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Article: How to spot a fake deck and why it matters

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gregory

When in doubt, contact the creator....

 

Excellent article. I shall post it elsewhere !

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stephanelli

Such an important article.

Copyright infringement really sucks and it's so important that tarot enthusiasts know this is a problem!

 

Support artists and creators!!!

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katrinka
Posted (edited)

Excellent article.
I just want to point out that China is not the only source of pirated decks. Here's a whole thread about an Etsy shop in the Ukraine:

(Not sure where the "Shiva dance" image comes from? I don't see it in the thread.) But let's not demonize the Chinese - while a lot of these decks are coming out of China, they don't all do it, and people are doing it in other places.


Consumers are doing real, measurable damage purchasing these shoddy decks. One artist is quitting, and I've seen others speak about how they're thinking of doing the same. It's a constant battle. People get fed up.

The usual justification people give for buying these decks is "I couldn't afford it otherwise." THERE'S A BIG DIFFERENCE IN A WANT AND A NEED. (Disclaimer: The following is not intended to point the finger at everyone. I'm sure most, possibly all of you here are OK.) You NEED things like potable water and food for the kids. You don't NEED a new deck. You might need a deck, if your house burned down and you use the cards to make a living, but you can find a gently-used legit deck for less than one of these bootlegs. So don't expect anyone to sympathize with your whining about how you can't afford to add to your collection. And please do not have the gall to contact the artist asking for a copy of the LWB. (Yes, people actually do that.)

And yes, art is work. I think that making 78 - or even 36 - images entails a good bit of drudgery and frustration. Not paying an artist is the same as not paying any other worker - reprehensible.

Edited by katrinka

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gregory

It's about 3/4 way down the thread - in one of Babalon's posts.

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katrinka

Ah, thanks.
It doesn't load for me at all. The laptop is running very slowly.
Off to delete some stuff and see if that helps.

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Raggydoll

I have also heard about how deck creators are being asked to 'verify' a suspicious copy of their deck that someone bought on ebay 🙄

 

 

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gregory

I'm going to try and get verification for a statement from one creator who says they are bowing out....

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gregory

AAAAND: Ciro is basically packing it in: I asked him after someone showed me this:

Article: How to spot a fake deck and why it matters Ciro10

and got this email back:
 

 

Previously pirated decks were produced by small opportunistic outfits or even individuals, who scanned a real physical deck and then reproduced it. This was irritating but not drastic as the numbers produced and the quality was not of great concern, it was the more the principal.

However over the last six to eight months, this has changed. The sheer quantity of pirated decks being offered has increased significantly. They are offered at extremely low prices, and offered repeatedly with minor difference to wording and pricing in the ads. This is to circumvent the inevitable “take down” notices they expect to receive, yet will still be offering the same goods on the same platform, Alibaba, Wish, Etsy, even Amazon. This indicates a far more sophisticated activity. The decks themselves may be slightly different in size and card stock (usually cheaper and thinner) but the imagery itself is reasonable....why, because the printing files themselves have been obtained from the printers of the original legal deck. Wether they are stolen and sold by an individual employee or as inside job, is up for debate...

This is happening principally to mass produced deck that are licensed to and then published by the major publishers, so I don’t believe that Battersby and Thornsjo are effected who only self publish. In my case I do both I self publish and still keep some titles as special editions just from my web site, but of all the titles I have licensed to Llewellyn and USG they have ALL been pirated. If you were to go to Amazon on any given day, and type in Lenormand, Gilded Reverie, you would find  several on offer at different prices. For every legit one going for around $20, you will usually find another 6 Illegal ones going for under $10.

Beyond the financial hit this may or may not have  on my royalties. There is another factor. The reason this piracy issue is growing, is because it makes money, why? Because people buy them, why ? Because they are cheap. In some cases innocently thinking they are simply getting a bargain. But I no longer believe that naïveté , how many people seriously don’t realize that there is something “iffy” when any given deck is that much cheaper. So if they buy such decks, what does that say about the morals and ethics of this supposedly spiritual community. One that would screw the official publishers and artists out an income, so they can save about $10 to $15 on a deck, yet probably charge about four times that amount on just one professional reading.

So my motivation for investing between 9 months and a year to produce another deck, just so it can at some point be ripped off?? No i don’t have that motivation any more. My wife tells to to take it as a compliment that I’m apparently the top target for the pirates...I’m not that chirpy about it...

To add insult to injury I periodically get requests to provide the companion document because that cheap deck someone bought didn’t come with one......hmmmmm, I wonder why.


This should not be allowed to happen. We need our creators. I'm sure others feel the same way - we stand to lose so much...

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Starlight
Posted (edited)

Wow, that's - something. Imagine asking the creator for the lwb after buying a pirated copy of their deck that the creator earned ZILCH from in the transaction!! That's unconsciounable. And bare-faced cheek.

 

I'm not sure what the answer is, though. If the printers are selling the printing files on to pirates then perhaps that's the first place to start. From what Ciro's written, it seems to be the decks he's licensed to Llewellyn and USG that are being pirated. If creators self-publish, then, are there decks less likely to be pirated?

 

And then there's the vendors. What facilities do they have in place to stop pirates selling products? Is it even possible to oversee that pirated products don't make their way into the marketplace?

 

I have no eperience in Tarot production, hence all the questions.

 

I've never gone looking for a pirated copy of a deck and the decks I have all appeared to be legit when I got them. But if Amazon has pirated decks for sale, it makes me wonder whether other sites (besides the obviously dodgy ones like Alibaba and Wish) might also have dodgy copies. Pirates are getting more sophisticated.

