According to TMZ, Teller filed a lawsuit in Nevada federal court against a magician who uploaded a YouTube video demonstrating the method behind the silent half of P&T’s iconic effect Shadows.

The YouTube clip has since been removed.

The lawsuit further alleges that the magician Gerard Bakardy offered to teach the secrets behind the “Rose & Her Shadow” effect for $3,050. Teller has had the copyright for the method and performance of “Shadows” since 1983.

He is demanding a court bar Bakardy from selling the secrets and performing the routine. Teller is also demanding unspecified damages.

Below is the screen the pops up when you attempt to find the offending clip.

YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.-1.jpg
  • HAL

    Just wondering why the ‘Masked Magician’ (who did, I think 13 shows exposing tricks) wasn’t sued? And I must admit, I couldn’t wait to see them.

  • Anybody

    Teller’s is a copyrighted trick.

    Masked magician revealed stock “public domain” illusions. I enjoyed the episodes too. I guess about half of them.

  • HAL

     Many years ago, Herbert Becker wrote a book, “All the Secrets of Magic Revealed”. It was suppose to include “Great Wall of China”, “Statue of Liberty”. and other big illusions. After a threat from Copperfield to sue, the big illusions turned into rubber band tricks and linking rings. I paid $22. back then, it was a total waste.

  • Chezaday

    I’m glad to hear Teller is doing something about this type of stupidity.  It’s a shame that no one took down the “Masked Moron.”  I guess it would have only brought more attention to the series if Mr. Copperfield threatened to sue him.

    At least it’s over for now …

  • HAL

     I’m having trouble understanding how you can claim a certain trick, and nobody else can copy it. Let’s say S&R were the first to make an elephant disappear. Then Angel does the same thing, can he be sued? Every magician saws the woman in half, the box is different, but the method is the same. If every magician had a copyright doing the trick first, there would be very few magicians.

    And, what about non-magicians like me who figure out a trick? We’re not sworn to secrecy. If the trick is good, I should be fooled. Difference is, Valentino had the means to get a national TV show. 

  • JustinRYoung

    Some methods are more in the public domain than others. The one behind Shadows is certainly not something widely used and he is credited with that routine. It’s hard to defend but many performers feel better because they have the protections they do.

  • HAL

     Thanks. Just found out..’Walking on Water’ was copyrighted about 2000 years ago. The 3 magicians who did this recently are being sued.

  • Craig Burr

    I was searching online for the filings of this and Gerard Backardy is only his stage name, Gerard Dogge is his real name.

  • Banester

    Craig, thanks for posting his “real” name so now we can call and harass him or maybe just picket in his front yard.  Why bother with the court system.

    As far as I am aware the methods are not copyrightable.  A gadget would be protected for a short time, but could also be reversed engineered.  The performance (patter) would be the only thing that might be covered as a copyright and he would have to use the exact performance to be in violation.

    I think he is just trying to bully the guy into stopping.  Penn & Teller have revealed other tricks for lining their pocket, I must say I kind of find it amusing that they are on the other end now.  If I recall they were not willing to participate in the group that petitioned the Fox network when the masked dude was on.

    Hal, I had mixed feeling on Val.  A lot of magicians could benefit from what they saw, the method and then having to develop the rest of the performance to go with it.  Unfortunate that it was broadcasted on TV though.  LOL I probably would have bought the DVD otherwise!

  • Banester

    Chezaday they tried to stop the network, a whole group of magicians formed a coalition.  I do not recall the name of the group, but all the big names were invloved and I am pretty sure Penn & Teller refused to help at that time (could be wrong on that, hey Justin do some diggin ;) , I am sure Chris Kenner will recall it.

    Here is just one article about that:

  • HAL

     If I recall, he claimed to reveal about 130 tricks. That may be true, but some were his own made up tricks, and others were simple, really not very important. He’d save one well known illusion for the end. If I read right, Val did it because of big money. He also got death threats.

    I do applaud Penn for speaking out against camera trick magicians (not that I know of any). I really don’t understand honest magicians supporting these frauds.

  • Snow White

    That’s what I love about you and Hal lol…you say what you really think; you aren’t spewing out compliments just trying to climb some social ladder you will realize later really didn’t matter in the first place. There are few comments you can really trust to be genuine, but when I read what you guys say, I know you are saying what you ‘really’ think…which is nice. Though Hal gets a little…repetitive and forgiving of Copperfield ;-) . Exitmat must be having a coniption with my excessive use of … lol.
    This is a touchy and yet interesting topic to discuss. I have mixed thoughts and I’m not sure I’ve entirely made up my mind…but, I don’t think it is plausible to “patent” a method. I think I know how this is done and I struggle to understand how this could have a patent and be defend-able in a court. It’s true what Banaster said about a scare tactic, because they have the budget to launch an intimidating law-suit that maybe the defendant can’t afford and so they back off. Sometimes the law comes down to who has more money…which is flawed.

  • HAL

     Thanks Snow, for seeing me as I really am. The most ridiculous thing we have in this country is this “Politically correct” BS. The dumb idea that we have freedom of speech. When a celebrity gets fired for stating what they truly believe, it certainly isn’t freedom of anything. The Government tells you what you’re allowed to think. Kirk Cameron is the latest victim, because he doesn’t approve of being gay. Andy Rooney, Michael Richards, Don Imus, Mel Gibson are other examples. People like Al Sharpton get paid by brainwashed idiot supporters to wait for somebody to make a racial slur so they can rant their BS on TV. The Constitution isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. And as you probably guessed, no, I don’t vote, I don’t waste my time determining which of two crooks is going to run my like. When people support someone like George Bush for 8 years, there simply is no hope.

    As for forgiving Copperfield, I just think he’s done more for magic, having performed ‘Live” where you can’t use camera tricks. Same is true for P&T and S&R.   

  • Craig Burr

    According to the courthouse news, Teller tried to settle out of court and buy it from Gerard (and basically stop him from performing it) but Gerard came back with a much higher figure

  • HAL

     Now I’m really confused? Why would Teller BUY a trick that he created, and thinks he owns? Maybe he has no confidence of winning in court.

  • JustinRYoung

    Most likely he wanted it down quickly and in private. That proved impossible, so now he had to take a public, punitive course.

  • HAL

     I’m really on his side, if Teller created it, it should be his. I think their bullet catch is the best, wonder what would happen if someone did it the same?

  • Anonymous

     In reality tricks can not be copyrighted.  Performances arts can.  Teller is suing under the fact that it not just a trick, it is performance art with the rose and everything. The Masked Magician usually changed up the trick with his own style and performance.

    Teller does not really have a strong case, but still pushing for him though.

  • magicaldon

    in actually , angel uses a different method than you saw . But You Not a Magi. so it’s none of your buisnes in the first place. . I am a Lifetime Member Of Both I.B M. and S.A.M. ( International Brotherhood of Magcians & Society of American Magicians ) . and go to a magic shop and talk to them about copywritten and pattens on on both magic equipment and routines . and there is no such thing as public domaine magic , there are CLASIC effects , but ALL Professional magicians , will tell the audence the orignator of the effect . even if it’s one of the effects we all start with , Cups and Balls . Which originated Durring the times of the mayan’s, With carvings of the Magi. of that Period Doing It on the Mayan Temples . we’ve been around along time . and kept the Magi’s Code that long as well . I’ve only had to do it for 43 years so far seeing as . Seeing As My Uncle ( Another Professional Magician ) Started teaching ME when I was 6 years old …. So Take lessons from a pro. if you really want to LEARN Somthing .Otherwise Please Just watch , and Leave the Performing to the Performers …. T Y. MD