The Moschen Triangle and the Kennedy Cone


#10

In the large grey area, I don’t know yet where I stand exactly. But I wanted to share some observations with all of you nonetheless.

Property/possessions - material or immaterial - is a social construct. Its definition and application varies from culture to culture. It seems to me that we, the juggling community/culture need to discuss the definition of ownership. Can one own a trick/prop/concept/routine, and if so what does that mean? If it turns out that we believe ownership does not exist in juggling context, it will be a lot less relevant what the “first performer” has to say about if he/she likes to be copied or not.

If you “create” a trick/prop, you have a different relationship to it than when you “discover” a trick. Creators might feel more inclined to claim ownership. I’m glad that all siteswaps are “discovered”, therefor nobody feels bad for using them.

People juggle and perform juggling for many different reasons. Although in Jay’s ideal world the tutor would encourage creating new tricks, I don’t believe this is everyone’s ideal world. I know quite a few jugglers who have no or little interest in creating tricks, but a lot of interest in juggling nonetheless. I myself enjoy creating juggling from time to time, but my main interest in performing is applying juggling, finding the best juggling for a specific purpose. This is most often not juggling I created myself.

In who’s interest should our copying ethic be? Solely in the interest of creators, or in the interest of the community? Copyright was introduced by the community because they believed they would ultimately benefit if writers had a bigger incentive to write. Where is the balance for juggling? What would be most beneficial the juggling community? Jay gives the example that Michael might perhaps not post a video online afraid that his tricks get copied. That would be a loss for the community. On the other hand, I would think it would be a huge loss if we now stop seeing any contact juggling with “crystals”.

Again it comes back to the concept of ownership. Is there an owner who can say what is and what isn’t allowed with a certain prop/trick? Or are we better off if we all agree there is no such thing as ownership but only a “first discoverer”, or only temporary ownership?

Any barrier of any kind has the potential to inhibit creativity. If there was no barrier, and everyone was able to get their own triangle by snapping their fingers, I’m sure we would see a lot of new creative ideas appear from there, among some copies. Maybe the inevitable copies can be worth it considering the new creations that appear from this new freedom? Some barriers are unavoidable, like the barrier of juggling skill. You can’t perform 7 balls on stage until you practice. But do we really want to construct new artificial barriers such as “you need to contact the first discoverer of the trick before you’re allowed to present your experimentation” or “your trick needs to be different from the trick it was inspired by”? Are the benefits of such barriers outweighing the consequences? For who?

And in the end, what is copying? As humans, we fail to make perfect copies of anything. Any recreation will ultimately be influenced by the uniqueness of its performer, and will write a memory in the minds of its audience that could have never been placed there exactly like that by the originator of the trick/prop/routine. Accepting that nothing is a copy and everything is inspiration, is it even possible to draw a line for what enough deviation from the original is and what not?

I hope some of the above made sense, it’s not the best time of day for writing down ideas but I wanted to be involved in the conversation as I find it a very interesting and important one!

@instantjuggler, We spoke briefly about this at the NJF already last year: I’m also dreaming of a central video hub, and recently started dreaming out some designs in my head again, based on another nice art community (non juggling) that I moderate. If your plans/ideas ever crystallize, or need another eye/brain/hand, do let me know, I’m very interested in making an effort for this.


#11

I’m not going to respond to all your points, but a few quick clarifications:

I wrote: “If there is to be an attitude that some props are only being used with permission of those who invented them, there MUST be a clear way to either get that permission, be denied that permission, or only get permission with licensing fees attached, or other clear answer.”

You wrote: “let’s first all agree this is something we want to do. and then let’s work on a solution together.”

Our fundamental difference is that you want a world where people ask permission to use tricks and pay for tricks or license them. I do not.

I don’t want the future of the juggling world to be based on that of music licensing, or any other media licensing. I lived though years of “This video is blocked in your country due to a copyright claim by BMG/Sony” and all that shit. When I released my two music albums, because I live in Germany, I had to pay money to a central authority, just to be able to list them on Apple music and sell CDs. It’s just bullshit bureaucracy. I don’t want that invading the juggling world.

I’m much happier with the current state of juggling, which is a lot closer to the fashion world or the gaming world. There is no copyrighting of clothing fashion or game design mechanics, which means unfettered copying of all the new tricks and styles and designs. It’s great! There’s constantly new and fresh takes on what has come before.

So when you say that Michael Moschen has told you personally that he doesn’t want people to copy his tricks or props, it’s not that I don’t believe you, nor that I don’t think you or he cares about it, but that the juggling world has, collectively, decided that the original creator of a prop just doesn’t get to dictate what happens with their invention. That they even have wishes doesn’t percolate through the juggling world, let alone that their wish is for nobody to copy them.

You might think that everyone learning a new trick or prop should drill down into the history of the prop (and people like you and me enjoy that) but the reality is that 99.99% of jugglers just don’t. To them, that they can buy crystals and buugeng and all those other props from any number of websites, that’s all they care about. As I said, even a professional of 30 years didn’t know there was a controversy about crystals, so I can’t expect that of new jugglers from Eastern European countries who don’t speak English, or whatever.

To reach the future you want, you’re going to have to put in waaaaaaay more work than just telling people “Someone once told me something, and now it exists in my mind, so the whole juggling world should be like so-and-so.” You’re trying to steer a juggernaut, and change its course by 180 degrees.

To reach the future I want, I’m trying to make a minor course correction.

Like with Duo Supra. If I had my way, they’d rename a YouTube video, change a bit of their website, and in the future change the billing or description of their act.

If you had your way, starting now? First, your complaining on Facebook is already too late for them to not make their entire act and be booked to perform it.

Second, this is not like robbing a bank and not knowing it is illegal. It is more like entering and working in the fashion industry for many years, then finding out there are a few guys years who, decades ago, decided that different rules applied to them, and now want the entire fashion world to work like the music licensing industry.

Finally:

“i still haven’t heard a single person respond to greg to his face about his opinion that he wishes others wouldn’t perform the cone.”

He messaged me and said he’d be happy to discuss it in private. I’m not interested in discussing it in private. Private conversations between famous jugglers helps nobody understand what is going on. The only way I’ve ever heard of Greg’s or Michael’s opinions about these issues is second or third hand reports about conversations sometimes from decades ago. Greg’s TED talk video does nothing to clarify his opinions on the matter, so much so that I used his conclusion as the conclusion in my own video, and he clarified my own views, and I wasn’t even taking his words out of context.


#12

Thank you for sharing your thoughts clearly and publicly.

