The Magic: The Gathering community received some sad news today. Card Conjurer, a member of the community received a cease and desist order from Wizards of the Coast regarding his custom card creator. In response, he has shut down his website.
The cease and desist on Card Conjurer
For those not aware, Card Conjurer was a web-based tool where you can create digital mock-ups of custom Magic cards. It went live back in 2020, held a wide variety of custom options, and was available to all users for free. With some effort, a user could make proxies, not tournament legal versions of certain cards, with the aid of this tool.
But if you go to the website now, you will find a long text post explaining the situation. According to the site's creator, Kyle, he received a formal cease and desist order from Wizards of the Coast on November 3, stating that he must take down the site. The reason for this was that he was using copyrighted and trademarked material owned by the company. Kyle response was he believed he had followed the company's fan content policy, then stated why his site was being addressed while similar older sites are still active. Wizards' response was that they enforce their rights as they deem appropriate.
The post on Card Conjurer goes into further detail about the nature of the cease and desist. This includes the grounds on which the site was in violation, which includes the reproduction of official Magic trademarks and logos as well as copying of card text and artwork. The post also mentions that there is a clause in Wizards' fan content policy that mentions arbitrary takedowns. Rather than threaten further legal action, Kyle has officially shut down the website. This includes access Card Conjurer's services, as well as Kyle shutting down his Patreon and refunding patrons for the last month.
While Wizards of the Coast are legally within their rights to defend their copyrighted material, as they have done in the past, this recent action towards Card Conjurer does have context. Wizards' parent company Hasbro, has lost stock value recently due to their recent handling of Magic: The Gathering from a user, retailer, and collector perspective. The highest point of contention was their Magic 30th Anniversary Packs, which amounted to a pack of proxy cards being sold for $1000. This has lead to a lot of anger by the Magic community as well as the loosening of rules when it comes to the use of proxy cards.