Today, Wizards clarified their stance on counterfeit and proxy cards, initiating legal action against several individuals who specialize in selling "proxy" cards that approximate a real card. Wizards intends to enforce their copyrights against counterfeit cards, now explicitly defining proxy cards meant to approximate the real card as a counterfeit. This includes both "replica" cards that feel and appear similar to real cards, as well as "foil versions" of cards (usually created from an actual foil card) that have never been released as such.
Under the updated policies, proxy cards can only be issued by the judge of an event, only under specific circumstances. Counterfeit cards are any attempt to replicate the appearance of the actual card, regardless of the intent or use. Neither counterfeit nor proxy cards, as issued by a judge, fit the criteria as legal for sanctioned events. As per the WPN site announcement:
Counterfeit cards are not approved in any fashion by Wizards of the Coast, nor are they appropriate for sanctioned play in any form. Authorized cards for use in sanctioned Magic play must meet the following criteria, as explained in section 3.3 of the Magic Tournament Rules:
- The card is genuine and is published by Wizards of the Coast
- The card has a standard Magic back or is a double-faced card
- The card does not have squared corners
- The card has black or white borders
- The card is not a token card
- The card is not damaged or modified in a way that might make it marked
- The card is otherwise legal for the tournament as defined by the format
- Unglued and Unhinged basic land cards are allowed in sanctioned Magic tournaments
- Players may use cards from the Alpha printing only if the deck is in opaque sleeves
A proxy card is used during competition to represent an authorized game card that has been accidentally damaged or excessively worn in the current tournament (including damaged or misprinted Limited product) as determined solely by the Head Judge. Proxies are not allowed as substitutes for cards damaged intentionally or through a player’s own negligence. Use of a proxy is ONLY allowed by tournament rules under the following conditions:
- A card has become damaged or unplayable due to wear at the event as determined by the event judge
- The event judge creates the proxy
Players MAY NOT create proxies for use in sanctioned play. If a proxy card is genuinely necessary during an officially sanctioned Magic tournament, the proxy is included in the player’s deck. Whenever the card is located in a public zone, it must be replaced by the actual, damaged card it represents.
For more information on the proxy policy review section 3.4 of the Magic Tournament Rules here.