I just want to add something that seems close to the subject to me.
There is a society of authors called SACD in France that defends their rights under French law.
It is a form of legal protection similar in my opinion to what you have been discussing.

You can read more about it here : https://www.sacd.fr/en/under-french-law

I know that a lot of french juggling shows have been registered there.
It’s pretty obscure to me and I don’t have an opinion whether it’s working well or not, but I just thought that it is very close to the discussion here. It already exists and works somewhere.

This is how they define the work of authorship on the website : “The Code of Intellectual Property (CPI, in France) protects the rights of authors on “all works of the mind” whatever their kind, form of expression, merit or purpose (art. L 112-1 CPI). This code lists the works eligible for such protection including, but not limited to books, pamphlets, dramatic or dramatico-musical works, etc. (art. L112-2 CPI). This list is intentionally non-comprehensive so that all new creations liable to be considered works of mind criteria may benefit from the relevant protection.”
It for sure doesn’t apply to tricks, but I guess that it could apply to routines, and maybe special props?

From what I’ve understood, it’s a double-edged sword.
You need to pay to be part of the society and to claim your rights on a specific work.
It gives you protection, rights and remuneration when the work is being used.
It also adds your work to the author creations repertoire.
It’s pretty complicated bureaucracy in which you can get stuck and not always fair but I guess that it’s the closest form of legal protection for juggling pieces that exists.


#13

Hey all
To develop Florence’s message I’ll give details from inside the system.
This author rights society SACD is good when you are touring “official” theaters, who also are in the system. for example when you are replaced in a show, you keep the author rights (if you were given some in the beginning). Practically in the circus domain, it never happens that a show is put together again by a company that has not created it, so in this sense it would not be useful.
When registering, you typically register a stage work with a title and at least one author. Then anywhere this title is seen by SACD in theater programs, SACD enforces the rights. You can also declare your dates in advance to help them work. You must also mention this in your contract with the presenter.
If you only tour small or unofficial places, or simply places that are not part of the same system, I would not recommand you go through this system. One big side is political, it has to do with the recognition if circus as an art, also as an economic activity, and then the “corporation” of circus artists can claim more support, regulations changes, etc.
If nobody says he’s an author by going through the author right system, nobody is going to believe that circus is anything else than a hobby or a business.
If somebody else makes a copy of a show under a different title, which I have never seen in circus, there might be a chance for him to run away with that. If the original author wants to sue the plagiarist, it will cost him so much compared to the lost revenue that I doubt it would be worth.
Note that Jerome Thomas has been administrator of SACD twice (he is now finishing is second mandate). He has been struggling real hard for circus recognition since at least 25 years. He especially made that now you can see a “circus” checkbox in the declaration forms side by side with theater and dance.
Also note that juggling is the first circus discipline by far in terms of author right generation.
Hope this helps.


#14

I have another small story about Vincent Bruel around 2006 (he had died already), when his family discovered videos of the “Tac-Tac Tango” act from Vincent copied by an ukrainian juggler move by move. They managed to contact the agency who proposed these acts, and they kindly removed the videos. But we will probably never know if this juggler actually performed the pieces.


#15

Is not what you suggest here in place already? Let us say I have invented something and you contact me to get the permission to do it. If I do not reply, then that is a clear no. If I reply, I will do so with my wishes for the situation. I do not see anything unclear about that, and I can’t think of a situation where it has been unclear. If such situation has occurred, please tell us about it. You can of course say its not the nicest way, but nice and clear/unclear are different things.


#16

yes, that could be the difference. but i want to clarify- its not just about permission and money or licensing, its about the overall attitude of the community of having respect for each other. and i literally can’t see the respect if someone asks greg what he thinks, greg responds, and then there is just no answer to what greg says… silence and a continued use of his idea.

yes, i also don’t want bullshit bureaucracy invading the juggling world. who does?? its ridiculous for you to suggest that i want to make a system or have a concept for the community which doesn’t work or function in reality. you seem to only gravitate towards negative examples here, which surely champion your point of view. but let me give you one real life scenario which might make this easier to understand- i went to see palazzo in stuttgart. andreas wessels was performing mark hayward’s routine with rat traps and marshmallows and juggling balls. during the act i called mark who was back in america. i asked him if he knew about this and if he had given permission to andreas. he did not and had not. after the show i confronted andreas at mark’s request and asked him what was going on. after a half hour chat, andreas got in touch with mark using the contact details i gave him. he worked out a deal with mark where mark got some money, andreas got to keep performing the routine and in the end everyone was happy. now, you could say, who the fuck cares, let andreas do whatever he wants and mark can fuck off. but the situation is like this: andreas got to have some material to perform that he didn’t have to spend the time to research and test and create, andreas gets to not be an asshole anymore and is now a productive and positive member of the community, and mark gets some extra money… which, in theory, he can use to have some free time from not performing himself. and in that free time he can create even more original material… which andreas might like to buy more of in the future.

i’m guessing that if you had seen the show instead of me, and let’s pretend here that you are friends with mark and know about his repetoire, you would not have thought anything of it at all when andreas whipped out the rat trap, marshmallows, and beanbags. then andreas keeps going forward being a vampire, sucking money and work from mark using mark’s material. maybe mark would have been fine. maybe mark would have had to quit performing and started working at macdonald’s because all his germany contracts dried up since andreas kept undercutting him. either way, its super shady business. and i just can’t see what good would come out of it in the long run? usually my overarching conceptual point is that if everyone is free to take from everyone else, eventually there won’t be anything worth taking… if michael moschen had been like everyone else who stole his stuff, then he himself would have just done kris kremo’s cirgar box routine or something and there never would have been a triangle to steal. i’ve heard a counter argument to this that there will always be people who are happy to invent and give away their creations so that eventutally there will be a balance in the world between those who like to take their material from others, and those who like to create material to be given away. the funny thing is, 100% of the time which i’ve heard arguments like this, the person making it never has anything of value to give away. you don’t see people coming up with ideas like the triangle every day of the week. and all of these people who are so quick to say its ok to take materail from others… what have they ever offered up that’s of any value back to michael?

at least in fashion, are you forgetting about the entire black market bootleg scene!?!??! the one that’s completely illegal? where you can’t make a fake louis vitton handbag and not get arressted? where there are brands and labels and anyone who copies those things without permission is a criminal???

