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Old 11-17-2012, 01:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Legal question on cards - any insight appreciated

Hey guys I've got a question..

As some may know I started up a company for creating custom cards for people themselves or family members, etc. (HOME - Specialty Sports Cards)

I have holographic designs available for people (super, regular, etc.) - which I have developed the process for all on my own and use material different than that of Topps.

I am considering producing cards like this and putting them on sale for people - which feature no names or anything resembling any professional sports team or person..just a card that someone can get signed that is a 1/1.


My question is - in your most legal opinion lol...is this a bad idea and am I breaking any type of laws here? People make knock off stuff legally (off-brand, etc.) all the time in the free market so I don't exactly think I would be. Plus once a professional sports player signs the card it doesn't make it a licensed card or anything it's just a signature. Idk what do you guys think?

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Old 11-17-2012, 02:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm no lawyer so I don't know that aspect of it

But I would only sell something like that to somebody you know because they're planning on having a certain person sign it. I would absolutely not sell them blank on ebay, that's just bad things waiting to happen
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah me neither lol I'm not sure many lawyers specialize in this type of thing..

I feel like it isn't much different that having an index card signed though..but knowing people in this world it probably is a slippery slope. Just not quite sure I would be at fault all. I know some people would love it for their PC and stuff but some would try to abuse it.
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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If you are not using a person's picture or a licensed image from a team or league, there is no issue I can see. A player's picture can not be used on a card if they have not signed an agreement (usually through the league's players union) to have their image used, and the league would have to approve (and you'd have to pay for) the use of any team and/or league logos/images.

If you use a card such as the one above and just have a random player sign it, I can't see the issue from a legal standpoint. Unless the technology used to create the card is copyrighted by Topps/Panini/etc., then you may have an issue. So if you produced a Superfractor Card and Topps has a patent on that specific image, you could have an issue.

But a standard sports card sized piece with a football and a line for an autograph is not an issue from a legal or copyright infringement viewpoint that I can see. But would a player look at it funny if presented with it?
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Old 11-17-2012, 03:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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You're in the clear man, just make sure to use your own title for this specific type of card.
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Old 11-17-2012, 04:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Step 1. DO NOT listen to anyone on here.

Step 2. Contact an actual lawyer for a consultation.
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Old 11-17-2012, 04:03 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Make sure you put "NFL Licensed Product" on your cards!
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Old 11-17-2012, 04:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I love the idea, I could use some if you remove the football from the card .
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Old 11-17-2012, 05:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I think im with the majority as long as no images or logos are used id say you are safe. I am not a lawyer so my opinion isnt worth much. Lol but i do know that you make awesome cards. Of coarse im referring to the pic above.
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Old 11-17-2012, 05:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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What if you removed any NFL logo from the pictures before you make the cards like Press Pass does with College logos?
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Old 11-17-2012, 05:33 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeMan12406 View Post
Step 1. DO NOT listen to anyone on here.

Step 2. Contact an actual lawyer for a consultation.
This man speaks the truth. I think your idea is good enough to warrant getting expert advice.
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Old 11-17-2012, 05:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeMan12406 View Post
Step 1. DO NOT listen to anyone on here.

Step 2. Contact an actual lawyer for a consultation.
There are a few people that I'd listen to on here....

Of course, they are actual lawyers, so that kind of makes sense.
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Old 11-17-2012, 05:52 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GatorBoyInTN View Post
Make sure you put "NFL Licensed Product" on your cards!
No, worst idea to do if you don't have their blessing to make cards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeMan12406 View Post
Step 1. DO NOT listen to anyone on here.

Step 2. Contact an actual lawyer for a consultation.
I'm studying law at the moment, unless these players have non-compete clauses in their respective contracts, he should be in the clear.
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Old 11-17-2012, 06:44 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Could you only imagine him getting laughed out of court?

But Your Honor, a guy on a message board said he watched Law and Order and his screen name was PaytonsJockStrap. Seemed legit. Wait...why are you laughing judge?
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:26 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Hey boss art is art, with that designs are designs, look up the restrictions on company logos. I find it clear that 1) Don't use Professional Sports Logos 2) Don't use players information, if you make money off them without them getting a cut, they are not happy 3) make you own comical sketch 1/1 cards and sign them yourselves. Register your company in the proper legal manner and make some cool cards, and last but not least, the most important factor SEEK LEGAL ADVICE!!!
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:00 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeMan12406 View Post
Could you only imagine him getting laughed out of court?

But Your Honor, a guy on a message board said he watched Law and Order and his screen name was PaytonsJockStrap. Seemed legit. Wait...why are you laughing judge?
You really think any of the big companies are going to harass him over a few custom cards?

Lawyers aren't cheap, it isn't worth their time.
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:04 PM   #17 (permalink)
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This thread is as usless as the IRS advice about paypal 1099's.
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:01 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HBMC View Post
No, worst idea to do if you don't have their blessing to make cards.



I'm studying law at the moment, unless these players have non-compete clauses in their respective contracts, he should be in the clear.
It was clearly a joke bud.
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