image theft of WotC

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victorcamp
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Re: image theft of WotC

Post by victorcamp » Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:54 am

i believe it was based off of a picture taken by macone and touched up by victorfrost...
I mean, you're saying that victorfrost recreated this card digitally, using knowledge of the layout and colors and so forth used at the time.
Come on guys, it's VICTORCAMP!

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Re: image theft of WotC

Post by TerraFrost » Tue Feb 15, 2005 7:49 am

sorry!  :-X

anyway, might it be prudent to make note of the fact that the schiciwhatever dragon picture is a mockup, albeit a very good one, and to give credit explicitly, to victorcamp?

perhapes, if nothing else, a link to the specific post in this thread that enumerates on it could be added.
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hammr7
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Re: image theft of WotC

Post by hammr7 » Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:56 am


What was the purpose of that? I've used the term "chase cards" on my website. Should I ask Bob?
Based upon somewhat hazy recollections, one possible reason for Wizards not wanting the term "chase card" related to any of their US offerings at that time was possible adverse litigation and law suits.

A short time before the issuance of Planeshift, there was a move by some politicians to go after the many collectible card companies that were making extensive use of chase cards to sell product.  For those unaware of the term, it applies to cards that are much rarer, more desirable, and usually much more valuable than "regular" cards.  Examples of premium chase cards found in sports offerings included autographed and special foil cards, as well as pieces of equipment or jerseys inbedded in special cards.  Some of these cards became so valuable that kids were buying packs of product in search of the chase cards, and were often throwing most everything else away.

With most older collectible card offerings, each card in a set had approximately the same number of copies made.   The new offerings purposely made some cards much rarer, and therefore more valuable, than others.  Faced with these newer offerings, some lawyers argued the distribution and desirability of these special cards, combined with the method of selling (randomly, and blindly, in a sealed package), constituted gambling.  The argument was that these kinds of offerings, where most packs were worth very little, and a few were worth a lot, were, in fact, lotteries (which are supposed to be regulated at the state level) being sold across state lines to minors.  

Wizards was soon included because of its unbalanced make-up for many of its products (only one rare to many commons).  In particular, Pokemon cards were going crazy and kids were buying packs trying to find the expensive rares (like the original Charizard Foil), then throwing out the commons and uncommons.  

Wizards tried to defend itself by claiming that it valued all cards at the same price, and was not influential in making or manipulating secondary market prices for its products.  Ironically, this gave a minor legal loophole to anyone making proxy cards that began as a real magic common.  Wizards couldn't argue loss of income if someone took a common and made it look more like a rare, since both the common and rare had the same "value" to Wizards, and that value had been paid upon purchase.   Furthermore, Wizards couldn't argue that proxies reduced the aftermarket value of its products, because it supposedly was indifferent to aftermarket valuations.

A class action suit against the chase cards was prepared, while lawyers on both sides tried to hammer out behind-the-scenes agreements.  The story made it to the pages of the Wall Street Journal.  Apparantly Wizards managed to avoid the suit when it was determined that the lead lawyer in the Class action (from NYC or Long Island) belonged to the same firm that represented Wizards (from its west coast office).  Combined with Wizards earlier statements (about valuing all cards the same, and not setting individual card prices on the secondary market), they were allowed to continue their unbalanced distributions.  I don't know if the suit ultimately died, or whether any out-of-court settlements were ever reached.

But around that time I expect that Wizards was more than a little touchy about any of their offerings being labeled as "chase cards".
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Re: image theft of WotC

Post by Celebrindor » Tue Feb 15, 2005 10:07 am


The chances of a reconstruction and a scan of an actual card coming up within pixels of each other even with a near perfect reconstruction are so astronomically low I would call it near impossible.  The colours would be slightly  different on contrast or brightness or whatever simply based on the scanner used and what image effects were used on the scan.

Wotc is fairly notorious for not having scanned or archived a good portion of their early works.  Almost the entire Autocard cards they have are not scans but digital reproductions of the cards based on the archived arts (which they luckily kept mostly.)

