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By Armus (Brian Sykes)
 - The Center of the Galaxy
 -  
Goateed
Community Contributor
1E American National Second Runner-Up 2020
#556116
So this conversation kind of got started a few weeks ago, and then it sort of faded away without any real resolution.

But I wanted to pick it up, because thinking about it, I'm trying to understand the practical difference between the CC selling promos to the public, and community members selling their copies of those same cards to the public. Why is the former considered ok while the latter is (apparently, judging from recent events) cause for a Villagers with Torches moment for the person selling them?

Here are a few bits I've picked up along the way:

[SD] At a previous board meeting, there was a position put forward by a board member that CC promos were in fact officially licensed Decipher cards that just happened to have a sticker on them. The inference I personally drew from that statement was that that board member viewed the sale of CC promos as legal for this reason. If that's the case, then wouldn't it be just as legal for someone besides the CC to sell these cards?

[SD] A community member with a legal background posted in a different thread that both the CC and third parties could legally sell CC promos under an exception in copyright law, but doing so runs the risk of getting sued - even frivolously- by an entity with deeper pockets than the CC.

[SD] As far as I can tell, the CC has no official policy governing the sale of CC-produced cards. There may have been some verbal "don't sell these on eBay" admonishments given out, but I don't recall ever receiving one myself (despite having accumulated a fairly substantial stack of CC foils over the years), and there is nothing in writing that I'm aware of.

So given all of that, here are some questions for discussion:

[SD] Why is the sale of CC cards heavily promoted by the CC but heavily discouraged by anybody else?

[SD] If a member sells CC cards that the CC itself has sold (e.g., tournament foils) should there be adverse consequences for that member? Why or why not?

[SD] Why is there nothing written into the bylaws regarding this issue? Should there be?

[SD] Are these even the right questions to be asking? Are there other questions that should be on this list?

And just to be clear where I'm at with this going in: I have no strong position one way or the other. I have no legal background or expertise in the area of copyright law, and I've never personally objected to the CC selling cards. But given the community's reaction to recent developments in this area, I feel the need to gather more facts and viewpoints. I'm coming at this with an open mind and my questions are sincere. I appreciate anyone who can broaden my perspective in this area.
Last edited by Armus on Sat Jun 19, 2021 1:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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By Boffo97 (Dave Hines)
 - Gamma Quadrant
 -  
Moderator
#556117
Just for clarification, where does the CC actually sell cards? Tournament kits?

Because beyond that, I only see the Parek Playset on the Promenade (accidental alliteration!) and that only has shipping costs.
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By Armus (Brian Sykes)
 - The Center of the Galaxy
 -  
Goateed
Community Contributor
1E American National Second Runner-Up 2020
#556118
Boffo97 wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 12:09 am Just for clarification, where does the CC actually sell cards? Tournament kits?

Because beyond that, I only see the Parek Playset on the Promenade (accidental alliteration!) and that only has shipping costs.
Tournament Kits
Release Kits
Regional Kits

Just to name 3.

Oh yeah, that reminds me of another question that I have:

[SD] Is there a legal difference between selling the cards and charging fair market shipping and "giving away" the cards and overcharging for shipping?
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Ambassador
 - Ambassador
 -  
Legate
#556132
With zero legal insight I'll just say that every non profit I can think of does rewards in exchange for donations (While also accepting donations without rewards). From that I draw that it must be a thing and I feel very comfortable with not calling this "sales".

And I call someone putting the same things on eBay while talking about selling them a sale.
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Ambassador
 - Ambassador
 -  
Legate
#556134
IMO your interest in the Real Difference is misplaced. It doesn't matter what the facts are, the CC cannot afford to spend a single hour in court with a rights holder. One cease and desist letter and we're done here, even though everyone believes that it is stupid to consider what we do here illegal or bad for the world. Our last great hope is staying under the radar.

Would love to hear that I'm wrong, and why.
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Executive Officer
By jadziadax8 (Maggie Geppert)
 - Executive Officer
 -  
Grand Nagus
2E American National Second Runner-Up 2020
#556145
The Continuing Committee never sells virtual cards. We specifically ask people to not sell virtual cards in the FAQ.

TD Passes give TDs access to the kits.

When one purchases a kit, they pay for Shipping and Handling.

This is a two-step process because it helps our non-US TDs to avoid customs fees.
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By Armus (Brian Sykes)
 - The Center of the Galaxy
 -  
Goateed
Community Contributor
1E American National Second Runner-Up 2020
#556146
jadziadax8 wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 9:00 am The Continuing Committee never sells virtual cards. We specifically ask people to not sell virtual cards in the FAQ.
Huh. Interesting... yet another section of the website I never knew existed!
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Executive Officer
By jadziadax8 (Maggie Geppert)
 - Executive Officer
 -  
Grand Nagus
2E American National Second Runner-Up 2020
#556149
Armus wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 9:06 am
jadziadax8 wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 9:00 am The Continuing Committee never sells virtual cards. We specifically ask people to not sell virtual cards in the FAQ.
Huh. Interesting... yet another section of the website I never knew existed!
It’s the box in the middle of the homepage that says “New and returning players beam in here.”

