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View Full Version : Are Customized Cards Legit or Unethical?



Batman72
03-16-2010, 09:19 PM
As they say, desperate times call for desperate measures. Such is the case some card collectors find themselves in with uncertainty and paranoia invading our thoughts regarding our Nationís economic recovery. We have learned through experience how to prioritize our hard earned dollars and stretch them until they bleed. The Sports card industry is raking in just 25% of what it once did at its peak in the early 90ís. That isnít even factoring in inflation. One part of this downfall is the result of the decline in the collectability of base cards. Base cards have become redundant, common, mundane, bland, whatever you want to call it. Unless you are a brand new collector or have a man crush on a certain player, most consider them nothing but cardboard.

As a result some collectors have taken it upon themselves to spice up their base cards while quite possibly turning a profit in the process. Customized cards are sprinkled in throughout auction sites. Anyone with a sharp exacto knife and some glue most likely can create one. One example of a custom card I have seen recently was Sammy Baughís 2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces base card. The front of the card was cut so that the maker could fit an NFL Shield patch on the front of the card. The patch is obviously manufactured. The seller does clearly state that the card is custom made. Perhaps Sammy Baugh does not resonate with collectors as he used to however. The card was priced at $7.49 but did not sell. The interesting thing is however that several other cards this particular seller has made have in fact sold, and sold well at that. A 2008 customized Joe Montana Masterpieces base card using the same format of a manufactured NFL patch attached to the card recently sold for over $8.00. And it seems many of the buyers of these cards are happy with them.

With card companies using manufactured patches themselves these days, does it really matter if a card you purchase comes from a large Card Manufacturer or the average Joe collector? I can imagine Upper Deck would take issue with sellers manipulating and customizing their cards to make money. It can probably even be argued that making these custom cards and selling them for profit is illegal. I can definitely see an ethical argument against such a practice. As always though, collectors should make the call. Why not add a new dimension to a faltering hobby? See how creative you can get and share your works with other collectors. The most important thing is to keep the hobby fresh, exciting, and fun.

ildd
03-17-2010, 06:37 PM
i make custom cards, but i dont sell them, i dont make a profit, i dont try to and dont expect to... i do it because its fun.

TheDoleUSMC
03-18-2010, 06:31 PM
I commend you for that ildd. I belive the same; if you want to alter or manipulate a card for your own collection or entertainment, have at it! When you decide to try to sell that card and pass it off as genuine when its actually spurious or fugazzi its a problem. Genuine is genuine: fake is fake. Just like plastic surgery on a human. It may look nice but you know its not real and it just isnt the same!

SingleDaddyof2
03-19-2010, 11:45 AM
Interesting take on customized cards...apparently they are a growing trend in the hobby. I'm wondering if it is or will be at the point where some of these customizers gain a reputation as being among the best in the field, somewhat akin to the regard some tattoo artists or snow boarders enjoy in their field.

ildd
03-19-2010, 05:12 PM
I commend you for that ildd. I belive the same; if you want to alter or manipulate a card for your own collection or entertainment, have at it! When you decide to try to sell that card and pass it off as genuine when its actually spurious or fugazzi its a problem. Genuine is genuine: fake is fake. Just like plastic surgery on a human. It may look nice but you know its not real and it just isnt the same!
yea, the only time i made money(well, i really didnt make it) was because i gave 1 i made to a guy on youtube who was doing a charity. the 1 i gave him was really nice, it was a dirk nowitzki logo that also said NBA on it... took up the entire card. when it was auctioned for the charity, it went for $15...
only basketball card i made, but i felt good :)

REDANDGOLDPRIDE
03-22-2010, 08:00 PM
I make customs, only for TTM purposed though.

bfyler
04-05-2010, 02:06 PM
i Think customs are fine and I have had many signed IP at games and such and players love them as well.. Have given many to players and their families. Made M.A. Gragnani's mom very happy.. With that being said they are just that customs.. The Patch fakers are the ones UD should focus on not the every day "joe" having fun and being creative.

JMO
Bill

jimcozzolino
05-02-2010, 01:19 PM
it's copwright infringment guys. Punishable under the law. you can make them, trade them, but you can't sell them. Just like copying movies and music. Sucks ! But those are the facts.

jyosi
06-01-2010, 07:19 PM
it's copwright infringment guys. Punishable under the law. you can make them, trade them, but you can't sell them. Just like copying movies and music. Sucks ! But those are the facts.

I don't see how this is copyright infringement. If you get a card autographed and sell it, that isn't copyright infringement. The card is altered by the addition of a signature, but that isn't copyright infringement. Making customs by cutting out a hole in the card and adding a logo is no different. As long as the seller states the patch is not from UD or whoever and is clear on what is being sold there is no problem with this. If somebody is taking a card design in photoshop and putting different players on them then printing an unlicensed product, that is copyright infringement and illegal.

You see where I am going with this? It isn't illegal to resell a card so why would it be illegal to sell a card that you cut a hole in?

Indian71
06-02-2010, 05:51 PM
well, it comes down to this <br />
Illegal: Making a custom that is the exact same as one of the topss sets (i.e. taking the image off the topss website <br />
<br />
Not Illegal: Creating your own customs. The...