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Copyright / Intellectual Property Issues and Other Miscellaneous Topics

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Q: What is the copyright status of the card images used on the Tarot Garden website?

A: The card images displayed on our website are copyrighted to their respective creators, artists, and publishers. The Tarot Garden holds no copyright to any of these images, unless otherwise noted. Subsequently, we cannot grant usage rights for the images under any circumstances.

The inclusion of these images on our website is done under the terms of "fair usage" laws, solely for informational purposes, and to promote the creators'/publishers' own products. All card images were scanned by us, unless otherwise noted. We have deliberately limited the number of images provided from each deck, to discourage reproduction of a deck in toto through illegal means. In cases where we have received requests from publishers or artists to remove or otherwise not post images of their work, we have complied voluntarily and in full. We do not claim credit for the creation or ownership of any of the images included in our database, unless otherwise noted.

Q: Under what conditions may others use the information and images from your website and database?

A: Under no circumstances is permission granted to reproduce text or images from our website without our express written permission. Please note that while the copyright for the tarot designs and images belong to the respective artists, authors, publishers, etc., the particular scans and descriptions in our database have been either been made by us, from copies owned by the Tarot Garden, and in accordance with copyright law, or have been received from and approved for inclusion on our website by the appropriate authorized entities. Thus, the particular content of our website is considered to be our Intellectual Property, and is subject to the copyright laws pertaining thereto. We will aggressively pursue any violations of our Intellectual Property rights, as we have successfully done in the past.

Please note that these restrictions pertain only to usage of the material in contexts outside of our own website. It is perfectly acceptable to link directly to the website pages themselves (i.e., any Tarot Garden webpage that includes an .html or .php extension). Direct links to the images (i.e., files with a .jpg or .gif extension) are not permitted, as this is considered outside the boundaries of our website. For information on acceptable methods for direct-linking to listings in our database, please refer to our database FAQ topic entitled How can I link to a specific listing in your database?

Please consult copyright laws for additional information, or email us if you have any questions about acceptable use.

Q: I wrote or called for information but never received a reply -- why?

A: We try hard to personally answer each-and-every email that we receive. However, over the past few years, our website has become one of the premiere sources for tarot information on the internet, but there's still only two of us here running the show. So, there are times -- particularly when we're both out-of-the office attending shows or seeing to other obligations -- when our response time is not as fast as we would like.

In general, we respond quickly to most messages and calls. In fact, we've received a lot of feedback from customers expressing surprise at how fast we've replied to their emails. And, in general, our goal is not to let anything sit in our email "In Box" or phone message box more than 72 hours. However, we don't promise a 72-hour response time, as occasionally we may be out of the office for several days, and "catching up" after return is often a bit of a challenge. Also, some of the more "unique" questsions we receive can require a bit of research, and we generally don't reply to such messages until we've determined the answer or confirmed that we won't be able to answer the question.

You'll want to be aware, however, that there have been many instances where we have responded to requests -- in some cases, several times -- and yet continue to receive messages from customers inquiring why we haven't replied. We've found several reasons that contribute to these kinds of situations:

  • Sometimes, our emails are simply not "getting through." If you have spam filtering technology in your email program, you may wish to verify that our messages aren't being accidentally redirected to your "spam" folder.

  • There have also been a few instances that no matter how carefully we double-check or how hard we try, our replies to the email information we have simply "bounce back" to us without being delivered. If you have not received an acknowledgement of your request and need further information, you may also try calling us at 515.224.7654 (U.S. Central Time Zone).

  • For inquiries by phone, there have been some cases where the callback information left was so unclear or garbled that we couldn't decipher enough information to return the call.

  • Also, we've had some cases where folks called and simply left the wrong callback number. When leaving a phone message, please speak slowly and clearly, and make sure you're concentrating on the information being provided when you leave the number where we can reach you. We do return calls from outside the U.S.; simply leave your phone number as you would give it to someone in your own country; we have the list of international dialing codes needed to get a connection to your region.

Q: I tried phoning you, but I got a weird message about "Privacy Plus." What is that?

A: Due to the large number of unwanted solicitation calls we were receiving, we subscribed to the "Caller ID" service in order to distinguish legitimate calls from our customers from those folks who have no business contacting us. In general, the Caller ID service has worked well (in fact, we actually may know who you are before we pick up the phone, making it faster for us to process your order), and should cause most callers no problems in reaching us.

However, there are two instances where the Caller ID service is unable to determine the necessary information about the caller:

  1. When the caller is located in the U.S. or Canada, but is calling from an office or building where the phones have "extensions," and...

  2. When the caller is calling from outside the U.S. or Canada.

If your call falls into one of the above two categories, the Caller ID system will (wrongly) assume that you have subscribed to the "ID blocker" service, and therefore your call won't "ring through" to us directly. Instead, you will be re-routed to a screening service.

If you are re-routed, you can still reach us by phone -- you just have to be patient. The system will ask you to state your name. When you do, please also note that you are calling for the Tarot Garden -- for example, "this is Maria Sanchez, and I'm calling the Tarot Garden to place an order." After stating your name, the call will "ring through" to us, and your recorded statement will be played. As soon as we are able to determine that you are a legitimate caller, we will answer the call. This process will take about 30 - 45 seconds.

If we are out of the office and not able to answer your call, you will then be rerouted to our answering machine, where you can leave a message so that we can call you back. This machine is used for both business and personal messages, so please don't be concerned if you hear Jeannette's kids on the recording, saying you can leave a message for them, too. Be sure to speak slowly and clearly, and provide your name, phone number, and your country or time zone -- the latter so that we don't accidentally return your call in the middle of your night!