and one more time you and i arrive at the same place- yes, in fashion there is a constant new and fresh take on what has come before! exactly like when viktor moiseev makes pendulum juggling his own… i’m hard pressed to find more examples in the juggling world though… every triangle i have seen, every bounce piano i have seen, every cone i have seen, outside of the original creations have all been derivitive and added nothing to the progress of the juggling art form. i would even settle for a “new take” on the triangle, and no, adding some techno music or black light is not what the triangle was missing, let alone two triangles side by side. its just the most complete utter laziness i have ever seen. there seems to be some sort of mental capacity or attitude where if you are the type of person who sees no problem with copying the triangle, then you also have no interest or talent to actually do anything progressive with it. all the people who are actually into creating things and have the skills to do so end up making their own invention, why is that?

well so that’s the thing, isn’t it? has the juggling world collectively decided that? if it had, my orignal facebook thread a couple of months ago wouldn’t have had over 800 comments would it?

you bring really good points here. i agree with you for sure- and i have to say it makes me sad. its the overall attitude thing i was talking about before. that you can buy buugeng… well, actually there’s one thing we haven’t touched on yet which i’ve been meaning to ask your thoughts about- so far no one has really mentioned the whole amatuer vs. professional thing. most of us start out as hobbyist jugglers and then become professional performers. if someone wants to buy crystal balls and sit in a park and jam, that is really awesome i think. if you want to buugeng in the gym at EJC, that’s also a fine way to spend your time. but if you want to go on stage and present buugeng as something you have created and you are just doing derivitive work from michael moschen… then i have a problem there. so there’s something in our culture to where we have these habits of our past, being hobbyists, and when we enter the professtional life we just don’t think about things as much as maybe we should. there are definitely differnet rules with professional perfoming than when you are an amateur juggling chilling around your backyard. what those rules are, and how you find out about them, i don’t have a clear answer for. i don’t think anyone does. and yet i would guess you agree they exist. i learned about a lot of those rules through trial and error (the phrase “paying your dues” may have something to do with this?). and i would guess this controversy over the triangle and cone (and crystals and buugeng, etc.) has something to do with these undefined, unspoken, and unclear rules… which surely vary from region to region?

the funny thing i find in the whole copying the triangle and cone from duo supra, is that i’m guessing 99.9999% sure they saw the original versions on the internet. and so if you have access to the internet, you also have access to ideas and concepts that aren’t from a hundreds or thousands of years old traditional circus attitude towards plaigarism. its like a circus i saw in iceland a few years ago… they were inspired to start their own circus in reykjavik. they saw videos on youtube of cirque du soliel and all the other resources you can find online these days. in the show they did a teeterboard act where they pretended to be russian and drunk on vodka. and its like, yeah, on one hand that’s where you start with your first show and you have no idea what you’re doing. but on the other hand, how can that even happen in 2014 or whatever year it was? they have youtube!!! look around at what’s happening in the world! no one is doing racist circus anymore. i just find it a weird juxtoposition that this new technological age allows ideas to be spread around the world, only for those ideas to be prisoners of ancient attitudes and prejudices. it seems like with the new technology would come a new attitude?

i can see your point, but again you’re making it sound like i’m alone in my opinion on this topic here. and i can tell you very easily that i’m not alone. i’m just more vocal than anyone else in this discussion presently. i can see then by your viewpoint that i’m a lone voice harping on again and again about this same point in what seems to be a losing battle. however, i received easily 100 private messages from different people during the facebook debate a few months ago, and in the end i was actually encouraged by the outcome of the facebook conversation on jugglingrock. it seemed to me, with a cursory evaluation, that “my side” was “winning” in the end. i personally don’t like to frame it in such a way… for me i usually just think about it as the voice of reason or common sense. that’s not some backhand attack on anyone else who thinks differently, but that’s just how ingrained these ideas are inside of me.

maybe you’re right in that these topics need to be taken in small steps so the community can have a chance to agree on smaller points and then later on get together for the whole picture.

you raised some really good points before- how should they know about your opinion of this? you might be right that its going to be impossible to have a clear general attitude (either way) throughout the entire community about these issues… though on the other hand, how does the community intuitively know about anything? for example, when i first went to a juggling festival, i somehow understood that even though there were literally hundreds of props laying all over the gym floor, i wasn’t supposed to just walk about the room randomly picking up whatever prop there was even if it didn’t belong to me. i guess i just followed everyone else’s example and kind of kept track of my stuff or then asked people around me who’s club it was laying on the floor which i wanted to borrow for a club passing session. so for me now i also try to lead by example on lots of things. one of them is crying foul whenever i see someone stealing material from another performer. another thing is to try and have a respectful process when creating or learning new things.

they have many options now- they could stop performing the act and make a new one in the proper way with their own material. they could put in the work needed to progress both the triangle and cone to the territory where its not just a derivative copy of the originals. they could get in touch with greg and michael and get permission to keep performing the act how it is or an edited version as needed, and that permission could be a conversation, it could be a licensing deal with percentages or a one time payment, etc. they could say fuck you to anyone who has a problem with their act… which in one way is fine by me because then at least they are admiting they are doing something wrong, and we will all know they are doing something wrong by that admission. that doesn’t make it ok, but it does prove that there are these unwritten rules out there which we all agree on… even when we are breaking them (you have to agree they exist to know you are breaking them).

and, yes, all my complaining is too late for me to stop them from having done this mistake… but its certainly not too late for all the acts that will be created by anyone reading this in the future! that’s the whole point in my mind- to raise awareness of the topic, to have these discussions, and ultimately find where you stand on the issue and behave accordingly. my thread on facebook wasn’t only about that duo, it was about everyone who acts the same as them.

i understood what greg said at the end of his TED talk in an entirely different way than you did. he litterally said “i want people to look at what i do… learn from it, BUILD UPON IT, and eventually CREATE THEIR OWN WORK.” emphasis my own there of course. i don’t see how much more clear you can get than him saying to make your own work!!! that is not what the duo did… they did not create their own work, they didn’t have to- they stole greg’s.

this is the same old thing as ever- look, everyone who comes to DOCH wants to be wes peden. they want to know what the secret was that i told him so they can juggle like he does. and the funny thing is, if you want to copy wes peden you have to… guess what??.. drumroll… you have to… be yourself!!! what??? hey wait a minute, that’s not a secret! that’s not what they are asking- they want to know how to make cool tricks and cool moves and crazy patterns. yeah, and the way wes did that was that he found himself, who he was, and how he wanted to juggle. and that’s the real method behind his juggling. that’s what greg is talking about- look at his cone… study how he came up with the idea. maybe it was from watching michael’s triangle and thinking how he could be inspired by the triangle without just copying the triangle. that’s not how the cone came into being but its a good example of what could have happened. then, build upon it- hmmmm, he’s rolling balls in a cone, let’s see, what if the balls were cubes and the cone’s wall was textured. what if the cone wasn’t upright but was free to roll on the floor on its side, etc. and then finally… create your own work. so maybe you end up with a bird playing the accordian. and the bird is the silicone balls and the cone is the accordian. i don’t know what twists and turns the process took. but there has to be a process where you first obeserve the world, then you reflect on what you saw, then you are inspired to make something out of those thoughts, and finally you create something.


