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Old 01-29-2010, 10:51 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default MLB Properties issues statement on Upper Deck’s latest baseball card sets

MLB Properties issues statement on Upper Deck’s latest baseball card sets


Major League Baseball Properties issued a statement to Beckett Media on Friday regarding a pair of 2009 baseball card sets from Upper Deck that use MLB logos as part of the cards, despite Topps‘ role as the exclusive licensee of MLB.

“We are surprised and disappointed that Upper Deck, a former partner of ours, would violate our contract by clearly using our intellectual property without our permission,” said the statement issued by Matt Bourne MLB’s Vice President of Business Public Relations.

“We will vigorously use all legal means to protect the intellectual property of Major League Baseball and its member Clubs.”

Upper Deck is licensed solely by the MLB Players Association, not MLB Properties. The products that MLB is addressing are 2009 Ultimate Collection and 2009 Siganture Stars, which carry statements that the cards are not authorized by MLB but do not obscure team logos in the photographs.

We’ll have more on this story as it develops.

MLB Properties issues statement on Upper Deck’s latest baseball card sets The Beckett Blog
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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uh oh

bye bye Upper Deck
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
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this could get interesting, I wonder what Upper Deck 2010 will look like
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:04 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default I think Upper Deck has...

ADLD

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Old 01-29-2010, 11:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
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This is a company that was counterfeiting cards so why does this surprise MLB?

If Upper Deck is willing to ignore contracts, print counterfeit cards, etc. why does anyone in the world who buys a box of Upper Deck cards actually think they are getting real autographs or jerseys from the player on the card...because Upper Deck says so? Upper Deck could care less about the average collector as long as they keep shelling out $70 for a box of cards that delivers $5 in value.
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Like we didn't see this coming.
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:46 AM   #7 (permalink)
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What are the chances that there will be a recall on UD products do to legal issues? Just think about the back door 2010 UD series 1 cards and what they will go for if they legally can't distribute them.
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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What are the chances that there will be a recall on UD products do to legal issues? Just think about the back door 2010 UD series 1 cards and what they will go for if they legally can't distribute them.
Didn't they have a that happen with Legendary Cuts? Prices sky rocketed, but then the courts let up and the product was allowed to be fully released and the prices came falling down? Might not be a bad idea to pick up a few cases and hope it happens, then try to flip if the courts put a halt on distribution. Eventually the cards would hit the market, I mean it's UD - everything finds the backdoor.
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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This is a company that was counterfeiting cards so why does this surprise MLB?

If Upper Deck is willing to ignore contracts, print counterfeit cards, etc. why does anyone in the world who buys a box of Upper Deck cards actually think they are getting real autographs or jerseys from the player on the card...because Upper Deck says so? Upper Deck could care less about the average collector as long as they keep shelling out $70 for a box of cards that delivers $5 in value.
BRAVO! Someone else is getting it.

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Like we didn't see this coming.
You'd be surprised how many people did NOT see this coming, or at the very least, chose to look away. What is shocking is how many people will continue to support upper deck by buying their cards.

Upper deck's new motto..."It's easy to separate a fool and his money".
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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BRAVO! Someone else is getting it.



You'd be surprised how many people did NOT see this coming, or at the very least, chose to look away. What is shocking is how many people will continue to support upper deck by buying their cards.

Upper deck's new motto..."It's easy to separate a fool and his money".

I was stating to have my Wheeler withdrawals.
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:41 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I was starting to have my Wheeler withdrawals.
Well now, we can't have that.
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:56 PM   #12 (permalink)
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This one is pretty simple to me. If the cards were printed in 2009, they didn't violate any copyrights or terms. If the cards were printed in 2010, it is a clear violation of copyrights and terms.

