SCG Premium Accounts

  • #1
    EDIT: (moved to Magic General) Thanks, mods.

    I was wondering what people think about taking decklists from a Premium article and posting them here. There were more than a couple of requests in the Standard forums for exactly that, and I saw mixed reactions among the posts.

    Is it legal?
    Are decklists the property of SCG? What is "property" in this case?

    Is it ethical?
    Does SCG lose business by someone posting those lists here? Do they "deserve" that business in the first place?

    Discuss!
    Last edited by intreped: 10/8/2007 3:57:40 PM
  • #2
    I dont see why this is a problem. Some one somewhere must be working on the same deck list some where. Flores or whoever are not the only deck builders in the world that make good decks. They can just claim that they were working on the same thing and make no mention of the SCG article.
  • #3
    Decklists in Premium articles are free to be released to the public, I think you can even look them up in the SCG database. The actual content of the article however is viewable by premium users only.
  • #4
    I just made an account and tried to look at a premium deck through the deck finder as suggeted.

    "To view this deck, you must be a StarCityGames.com Premium member."

    So, apparently that doesn't work.
  • #5
    Yes, apparently, those decks are "intellectual property," which strikes me as dumb.
    by PurpleD

    Help has come in the form of a bit of basic algebra. I feel that it'll shed some light on your problem here.
    Basically:
    S + T = W
    ...S in this case stands for 'spam' and the T stands for 'light trolling'. And the W? That stands for 'Warning'. I love math. -- {mikeyG}

  • #6
    How is a decklist NOT intellectual property? People do make money selling lists, you know.
    Quote from _MeaN_MachinE_
    This threat is for real!?

  • #7
    I e-mailed SCG this morning asking them if it was okay if we did this. Still awaiting a response.
  • #8
    Currently recipes (for cooking) cannot be copyrighted. If decklists are the same, then copying them from SCG shouldn't be a problem. I would be extremely surprised, though, if SCG says its ok.

    The articles are completely different, as well as any text that shows you how to play the deck (likewise, the instructions in a cookbook are copyrighted). Copying them is most certainly a breach in copyright.

    "Sometimes, the situation is outracing a threat, sometimes it's ignoring it, and sometimes it involves sideboarding in 4x Hope//Pray." --Doug Linn

  • #9
    Well, I know over on TheManaDrain they post the blurb for the article and then the decklist in the post fairly often, so unless the policy has changed since that time, there isn't any policy against that.
    Vintage Adept - TheManaDrain.com
    Magic Rules Advisor

  • #10
    It is my understanding that the decklists are fair game but all the writing/insight = premium material. This seems odd that a person who is not subscribing cannot see the decklist (giving the illusion that it too is premium), but I believe this to be the case.

    Hopefully their response will clear things up.
  • #11
    It's a futile effort to try and stop people from posting the decklists from those articles, because there is no way to determine whether or not they actually are they decklists from the articles. I believe this is why SCG doesn't really care. Half the time the person writing the article didn't make the deck(if it is their deck at all), thus any kind of 'intellectual property' claims because extremely sketchy.
  • #12
    Whether or not it is "futile" has no bearing on whether or not it is "legal."

    Case in point: I believe it is Futile for a record company tosay nobody may place their songs for free on a P2P server. I also KNOW that it is illegal.

    This is an analagous situation. It may be futile because the deck will get out there eventually, but that does not make it legal for someone to copy it from the article and post it here.
    Quote from LandBoySteve
    Mark my words...2 years from now, the ONLY viable archetype in standard is going to be aggro or tempo, maybe.

    Control will be dead.
    LD is already dead.
    Combo will never exist again.
    Card discard will be BBB to get rid of 1 card.


    5/16/2012
  • #13
    Being a lawyer I can say a deck list cannot belong to SCG because the cards are the property of WOTC. You can not copy the article and repost it with out consent, but you can repost the actual card list in the deck being the cards are not property of SCG. It would be like Home and Garden sewing someone for having the same plants in there yard as they did in an article they had in a magazine.
  • #14
    Quote from tripeboi
    Being a lawyer I can say a deck list cannot belong to SCG because the cards are the property of WOTC. You can not copy the article and repost it with out consent, but you can repost the actual card list in the deck being the cards are not property of SCG. It would be like Home and Garden sewing someone for having the same plants in there yard as they did in an article they had in a magazine.


    True, but lists and compilations of data CAN be under copyright (i.e. a phone book etc.)

    The specific card titles are owned by WOTC yes, but the specific organization into a deck consisting of these exact 75 cards is NOT owned by WOTC and could be under copyright.
    Quote from LandBoySteve
    Mark my words...2 years from now, the ONLY viable archetype in standard is going to be aggro or tempo, maybe.

    Control will be dead.
    LD is already dead.
    Combo will never exist again.
    Card discard will be BBB to get rid of 1 card.


    5/16/2012
  • #15
    Quote from bLatch
    True, but lists and compilations of data CAN be under copyright (i.e. a phone book etc.)

    The specific card titles are owned by WOTC yes, but the specific organization into a deck consisting of these exact 75 cards is NOT owned by WOTC and could be under copyright.



