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How to verify cards are personally signed and not autopened
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Picture of AWR
posted
Check out this YouTube Video from "Stuff Made Here" -- (https://youtu.be/cQO2XTP7QDw)

This guy does some really cool things, and this video is cool, but scary for the future of Card Autographs

Somebody could take a stack of cards, hit a button, and have a hundred signed cards that would be almost impossible to tell they were signed by a machine

Add AI to this, and we will soon see cards that were created by AI (Smokin' Joe was discussing AI Cards at the last Philly Show) and then Robot signed

Welcome to the future
 
Posts: 382 | Location: Califon, NJ | Registered: October 26, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Diamond Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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There doesn't seem to be a working link there, but ever since the basic autopen went into use, facsimile autographs reached the level where you couldn't tell genuine in-person from artificially created signatures. Only by comparison to other autographs can you pick out the autopen for its exact sameness. I know people have talked about seeing dots and spots at the end of the signatures and such, but that can happen with hand signed autographs too and isn't a true indicator. And let's not forget that there are good forgers who, with all the time in the world, can do good hand signed forgeries too. Wink

Comparison is the only true detector of auto penned signatures. However now autopens have been upgraded and can do multiple variations with slight differences. Where the original autopen might have been just lazy people, the programable multi-signature autopen is pure fraud to me. Nobody receiving any kind of payment or compensation for their signatures should be using them. Same thing with AI. They are fakes and knowingly fake.

So the fakes have gotten harder to detect thanks to programming multiple copies of previous examples, but it doesn't really change the situation that much. It's always come down to a matter of demand. The greater the demand, the more likely someone will think a scam is worthwhile. Buying certified licensed autograph cards is still your best chance of getting a genuine autograph, if you can't get the in-person, in-front of your face signing. At that point not only does the signature have to pass inspection, but the card would also have to be counterfeited.

Not impossible, nothing is impossible, but not easy either and hopefully not something to go unnoticed.
 
Posts: 10476 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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One of the easiest ways to spot an autopen signature is because of the difference in the way the machine and a human will complete strokes of their pens.

When a person writes, at the end of a word they are typically moving the pen laterally when they lift it off the paper. This means that the line width at the end of a stroke trails off and gets narrower until it disappears.

An autopen, on the other hand, comes to a complete stop laterally and lifts the pen straight up. This means that end of a stroke is blunt, and the line stays a constant width until the end. It also means that the end of a line will be darker, as ink bleeds into the paper while the pen is stopped, before it lifts.

See, for example, these McFarlane cards. Or these Brian Kelley cards.

It looks like Shane's robot exhibits the same characteristics. Despite the good words from the forensic examiner, the examples he zoomed into all looked like machine-written to me, because of the blunt ends of strokes.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Bill Mullins,
 
Posts: 2232 | Location: Huntsville, AL United States | Registered: November 30, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Raven
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You can tell those McFarlane and Kelley cards are autopens because in comparison the signatures are exactly the same and no one hand signs autographs exactly the same. Only machines do that.

The type of pen, the ink, the width or narrowness of the stroke, the pressure applied, also play a part in the look of a signature. If the signer is going fast or slow, sloppy or careful, that makes a difference in whether you get streaks or blotches or dots at the end of hesitations. I have in-person autographs with strokes that don't trail off and some that are darker at the end.

Also some autopens are just better than others.

I would like to think I'm good enough to pick up every autopen cold, but without a prior warning and a couple of comparisons I wouldn't bet on it.
 
Posts: 10476 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Hedgehog Witch
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I think the usual applies, if it's too good to be true, it's probably false. If in doubt don't risk it. Smile That serves well for any collectables hobby.

Another tough thing to contend with, is if someone signs their name differently between different years. Either due to age, infirmity or plain laziness. Not whether they don't sign their full name, but the actual style of their letters.
Sorry if this has ever been brought up before but the one autograph that comes to mind with this is Emma Watson. On most of her solo autograph cards she uses a curly wurly 'E', I have her card from DH2 and that seems to be her standard. However the few times I ever saw a triple of the main trio from the Prisoner of Azkaban set, her 'E' looked different from her usual signature. It was all kind of square and angular.
I often wondered if they did a 'Beatles' thing where sometimes one of the band would forge and sign stuff for the other three to save time. Did one of the other trio sign for her for fun, or something else went on? Or, as simple as Watson just deciding to play with her penmanship style on that card? Bearing in mind she was still a teenager then.
 
Posts: 440 | Location: UK | Registered: March 13, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of mykdude
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Autopen has been moving towards difficulty in detection for a few years now. Look up a high end machine and pay attention to what all of the features do.

Once they can cycle through a few hundred variation signature profiles the flow and pressure features are already in place.

____________________
Just because it's rare doesn't mean it's valuable.
 
Posts: 4908 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: March 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of mykdude
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Ok just watched the Oppenheimer of robot writing video.

Of course we funnel it down to just autographs which is a much smaller scope to what he is attempting. However to be able do this method with personalization and an autograph would be crazy. It would be an interesting next step to go from just writing naturally to actually writing like someone else.

The other big problem is the variable in size, weight and dimension of items it can write on.

Of course none of this looks more cost effective than a human forger. From a mass application point of view this seems like something that only people with deception on their mind would want.

____________________
Just because it's rare doesn't mean it's valuable.
 
Posts: 4908 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: March 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Raven
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I do believe that the majority of autopenned signatures that we have seen in the past have been either directly or indirectly authorized by the actual signers or their representatives. They are the ones who don't have the time to sign the books they had "ghost written" for themselves. They are the ones who are too ill to autograph the prints or cards they contracted to sign. To them its less of a scam than more of an "I can't be bothered with these fools" practice. Even when it comes out and rebates are given, I never heard of any signers getting sued, which they certainly should be if they got paid for it too.

As for the true scammers, these modern programable autopens with rotating variations can beat detection for a long time as long as the items don't show up in mass for a limited signer. But that's not really new, as the same could be said of a good human forger. Many limited signers are now doing private shows or mail-in offers for big money. Their signatures are still going to be limited if the demand for that person's autograph is high and it has demonstrated accumulating value.

But all of a sudden these custom autographed cards and "cut" signature cards are showing up with the assumption that they got the person to sign at one of these opportunities. If the opportunity cost $300 or more and the card is selling for $150 or much less than the offer, consider that something is amiss no matter what the signature looks like. Big Grin
 
Posts: 10476 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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