#17

You are missing my point. Even if it was possible to contact people, and silence means “a clear no”, you have the problem that there is NO clear way for anyone to know which props are “owned” by someone else or not. If crystals and S-staff and other props can just be bought from a juggling shop, there is no expectation of permission needed. The same with building big props like bounce tables.

So if there is no expectation of needing permission with 99.99% of juggling props, in fact if most new juggling props you see, the inventor is encouraging people to try them out, or selling them to be used, how is anyone meant to know that in 00.01% of cases, they need to ask for permission?

Like I said, you have to do waaaaay more work before you can say “I can’t think of a situation where it has been unclear” because the entire juggling world works to a different set of assumptions EXCEPT in the case of the Kennedy Cone and the Moschen Triangle. THAT is what makes the situation unclear.

You’d think that, if 99.99% of jugglers are fine with something, but just two guys think different rules should apply to them and their props, that maybe those two guys are the abnormal ones?

You think the rules in your head apply to everyone else, but most jugglers don’t even know those rules exist. You’re not going to convince the juggling world those rules apply to them if the best you can do is say “no response is a sign that the system is working”.

There either has to be rules and a system, which means you’re going to have to start publicising the rules in a formal way and put a system in place, or there aren’t rules and a system, which means you can’t be upset when people don’t follow the rules.

Meanwhile, I don’t think anyone who THINKS they want such a system has thought it all through.

This system MUST encompass ALL props, new and old, or else it is meaningless. People can’t magically know that this set of props they buy from a shop is different from this other set of props that they buy from a shop. The system has to encompass juggling shops and stores even, say with signs and symbols denoting which props can be used on stage with permission, like TM or ®. You have to put in place an automatic licensing program, maybe with a cut of the cost of each juggling prop sold going back to the original inventor.

I don’t want to live in that world. The juggling world we live in now is working JUST FINE, including the fact that thousands of people have performed with crystals, and that I’ve seen amazing buugeng and s-staff acts, and nobody has felt like they had to ask permission or even know who invented the prop in the first place.

If the only downside of the current state of the juggling world is the hurt feelings of some privileged white guys and their famous juggler buddies, looking at the alternatives, I’m more than happy with that tradeoff.


#18

As I said before, I don’t want to keep replying to you here, as I see nothing interesting or useful coming from such a conversation. All I can do is clarify my position as you continue to push it into areas and subjects where I didn’t intend it.

  1. I don’t care about the issue of people copying comedy routines, as that isn’t someone making their own version of a single prop or apparatus. Its a different argument to the one we are having. Comedy has its own culture of writing new material or paying for material other have written. I don’t see prop inventing as in the same category as writing comedy material.

  2. Fashion houses have logos, which are trademarked. Anyone can copy any design in fashion, except for the trademarked logo or pattern, which is why those logos and patterns are used so prominently. The bootleggers are only in trouble for passing off the copied design as being made by the original by inclusion of the trademark, not for making a handbag that has the same overall design. Nobody cares if the sunglasses are the same size, shape, or function, only if they have “Hugo Bozz” on them. Think about it and you’ll see this backs up my own point.

  3. If the juggling world had decided something already, there wouldn’t be a thread with 800 comments. You wouldn’t need a thread at all.

  4. You keep saying “there are rules” and “I’m sure we all agree on the rules” but I’m not sure you grasp that I don’t think there are the rules you seem to want to exist, nor do I think there should be these rules you want to exist.

  5. I do NOT think that Duo Supra has done anything wrong in making their own cone and triangle routine.

  6. I do NOT want two guys to have exclusive ownership rights over who can perform with two geometric shapes. I do not want for anyone to have to ask for permission to build or use any prop they may want.

  7. I do NOT want Greg Kennedy’s and Michael Moschen’s cone and triangle routines to be the last ever versions anyone can see until… when, they die? I think both are BORING and I prefer many other versions. Duo Supra’s act is more entertaining than both.

  8. I DO see the addition of music as a distinct improvement over the original. I think new performance elements are as important as any other part of the juggling world. That’s the entire point of my video.

  9. I don’t agree that “making your own work” is just about new geometric shapes to juggle in. I think that “making your own work” is finding new ways to perform juggling and make it interesting. This is a GOOD THING because, watching that same TED Talk with Greg Kennedy, he kept saying “here is a piece I wrote” and all I could think was “Let me guess, a series of patterns performed with no soundtrack, with no character, with no choreography, with no facial expressions, with no humour…” and I was right every time! I don’t see that as “writing a piece” I see it as a technical demonstration. Anyone who can build on that, and add ANYTHING one of Greg Kennedy’s props, I see as a win. I don’t see it as stealing his work, I see it as improving the juggling world by creating something new based on what someone has built before.


#19

I agree with this, but think it is a strawman since it requires a bunch of people ignoring the situation to begin with. It is not unclear who is the author of the cone, if Greg is the only one who does it. So, the ”unclarity” that you speak of is not actually inherent to the situation of authorship, but to the dishonesty of the juggling world. Also, in the specific topic of the conversation, I am quite certain that in regards to the cone, most everyone still knows Greg is the author. With the triangle it has unfortunately become a bit muddy, but again, it is not unclear who is the author because of the inherent situation of when it was created and then seen. It is unclear because people have copied it and ignored credit, and ignored seeking permission. To those who ignored that initially, the situation was crystal clear.


#20

Nope, I’m not buying it. There is no inherent dishonesty in the juggling world. I honestly don’t care if it was clear or not that Greg is the original “author” of rolling balls in a cone or not, I STILL don’t think anyone needs to, nor should be expected to, ask for permission to make their own version of the prop.

This is my entire point! This is why I made the video in the first place! I want people to create their own versions and see how much more interesting they can make the original idea.

The only change I’d like to see is the correct attribution of credit for the original invention. Calling it the Kennedy Cone is good enough.


#21

There are several obvious accounts of dishonesty in the juggling world. The easy to point out would be Rejean St Jules, Wally Eastwood and this duo previously mentioned in the thread.

Are you really sincere when you say that you think that these people have no clue of the origin to what they do? Many people, will even admit when you ask them that they stole their idea from someone else, such as Rejean and Wally. If you would ask John Blanchard where he got the idea to bounce balls in a triangle from, do you not think he would say Moschen?