You’re neither, so I suspect you have never had a reason to click there. :D
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 - Gamma Quadrant
 -  
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
Socialite
#556178
Armus wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 12:13 am
Boffo97 wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 12:09 am Just for clarification, where does the CC actually sell cards? Tournament kits?

Because beyond that, I only see the Parek Playset on the Promenade (accidental alliteration!) and that only has shipping costs.
Tournament Kits
Release Kits
Regional Kits

Just to name 3.

Oh yeah, that reminds me of another question that I have:

[SD] Is there a legal difference between selling the cards and charging fair market shipping and "giving away" the cards and overcharging for shipping?
Couple things:

1. I did not say that the CC could sell the cards - at least not in the way you mean it in your post. They can produce them and give them away for free under the fan based exception to copyright law. The CC most certainly CANNOT sell them without official licensing b/c the images, lore and character names are copyrighted. As an extension of this thought : if the CC was willing (and players were ok with the idea) the CC could sell cards that contained no images, no character names and no references in lore because the copyright holder on the gameplay aspects of the cards - decipher - doesnt exist anymore and has been extinct long enough that "copyright surrender" aka "copyright Waiver" is now very arguable if not a given.

2. " Is there a legal difference between selling the cards and charging fair market shipping and "giving away" the cards and overcharging for shipping?"

YOU BET YOUR GOLD PRESSED LATINUM THERE IS. Without going into the weeds on this, the short answer is that "value evasion" as a catch all term has tendrils in a lot of areas in the law and falls mostly under "fraud" and "tax evasion". A certain former president is currently being pursued by a certain state for exactly this - attempting to add value in one area, then devalue it elsewhere to personal advantage.

HOWEVER - the burden of proof is on the alleging party to CLEARLY show that the "shipping and handling" is exorbitant as the handling part has no set objective value.

The devil is truly in the details. Intent matters.

3. Once you have the cards though, because you came into possession of them in any way other than making them yourself - secondary market sales are still permitted bc everything has value in its potential rarity unless the item is itself considered illegal. Copyright law doesnt extend far enough to prevent secondary sales of copyright items b/c of the "first sale doctrine". Once a copyright item is sold or distributed lawfully, a copyright holder cannot impune any further sales or distributions because the item is considered "clean". Its basically the "yard sale doctrine". If you have no reason to believe that the item in question came into your possession in any way other than lawfully, then you can operate under that assumption. This is an extension of a lot of different secured transaction laws. NOTE: this is based on US law only. First sale doctrine is not common law and may not be the case for our european, canadian or australian friends.

4. SLAPP SUITS. If you want a really good explanation of this - go watch the episode of John Oliver on Last Week Tonight.
Make out the Check to: Eat Shit Bob :) - This is a reference joke moderators

Sudden Litigation Against Public Participation is very much a real thing and big fish with big money can basically shut us down not b/c we are in the wrong but just b/c the can. So while it is technically legal to go on ebay and sell your CC produced cards....

DONT. Anything that raises our public profile just encourages some legal department jr associate at CBS Paramount to get an easy win for his career building effort. Certain people have been repeatedly told not to do it and why and continuing to do it while making it pretty clear they are doing it to stick it to the CC should never ever be allowed back in ever. EVER.

This brings me to my next point:

5. Since no one seems to remember other than to use it and me incorrectly and as some kind of hammer to get certain people back in - this was the issue that caused me to leave and then come back when it was corrected: the practices that were being done vis a vis the shipping and handling made it OBVIOUS that it was an attempt to value evade. The two step process that was put into place makes it clear that the point of "0 for the cards, you are paying for the right for us to take the time to put this all together and get it to you" is to fund the CC through the EFFORTS OF THE LEADERSHIP.

Meanwhile, whats been happening lately with certain people selling their stuff on ebay is clearly being done maliciously as an attempt to draw a SLAPP Suit.

SO EVERYONE: STOP USING WHAT HAPPENED TO ME AS YOUR "PROOF" THAT CERTAIN PEOPLE SHOULD LET BACK IN. ITS NOT THE SAME, ITS APPLES AND ORANGES. STOP IT.

