Or maybe not.

It is with an incredible regret, especially only hours after my previous post, to report that I have just received a Cease and Desist letter from Hasbro.

For legal reasons, I cannot discuss it or its contents, but for now I can just say that they have reached out to me in a polite and professional manner and I am replying in kind, in order to determine as quickly as possible what specifics are at issue.

It is my hope that at this time the site is not going to disappear completely so I can provide updates and information.

Naturally, the news I was going to give about things related to promoting the set and printing the cards are on indefinite hold. My apologies to everyone. More information as I get it.

Update, 8/29/12: I have responded to the legal representative for Hasbro, who has now responded and indicated they they are forwarding my responses to their client.  I expect to hear something sometime next week. Until then I will likely have no new updates. Thanks for your patience with this, everyone.

 

26 thoughts on “Or maybe not.

  1. Yes, they can completely do this. Even more so since it’s using a lot of Magic copyright/trademarked images and could be confused as such. They have been cracking down on counterfeit cards, including proxies.

  2. I suspect this has more to do with the MTG part of the project than the MLP part. Granted, Hasbro owns both so it’s a moot point anyway.

      • Please let it be known for the record that “annoying” anyone at Hasbro is the last thing I want to do right now. i am trying very, VERY hard to be in their good graces and find out if there’s a way I can work with them on this.

        • Good Luck, thanks for keeping the air civil and I hope things work out. To many jump to quickly to rancor when civility might carry the day.

  3. If it is solely about using copyrighted images then maybe it’ll a good time to ask the community to draw some fan art? =)

  4. At the moment I am a mirror copy of this whole site.

    I would like to get my hands on the Dragon*con dropcard back design, if it is at all possible. If you’ve posted the image here, my Offline Explorer Enterprise will pick it up, like it picked up over 75% of Ponibooru.

    You had fun making this, we had fun playing, but it’s time for this site to go into eternity.

  5. Pingback: Alleged Trademark Infringement is Magic: Where Things Stand | Friendship is Magic: The Gathering – Shards of Equestria

  6. This doesnt sound right. Unless you were selling the cards, no C&D could be appliable here. Theres tons of sites dedicated to MLP games/crossovers and tons of sites with homebrew MTG. Aside from the fact you said they were polite about it, Id call bs on it. Just my opinion though.

  7. Its not really bullshit, as this clearly isn’t free use, and I see no reason to consider this parody. Companies are overprotective of their property.
    I can’t see them not shutting this down if they want to, which is sad, since I was really looking forward to the project.

  8. Intellectual property laws in the US require companies to stop any and all unauthorized use of their property. If a companies fails to do this, they lose the copyright based on the evidence that they don’t care about it.

    I’m grossly simplifying, but Hasbro has no choice; if they don’t set the lawyers on everyone/thing that violates their copyright, they will lose the MLP rights, which we obviously don’t want.

    Hopefully Shards will manage to make some sort of agreement so we can keep this going!

    • Please don’t continue spreading that myth, there is one, and only one, way to lose a copyright: Wait around long enough for it to expire[1].

      You do have to defend trademarks, (which are at play here).

      [1] In the US, this looks like it will end up being sometime around the heat death of the universe.

  9. I have an idea about why Hasbro is being a colossal bitch about this. Some of the cards in the set are functionally identical to official cards and others, such as Celestial Purge, are the same in both name and function. Hasbro don’t want people to print their own cards because it could devalue the official cards already in circulation. It’s ridiculous for them to feel worried about the risk to their profits by this fan project but anyway, maybe they’ll leave you alone if you change the cards so that none of them are the same as cards that already exist.

    • Wizards of the Coast (Hasbro subsidiary responsible for Magic: The Gathering) doesn’t actually make profit from the ‘resale’ of cards. e.g You can find a Jace the Mine Sculptor in a booster for $6. Jace is ~$70 if you sell Jace for that price you can make a nice profit, alternatively you can find an island in a booster and not care, throw it away for no money (or sell it for 20c). Wizards of the Coast nor Hasbro they’re legally not allowed to enforce the disallowed resale of cards. nor will they Aggravate a nerd community buy selling ‘Singles’ at high prices, nor low. In the end of it all, Hasbro and Wizards are making the same amount of money from Jace and from Islands.

      • Guys, please don’t fight each other about this. The only authority on the trademark issues here are the lawyers who I am in private contact with and as soon as I know what issues I’m facing I can let you guys know as well. There’s no need to create idle speculation, and certainly no need to get into arguments about it. Love and tolerate.

  10. I was expecting something like this happening sooner or later, but I would expected it to happen for stuff where money is involved and thus could be considered commercial (selling of self-made [lyra] plushies, t-shirts, art, …)

  11. if you are not selling them they can’t legally do anything to you.
    you are just creating pictures.
    you are not distribuiting free episodes of MLP.
    you are not creating MTG cards because they don’t have MTG trademark.
    there is no way those cards can be mistaken for original.
    you are just providing the pictures and since you can find the picture of any MTG legit card on google you are not helping anyone counterfeing anything.
    coming from a MTG player: you are not hurting MTG market.
    just continue and do your work.
    you won’t be able to sell them or make other pay for you to print and deliver them.

    • Wrong: Not selling just means that the ‘usurped income’ portion of a copyright claim is $0 and that you have a near perfect defense against a ‘trading under’ trademark claim.

      You can still be in trouble on the copyright side for lost income and punitive damages, (as well as injunctive relief). You can still face claims for usurping or damaging the value of a trademark. Further, you can face claims based on patent violations, (yes, MtG is patented).

    • The cards are already printed and I’m certainly not just going to throw them in the trash. While I can no longer do the free art drop I mentioned before I’ll still be willing to hand them out to anyone who asks me for one at Dragon*Con, and yes, I will sure as hell still be trying to give one to Ms. Strong.

  12. Yikes, I just found out about this from Bronyville. This sucks tremendously. I’ve seen stuff like this happen lots of times, but every time an expression of fan love like this, I tighten up a little inside. They’ve been remarkably hands-off concerning PONY so far, but this might have stepped on too many of their toes at once.

    I was at DragonCon this year but didn’t run into you. Ya know, if you had brought these things down to the board gaming room (downstairs at Hilton), you just might have had a minor sensation going….

  13. Pingback: Shards of Equestria Recieves Cease and Desist from Hasbro | EQD Development

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