These are just some examples, but as far as I can see these things pop up all the time. Not sure how much I want to mention names here, but I could give plenty of accounts of people who openly have stolen ideas from other jugglers, being perfectly aware who the originator is. It could certainly be so that you have missed all of that, but I have a hard time believing that would be the case. But if you say so, I guess I will have to take your word for it.


#22

No, I don’t doubt they know where the original idea comes from. Of course John Blanchard knows that Michael Moschen made the first triangle, and of course Duo Supra knows that Greg Kennedy made the first cone.

But it is YOU who keeps saying they have “stolen” something from these guys, and YOU who thinks it is dishonest. But I do not think anything has been stolen, and I don’t think anyone is being dishonest.

Bringing up Rejean St Jules and Wally Eastwood, who both copied the entire bounce piano routine, is a different issue, and I’ve already mentioned that I didn’t include the bounce piano in my original video because I consider it more of a comedy routine/magic trick. Comedy and magic both have different cultures, and both include buying material and/or buying illusions. Juggling does not.


#23

OK, so we have different opinions about what is dishonest/theft, that is besides the point. What word do you wish to use then, to note how the triangle (for an example) ended up with Rejean? Borrowed? Appropriated? X?

Here is where your arguments collide:

and:

In your first statement, you are judging the situation at the point where the idea has already been X (stolen, appropriated, borrowed, insert your word of choice).

In your 2nd statement you admit yourself that before X has broadly taken place, it is clear, with the cone and triangle.

That is exactly why I am saying that it is the state of the juggling world that creates the unclarity, and not the original situation itself when something has been invented.


#24

here’s my final thoughts for now, for anyone reading this who cares to follow along- maybe all these things only make sense in my head when they are organized together, all in a row. so i’ll try to lay it all out in a coherent manner:

juggling and performing juggling are 2 different things. lots of performers start out by being hobbyist jugglers. but then when you become a performer, you are a person who does shows using juggling as one aspect of your show. probably juggling is the main aspect of your show if you call yourself a juggler. the word juggler can be confusing because it has a bunch of different meanings that no one completely agrees on currently. dan holzman says that he thinks juggler means someone who performs using juggling to make money and makes a living doing only that. however, if you go to the open gym at an EJC or IJA festival and ask people how they would identify themselves, lots of them would use the word juggler as well… independent of the fact if they make a living by performing juggling or not.

when you’re a hobbyist you can do whatever you want in the privacy of your personal life. what i mean is, you can buy crystal balls, you can buy buugeng, you can build a triangle or cone, you can do all of wes and tony and pat’s tricks. you can get together with your friends and jam out with crystal balls, you can copy all the tricks and props you want. you can joke around and do sequences from juggling performances you have seen while you are off stage. you can interact with jugglers online, talk to them, ask them for advice, share your ideas.

also as a hobbyist juggler you can post videos of you juggling online. this gets a bit more tricky, because even though you are not a hobbyist performer, and you are not a professional performer, and you are not getting paid to post the video online, some people might still get mad at you to varying degrees if you do what they consider to be their trick. they can get mad at you for any number of reasons- because you didn’t ask them if it was cool, or because you didn’t credit them in the video, or because they were trying to keep the trick a secret for some reason, or because they feel that if you post a video of their trick then that might lead to you copying even more of their material in the future, or because even just copying tricks at an amateur level does not help the current environment regarding plagiarism inside the juggling community. and you’ll notice i said juggling community without specifying if i was talking about hobbyist jugglers or performing jugglers. that’s because the community is mixed. and that’s probably also why you will get mixed feedback.

me, personally, i don’t mind so much about hobbyists who are clearly just having fun in a harmless youtube video posted on jugglingrock doing a trick from wes’s latest video. for me that’s more about wanting to participate in the juggling scene (i suppose the juggling scene is at the hobbyist level, since if it included the professionals the scene would be about performing juggling and not just juggling on its own?), being excited about juggling, being a fan of wes peden, and wanting to connect to their peers (in this non-professional and non-performing context). but i’m not wes, so i won’t speak for him. i do think it brings up very good questions for him, and others in his position, when he is selling a juggling video that is aimed in part to the hobbyist market- and for sure some of those people who purchase the video feel they have paid to have the rights to now do those tricks both in online video posts and also in performing contexts. personally i don’t take that line of thinking at all, for me its more that wes has sold me this video where i find inspiration and get new points of view to go out there and make my own tricks. maybe based upon the tricks he did but not those exact tricks. but that’s just me.

to repeat very clearly- you want to learn every trick from gumball? do it! are you a performer of juggling and in your free, non-stage time you want to learn all of tony’s headroll tricks with rings? go for it! are you a professional performer doing research for material to put on stage and part of your process is to start in the studio trying to copy patrik’s closing act from DOCH? well then i think that’s a great reference point to begin with. and if you are not ever going to perform any of this material on any level, then you can leave it at that. but if you want to present any of this juggling to someone else, in a performative environment, well then there’s a discussion to be had which will follow here shortly. you’ll notice all of this has expanded from the previous discussion in this thread about the triangle and cone, or even the overall idea of props. i’m talking about juggling here. its not just about props. its about tricks and patterns and compositions too.

i could be wrong, but it seems lots of people i hear from who are opposed to asking for permission to perform certain juggling content, are only hobbyists themselves and they don’t perform. and they think that because you should ask greg if you can perform his cone, that automatically means you can’t go out and buy crystal balls. or you can’t do 97531. or you can’t do mills mess. or you can’t do the cascade. but none of those random examples are first of all in the context of performing. and second of all there isn’t even 1 hard rule about any of this that i can think of in terms of dealing with all the individuals who make up the juggling community. you could guess its cool to rock out mills mess in your living room, but if you are at the level in your juggling life and awareness that it becomes a question in your mind, well then why don’t you find out!? if it ever occurs to you that 97531 is a site swap which was a system that someone came up with and told others about, and you start to hesitate over doing that pattern because you’re not sure if you’re pissing someone off or not- why not ask all the people who worked on making site swap? what i’m saying is, if you have the presence of mind to hear about copying greg’s cone, and then extrapolate that to doing the cascade and its seriously an issue for you in your life, i would say you have enough capacity to walk down that road a little bit farther and find out the answers to those questions for yourself. you can’t just throw out those examples as a reason to copy greg’s cone, it doesn’t justify anything. and if you get lost in your quest for knowledge, and need help along the way, you can also ask the community for guidance. and that’s where we’re at now- because clearly the community has many different answers. who is right and who is wrong? there is no one answer to that exactly, but i hope to motivate my position by writing all this out here now in the attempt that you will agree with me and my viewpoint. or at least concede to the general outline and premise and then we can discuss the finer details of how our viewpoints differ to eventually come to a common understanding.