On a side note, I thought one of the stipulations of the MLBPA "rule changes" in 2006 was that you could no longer release products in any other year but the year they were created for. IE - Topps/Upper Deck could no longer release their first 2010 product in December of 2009 like they did every year before 2006, and companies couldn't keep releasing 2009 products in January and February of 2010 like they used to do all the time. But Topps did it with Topps Tribute and now Upper Deck is doing it with these 2 new products... did the "rules" change again or what?
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:08 PM   #13 (permalink)
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This one is pretty simple to me. If the cards were printed in 2009, they didn't violate any copyrights or terms. If the cards were printed in 2010, it is a clear violation of copyrights and terms.
I don't think it's quite as simple. Obviously MLB doesn't either. I don't think upper deck thinks so either or they wouldn't have put the disclaimer on the backs of the cards stating they are not licensed by MLB.

Upper deck is trying to pull something shady again as they have continuously done throughout the past 2 decades. They are a criminalistic company, and people should no longer be supporting them. Collectors/customers need to take a stand and stop buying products made by crooks.
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:18 PM   #14 (permalink)
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UD = Donruss Circa 2005
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:26 PM   #15 (permalink)
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UD = Donruss Circa 2005
How?? Donruss still had a license in 2005 when they decided to dump their MLB inventory. They have known for awhile they were losing their license...I don't get why they couldn't get their stuff together in time to get this product out.

Plus, I don't know how they are going to defend themselves on this one....I can see McWilliams on the stand now... "Uh...no, those aren't team names you see on jerseys...and those aren't team logos on hats either" Between this and the YuGioh crap they are going to be owing some folks 8 plus figures.

On the other hand, this is the first time in awhile they did a good job with a high end set. Props to them...too bad it was basically a middle finger to the MLB...not done soley for the collector.

On the other hand tho, signature stars was unbelievably terrible.
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:30 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I don't think it's quite as simple. Obviously MLB doesn't either. I don't think upper deck thinks so either or they wouldn't have put the disclaimer on the backs of the cards stating they are not licensed by MLB.

Upper deck is trying to pull something shady again as they have continuously done throughout the past 2 decades. They are a criminalistic company, and people should no longer be supporting them. Collectors/customers need to take a stand and stop buying products made by crooks.
If the cards stated that disclaimer in the copyright lines, then I think that would be a clear indication that they were made in 2010 and would be violating the MLB copyrights clearly. I don't know why they'd change their template to read that in 2009 when they were still a fully licensed company. If however it was proven without a shadow of a doubt that the cards were made in 2009 and that they happened to change their template early, then I don't think they would be in violation... but it sure seems like they've incriminated themselves by including that text.

The other issue would be what the terms of the licensing contracts were and what time frame they covered. The basketball licensing agreements have a fiscal year revolving around the start of the new season. So are the MLB licensing contracts based on calendar years or fiscal years that coincide with some date close to the start of spring training or opening day? My guess would be calendar year which is why Topps can no longer release a 2010 product in late 2009, but then why was a product like Topps Tribute allowed to be released in 2010 as a 2009 product?

Regardless of the outcome of the original topic, I wish MLB and MLBPA would make a ruling and stick to it in terms of deadlines for a card to come out and still be considered the current/previous year release. I wish beckett would stick to the same ruling too. If you're going to call Topps Tribute (that released in January 2010) a 2009 product because they were made in 2009, then thats fine. But using that same logic it means that NO cards of Derek Jeter made in 1993 should be considered RC cards, because he had the Stadium Club Murphy Set RC that was printed in 1992 but because it released in 1993, Beckett said it had to be a 1993 card... even though the copyright date is 1992 and the cards mirrored the 1992 stadium club design.
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:31 PM   #17 (permalink)
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UD = Donruss Circa 2005
UD = Bernie Madoff Circa 2008
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:32 PM   #18 (permalink)
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This one is pretty simple to me. If the cards were printed in 2009, they didn't violate any copyrights or terms. If the cards were printed in 2010, it is a clear violation of copyrights and terms.

On a side note, I thought one of the stipulations of the MLBPA "rule changes" in 2006 was that you could no longer release products in any other year but the year they were created for. IE - Topps/Upper Deck could no longer release their first 2010 product in December of 2009 like they did every year before 2006, and companies couldn't keep releasing 2009 products in January and February of 2010 like they used to do all the time. But Topps did it with Topps Tribute and now Upper Deck is doing it with these 2 new products... did the "rules" change again or what?