Chances are the 1996 world Champion pic is their own, not ours.  But ours I do believe is based on the same promotional materials as theirs is.    As Mark Rosewater said in the article, 1996 world champion was used in a lot of promos back then.
I noticed this too - a fair amount of the Alpha cards that appear in the autocard windows show clear damage (the BoP comes to mind).

While I do believe it is wrong for them to use our image without giving us credit, we must keep in mind that we have images of copyrighted products all over the site that we are using without permission...

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Re: image theft of WotC

Post by Tha_Gunslinga » Tue Feb 15, 2005 12:33 pm

WotC always seems to be throwing down Cease-and-Desist letters for stuff like this; why are they suddenly the ones using an image without attribution?

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Re: image theft of WotC

Post by hammr7 » Tue Feb 15, 2005 6:17 pm

WotC always seems to be throwing down Cease-and-Desist letters for stuff like this; why are they suddenly the ones using an image without attribution?
If it is close enough to the original, and Wizards owns the rights to the original, then they don't have to give credit to someone else's copy of their property.  It is probably enough that they allow images of their products to be shown on the site.  Put another way, since they own all the rights, they are the only ones that can have a chance at a successful cease-and-desist.
Where have all the Magic sticker sets gone?

rick21n
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Re: image theft of WotC

Post by rick21n » Tue Feb 15, 2005 7:17 pm

I noticed this too - a fair amount of the Alpha cards that appear in the autocard windows show clear damage (the BoP comes to mind).
Autocard and Gatherer both appear to use generic borders with the card contained within them.  

They use an 8 piece border each side and each corner all labeled with cardinal and intermidiate directions.

For example here is the "North" Border of an Alpha Card:
Image

This would beg the question why they couldn't find a single mint Alpha Card to use for the borders.

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Ralph Herold
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Re: image theft of WotC

Post by Ralph Herold » Tue Feb 15, 2005 11:27 pm

silver.paladin: An interesting idea. I agree it is possible that the person in charge of the article just found the same image at different locations and simply did not know where it originates from.

DeadSmurf: I used this image to create the image on this website: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=mtgcom/arcana/91. Before that, Bob and I used a scan from a Duelist magazine image.

AXIOS: I believe WotC simply forgot to scan the Shichifukujin Dragon card or considered it unnecessary. After all, it is a unique card and public knowledge about the card was minimal at that time.

rick21n: When I saw the image, contacting WotC about it crossed my mind, but I quickly abandoned this idea. The whole matter is based upon courtesy alone, and therefore any request , both straightly uttered or merely implied, would bear the risk of causing trouble. The benefit of a simple acknowlegment is not worth this risk.

TerraFrost: I have thought about adding further info about the origin of this image to the website, but I have considered it counter-productive, as it would cause unnecessary suspicion and create a distorted imagination of the authenticity of the image. Fact is that the image looks closer to the real card than some scans do. Adding all this background would cause peope to believe otherwise (which I think is natural). More discussion about this is welcome.

Note for those who fear that one exception deserves another: This is the only purely artificial image on the website. All other images are based upon scans.

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Re: image theft of WotC

Post by flatmatt » Wed Feb 16, 2005 12:43 am

Well, I don't really want to go into my opinion on the matter, as I haven't really formed much of an opinion.  Just wanted to remind everyone that the writers don't pick the images for the articles, so if there's anyone to "blame," it's the web team.

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Post by extreme » Mon May 19, 2008 3:57 pm

reviving an old thread.
I tried redoing these two from the ones on your site, using new frames and, in the case of the dragon, the official life counter (courtesy of presetm). However, the image on it is considerably smaller.
Also, there seem to be 2 versions of the dragon card, with very different colors, and the counter also has a different kind of blue. I have no idea which one is correct, so i stuck mainly to the counter. I can probably do better - does any of you have the original photos of the card ?

here are the cards:
Image
Image

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