Today July 22, 2014 Senior Director, Global Brand Strategy & Marketing for Magic: The Gathering Elaine Chase addressed a growing concern within the Magic community, counterfeit cards, in an article Protecting You from Counterfeits. For those who are unaware, within the past couple of years there's been a huge amount of high quality counterfeit Magic: The Gathering cards floating around. The targets: Old expensive staples such as Black Lotus, Ancestral Recall, Time Walk, Library of Alexandria, and Dual Lands. Even more recent cards like Tarmogoyf, Dark Confidant, and current hot chase Standard rares have also recently begun to be mass produced.
According to Chase:
Safeguarding the integrity of the game is something Wizards of the Coast takes extremely seriously, so we immediately launched a series of comprehensive, globe-spanning investigations. We recognize this is an issue the player community also deeply cares about, but we were unable to comment while certain aspects of the investigation were pending. Today, we are happy to finally be able to share some of our recent accomplishments with you.
Wizards of the Coast located the major source of counterfeit Magic: The Gathering cards in China, and thanks to help from both "law enforcement agents as well as private partners around the world" the printing company in question has "ceased all infringing activity."
That wasn't the only company stopped though. There was"an effective sweep of notorious counterfeit-seller websites, and several smaller, low-quality printers and sellers each ultimately agreed to cease all infringing activity." Another individual from North Carolina was stopped too, among others.
Just because a few companies and individuals were stopped doesn't mean that Wizards of the Coast won't relent in protecting its intellectual property and players.
Recognizing the possibility that unscrupulous individuals may try to take unfair advantage of Magic's growing popularity, Wizards remains committed to vigorously protecting the Magic community from counterfeiters. We will remain vigilant for illegal activity, and we will continue to work quickly and decisively with law enforcement agencies around the globe to protect against the creation or distribution of counterfeit Magic cards. Additionally, we reiterate in the strongest terms possible that any individual or retailer who deals in counterfeits works against the best interests of the community. Wizards has eliminated and will continue to eliminate from the DCI or WPN anyone who knowingly distributes counterfeit cards. In addition to our enforcement efforts, Wizards regularly explores innovative features to incorporate into Magic cards to facilitate the verification of authenticity and curb future counterfeiting.
Magic: The Gathering cards now have a new card frame, with rares and mythic rares featuring a special holo foil stamp to help prevent counterfeiting.
Chase urges players that they can prevent themselves from receiving counterfeit Magic: The Gathering cards with a little common sense:
Trade with people you trust, closely examine highly sought-after cards, and remember the time-tested rule that if a deal is too good to be true, it probably isn't legitimate.
If you have any information about counterfeit Magic: The Gathering cards you can "alert enforcement officials or contact us at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org."
Those who play the video game Magic: The Gathering Online will never have to worry about counterfeit Magic: The Gathering cards.
What do you think about counterfeit Magic: The Gathering cards? Where does the line between a "proxy" and counterfeit occur? Please share your opinion in the comments.
For more information about the game, visit www.MagicTheGathering.com.