Penn and Teller Suit: Magician Stole Our Trick
Dutch illusionist tries to sell shadow trick's explanation
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Apr 17, 2012 2:53 PM CDT
Updated Apr 21, 2012 12:30 PM CDT
US illusionists and magicians Penn Jillette, left, and Raymond Teller.   (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

(Newser) – Half of Penn and Teller is suing a fellow magician who he says ripped off a classic trick. Dutch illusionist Gerard Bakardy reportedly posted a YouTube video of "Rose and Her Shadow," a trick at the heart of the duo's repertoire, and Barkardy said he'd reveal the secret to anyone willing to shell out $3,050. Teller (the quiet one) says he offered to pay Bakardy, whose real name is Gerard Dogge, to desist from performing and selling the trick. But Bakardy wanted more cash, so Teller is suing in Nevada, his home state.

The lawsuit calls the trick the "oldest, most venerated piece of material in continuous use" in Penn and Teller performances. In it, the performer uses a knife to slice into the shadow of a flower in a vase; both the shadow and the flower itself appear to be cut. Teller filed for copyright of the trick as a "pantomime" in 1983, so he may have a case, the Independent reports. Check out a diagram here, via Yahoo. Dogge's YouTube video has been removed.

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Showing 3 of 17 comments
Mark Strange Love
Dec 3, 2013 8:50 AM CST
I doubt he will succeed in his law suit. first he has to serve papers on the guy. Then there is the jurisdictional issue. Most importantly, a magic trick or illusion is not really patented. It's the performance that is. If you look at his patent you'll see some of tellers drawings and how the act is performed. What you will not see is how the illusion is done. Even if he were to get to court, the secret would be revealed in a deposition. This is just grand standing on teller's part. Besides, this is how they got started in the first place: Poking fun at magicians and revealing how the most popular tricks are done. Anyway, does it really matter? These guys gave up their real fan base when they moved to Las Vegas, just like Elvis and everyone else who performs there.
Antagonist
Apr 21, 2012 6:12 PM CDT
Who gives a Fuck. Penn and Teller are so 1980's They are illusionists. These illusions have be available for who knows how long. That's like McDonalds suing Wendy's for selling hamburgers.
rakewell
Apr 17, 2012 9:43 PM CDT
Penn is such a hypocrite, like most libertarians. Someone reverse-engineered his trick, and he runs to the government to protect him. Guess what, this is the free market at work, buddy. Evolve and improve your "product", don't run to mommy for help!