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Headlines and Highlights: Week of August 25th

Headlines and Highlights: Week of August 25th
August 25, 2023
Keenan Flack

NFLPA Terminates Deal With Panini 3 Years Early

SOPA Images

The News: The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) has terminated its deal with Panini, granting the rights of player names and likenesses to competitor Fanatics three years earlier than initially planned. The shocking development comes amid an ongoing legal battle between the two companies, with Fanatics also slated to take over Panini's exclusive rights for NBA collectibles starting in 2026.

Why: The termination follows Panini suing Fanatics for alleged antitrust practices, to which Fanatics countersued for unfair competition. Fanatics has recently secured key licenses with major sports leagues and unions and acquired Topps, consolidating its position in the market. Meanwhile, Panini has been criticized for its lack of initiative and poor customer service, leaving leagues and unions potentially unhappy with their approach.

What's Next: This latest development marks a significant shift in the trading card industry, furthering Fanatics' stronghold and diminishing Panini's market presence. As the legal battle unfolds, the outcome may shape the future of trading card licensing and monopolistic practices. The situation highlights the rapidly changing landscape of the industry and could impact future negotiations and competition between companies in the collectibles space. ACTIONNETWORK

Cybersecurity Researchers Uncover Privacy Flaw in Christie's Website

(Illustration by Elena Lacey/The Washington Post; iStock)

The News: Christie's, the British auction house, inadvertently revealed the precise locations of artworks that owners were attempting to sell. The location data was embedded within the images uploaded to the company’s website, exposing a significant security vulnerability, according to German cybersecurity researchers Martin Tschirsich and André Zilch.

Why: Around 10 percent of photos uploaded to Christie’s site contained GPS coordinates so exact that they could reveal the specific place inside a building where a photo was taken. This information was publicly accessible online, a problem that emphasizes how cybersecurity vulnerabilities are affecting not just large tech companies but many businesses operating on the internet.

What's Next: Christie's appears to have implemented technical measures to close the vulnerability after being contacted about it by The Washington Post. The case raises questions about the auction house's commitment to personal data security, and it's unclear if Christie's has informed its clients about the security lapse. The incident underscores the importance of robust cybersecurity measures and the potential risks of neglecting such vulnerabilities. WaPo

Collectible Happenings:

Heritage has completed their Summer Platinum Auction raking in at least $30 million in sales; mostly from two Mantle pieces: a 1958 jersey for $4.68M and a 1952 Topps SGC 9 for $4.5M. HERITAGE

Our Friend Will Stern at Rally caused quite the stir where he broke down some controversy around MeiGray’s grading of a 1996 Michael Jordan jersey. The Photo-matching company used private photographs to authenticate the jersey in question, leading skepticism over the strength of the match. Meigray came out with a 2-page defense of their authentication, including pictures. MEIGRAY TWITTER

Liu Yiqian and Wang Wei, co-founders of the Long Museum in Shanghai, are preparing to sell a group of Western modern, postwar, and contemporary art valued at about $150 million; Sotheby's won the bid to handle the sale. The consignment comes as the art market faces a slowdown, and China's economy grapples with recovery challenges. Proceeds from the sales are intended to support initiatives at the Long Museum and fund future acquisitions. ARTNET

Paul Lesko breaks down the Ravensburger/Miller motion to dismiss/transfer their case against Upper Deck. TWITTER

The sale of a multimillion-dollar Alexander Calder sculpture has ignited two competing lawsuits between art advisor Lea Lee and dealers in New York and France. Lee alleges that the sculpture was illegally sold from her late mother's estate, naming her sisters and dealers Elisabeth Royer-Grimblat and Edward Tyler Nahem as defendants, while Nahem has filed a complaint against Lee for stalking him and hindering the resale of the sculpture. The judge dismissed Lee's lawsuit, but she has appealed, and the title and estimated value of the sculpture are in dispute between the parties. ARTNET

Sotheby’s launches “Full Throttle: The Michael Collection”. A 150-lot, single-owner sale from a Japanese consignor who has been collecting these pieces for over 30 years. RMSOTHEBYS

RRAuction sells a first generation 8GB sealed iPhone for $55,999. Not quite as much as the $190k record from a few weeks ago, but still an impressive number for a new category. RRAUCTION

NBC New York airs a story outlining the ongoing growth in the hobby. WNBC

The Senate Finance Committee is investigating Leon Black's financial dealings with Jeffrey Epstein, particularly focusing on Epstein's advice regarding Black's $1 billion private art collection and a $158 million payment to Epstein. The committee has requested detailed information on these transactions, and Black's representatives maintain that all transactions were lawful, though the committee seeks further information on an art partnership and other art-related transactions involving Epstein. ARTNET

Justin Jefferson record sale for $57,600 for a 2020 Panini Prizm Black Finite 1/1. TWITTER

Claude Picasso, son of Spanish Artist Pablo Picasso, has passed away at 76. He managed the Picasso estate from 1989 to July 2023, when his sister Paloma took over. BARRONS

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