A magician never reveals his secrets. A magician will also file a lawsuit if another magician tries to sell of his secrets. Teller, from Penn & Teller, has filed a lawsuit against Dutch entertainer Gerard Dogge who was allegedly trying to sell the secret behind Teller’s “Shadows” trick.
The Hollywood Reporters notes that Dogge, whose real name is Gerard Bakardy, posted a video of his “The Rose and Her Shadow” trick on Youtube. Bakardy also said that he would reveal the secret behind the trick to anyone with $3,050.
Teller said that he called Dogge and offered him money to stop revealing the secret behind the trick. The two couldn’t reach an agreement so Teller filed a lawsuit.
According to the U.S. Copyright Office, a magic tricks can by copyrighted as a “pantomime.” The office states that the act must be “fixed in a tangible medium of expression from which the work can be performed” in order to qualify for a copyright.
Teller may have a case against Dogge because in 1983 he had his “Shadows” trick copyrighted.
Here’s the sketch Teller made of his trick while applying for his copyright.
Teller writes in the lawsuit that “Shadows” is one of his oldest and most iconic tricks. Teller writes that “Shadows” is one of the “oldest, most venerated piece of material in continuous use in Penn & Teller’s Show, and while other material has come and gone, it has remained as a universal favorite.”
Here’s a video of Teller performing “Shadows.”