    It would be impossible to SCG to prove someone stole a list of the 75 best cards for a specific purpose of a deck, i.e. "red deck wins" from the worlds most popular TCG. In the content of a TCG all someone would have to do to change a deck. Would to be add or subtract just ONE card.

    SCG CAN NOT copyright a list of cards owned by another company. THEY CAN copyright an article written by them or submitted to them that has a list of cards mentioned in the article. But a specific card deck? No impossible.
  • #16
    Quote from tripeboi
    It would be impossible to SCG to prove someone stole a list of the 75 best cards for a specific purpose of a deck, i.e. "red deck wins" from the worlds most popular TCG. In the content of a TCG all someone would have to do to change a deck. Would to be add or subtract just ONE card.


    I think that there is no need to change just one card. Anyone can claim to have worked on a decklist and come up with the exact result as SCG. Unless stated explicitly, I can't see how the writers could claim anything to have happened otherwise (and decklists really tend to be similair at times matching card for card).

    Banner and avvy made by LeGambit!!


    Kekeke Hammered by the Banhammer Kekeke
  • #17
    Quote from Good&Evil
    I think that there is no need to change just one card. Anyone can claim to have worked on a decklist and come up with the exact result as SCG. Unless stated explicitly, I can't see how the writers could claim anything to have happened otherwise (and decklists really tend to be similair at times matching card for card).


    That’s exactly my point.

    It’s not like taking a song my Justin Timberlake Wink and changing the word baby to girl and thinking your ok.

    We are talking about a TCG that millions of people play. Then narrow down the thousands of cards in a legal T2, and then narrow out the junk cards and your left with a few hundred good cards. Then add a specific purpose, let’s say burn, or an elf deck. Not many to choose from. People will make the same decks with out even knowing it. So it’s impossible for anyone to prove they are the originator of a deck.
  • #18
    Quote from tripeboi
    People will make the same decks with out even knowing it. So it’s impossible for anyone to prove they are the originator of a deck.
    This thread was started because people are asking for copies of decklists from specific articles. Posters who respond to those requests would be blatantly copying content from SCG.com. There'd be no issue about proving anything - their posts would say "hear is the decklist from StarCity's preimum protacted content, i hope you liek it."

    So, issues of proof aside, it sounds to me like a decklist should be copyrightable as a compilation, like blatch said. But would SCG really sue about it?

    ...well, I guess that's what we used to say about Wizards & spoilers. Slant
  • #19
    Quote from Azerbaijan
    This thread was started because people are asking for copies of decklists from specific articles. Posters who respond to those requests would be blatantly copying content from SCG.com. There'd be no issue about proving anything - their posts would say "hear is the decklist from StarCity's preimum protacted content, i hope you liek it."

    So, issues of proof aside, it sounds to me like a decklist should be copyrightable as a compilation, like blatch said. But would SCG really sue about it?

    ...well, I guess that's what we used to say about Wizards & spoilers. Slant


    Exactly. The issue here is not about whether they can prove that taking the list was infringement. The issue was "if a list IS taken, is it infringement?"

    In my personal opinion (non-legal) if SCG says not to reprint the decks (I know someone said they emails SCG) then those wishes should be respected and the mods should enforce that. If they say its ok than its all good.
    Quote from LandBoySteve
    Mark my words...2 years from now, the ONLY viable archetype in standard is going to be aggro or tempo, maybe.

    Control will be dead.
    LD is already dead.
    Combo will never exist again.
    Card discard will be BBB to get rid of 1 card.


    5/16/2012
  • #20
    Quote from tripeboi
    It would be impossible to SCG to prove someone stole a list of the 75 best cards for a specific purpose of a deck, i.e. "red deck wins" from the worlds most popular TCG. In the content of a TCG all someone would have to do to change a deck. Would to be add or subtract just ONE card.

    SCG CAN NOT copyright a list of cards owned by another company. THEY CAN copyright an article written by them or submitted to them that has a list of cards mentioned in the article. But a specific card deck? No impossible.



    Why would the fact that specific card titles are copyright WOTC prevent a compilation of some of those titles from being copyright someone else?

    case in point: If I make an advertisement for widgets, and said advertisement is run on a quarter page of a newspaper with a bunch of other stuff I own the copyright on the advertisement, but the newspaper owns a copyright on the entire layout of the page.
    Quote from LandBoySteve
    Mark my words...2 years from now, the ONLY viable archetype in standard is going to be aggro or tempo, maybe.

    Control will be dead.
    LD is already dead.
    Combo will never exist again.
    Card discard will be BBB to get rid of 1 card.


    5/16/2012
  • #21
    Quote from bLatch
    Why would the fact that specific card titles are copyright WOTC prevent a compilation of some of those titles from being copyright someone else?

    case in point: If I make an advertisement for widgets, and said advertisement is run on a quarter page of a newspaper with a bunch of other stuff I own the copyright on the advertisement, but the newspaper owns a copyright on the entire layout of the page.


