We’ve seen it plenty of times. A famous routine, be it Jeff McBride’s masks or Penn & Teller’s Blast Off, copied note for note by a foreign performer. Eerie in their precession, the performers are using the originals as a blueprint that must be adhered to, oftentimes duplicating the tiniest costume detail or mimicking a seemingly improvised movement.

But the question is, why is this happening for frequently? The BBC explored the topic asking many top inventors and performers how the trend has affected them.

“It’s a sad situation. It’s like a cancer in our business,” says magician Kevin James, who is is nicknamed “the inventor” because of his record of innovation.

Many of James’ most famous illusions are listed on Chinese websites for a third of the price with what looks to be his endorsement. Of course, this is not a problem unique to magic. The rise of cheap Chinese manufacturing has also shown us how little many Chinese factories value intellectual property.

But on the bright side, the internet has also brought wider adoption of the code of magic ethics.

Just as an interconnected world has increased the speed and ease of ripping off ideas, it has also allowed for the spread of the idea of a magicians’ code of ethics.

Arguably this kind of voluntary self-regulation could actually foster creativity among magicians. A recent cover story in the trade magazine Magic identified South Korea as a hotbed of talented new magicians. It’s also home to the Do Not Copy the Magic campaign – one of the most active movements against stealing tricks in the industry.

So at least we got that going for us.