Thursday, January 30, 2014

Counterfeit Magic Cards

Quite a bit of concern about counterfeit Magic cards over the past few weeks.  It looks as if a set of 55 higher value cards, including Thoughtseize, Tundra and Sword of Fire and Ice has been printed in thousand card lots by at least one Chinese printer and resold, ostensibly as proxies, to online retailers, including the now shuttered Starcityshop.com, which copied the Star  City Games logo in an attempt to make people think they were dealing with Star City Games.  Unfortunately, Chinese copyright law is both laxer and much more loosely enforced than is US copyright law, as evidenced by the ease with which you can buy a "Coach" purse or "iPad" in mainland China.

In the past, a buyer could relatively easily determine whether a card was counterfeit or not, simply through the bend test.  However, these counterfeits are using the same, or very similar, paper stock on which to print their cards.

It appears the only ways to distinguish the counterfeits form the originals are through very slight spacing changes, discrepancies in font and a different copyright symbol a the bottom of the card. Also, as the Star City Games article points out, only 4 of the Unglued lands were counterfeited, so if someone has a quantity of Unglued Mountains, Swamps, Islands and Plains for sale but no Forests, take care when purchasing them