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Let us all continue to fight exposure...
Example of the good WAM has done...RIP-OFF illusion builder is identified and contacted
Led by the tireless efforts of founder Walter Zaney Blaney, World Alliance of Magicians attacked the crooks who have been stealing magic. They continued to write letters and enlist members of the magic community to help fight exposure, stop illegal sales of pirated magic effects and illusions and get the issue of ETHICS in magic to be at the forefront of thinking in the magic world. It was not an easy battle, with so many dirtbag magic dealers out there who are ruled by the almighty dollar more than anything else.

It is the hope of all of us that magic publications will stop accepting ads from dealers who sell illegal copies of others inventions. Most have agreed to do so. Genii has not. They continue to run ads from some of the biggest thieves in the business. They must need the money. WE all hope that the editor Mr. Kaufman will come to his senses and change his policy towards such scoundrels. We shall see.

acceptthe thieves of the magic world

WAM is no more...
The organization was disbanded recently, but we felt we should keep this information here for all to see and appreciate the work that Walter and the gang did for five years. Take a look at the support Walter enlisted to help fight these crooks, it's an impressive letter that was signed by every major name in magic.

Here is a brief history of the organization and the work they have done in their first five years... .

by Walter Zaney Blaney
WAM President Emeritus
and member of the MagicWebChannel Panel of Magic Advisors

Yes, it was five years ago, May 18, 1998, when WAM was founded as a
California non-profit corporation. It began when a concerned group of
professional magicians met at The Magic Castle for two days of discussions on
how best the world magic community could combat the horrific exposure of many
of our top stage illusions on the FOX-TV series "Breaking the Magicians
Code...Magician's Secrets Finally Revealed ."

The meeting was chaired by Magic Castle president Dale Hindman, and hosted by
Magic Castle's founder Milt Larsen. Ed Thomas represented the SAM (now
current International president of SAM). IBM was represented by David Sandy
(now International president elect of IBM). Magic Magazine was represented by
editor Stan Allen. Don Wayne and I represented the magic illusion inventors.
Mark Wilson was there as Magic Castle president emeritus.

David Baram was a Magic Castle member magician and an attorney specializing
in entertainment law. He was also a legal consultant to David Copperfield.
Mr. Baram convinced the group that the magic community must quickly speak out
against what the FOX-TV network was doing...a "speak now or forever hold your
peace" situation...before a precedent was set by FOX-TV because magicians had
not protested the FOX-TV exposure shows.

FOX-TV had already aired two such shows scoring a huge viewership of 24
million and 20 million homes. A third show was due to air in just two weeks
in late May. It was decided that magicians could have the most clout against
FOX-TV if we formed a federation of all the major magic societies around the
world....thus our name WORLD ALLIANCE OF MAGICIANS (WAM).

Officers chosen were Walter Zaney Blaney, president; Chuck Jones, vice
president and treasurer; Frances Willard, secretary; David Sandy and Kevin
Spencer, directors. There was also an impressive Advisory Board of a dozen
internationally known "names in magic."

We immediately hired a prominent Hollywood public relations firm, the David
Brokaw Co., to help get out the magician's side of the story regards the
mass exposure of our craft's secrets. There were many national TV interviews
by the likes of Mark Wilson, Milt Larsen, and other professionals. Our story
appeared in hundreds of newspapers throughout the country. Millions who had
wondered why the magicians had not protested the exposure of our secrets now
heard the reasons why it was wrong and hurtful to our business. Two weeks
later when show number three aired, the audience was cut to only 8 million
homes. Whatever a few naysayers may think, 8 million viewers is a LOT smaller
than 20 or 24 million.

Between show number three and show number four WAM now had several months to lay out a calculated plan to thwart FOX-TV and hurt them in their pocketbook.
There would be no "screaming and hollering", no boycotts of sponsor's
products, no picketing, no lawsuits by WAM.

Instead, in a quiet, reasoned, businesslike way we made a list of all the
corporate sponsors of the shows. We wrote directly to the firms' CEO's, their
Advertising Executives and their Public Relations Managers. It was a cordial
letter saying that magicians understood that they surely had not realized
what kind of new TV shows FOX-TV was producing with their "Masked Magician"
show. They could not have known the harm these shows were causing, not just
to the hard working magicians around the world who were supporting their
families by bringing the age old art of magic to the world stage, but even
more harm to the public itself by taking away and destroying the wonder and
delight that magic and mystery bring to all ages.

We immediately received back letters of apology from dozens of these
corporate executives all agreeing with WAM and saying they would no longer
sponsor such shows. Among them were Coca Cola, McDonalds, Kelloggs, Wendys, Robitussin, MMM to name but a few. And guess Number Four had only THREE national sponsors, the rest were all just promo ads for other FOX
network shows. Not only that, FOX-TV had their smallest audience yet. It was
over a year before they tried one more such show, this time exposing Close-Up
magic secrets, and the ratings were still the lowest of all.

Last month NBC aired a show exposing so called "psychic's secrets." It was
actually another show exposing this time "Psychic Entertainer's Secrets." It
was produced by Nash Entertainment, the same producers of the former FOX-TV
exposure shows. WAM is again writing the various sponsors, and will make the
list available on our WAM website for others who wish to write letters.

Most magicians are not aware of the further activities of Valentino after he
was let go by FOX-TV. He went on to produce a weekly exposure show in Brazil
on Globo TV for ten months in 1999. The Brazilian magicians, with initial
help and advice from WAM, were able to get Valentino thrown out of their
country. They then bravely fought the gigantic Globo TV with a lawsuit that
lasted these past four years. Just this month the Brazilian court ruled in
favor of the magicians, and Globo TV must pay lost income to the 22 magicians
who filed the suit, a considerable amount. The story was sent out by the
Associated Press worldwide. Our congratulations to the Brazilian magicians
for their hard work, their perseverance and their big success.

Valentino then did the same thing in Japan with three big two-hour national
TV exposure shows. Again WAM assisted the Japanese magicians in a writing
campaign to the sponsors.

More recently WAM has shifted our focus to try and stop the rip-off magic
builders and dealers in the magic world. These pirates simply build and
market very cheap copies of all the successful illusions designed by the
inventors who make their living producing and marketing their own new
creations. Some of these "rip-off guys" have dealers around the world who
handle their stolen illusions. WAM will soon reveal our plans on how we can
help thwart this flagrant stealing of the intellectual property of our best
magic inventors. We have had the advice and thinking of many of these
inventors who see the strong need to protect the incentive to continue their
creative efforts for the benefit of all magicians.

Check out additional related articles, on WAM Page Two

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