PROTRADER: The MTG Finance of Controversy, Artist Compensation, and Cube

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We’ll be doing something a little different today. Rather than go deep on a finance-specific topic, we’ll be taking a look at a few community issues that have come up recently and how those issues might impact the finance community at large or your decisions as a financier/consumer specifically.

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18 thoughts on “PROTRADER: The MTG Finance of Controversy, Artist Compensation, and Cube”

  1. I agree with his tournament banning but not his MTGO banning.
    I also agree that his nuts should be smashed with a hammer.

    1. +1

      I’m stunned too that so many mtgfinance writers and others in the community considered 3 months (really, 3 months?) as “paying his debt to society.”

      Also, not the best choice to make any type of comparison between Nazi Germany and Hasbro deciding a person can’t play in tournaments or MTGO because of they’re having done something completely vile.

      1. Do you know the circumstances of his situation? If he raped her, he raped her, and deserves punishment. But were they out on a date, they got drunk, started the act, and halfway through she said “no”? That’s still considered rape, and it’s still wrong, but is that the definition of “rape” you picture in your mind when someone is arrested for rape?

  2. WOTC is 100% right when they say that they dont want a rapist to get any kind of fame through their game, online or offline!
    MTG is a 14+ game and pro player or semi pro player are somehow examples for Magic playing kids and a rapist shouldnt be an example for any kid.
    I dont see a point in thinking that WOTC would go ahead and ban player for political causes (or similar), thats a total different story..

    Regarding artists, why should an artist get more money because WOTC prints is pic on a deckbox or a playmat? I mean the artwork on a card like Brainstorm isnt better in any way that the artwork on any other card that is not used for further products than the card itself, so why should one get more money for the same word than others? Wizzard simply buys the artwork from the artist and what they do with the artwork is their thing, isnt it?

    Sorry for disagreeing so hart, but thats my opinion.
    I still like the article and the topic you chose, keep on the good work 🙂

    1. I think the artwork chosen for a playmat CAN be said to be “better” at least as far as wizards feels it will help them sell more playmats. And though the artists enter their contracts with wizards, knowing they are getting paid a flat fee, at some point the salesmen at wizards are saying “wow we really sold a lot of that Terese Nielsen playmat thanks to her great art, good thing we aren’t legally obligated to send her any monetary reward for those sales.” And at this point the priorities of wizards is clear – money first and artists second.

    2. WOTC can do whatever they want with their own company, they could kick someone out because they have blue eyes if they wanted.

      That doesn’t make it right.

  3. I have zero issue with Hasbro banning him. If you want to be friends with a rapist that’s fine, if your friends say “we won’t be friends with you anymore if you continue to hang out with him” then you have a decision to make. This is the same decision Hasbro has to make except there are also millions of dollars at stake. We all understand how bad rape is, whether or not they ban him rape still remains bad, but by not banning him they are tacitly approving of the behavior. As a company you can’t do that, there is no slippery slope argument because this isn’t a matter of first amendment rights, he was convicted of an actual crime, so again zero issue with the banning.
    -Eli

    1. Very well said.

      Also, as far as art work, do artist not know they are selling the actual rights to the art work? Why take the commission?

      1. Because as multiple artists have already stated they are the best paying company in the fantasy art business.

  4. I already eMailed WOTC over his banning. I’m completely pissed that they would ban someone out of nowhere like that for almost anything short of being an unrepentant violent criminal.

    Who chooses what’s “bad enough”? Am I next on their list because I religiously object to gay “marriage” (even though I’d support legislation for gay civil unions)? I GUARANTEE you I am if someone raises enough stink about it.

    THAT is what he’s talking about. Who’s next?

  5. Compensation policy is, in theory, negotiable. But when a company is in a position of power within a buyer’s market, it’s morally questionable to de facto demand take-it-or-leave-it contracts that pay for art as if it exists in a vacuum. This issue is akin to that for which entertainment industry actors and writers striked back in 2008. Product licensing should offer royalties to those who helped create it.

    1. Well, here’s the alternative…

      Alternate universe, WOTC doesn’t exist, MTG doesn’t exist. Those artists can now go to… um… nobody at all… to make “Magic the Gathering” art and get paid for it.