UD can't use the MLB logos because it was released in 2010. Their license expired at the end of last year. Doesn't matter when its printed...its all about when its released. Plenty of 2009 products are released in 2010 and in more than one sport. Just because they are "backdated" to 2009 doesn't mean that they are immune from current year regulations. If that was the case, UD would be releasing 2009 baseball for years to come, which wouldn't be fair to collectors. Basically, there is no loophole and UD is screwed.

It takes awhile for these cards to be printed anyway. I have no doubt they were printed in 2009. I am 99% sure tho that UD will be found liable because its not about when you print it...its about when you make it available to be purchased.

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Old 01-29-2010, 01:37 PM   #19 (permalink)
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UD can't use the MLB logos because it was released in 2010. Their license expired at the end of last year. Doesn't matter when its printed...its all about when its released. Plenty of 2009 products are released in 2010 and in more than one sport. Just because they are "backdated" to 2009 doesn't mean that they are immune from current year regulations. If that was the case, UD would be releasing 2009 baseball for years to come, which wouldn't be fair to collectors. Basically, there is no loophole and UD is screwed.
MLB has deep pockets and is going to make life a living hell in the coming months to protect their brand. If UD gets away with this every other company who produces baseball products will say why bother paying MLB 20% of our sales when we can just pay them nothing and get the same product out the door.
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:38 PM   #20 (permalink)
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How?? Donruss still had a license in 2005 when they decided to dump their MLB inventory. They have known for awhile they were losing their license...I don't get why they couldn't get their stuff together in time to get this product out.

Plus, I don't know how they are going to defend themselves on this one....I can see McWilliams on the stand now... "Uh...no, those aren't team names you see on jerseys...and those aren't team logos on hats either" Between this and the YuGioh crap they are going to be owing some folks 8 plus figures.

On the other hand, this is the first time in awhile they did a good job with a high end set. Props to them...too bad it was basically a middle finger to the MLB...not done soley for the collector.

On the other hand tho, signature stars was unbelievably terrible.
Look at how quickly they dumped Exquisite as soon as they found out they were going to loose their basketball license. The product is still a crap shoot, but they sure tried to load it up quickly.


IMO, this just reeks like the '05 Donruss products. Load the stuff full of patches and deplete our inventory. You notice how the Legendary 6 and all the combos pretty much make no sense? Looks like they are just trying to put stuff together and get it out there. UD knew for atleast a year that their license was in trouble. The rumors were running rapid everywhere.
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:51 PM   #21 (permalink)
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MLB has deep pockets and is going to make life a living hell in the coming months to protect their brand. If UD gets away with this every other company who produces baseball products will say why bother paying MLB 20% of our sales when we can just pay them nothing and get the same product out the door.
Word word. It might get tied up in litigation and legal crap for a long time but I don't see UD coming out of this in a good financial situation. I think they feel that they will get about a year of putting out more crap like this and then it will catch up to them. Maybe they feel that they can bank that 20% pay MLB off down the line and they'll get off scott free...who knows. They figure paying them off down the line for not following rules will net them more money than following rules and not having collectors buy any of their unlicensed crap.

I think they have bet wrong and are going to bend UD over as far as they can and give it to them as deep as possible lol. Or at least thats my hopes.
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Old 01-29-2010, 03:53 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Is it 20%? I thought it was 6% to the league and 6% to the Player's Association?
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Old 01-29-2010, 04:05 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Is it 20%? I thought it was 6% to the league and 6% to the Player's Association?
Cooperstown doesn't get any? I sure thought Canton did in Football, or am I thinking of something else?
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Old 01-29-2010, 04:09 PM   #24 (permalink)
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You're right. From what I understood it was MLB 6%, Player's Assoc. 6%, Cooperstown 6% - 18%........but I may be wrong.
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Old 01-29-2010, 04:12 PM   #25 (permalink)
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UD has notified all of its Distributors to halt sales of Ultimate Collection, Signature Stars and 2010 UD that they have on hand - this one is going to get messy....
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