this argument, that i say its wrong to steal greg’s cone or micheal’s triangle or wes’s trick as a performer, and then you say “yeah well you yourself do the cascade on stage and i’ve seen you use copyrighted music and you used to juggle knives when you were 16 and other people juggle knives so therefore you are a hypocrite and therefore your opinion is invalid and your argument holds no weight.” as i guess its implied then that i have no voice or trusted authority on the subject? my main response to this is that these things are irrelevant to the question at hand- let’s say i used to perform the triangle on stage (though i never did)? then what? what does that have to do with anyone else’s ability to steal the triangle now or in the future? just because one person did a shit thing in the past, it doesn’t justify doing that same shit thing again now. this is not about what has happened in the past, its about how we want to behave in the future. society does this all the time. at one point women couldn’t vote. what if every time a woman went to vote and i was like, hey, look at the past, women couldn’t vote then so women should’t vote now. it would be ridiculous and not make any sense. that everyone copied michael’s crystal balls is not justification for more people to copy it. now i can see nuance in the situation we have now since so many people copied his material that it is indeed confusing to those who just jump into the juggling world and then later on get into performing juggling. but that still doesn’t make it ok! just because there is confusion, that is no reason to use that as a reason to go ahead and steal the triangle then. we do what we can to make the situation right, we do our best. and as well i can see that if i was performing the triangle nightly, and then writing here about how you shouldn’t steal the triangle, there would be a conflict of interest. but all this bullshit about “you used to do mills mess on stage” is meaningless to the current situation, its just catty distracting bitching because they have nothing relevant to say.

so there’s this range of hobbyist jugglers all the way up to professional perfoming juggler. and at some point you become a hobbyist perfomer of juggling if you take that trajectory. even at this level its wrong to do other people’s material on stage without some sort of permission or arrangement with the creators of that material. i would guess that the more amateur the performance, the less likely this is to be implemented fully. but you should at the very least still be aware of it! here now we also have to start to think about what material means- is it a single pattern? can you show grandma 97531 over chrismas in your backyard when your mom says “come on, do a little show for grandma!” and as performing juggling usually starts to incorporate lots of other techniques and diciplines (such as comedy, magic, dance, music, etc.) this gets even trickier to untangle what constitutes a unique piece of material. but again, this mess doesn’t let you off the hook of trying to do your best at not being a thief! we could have spent our time in this thread talking about things exactly like this, which i find really necessary and progressive, about what actually is the essence of unique performative juggling material. but instead we’ve only been arguing over if its right or wrong to steal things, which to me is not an issue since i have a very clear moral compass which says that stealing is wrong. so instead of talking about the actual instances of copying and theft we are always looking for some larger abstract absolute against which we can make general statements.

and to that end, you could say how in the world is an amateur performing juggler who is just starting out supposed to know all of this? what is right and what is wrong? its too much! it will kill all progress. everyone will have to stop. etc. etc. to this i say- not at all. look, we all go into stores every day and have in our mind to not steal things, right? even if i don’t have enough money to buy something i want, i don’t just take it. this sense is ingrained into me from being part of society. it can be the same with performing juggling- there are unconscious tropes and memes and habits and traditions which ripple through our hobbyist and professional juggling culture. this can just be one of those things- how do you learn mills mess? is there a clear authority for that? no. how do you know what club renegade is at a juggling festival? is there a document online explaining that? is there one clear cut answer to what that is? no. and yet, all over the world, people learn mills mess and they watch renegade shows at juggling festivals.

the real easy part here is that if you want to perform greg’s cone or michael’s triangle… just don’t ever tell anyone! certainly don’t make a website to advertise yoruself. don’t post videos of yourself doing it, don’t take photos. also don’t steal really famous things. choose something really obscure no one else knows about. because the thing is, once you step foot into the community with evidence of these acts, then you need to be prepared to be judged. and that you were ignorant to the situation beforehand is not an excuse to continue in the same manner!!! so you didn’t know it was wrong to steal the cone? well now you just got some private messages in your facebook inbox from me. you also got some comments on your facebook photo and on the facebook page of the festival which allowed you to compete and published your photos. there you go, welcome to 2018, welcome to participating in the community. and to point out again, i am not the one who started this whole idea that you shouldn’t steal shit and put it on stage. i am certianly a champion of this idea because i find any alternative very dangerous for juggling both as a profession and as an art form. but many many many performers who defined what it even means to perform juggling are very vocal and adamant about not ripping off material: dan holzman, michael chirrick, michael moschen, luke wilson, jeff tavaggia, wes peden… i don’t know, its late and i don’t have time to go through all my facebook friends combing for names right now. dan bennett. dan menendez.

and i have to say, for the most part, people don’t rip off material! if you look at the number of triangles and cones and bounce pianos… vs. the amount of original or cleared material that is performed each night all around the world, its no contest! these older professional performers who established these traditions did a good job of passing them on to the newer generation. and the newer generation seems to have done a pretty good job overall of upholding those values. and i think a large part of that has to do with the transparency of the internet, allowing people to be seen far and wide. and if there is an injustice, the community calls it out and fixes it generally. so when there are a few examples of people stealing material, i can’t really see that as being reason to suddenly allow everyone else to steal material too. i see it as a moment to educate those involved and stop the disease from spreading… the disease of ignorance or apathy.

people keep looking for fast and hard rules on this matter. ones that are carved in stone, that can be easily referrenced. that doesn’t exist. how should people learn then? they should participate in the community. and those in the community should pass on these values when there is the chance to do so. luckily juggling is small enough that we can still have personal contact on a case by case basis. duo supka might not have known that it was wrong to take ideas without permission. but i found out about them one way or another and then had a conversation with them. it didn’t last long because they knew exactly what they were doing. they were not naieve. they said that the props were something they took but they created characters, costume, dramaturgy and music to surround the props. i asked if i could then copy their characters, costume, dramaturgy and music without asking for their permission, but then change the props. of course that was not ok. that’s because its not only about props or tricks or this or that one element. its everything. you just can’t copy shit without permission in performing. and its not because its a law. or you will go to jail. or its illegal. or its about money. or its about licensing. or you will get sued. its because that’s how the world works, how the community functions. its the traditions of how performing has evolved.

