Despite supposedly being printed using special inks rendering photocopying impossible, reports are sprouting up around the interwebs of people successfully copying cards from Eye of Judgement on the PlayStation 3 and scanning them into the game with little or no problem. One of our readers sent pictures of a card he printed out from Penny Arcade, which despite some curling and colour differences from the other cards seems to be scanning in just fine. I decided to try it out myself. As you can see, my copy of the card sucks. I printed it out on my little $US 50 Canon IP1800 photo printer, which I use so rarely that it took me a good half hour to find the USB cable to hook it up. Once I had the printout in hand, I headed over to the game. I thought about cutting the card out of the paper, but in the end it didn't really matter. Here we see the Biolith Bomber, easily scanning into the game despite the poor quality of the printout. The camera resolution is relatively low, so the symbols on the card need to be easily recognizable. Unfortunately this also makes them easily to duplicate as well. Just to make sure, I registered the card with my online deck. Worked like a charm.
So what does this mean? Well for me, nothing much. I'm a collector, so I'll be buying cards no matter what. For the general public, however, I predict it is only a matter of time before hi-res card scans appear for download on the web. Cards still have to follow game rules, however, so it shouldn't affect gameplay at all. The main effect will be seen by Sony and Wizards of the Coast, who make the cards and boosters. What looked like a lucrative endeavor might end up with more money in the pockets of printer cartridge manufacturers than anyone else. Hopefully measures can be taken to enhance the copy protection in the future. For right now, there's nothing special about the ink here whatsoever.
As a final note, don't do this. We sincerely do not recommend that anyone obtain cards this way. It makes you a dick...unless done for demonstration purposes, of course.