What exactly is this eBay seller doing? Is this considered counterfeiting?

I suggest you review the items for sale by an eBay seller named: presidentialcollectibles

 It appears that this seller is using a new 2012 autopen machine and is counterfeiting, ( if that is the correct term?), celebrity autographs.  The seller's description states that, "These signatures cannot be found anywhere else", so it is unclear if anyone else is also currently using this autopen device. Thus far, one can purchase a Neil Armstrong, John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe, Bruce Lee, Babe Ruth, or Elvis Presley autopenned ink signature, and according to the seller "provides high quality signature which is an exact replica of the original".

 For obvious reasons, I find this 'new autopen machine' quite troubling.  Aside from the potential influx of confounding new autotypes, does creating these autotypes represent an issue in intellectual property law?  I am not a lawyer, but..................

  Should the profits of sales of the 'new autopenned' signatures belong to the estate of the signators? 



Views: 5037

Tags: al capone, autopen, babe ruth, counterfeit, elvis presley, forgeries, machine-signed, marilyn monroe, mike tyson, neil armstrong, More…obama

Comment by Steve Zarelli on September 15, 2012 at 2:21pm
I've seen these and it is disturbing. Essentially it is a replica signature, but why the insanely high price for a replica signed photo? I could be wrong, but it is almost as if the seller is inviting buyers who have less than honorable intentions with what they will do with it.

"Looks just like a real signature.... WINK WINK"

It's irresponsible IMO to produce a product like this.
Comment by DB on September 15, 2012 at 3:02pm

how would any of this be different from those that claim it's a reprint of an "original"?  More often than not it's not an "original" but thats another story.   What's troubling about this is IMO these will start turning up somewhere else as being an "authentic" signature.

This is a 8x10 Neil Armstrong photograph signed in marker
This is an Auto pen replica signature of the original signed by Neil Armstrong with "'Commander, Apollo 11" written underneath his signature.
A robotic machine was used to sign the signature found in the auction.

The new state of the art  signature machine manufactured in 2012 which was used for the signature in this picture, provides high quality signature which is an exact replica of the original.
The signature is in ink and is virtually indistinguishable from an original signature.

The common problems associated with the old autopen and robotic signature machines such as  a shaky signature, a light signature, especially one that does not have variation in pressure and abrupt pen stops have all been eliminated.   The signature on this item is a virtual replica of an original.

These signatures can not be found anywhere else.

Comment by Richard S. Simon on September 16, 2012 at 6:06am

He has not been an active ebay seller for three years. Then he gets this autopen device and presto he is back on ebay.

This is dangerous and scary. The plethora of reprints on ebay are just copies and can easily be discerned. That does not seem to be the case here.

DB is correct, they will turn up as authentic signatures, no question about it.

Perhaps this device has already been in use with other sellers and we don't even know it yet.

Perhaps it has been in Florida? That would not surprise me.

Comment by Richard S. Simon on September 16, 2012 at 6:16am

Look at what he has been buying on ebay, look at his feedback.

He has been buying large quantities of fountain pen ink.

What is this going to lead to?

Comment by Steve Zarelli on September 16, 2012 at 6:50am
If this indeed what is being used, I found an interesting FAQ on the company's web site.

You can call customer service at 1-800-636-4450 to request a form. Please have your machine model available when calling. You may also download a form from our web site: Ghostwriter Signature Order Form or SigTech Signature Order Form.

So, this would mean the company creates the signature templates. Wouldn't you think they'd have a policy against creating templates of deceased celebrities?
Comment by DB on September 16, 2012 at 7:06am

each state has it's own specifics on what constitutes counterfeiting.  One might also think that estates (e.g. Armstrong or Ruth) would also be able to take some action on any proceeds that resulted by producing these signatures that have not been authorized (although most ignore it).  Unlifke durable good counterfeiting that involves "knock-offs" like Gucci or Rolex.

Ebay actually has a guide on detecting knockoffs such as the Invicta but nothing so far on signatures such as this;

Unfortunately based on the "listing" there would not be any legal intent;  is the imitation of something with an intent to deceive verbiage or otherwise Now, I'm not so sure that the next person in line intent will be the same.

Nonetheless, it was worth reporting and reported it was.  Now it's up to EBAY.

Comment by DB on September 16, 2012 at 8:22am

In the meantime;  Perhaps this thread should contain a list of replica items already sold & perhaps the ebay user that purchased them while they are still available;

how does one not only reproduce the ball but the box as well....  An Al Reach replica baseball from 1928.   Red and blue thread, just like the original  Also included is a replica Al Reach box with Ernest Barnard signature.

An Avenger poster; 290758822119 signatures include: Robert Downey Jr.(Tony Stark) Chris Evans (Capt. America), Mark Ruffalo (Hulk) Chris Hemsworth (Thor) Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow) Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) Tom Hiddleston (Loki) and of course Stan Lee.

290761032808  The signatures on this item are a virtual replica of an original.  These signatures can not be found anywhere else.   These are not digital copy signature or reprints.
signatures include: George Lucas, Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) Harrison Ford (Han Solo) Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) Anthony Daniels (c-3po) Kenny Baker (R2-D2) Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) James Earl Jones (Darth Vader) Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan Kenobi) Natalie Portman (Padme) Frank Oz (Yoda)


In Total 4 of the Dark Knight Posters have been sold - here are two of them 290760188512 signatures include: Christian Bale (Batman) Gary Oldman (Commissioner Gordon) Tom Hardy (Bane) Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Blake) Anne Hathaway (Selina) Morgan Freeman (Fox) Michael Caine (Alfred)

a 2nd one 290761246187 was also sold that is exactly the same 



Comment by Dr. Richard Saffro on September 16, 2012 at 11:46am

I deliberately purchased one of the Armstrong 'autopens' in an effort to try to see the item firsthand, as well as gather more information on the seller.  The item is quite clean and indeed there is an ink signature ( or thin blue marker) on the 8 x 10 photograph of Armstrong.  If one was not aware of this variety, they can easily be fooled into believing that the signature is authentic.  The receipt from the seller does NOT indicate that the item is an autopen, but instead states," Neil Armstrong Photo signed in marker".  It is just a matter of time before these items get into the marketplace as resales. 

Comment by Richard S. Simon on September 16, 2012 at 11:51am

 "It is just a matter of time before these items get into the marketplace as resales."

There is absolutely no question about that.

Wow, this is really bad news.

Comment by Steve Zarelli on September 16, 2012 at 11:51am
Where was if shipped from?


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