and that can be confusing, if you started as a hobbyist and you were jamming your buugeng every night at EJC in the dance tent. then all of a sudden you’re facebooking me asking how jorg mueller rigs his pendulums so you can copy his act for a show you’re doing and instead of me telling you how to rig your shit, i write you back with the surprising news that you should create your own material or ask jorg yourself. so you didn’t know it was stealing to do jorg’s pipe pendulums. ok. now you know. so don’t do it. and then you can even think to yourself, shit, what else was i planning to do in my show now that i know its stealing if i copy someone else’s material without their permission and put it on stage? and shit, i have this friend who was planning on building a triangle to use in their show, maybe i should have a conversation with them as well.

this is not rocket science here. overall its an easy concept that’s not hard to figure out. what does get tricky is all the nuances and opinions of the people involved who create the material. but if you have a question, just ask them! this is not any roadblock to overcome that’s any bigger than any of the other steps you need to take to perform. if you’re mature enough to think you will stand in front of others and present juggling to them, then you’re mature enough to pause for 1 second and think about where that juggling comes from and where its going. you don’t know where a piece of material came from? you don’t know if something is a piece of material or some smaller coponent that is public domain? you can ask people who have been around longer than you. how are you supposed to know to ask people? you can either keep going along your path until you bump into someone who might be vocal about what you’re doing. or we as a community as well can start to spread this message, just as we spread siteswap, and fight night rules. and that message is: if you’re going to perform juggling, don’t be an asshole and steal other people’s shit. and stealing means taking it without their permission. and taking it means that you haven’t transformed it enough to make it your own.

we could have spent all this time talking about what that means. that’s the conversation i’ve been dying to have for years on this topic. but we never get beyond arguing over if its ethical to steal or not. but there’s a good rule of thumb which has been circulating for years now- if you were to perform your juggling in a show which also contained the original creator’s material on the same bill, would the audience say they were generally the same thing? i take a slightly different variation on this- i always like to think that if you were to show your version of the material to the original creator, would they get as inspired from seeing you as you were from seeing them? again, this is in the instance where you don’t ask for permission or consult the original creator beforehand.

which brings me to my final point- everyone who is opposed to my thesis here, always think that with this way of thinking no one can do crystal balls anymore (one way you can which we already covered is if you’re not doing a show), or that if you have to ask people permission to perform material then no one else can do that material. the funny thing is, lots and lots of time you can actually get permission to do things! just the fact that you ask shows a level of respect and understanding which gives you credibility and trust. and the thing is, if you ask greg if you can do his cone and he says no… why the hell would you not want to respect his wishes, since you asked in the first place? but if you have something significant to add to the conversation, some variation or innovation on his cone, i’m sure he would listen and give it due consideration. and that’s the best thing about all of this- in the end you get to have a conversation with these people about their work and about your work. if they don’t respond to you, then look elsewhere. the world is so big, there are so many things to do. if you don’t show respect to the community you will not get respect from the community. and in performing juggling you are crossing over into several communities- jugglers, performers, producers, etc. everyone who says that if they have to ask permission to do things then there won’t be anyone doing anything, all those people already know they are doing wrong! that’s why they automatically jump to that conclusion. i’ve had several great postítive exchanges with fellow performing jugglers over the past few years- both in getting asked if they can use some of my material, and me asking them if i can do some of theirs. its easy. its fun! its sustainable and builds a strong and healthy community where juggling and performing juggling can grow with respect and integrity.

but i think that this point we’re done arguing if its wrong to steal material or not. its clearly wrong. even @lukeburrage said that even though he thinks you can learn anything from anyone, you still have to credit the original creator. i can say that same thing in another way- luke believes its wrong to learn juggling from others and present it without proper credit. so even in his world you can’t just freely go around and do whatever you want without any moral judgement. then we have moved past this idea that its ok to simply learn/take/copy/steal material from other people. so we have a few things we could discuss finally:

  1. since we have established there is a line which can be crossed, where exactly then does that line fall? we could start the conversation by having a range between luke and myself… on his end the line is that you simply need to credit the creator, you don’t even have to have their permission. on my end you need to have permission or you need to present something unique enough that you have made it your own.

  2. where is the line to determine if something has been transformed enough to be unique or not? when is it derivitive of the original work, and when do you actually have something new on your hands?

  3. luke brought up this idea that he left the bounce piano out of the discussion because he considers that routine to be more about comedy and/or magic and both of those performing genres have different rules or traditions than juggling. is this true? and if so, what other differeneces are there between all these genres? (and is the bounce piano a juggling routine or not?)

  4. how do ideas spread throughout the juggling world? what is the relation between the hobbyist culture and the professional juggling world?

  5. what role does the history of juggling have in these discussions? greg’s cone is really easy to talk about because we all know who greg is and he invented his cone in our lifetime. if we knew where the cascade came from, would that change our relation to it as professional performers? is there such a thing as a public domain inside of juggling and if so what’s in it? and with lots of new interest in juggling history these past few years, has this or would this affect the idea of public domain in any way?


#25

i distilled this down to a facebook status, cross posting here for personal future reference-

dear juggling community:

stealing is wrong. no one is arguing that fact. however, people do disagree if something is considered to be theft or not. this comes down to their reference points, to what degree they are concerned with this problem, and when something changes from being derivitive to unique.

a circus festival was promoting https://www.facebook.com/duo.supka with their act where they perform using greg kennedy’s cone and michael moschen’s triangle. as soon as i saw photos of the act i immediately knew they were stealing material from greg and michael. that’s because both the cone and the triangle are iconic references to their original creators. those juggling props are famously linked to their inventors. and as i am personal friends to both of them, i was sure this act did not have permission to use their material. that was indeed the case after some investigating and it was clear duo supka are thieves in this instance. they had failed both to get permission to perform those ideas, and they had not transformed those ideas enough to make them their own.

in the photos with the large geometric juggling props, there were also juggling balls. no one called them out for stealing this prop shape because balls are not iconically identified or defined by any one juggling performer in this current day and age. similarly they may have plagiarized other elements of their act… perhaps their eye makeup was copied from the banquine act of the cirque du soleil show quidam. but this detail was not overtly obvious or evident in the photos, perhaps also coupled with the fact that i have no idea what the makeup design was for that act in that show off the top of my head.

this does mean though that its also possible to steal other things than just juggling prop shapes- if you wear all grey, use a grey diabolo, have a clock ticking sound, and use jerky movements then you are copying guillaume karpowicz. if you wear a nude bodysuit, airbrushed with fake abs, and wiggle around on stage with russian balls and a shaved head you are clearly being viktor kee. and if you haven’t asked guillaume or viktor permission to do those things, then you are stealing material from them and that’s not ok. and you don’t even have to do their act move for move- if someone looks at you and immediately thinks “viktor kee” then you are most likely in the wrong if you are presenting your work as an original creation that you made up. and in my book, even if you say “inspired by” or “a tribute to” and then list the name of whoever you are ripping off, but you don’t have their permission… still very very wrong!