Edited by Starlight

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geoxena
Posted (edited)

Oh dear.  I had one of his decks and now I'm wondering if it was counterfeit.  It was given to me.  I can't remember exactly, but either someone on AT had it listed as a giveaway, for reimbursement of postage only, or they threw it in with another deck they sent me. It was the French version of the Gilded Tarot.  I wasn't familiar with his work, but knew it was popular, so at first I was like, "Oh wow, looky what I got!"  But it was super shiny and so thin that I wondered if it had originally come as pages in a magazine that you have to punch out.  Surprisingly terrible quality.  I wound up giving it away on Craigslist.  Now I'm curious whether it was genuine or not.

 

 

Edited by geoxena

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gregory
Posted (edited)

I've never seen it in French - I'll ask him.

 

ETA  I quote: Probably legit.

Edited by gregory

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AJ-ish/Sharyn

I've seen a lot of requests for copies of LWB's on forums over the years, I'll bet this is why. 

Perhaps there should be a stop to allowing that too? If reputable forums pinch off a source word will get out that its one more reason not to buy $7.00 new decks. 

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Raggydoll
12 minutes ago, AJ-ish/Sharyn said:

I've seen a lot of requests for copies of LWB's on forums over the years, I'll bet this is why. 

Perhaps there should be a stop to allowing that too? If reputable forums pinch off a source word will get out that its one more reason not to buy $7.00 new decks. 

So far I have not seen anyone asking for a copied LWB here. I know that people sometimes share information from booklets for vintage decks that are long out of print and to me, that’s another topic. But I agree, we would not want to have copyrighted LWBs being distributed on forums. 

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RavenOfSummer

I agree with everything in this thread...but just wanted to mention that people looking for LWBs may have bought an authentic used deck that came without one, as opposed to buying a pirated deck. Some publishers seem to be moving toward making digital LWBs freely available- I've seen that with a few indie creators, and the LWBs for most US Games decks are available to anyone as downloads from their website. Of course, that should be up to the creator/publisher to decide if they want to do that.

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geoxena
Posted (edited)

I bought some of my decks used, and they had no LWB.  I am confident those decks were genuine, though.  I never tried to get an LWB for any of them since I usually don't read them anyway, but it never would have even occurred to me to request one from the artist if I wanted one.   It's appalling that people would contact the artists when they bought a deck from other than the official publisher.  What's wrong with people?

 

 

Edited by geoxena

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gregory

I also know quite a few people who simply lost the LWB - that's one reason I keep decks in their original boxes - it reduces the chance of that happening !

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RavenOfSummer

Saw this on Instagram this morning, from Meraylah Allwood, artist of Forest of Enchantment Tarot 😕

 

 

Screen Shot 2020-06-17 at 8.25.56 AM.png

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katrinka

I was worried about my Lasenic for awhile. It doesn't fit the usual pirated deck description. It's beautifully printed on sturdy but flexible matte stock, only lightly coated. But I ordered it at Pyroskin and I was told recently that they're major offenders and have some affiliation with a Ukrainian fake deck shop on Etsy.

A little digging satisfied me that my deck is fine. But if anyone wants a copy, I'd suggest ordering directly from Trigon:
https://www.trigon-knihy.cz/lasenic-tarot

It's a wonderful deck:
https://herselftarot.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/lasenics-tarot/
 

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Starlight
Posted (edited)

We're living in a time where the thinking is "I want this and I'll have it one way or the other." Forget about fair exchange, or give and receive. This really is horrible carry-on.

 

As a slight aside, I'm not sure I'd consider the Tarot community a spiritual community.  I don't think using Tarot means someone is spiritual, although Spirituality can encompass Tarot.

Edited by Starlight

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Raggydoll
2 minutes ago, Starlight said:

We're living in a time where the thinking is "I want this and I'll have it one way or the other." Forget about fair exchange, or give and receive. This really is horrible carry-on.

 

As a slight aside, I'm not sure I'd consider the Tarot community a spiritual community.  I don't think using Tarot means someone is spiritual, although Spirituality can encompass Tarot.

I agree. But the “spiritual pirates” description was very catchy, I think 😁. (I probably shouldn’t smile but I think he said it so well and really made his point)

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Starlight
9 minutes ago, Raggydoll said:

I agree. But the “spiritual pirates” description was very catchy, I think 😁. (I probably shouldn’t smile but I think he said it so well and really made his point)

Good point.

 

My interpretation was he was saying he expected better of the Tarot Community. The things is, pirates sell to people interested in Tarot. Which also makes me wonder about that word "community". I don't think everyone interested in Tarot makes a cohesive community with shared values.

 

Which is beside the point. It sounds like he's going to be naming and shaming in the next few hours and I understand how angry he must be. 18 years of work stolen.

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geoxena
Posted (edited)

Yeah, there are other groups like that on Facebook, where all the members band together to basically cheat the system in various areas.  I may have mentioned this before, but the owner of the store I managed held a contest on FB which involved uploading pictures of your holiday table to win a free set of (fairly high end) dinnerware.  There were some gorgeous entries with beautiful floral arrangements, heirloom China, etc., but the person who won uploaded one of paper plates, paper napkins, and plastic cups on a picnic table.  He only won because he requested at this contest-winning group that members vote for his entry.  It was a landslide because all the other contestants just had family and friends voting for them, but he had hundreds of strangers from that group just doing it to help a member cheat.  And my boss could do nothing about it.  He came to the store to select his dinnerware and said he was going to gift it to his mother, but I had a strong feeling he was going to sell it.

 

That's just one example of these kinds of shady groups, and I'm certain there are many more.  However, when there's a group that does what Ciro Marchetti discovered, overtly encouraging people to violate copyright laws, that's got to be illegal!  We should all complain to FB when he reveals the group's name.  It should be taken down!

 

 

Edited by geoxena

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