Quote from GeneH »One question I certainly have is what reprintability these will have, at least in original form. Will they get the licenses for that? I don't think they have in other non-Hasbro owned IP, so is it therefore possible that this is their "new way" of printing another slate of Reserves? Even if later cards are allowed to duplicate functionality, if they aren't specifically worded as reskins of these previous products ala Godzilla, do we know how that will work? It's a nuanced worry, but one that I have as these come online. And this doesn't just include issues with the paper product or even Arena, but the larger milieu. If, for example, Gandalf the White or Sauron are planeswalkers as they might be expected to be, then what does that mean in an age of planeswalker focused Magic, i.e. are these now to be part of the continuing pantheon? This could become an issue if they go for a second War of the Spark kind of thing. If you don't have the rights to those planeswalkers, you either have a "hard division" going on between IP worlds or you don't. These are the issues with a shared universe.
To answer your question re: third party IP's and reprints I'll be deffering to the contracts that the various UFS publishers made over time (including the unreleased staff cards).
When using a third party IP the set itself can only be manufactured and distributed for a set amount of time established within the IP licensing contract. That means, once the contract ends, Wizards can't use the art, names or any references to that IP. For instance, if they had a W40k version of Naturalize with Orcish art, they could reprint Naturalize ad-infinitum, but could not use the Orcish art as it depicts a GW held property. If they made a card that was called, say, The Great Clean One with a new ability Soap Suds and a 40K style frame, they could reuse the soap suds mechanic, and any stats on the card itself, but it's art, name, and anything else 40Kish would be disallowed.
Also, they can, as with TWD cards, make 'functional reprints' any time they want. Using this card as an example, Wizards could reprint this card when the licence deal ends... but they must change the card name, the art, and may not use 'Walker' as a creature token because 'walkers' are a 'terminological' identifier of TWD, and I'm reasonbly sure nobody is stupid enough to go to court and try to make the case that TWD's fans are unfamiliar with that term.
This revives the argument of why doing these as seperate cards has caused debate: a reskinned version of this doesn't replace the original card, it would be playable alongside it, which obviously breaks the spirit of the game in some way (functional 8 copies/2 copies, format depending). Though, nobody seems to care that you could essentially wack 20 copies of Elvish Mystic in a deck using variants. They only seem to care when it's characters, IP's or deck types they don't personally enjoy...