of course there are performing jugglers who don’t see any problem with stolen material. for me this practice is very destructive. these theives are vampires that suck the blood out of the community without giving anything back. if everyone were to behave like them, there would eventually not be anything left to copy or any motivation for anyone to make anything new in the context of the community. more generally though, jugglers disagree over the degree to which an identifiable concept has been personalized.

since no two people on earth will have the exact same reference points, its impossible to make a list of exactly what things are considered to be stolen if they are performed without permission. if i had never seen greg or michael’s work, the photos of duo supka would not have triggered any negative reaction from me. someone else may have come along later and recognized what was happening. in this hypothetical situation i would not have thought they stole anything but the other person would. the same goes for any other infinite amounts of references we see during our lifetimes- some people will think its theft and others will not.

so what can we do in this situation? the first thing is to become aware of these destructive behaviors and attitudes. you can also learn more about who your audience is, where your ideas come from, and the history of your craft. then, when creating something which contains obvious references, you have to act with integrity to your full capacity, to the limit of your resources. perhaps that means reaching out privately to other performers and asking their permission (along with an exchange of money even). or maybe asking for advice and feedback publicly from the community. there’s a good rule of thumb that i heard a few years ago: if you perform your act in a show which also includes a performance by the original creator of the material you were inspired by… the audience should not notice the two acts came from the same idea. i personally took this advice another way and like to say that if you are inspired by someone and make something out of their creation and show it to them… then they should be just as inspired by what you show them as you were inspired by their work.

for further discussion and other points of view, please head to:


#26

Right. Maybe some people know the “special status” of some props but not others. In the case of crystals, a fellow British juggler who has been a professional for 30 years or so didn’t know there was any controversy. The same controversy exists now for the triangle, with the only difference being that the controversy has lasted longer due to the prop being more difficult to make.

This is my entire point with the original video: you need to get over it.

My followup point in this forum is that if you’re not going to get over it: put in the work to make sure the special ownership/permission/licensing status of EVERY prop is MORE clear than BOTH the triangle and cone. Complaining on Facebook about two particular props only makes things LESS clear.

But personally I hope you don’t, or if you do, you fail to convince anyone not to work on their new crystal or s-staff routine. I want to see more of everything.


#27

Please do not quote me on this. You are not representing my views correctly. I did not say I think it is wrong to learn from others and present it without proper credit.

What I meant was that, in a case where you might be given credit accidentally for creating a new prop, it’s better to pass credit along to where it belongs. In this case, the easiest way is to name the props after the inventors.

Stop telling me I think it is morally wrong for anyone to make their own version of a new prop. I do not.


#28

Thanks for all the clarifications in this thread from both parties.

I feel like I am somewhere in between. I feel uncomfortable with copies of the cone and the triangle. Maybe it has something to do with them being very iconic.

However, @instantjuggler, correct me if I’m wrong but you seem to extend the argument against copying to the point where single tricks should remain “protected”, owned by their creator, at least for professional performers.

The first thing that comes to my mind is that if amateurs are copying and spreading material, and I’m learning from them, it becomes really hard to trace the origins of tricks, and there would be no way of knowing what I can and can not use, as @lukeburrage has also already mentioned. The safest way would probably be to not perform any trick that I’ve not created myself.
But as I already mentioned in my other post, I am not that interested in creating tricks at all. I do create tricks for fun, but as a performer I search for tricks to best fulfill my needs on stage. I genuinely do believe that I am creating new and interesting material for jugglers in this way, acts which many people enjoy, hopefully even those who might recognize the origins of my tricks.

A small anecdote: I was warming up for my hoop act backstage at a juggling convention, and did a small two ring manipulation move which was recognized by Riky Riccardo Tanca who was performing in the same show. He asked me where I had learned it, and I explained that I saw a hooper do it in my circus school. It seemed such a basic move that I assumed it to be around forever, and since I’ve learned it I’ve surely seen countless people do it.
Riky claimed to have invented it.
At that moment I didn’t think much of it. It was an interesting discovery, but I didn’t consider asking him for permission to perform it that night. But what if I did? I would probably have to do this then for every trick in my act. All these things which I had learned from various people, I would have to double check their origins, and ask for permission. Some of these tricks I had thought to other performing professionals too. Out of love and interest for those tricks and juggling. Would I have been guilty of spreading “stolen” material?

And I know, for some people the whole point of juggling is too create new tricks, and they would perhaps rather see a world where every act and every video showed only original moves… But I don’t, and I believe there are a lot of people who don’t. How about all the tricks we’ve learned to trick sharing? All the tricks I’ve learned in workshops? All the tricks I’ve seen that made me want to juggle? All the variations and new tricks I’ve made because I felt comfortable and free to take tricks from others?

All of this only works for me to a certain extend. There is a large grey area. Where I feel very comfortable taking a single trick, I do not enjoy seeing an act that has all of their tricks taken from a single juggler, seeing full routines copied, or seeing somebody work with a prop which I know the original author recently spent a lot of time on creating. But I would not be able to draw a single line on what is alright and what isn’t, and surely being original is the safest of all.

I just know that the freedom to take, learn and use stuff from others has made me who I am today, and I would not have been able to become that if my (professional) juggling was inhibited by the fear of “stealing”.


#29

I spend zero time being concerned of the Rejean’s of the world, who has built their career on someone else’s intellectual property, without the inventor’s consent. In some way, I feel sorry for them. You have this one life, and one career at your disposal, and your choice is to base it on unethical and counterproductive thievery? That is just sad in my eyes.

I can not say I am much bothered of the actual theft. The real pathology lays in the denial as far as I am concerened. I can fully relate to the temptation of taking an idea from someone else, and I think many reasons that have been mentioned are certainly a reality. I need a working act, I need to make money, the time I can spend on research and creation is limited and so forth, are all situations that I think everyone who has attempted to build a career can relate to. But when someone tries to justify the theft as being OK, or that there is even something positive or productive about it, that is what I find really delusional and sick. Besides ethics, there is also something really boorish about this kind of behavior. It is some kind of Disneyland approach to art. It is just tacky, a complete void of both pride and aestethics. How about spending the time you have on making something you can honestly be proud of? If not for respect of other people in this world and their creations, but out of respect for yourself.