      It’s not morally questionable. Nobody’s holding a gun to the heads of the artists to work for WOTC, they can just as well go somewhere else and keep the licensing rights to their work.

  6. Making a change “community” related article available only ProTrader readers is a joke in itself. This sites street cred continues to fall a little further everyday.

    Hasbro is free to make decisions it feels are best for it and represent it’s shareholders interests. Tournament play is a company sponsored event. It’s their call to say who is and who isn’t welcome. This is supposedly a free society after all and in a free society you are allowed to disclude people of your choosing (this actually means everyone can be targeted and discriminated against equally).

    The hilarity is that punk ass Drew Levin didn’t open his mouth until ol boy started to top 8 GPs, regularly. Then everyone got their panties twisted. Mike Tyson has his own cartoon show Floyd Mayweather beats on women like they were sparring partners. R Kelly took a piss all over an underaged (15 years old) girl. Lorana Bobbit cut off her husband’s penis in the middle of the night and threw it into a ditch alongside a highway, she’s now hailed as a feminist icon btw.

    You live in a society full of sexual atrocities. Why single this one case out as special. Adrian Peterson had his picture taken holding a box of Commanders Arsenal. If AP wanted to play in the next Minneapolis GP would WoTC ban him from events?

    My point is this. If you’re going to tow an ethical line then do it properly. Don’t pick and choose your battles. Have an ethical stance or do not, there’s middle ground fence sitting in these waters.

    I’m going to go watch some Mike Tyson’s Mysteries now.

  7. I feel for the artists but its arguable that without WotC and Hasbro no one would even see their art. They get paid for their art and if they are lucky it shows up on a box or pack and they get even more exposure. They shouldn’t be paid extra for this. WotC can BUY the rights to their art and burn it if they want to. That is the point of selling the rights to something. If artists don’t agree… Don’t sign the contract? If the artist really thinks they would get more exposure and be more successful on their own… Go for it, best of luck!

    1. As for the “rapist”… I can guarantee you that you are in contact with more felons than you realize when you go to any major event anywhere. Should none of these people be allowed to re-enter society? This issue is a lot bigger than any quick feel-good fix would accomplish. The world is full of creeps, I thought we all knew that. Its not really up to WotC to deem who is too creepy to do what. Or maybe it is?

      I wonder how many people with criminal histories compete at WotC events every year? Should we monitor all of them? Just the felons? Just the violent felons? Just the violent felons that are pros? Just the violent felons that are pros that served a reduced senence? Where the hell is the line drawn on this slippery slope?????

  8. My line is pretty simple. I can play against a convicted rapist in Magic. His failures as a person doesn’t affect my game with him. I could not and would not sit across a table from Bertoncini. His crimes are within the realm of the very thing we’re there for. World Magic Cup on the line? Me vs Alex Bertoncini? I’d refuse to play and take consecutive game loss.

  9. The Zach Jesse part of this article is complete slippery slope nonsense. Danny should be embarrassed about writing it and MTG Price should be embarrassed about publishing it.

    They banned one pretty unrepentant guy who was about to break out into the public eye in a big way. This will be where the slope stops; to say that this might end up hitting the MTG finance community is utterly absurd. Remember, this is the same company who instigated the reserve list to protect the value of old cards.

    I don’t buy this slippery slope argument at all and it makes me sad that so many people do.

  10. The difference between all the felons (whether convicted or yet to be caught) is that they didn’t make top 8 (at least not to anyone’s knowledge).

    The precedent is set. If any future felons make top 8 and get banned then at least WotC stays consistent. I don’t agree with his seizure of his online account.

    As an aside to Mdeminico, go google Zach Jesse Conviction and you’ll get the media bite of the court hearing.

    FYI, alcohol doesn’t make you do bad things. It may lessen your inhibitions that normally prevent you from doing said bad things. Seeing as how that’s the case Jesse’s actions in my opinion were his nature coming to the fore front. He’s a POS and if one of the long lasting consequences of his actions, an action that was deliberate (not accidental as in say a drunk choosing to drive and then causing a wreck) from 10 years ago, is that he can’t enjoy a card game; eff him.

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