Magic Pirate Bounty Hunters: It's A Real Thing

The story behind a new way to fight magic piracy and how you can make money doing so.

Ellusionist Bounty Hunter Promo Image
Ellusionist Bounty Hunters

Before we get into this, it's worth noting that Ellusionist sponsors One Ahead. They did not ask us to write this story but we sometimes recommend their tricks, like their new Ben Earl magic project. The Kickstarter window ends in less than 24 hours and already has 2,500+ magician backers. Don't miss out on card tricks from the world's best card magician. Our affiliate link: Get yours before it's too late.

Geraint Clarke became the CEO of Ellusionist in recent years, and it's easy to see the striking change in their business. From a new brand image to their brutally honest blog posts, Ellusionist is in a new era. But there was one issue he wasn't sure how to tackle.

It's an issue that impacts all of magic, including us lot, but it most directly impacts magic creators and businesses. That's right – magic piracy. It might sound like a funny concept, but file sharing, pirate sites, and unauthorized teaching/exposure videos seriously impact the magic businesses. What began at the start of the internet as a debate about whether open domain tricks (ones first taught over 50 years ago) should be available on YouTube for free has quickly snowballed into TikTokers and YouTubers (even notable magic names) reuploading tutorials and exposing tricks recently published by creators.

Lots of magic businesses handle piracy in different ways, with some taking a public lead more than others. Perhaps my favourite method to tackle pirates was by Rick Lax almost a decade ago. For a trick he published via theory11, he'd also record fake exposure videos and even wear masks to hide his identity. These fake tutorials would be posted on YouTube for people searching out pirated tutorials to find. Halfway through the video, Rick Lax unmasks, shames the viewers and encourages them to buy the actual tutorial.

This Rick Lax method is made so much more bizarre now when you consider how the magic community views him and his friend Justin Flom today regarding trick exposure. You couldn't make this shit up.

Last week, Geraint was sent a flurry of DM's about a magician named Ekaterina. She's a Canadian magician who has seen a meteoric rise in views and followers since she began frequently posting short tutorial videos online. On Instagram alone, Ekat has amassed 1.3 million followers.

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