    You’re kidding right? Not an attack mate, but did you read all of my posts or just one? If you go back and read all of them you will (hopefully) get what I was referring to. And possibly how I know I know what im talking about.

    Your analogy has holes in it. What are you advertising for? What’s the reason of the advertisement? Are you posting it for people to seeing how you have stacked 75 different color widgets in a pattern for a contest that millions of people are in on? See my point. There is a difference in you analogy and the fact NO ONE CAN COPYRIGHT A DECK LIST BUT WOTC. Take for instance a theme deck. Can WOTC sue or take legal action against you if you post the lay out of “Sliver Evolution” theme deck? If WOTC can’t sue you, how is SCG.

    And there is a difference in a DECK LIST, and an ARTICLE LISTING cards. If you remove the article and just use the cards SCG has nothing.
  • #22
    Quote from tripeboi
    You’re kidding right? Not an attack mate, but did you read all of my posts or just one? If you go back and read all of them you will (hopefully) get what I was referring to. And possibly how I know I know what im talking about.

    Your analogy has holes in it. What are you advertising for? What’s the reason of the advertisement? Are you posting it for people to seeing how you have stacked 75 different color widgets in a pattern for a contest that millions of people are in on? See my point. There is a difference in you analogy and the fact NO ONE CAN COPYRIGHT A DECK LIST BUT WOTC. Take for instance a theme deck. Can WOTC sue or take legal action against you if you post the lay out of “Sliver Evolution” theme deck? If WOTC can’t sue you, how is SCG.

    And there is a difference in a DECK LIST, and an ARTICLE LISTING cards. If you remove the article and just use the cards SCG has nothing.


    (also not an attack) Could you then perhaps provide some support for your argument? I'm not trying to say that you are wrong, but I would like some support rather than a bald "they can't do it because I said so."

    Who has ever said that Wizards could not sue you for taking a verbatim list and posting it on another web site under the heading "Hey look at this deck I just copied from magicthegathering.com" I'm arguing that they COULD sue for that, and in the same veign SCG could sue for a deck design.

    I'll grant that it would not be a very extensive copyright (most likely ONLY covering that EXACT deck) and it would be virtually impossible to enforce... but the copyright woul still "exist."

    Just to make sure: Are we both applying US copyright law? (Only curious because "mate" isn't typical US slang)
    Quote from LandBoySteve
    Mark my words...2 years from now, the ONLY viable archetype in standard is going to be aggro or tempo, maybe.

    Control will be dead.
    LD is already dead.
    Combo will never exist again.
    Card discard will be BBB to get rid of 1 card.


    5/16/2012
  • #23
    Quote from tripeboi »
    did you read all of my posts or just one? If you go back and read all of them you will (hopefully) get what I was referring to. And possibly how I know I know what im talking about.
    I, for one, don't believe lawyers are infallible. It doesn't help your credibility that, a few posts up, you misspelled "suing" as "sewing." Rolleyes

    Quote from tripeboi
    NO ONE CAN COPYRIGHT A DECK LIST BUT WOTC. Take for instance a theme deck. Can WOTC sue or take legal action against you if you post the lay out of “Sliver Evolution” theme deck? If WOTC can’t sue you, how is SCG.
    WOTC could absolutely sue you for that.

    It's like the New York Times' bestseller list. The book titles are copyrighted/trademarked by the books' publishers, but when NYT compiles and sorts the titles in its bestseller list, NYT gets a copyright in the compilation. That's why they had that legal battle with Amazon over use of the list.

    Similarly, WotC has a copyright in Magic card names, but that doesn't necessarily preclude SCG from having a copyright in a compilation of a subset of those names.
  • #24
    Quote from bLatch
    (also not an attack) Could you then perhaps provide some support for your argument? I'm not trying to say that you are wrong, but I would like some support rather than a bald "they can't do it because I said so."

    Who has ever said that Wizards could not sue you for taking a verbatim list and posting it on another web site under the heading "Hey look at this deck I just copied from magicthegathering.com" I'm arguing that they COULD sue for that, and in the same veign SCG could sue for a deck design.

    I'll grant that it would not be a very extensive copyright (most likely ONLY covering that EXACT deck) and it would be virtually impossible to enforce... but the copyright woul still "exist."

    Just to make sure: Are we both applying US copyright law? (Only curious because "mate" isn't typical US slang)



    I went here and work for a Law Firm In New York City. But if you read my first post on the matter you would see. I mentioned I know maybe just a little something about the law as it pertains to this case. Might not be as knowledgeable as the guy who posts on this thread that works in oh I don’t know any other field but law.
  • #25
    Quote from tripeboi
    I went here and work for a Law Firm In New York City. But if you read my first post on the matter you would see. I mentioned I know maybe just a little something about the law as it pertains to this case. Might not be as knowledgeable as the guy who posts on this thread that works in oh I don’t know any other field but law.
    Are you aware, then, that it's possible to have a copyright in a compilation of items, even if you don't have a copyright in the items themselves? Because every time anyone mentions that, you just start waving around your supposed law degree.

    Assuming you're aware of that, please explain how the NYT bestseller list (from my post above) is any different from this.
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