Wednesday, March 3, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: Upper Deck and MLBP Settle Lawsuit

Well, the Upper Deck Lawsuit Bonanza is over.

I have just received an email from a source close to the case that MLBP and Upper Deck have reached a settlement in the case of the (non) missing logos. Although the details are sparse at this moment, I think we are going to hear very quickly what this means for Upper Deck baseball and football products.

The great thing is that when two parties settle, it usually is an amount that would not cripple either side. I think this could come as a great outcome for UD, but it all depends on the money. Who knows, this may be something that just prevented a bigger loss from happening. This means there is still a good probability that bad news is coming.

Here are some more details that I just received from my source.

Looks like UD owes money for some 2009 licensing fees that were never paid. They also owe some money (probably a percentage of the sales) on the three sets released post license. They are prevented from putting out further cards of anyone that violates the licensing agreement with Topps. Obviously a no brainer there. They cannot produce cards with airbrushing or blurring of logos as long as the person is still in uniform (Wow - that is huge).

So, basically UD is out of baseball, and they owe MLBP some money. Not horrible, it could be A LOT worse. Im guessing the settlement is a best case scenario, because MLBP wanted to protect their interests and UD wanted to stay in business. I would expect that after this Football will have to be the bread and butter, and with cutbacks, the company could survive on that, basketball, and CLC.

Topps may have a stranglehold on baseball, but if the guy from MLBP is thinking that this is a good thing for all collectors to "clearly identify official Major League Baseball trading cards without any confusion" he is sadly fucking mistaken. We arent fucking idiots. They should not be able to put this victory on our shoulders, as we will lose more than just cards in this. This is about MLBP's money, first and foremost, and for him to arrogantly exclaim that we are the winners is total fucking donkey shit. Personally, I really dont care THAT much about UD baseball, as I am primarily a football collector, but to treat us in this fashion is arrogance known only by the douchebags over at Beckett.

We lose out on sets we love, sets we collect, and cards we would normally collect, and he is happy because we can tell the difference? Cmon, that matters not to us. Most people were actually much happier with Ultimate because of the way it was done, so for the MLBP to say that we are the ones that won, doesnt make sense.

For a lot of us, we put heart and soul into collections that will now be thinner and less complete because our favorite sets will not be a part of it. Upper Deck had a huge following, and I am happy that the MLBP guy believes that we are better off now that licensing is clearer than posting it three different places on a box. What crap.

I hope this is the last I hear about this.


  1. I think the bad news is they can't sell their cards

  2. I was going to write a big ol' post about this, breaking my self imposed rule to not post about industry views and news (as others to it far more effectively, like yourself Gellman), but I just couldn't do it. My blog is a different monster and I have to keep it happy.

    But! I can comment here!

    It angers me that MLBP thinks we're the better for this. We aren't and we never will be. Exclusivity is going to kill the hobby sooner or later. Taking creativity and competitiveness out of the hobby is the first step. The second step will be a stream of crap Baseball (or basketball via Panini, etc) releases that we KNOW will happen. Oh, sure, we'll have Topps' classic winners (base, bowman, chrome, Heritage, A&G), but beyond that it will be (just from their recent track record) more retro redux, old and busted foil, and crappy high end stuff.

    Don't get me wrong, there are aspects/sets from Topps that I love. But this gives them the green light to be lazy - which has already begun, but it will probably be more visible as months go on.

  3. So Upper Deck can't do now, what they should never have done in the first place. They cannot produce cards with logos, airbrushing or blurring of logos as long as the person is still in uniform. Seriously, what were there lawyers thinking, first when they gave them the greenlight to release the cards in the first place, and now agreeing to this afterwards?

    In some ways I'm happy, as it doesn't look like everyone at Upper Deck will lose their job - but I certainly hope the heads of the executies, decision makers and PR people roll. I just wish that it was Upper Deck out of football now, not Topps.

    Oh, and as for "This is about MLBP's money, first and foremost, and for him to arrogantly exclaim that we are the winners is total fucking donkey shit." That is true. But it would have been the same if Upper Deck won the case - it would only have been about Upper Deck's money first and foremost and if they had of proclaimed (which they would have) that we would be the winners that would be total bullshit. Don't kid yourself otherwise, no matter how much you love Upper Deck.

  4. "Business as usual" didn't exactly happen at UD after all! According to an article on icv2's website there were significant layoffs at UD on Thursday, most of which came at it's Entertainment division. Here is the link to the article:
    Not a good sign for the big giant and I hope UD can make it through this rough patch!