some sort of notation system or at least a video of the trick. In this case, Teller reportedly "wrote down the details of his performance, included a cute picture, and registered it with the U.S. Copyright Office in 1983." Check out Teller's picture below, maybe you've seen this one before?


Posted by Bruce Carton on April 16, 2012 at 04:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)


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