Oracle and Tarot Deck Pirating — A Followup

Since my previous post on this subject I’ve chatted with another deck creator about Tarot and Oracle Deck Counterfeiting (dare I create an acronym? TODC, todsy like “tipsy”). For a long time this publisher’s decks seemed to have escaped the scourge of being counterfeited. But, of course, that’s no longer the case.

They are seeing their decks being pirated through AliExpress, EBay, and sometimes on Amazon and even Etsy. She’s found that EBay, surprisingly, is the most responsive when she reports a counterfeit deck. AliExpress is not responsive at all to her requests and has a very convoluted system of reporting. In addition more stores, like Temu, are now allowing, by lack of action, counterfeit sales. She will also report YouTube videos that promote counterfeit copies of her deck(s).

She feels the greatest results in reporting come from the creator themselves as some sites require proof that the intellectual property is that of the person submitting the challenge. She has also often had to submit the same information up to three times before anything is done, in the case of a YouTube video. As soon as one pirate listing is taken down any number of other ones show up. It’s a time consuming job added on to everything else and can be quite demoralizing, in her experience.

[Just an aside here, this reporting and tracking sounds like a full-time job in and of itself, doesn’t it?]

One technique that I, your humble writer, have seen counterfeiting operations use is to simply create a nonsense name for their store, on places like Amazon, and simply reregister their store under a new nonsense name as soon as their old one gets taken down. The name doesn’t mean anything in any language, it’s just another name to trick the registration process.

First Counterfeiter Clue: the seller of the deck has a nonsense store name.

The deck creator I spoke to still feels that her printer would not have sold the files used to print her decks to anyone. Likely some unethical party has simply scanned a copy of the deck and used that to print the counterfeit decks.

One other possibility I’ve considered is that a hacker might illegally access a publishing company’s computer systems and download the files needed to print and publish a deck. But that seems a little hardcore to me for something like a Tarot or Oracle deck. On the other hand, publishing companies as a rule may have very poor cybersecurity on their production systems as they usually don’t house sensitive personal or company information.

Second Counterfeiter Clue: Deck description includes a reference to “party game” or “family game”.

There are some people willing to purchase a Tarot or Oracle deck because of a low price, knowing it is a fake, because they see it as a good deal. Many deck buyers are simply unaware of the counterfeit problem and are just purchasing a deck they like for a low price. For me, Tarot decks are not a function of cost or price, they are about philosophical and spiritual ideas, and about artistic beauty. Price should not be a deciding factor on something that speaks to you in these ways. If a deck is important to you, with a price you can afford, then you should be willing to pay the price asked by the deck creator.

Third Counterfeiter Clue: Pictures or video of the deck don’t match the ones on the original creators website.

To add insult to injury, some deck creators have seen counterfeit sellers “improving” their product, and at the same time increasing the price, by adding a little white book (LWB) or a better box, as if this was the product of the counterfeiter’s hard work, not that of the original creator. It makes it that much more difficult to determine, or even notice, whether you’re buying a product from the original creator of the deck.

So far the deck creator I spoke to is continuing on with plans for her new decks. They have a number of projects in the works and will continue business as usual. But now they have the added headache of reporting counterfeit decks when they find them.

♠️ ♥️ ♣️ ♦️

→ For more information on this topic see my previous post: Oracle and Tarot Deck Pirating


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