Jacob Loshin, a law student at Yale, drafter a paper exploring how stage magicians protect the secrets behind their tricks, and continue to come up with great new ideas, without getting caught up in the insanity of intellectual property law. Basically, magicians police themselves based on a set of norms for treating secrets, presentation styles, and techniques of making magic. Violate the norms by, say, stealing a trick or not giving credit where it's due and you'll be shamed and shunned by your fellow magicians. From the abstract:
Intellectual property scholars have begun to explore the curious dynamics of IP's negative spaces, areas in which IP law offers scant protection for innovators, but where innovation nevertheless seems to thrive. Such negative spaces pose a puzzle for the traditional theory of IP, which holds that IP law is necessary to create incentives for innovation.
This paper presents a study of one such negative space which has so far garnered some curiosity but little sustained attention - the world of performing magicians. This paper argues that idiosyncratic dynamics among magicians make traditional copyright, patent, and trade secret law ill-suited to protecting magicians' most valuable intellectual property. Yet, the paper further argues that the magic community has developed its own set of unique IP norms which effectively operate in law's absence. The paper details the structure of these informal norms that protect the creation, dissemination, and performance of magic tricks. The paper also discusses broader implications for IP theory, suggesting that a norm-based approach may offer a promising explanation for the puzzling persistence of some of IP's negative spaces.
Link (via TechDirt, thanks Sean Ness!)
• Amazon’s new Chinese thermal spycam vendor was blacklisted by U.S. over allegations it helped China detain and monitor Uighurs and other Muslim minorities
Mark Di Stefano of the Financial Times is accused by The Independent of accessing private Zoom meetings held by The Independent and The Evening Standard as journalists were learning how coronavirus restrictions would affect them.
Hackers tried to break into the World Health Organization earlier in March, as the COVID-19 pandemic spread, Reuters reports. Security experts blame an advanced cyber-espionage hacker group known as DarkHotel. A senior agency official says the WHO has been facing a more than two-fold increase in cyberattacks since the coronavirus pandemic began.
When you think of the single program that seems to absolutely epitomize business in all its forms, you probably think of Microsoft Excel. It’s been around for three decades, it’s the cornerstone of the ubiquitous Microsoft Office suite and that neat, ordered grid of a spreadsheet is synonymous with 21st-century commerce. While many have Excel […]
You’d think the biggest complaint that can be leveled about a pair of earbuds is that they just don’t sound all that great. Granted, there are plenty of cut-rate headphones that fall under that category, but we’d wager the pet peeve that makes most users throw away earbuds in frustration is when they just don’t […]
Father’s Day is June 21st, otherwise known as the roughest shopping day of the year. Don’t get us wrong, Dad deserves an awesome gift for all the great things he gave you. But let’s be honest — buying for your father is often a chore. Your gift has to take into account what he already […]