There's a grand canyon wide difference between telling the CC leadership they need to change b/c of legal issues in an effort to try and get them to wake up and make things better (and then they take it wrong and overreact) .....and actively doing something that has no purpose other than to cause harm.
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By nobthehobbit (Daniel Pareja)
 - The Center of the Galaxy
 -  
Moderator
#556183
Hoss-Drone wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 4:51 pmAs an extension of this thought : if the CC was willing (and players were ok with the idea) the CC could sell cards that contained no images, no character names and no references in lore because the copyright holder on the gameplay aspects of the cards - decipher - doesnt exist anymore and has been extinct long enough that "copyright surrender" aka "copyright Waiver" is now very arguable if not a given.
I believe this may not be true. Decipher appears still to be a registered corporation in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

https://cis.scc.virginia.gov/EntitySear ... ries=False

Part of the discussion over why the CC doesn't collaborate with the graphical dream card community may also be of some relevance here: viewtopic.php?p=537414#p537414, though I think a We Are Not Lawyers disclaimer has to be thrown on that whole thread.
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 - Gamma Quadrant
 -  
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
Socialite
#556188
nobthehobbit wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 5:39 pm
Hoss-Drone wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 4:51 pmAs an extension of this thought : if the CC was willing (and players were ok with the idea) the CC could sell cards that contained no images, no character names and no references in lore because the copyright holder on the gameplay aspects of the cards - decipher - doesnt exist anymore and has been extinct long enough that "copyright surrender" aka "copyright Waiver" is now very arguable if not a given.
I believe this may not be true. Decipher appears still to be a registered corporation in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

https://cis.scc.virginia.gov/EntitySear ... ries=False

Part of the discussion over why the CC doesn't collaborate with the graphical dream card community may also be of some relevance here: viewtopic.php?p=537414#p537414, though I think a We Are Not Lawyers disclaimer has to be thrown on that whole thread.
And they've had 13 years to raise any objection whatsoever after getting full knowledge that the cc was being created (and the star wars cc as well) and never have.....I think nearly any judge would decide that warren, et al sat on their hands, if not have tacit approval and even support.
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By nobthehobbit (Daniel Pareja)
 - The Center of the Galaxy
 -  
Moderator
#556190
Hoss-Drone wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 7:13 pm
nobthehobbit wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 5:39 pm
Hoss-Drone wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 4:51 pmAs an extension of this thought : if the CC was willing (and players were ok with the idea) the CC could sell cards that contained no images, no character names and no references in lore because the copyright holder on the gameplay aspects of the cards - decipher - doesnt exist anymore and has been extinct long enough that "copyright surrender" aka "copyright Waiver" is now very arguable if not a given.
I believe this may not be true. Decipher appears still to be a registered corporation in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

https://cis.scc.virginia.gov/EntitySear ... ries=False

Part of the discussion over why the CC doesn't collaborate with the graphical dream card community may also be of some relevance here: viewtopic.php?p=537414#p537414, though I think a We Are Not Lawyers disclaimer has to be thrown on that whole thread.
And they've had 13 years to raise any objection whatsoever after getting full knowledge that the cc was being created (and the star wars cc as well) and never have.....I think nearly any judge would decide that warren, et al sat on their hands, if not have tacit approval and even support.
To my knowledge, the CC was set up with Decipher's explicit approval and support; it's how they got things like the Parek cards, the Tragic Turn foils, and a substantial stock of other Decipher promotional cards. (I believe Charlie said that for the first five World Championships held under the CC's auspices, he prepared a binder of Decipher foils for the winner.) I know I found the CC's site because it was linked on Decipher's site in an article around when Decipher ceased making STCCG.

The question is, to what extent did Decipher approve of the CC's using the resources Decipher developed? It's still Decipher's intellectual property; the templates haven't been released publicly and I have no idea what the status of the 2E "magic costing chart" is. If the CC begins using Decipher's stuff in a way they don't approve of, they could, I think, revoke the CC's permission to use it, whatever support and approval they may have given the CC in the past.

As BCS noted, the CC are merely stewards of the games they continue to support and develop, and must be careful in determining which precedents they might overturn.

But again, IANAL.

As for the Star Wars PC, I remember those days; SWCCG tournaments continued for some years to be run through Decipher's tournament system.
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By DarkSabre (Austin Chandler)
 - Delta Quadrant
 -  
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
#556191
To me it’s all semantic. The CC does raise money by selling tickets to buy tournament kits. It’s a slight of hand that I don’t think would really hold up. It’s why the SWCCG never used images until recently (and only of cosplayers) and used prior cards as needed to be sleeved with the new virtual cards.

But then you have SW Destiny & Transformers TCG that have sites actively selling cards if you don’t want to print them yourself.
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By SudenKapala (Suden Käpälä)
 - Delta Quadrant
 -  
1E The Neutral Zone Regional Participant 2021
#556210
DarkSabre wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 10:16 pm It’s why the SWCCG never used images until recently (and only of cosplayers) and used prior cards as needed to be sleeved with the new virtual cards.
I always assumed that this was due to CBS being more lenient than SW copyright holders.
Is this assumption wrong?
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