How Illegal Is This Card?

With today’s technology, it’s easy for almost anyone to make cards that look as good as what’s out there. In some cases, even better than what’s being put out by the big companies. I often wonder just how far you can push before the team of lawyers at Major League Baseball take notice. I’m sure you could make thousands of cards without a problem if it’s in your collection but what about when you attempt to sell them on the secondary market, mainly, eBay?

When I stopped collecting in 2009, there were a ton of custom card makers out there (some good, some awful) making stuff and sometimes even trading for their work. I never once spotted one for sale before but when I go on eBay now, they are everywhere. There are people making patch cards like the one below and someone even making a custom SuperFractor. I’m no lawyer but isn’t describing the card as a Superfractor worth Topps suing? How about using the New York Yankees logo?

I want to believe collectors are not being fooled by these cards and just want to add as many cards to their collection as possible, even if said card was made in a 14-year old kid’s PC at mom’s house. While doing a search through Completed Listings I discovered that some of these cards sell for as high as $60+ dollars? With an unknown print run and no business practices or rules, someone could print an endless supply of these and sell them all over.

As for the Jose Canseco below, when I spotted it on eBay I immediately jumped in excitement. Not for the design or patch but because I thought it was a 2014 release I somehow missed. Now that I know it’s a custom it’s just another card I’m going to pass on. I’m a Canseco fan but there’s still WAY too many official cards for me to pick up before getting into this whole custom card nonsense.

It’s available for a .99 cent opening bid for anyone braver than me.

Manufactured patch? Check.


Categories: eBay Treasures, The Hobby, The Topps Company | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “How Illegal Is This Card?

  1. There are definitely a lot of people out there who make some very good cards, while likely illegally using images that they don’t have the rights too, I’m guilty myself of ripping some images for customs, but I only make a few for myself for TTM requests. I’d never sell or try to profit from them.

  2. There’s not really a measure of how illegal, it either is or isn’t. In this case, it definitely IS, as this probably wouldn’t even qualify as an “art card”. I am curious if MLB is making much effort to stop this kind of thing given the huge market in bootleg MLB apparel.

    Even the “patch” is some kind of knockoff. The A’s always have another little tail on the left side of the ‘A’, and Canseco would have never worn an Oakland cap that had green on white.

  3. I’m with Jason on this. I am a lawyer, but I don’t practice in copyright/trademark law. That said, I guarantee that Topps has a trademark for the term “SuperFractor”. MLB and its constituent clubs have their own trademarks for their logos, team names, etc.

    As for that “A”, it looks more like the logo used no later than 1972 or so by Oakland. So, once again, Jason is 100% correct on that as well.

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