Q: What is your policy regarding the "sharing" of my personal information with other companies or entities?

In a nutshell: we don't. We hate spam, and we hate unsolicited phone calls (for more information on just how much we hate them, see the section above entitled "I tried phoning you, but I got a weird message about 'Privacy Plus.' What is that?"). And we're pretty sure that you do, too. We're just interested in sharing information about tarot, and hooking up tarot enthusiasts and collectors with the decks that are right for them. As such, we do not provide any of your personal information we receive, no matter how we got ahold of it, to any other third party for any reason -- period. If we're ever required to provide your information to anyone else by incontrovertible law, then yeah -- we'll do what the law requires. Otherwise, the "sharing" stops here.

It's hard to say if this policy will change in the future -- companies grow, and directorships change. But right now, we've got no plans to change it, and if we ever did, you'd be informed and allowed to "opt in" (not "opt out" -- you'd be assumed to be "out" unless you specifically notified us that you wanted to be "in") to any services or promotions which would require us to share your information with anyone outside of the Tarot Garden company.

Q: I'm looking for a deck that... {has a card that looked like ----, was published in ---, my friend bought a long time ago, etc., etc., etc.}...can you tell me what it is and where I can find it?

With over 1,500 tarots and cartomantic decks documented in our database (as of this writing -- 16 November 2005), we get a lot of inquiries from folks seeking a particular deck. Unfortunately, while you might think having an extensive library of decks would help us to identify the deck you're looking for, it often makes things more difficult, given that we're overwhelmed with possibilities.

It's rare that we can identify a deck based on a brief description of one card. Even if every deck in our library consisted of only the major arcana, that's still 22 x 1,500 = 33,000 cards... and since many of our decks have 78 cards or sometimes more, we're actually pushing almost 100,000 individual cards in the assortment of decks we've assembled here. Although we're a bit ashamed to admit it, we hope our visitors understand when we say that we haven't quite gotten the minute details of that many cards all memorized quite yet.

That said, we're certainly happy to try to help you identify a deck if we can. But we need more than a general publication timeframe or a description of a few details on one card. The best thing you can do to assist us is to email us a scan of one or more of the cards from the deck you're seeking to identify. If that's not possible, then you need to send us as many details about the deck as you are humanly able. We understand if you're working off sparse information as well, and certainly we'll try to help even if you are able to tell us nothing more than "it was published around 1970 and has a blue card." Just don't be surprised if we reply to tell you that we don't have the foggiest idea.

Q: What is the current market value of {insert deck name here}?

To be honest, we've really resisted becoming an appraisal service. In many cases, folks who ask this question are looking for a hard-and-fast answer, and in reality, there aren't any. The current market value of any copy of given tarot or cartomantic deck is dependent upon a large number of conditions. To provide a more-or-less reliable assessment, we'd really have to see the deck in question. And even then, such an assessment would only have limited validity, and only for that particular moment in time. For example, if we appraise an out-of-print tarot as having a value of US$ 100, and a publisher announces the following day that they are reissuing the deck, then the value would plummet far below the $100 assessment provided a mere 24 hours earlier.

That said, we continue to receive an increasing number of requests from collectors, and persons involved in trading transactions, to provide appraisal information for a wide variety of titles. We do understand the reasons people want this information, and we're flattered that we're considered to have sufficient expertise to provide it. And, of course, we do like to be helpful to our customers whenever possible.

Therefore, in response to "popular demand," we are beginning to implement a bluebook feature in our database. This feature went "live" on 13 March 2008, and included bluebook information for a few scant entries at that time. As time goes on, we anticipate "fleshing out" this information for a larger number of items.

Our bluebook information is provided with the caveat that the details provided should not be taken as the be-all and end-all of the valuation question. To access this feature, you must have a Tarot Garden account. This requirement is intended to help ensure that the information is provided to Tarot Garden customers. We have no wish to become a free source of appraisal information to every casual site-surfer, eBay seller, and Amazon Marketplace vendor under the sun -- and in particular to potential competitors who are too lazy to do their own research on the market. We reserve the right to suspend the account of any user who is determined to be using our bluebook information to sell competing products.

In contrast, we know our loyal, tarot-saavy, knowledgable customer base understands the limitations and proper usage of bluebook information, and we certainly don't object to the use of this information to assist in the determination of collection values or the fair market pricing of decks involved in trades or personal collection sell-offs.

To view the bluebook details for a given title, log into your Tarot Garden account, then search for the title of interest in our database. You will see a "View Bluebook Value" button to the right of the title's entry.

Q: I've made a tarot deck, and I want to get it published. How do I do that?

We can't really say that we're experts on this particular subject. We're resellers and documenters, not publishers or deck creators. Your best bet is to get the submission guidelines from publishers with a history of marketing tarot decks, or from companies that specialize in publishing for the new age / personal growth / alternate lifestyles / pop psychology markets.

However, we can share a few personal observations and links with you. There are actually very few companies that primarily produce decks. In North America, the main tarot deck publisher is U.S. Games Systems. You'll want to be aware, though, that USG receives a vast number of submissions annually, but they only select a very few new decks to publish each year. You can access USG's product submission information and downloadable submission forms by clicking here.

The remaining North American publishers with a regular history of releasing tarot decks seem to primarily consider themselves to be book publishers, and not deck publishers per se. What this means is that you're more likely to have success in submitting to other publishers if you actually have a decent book written to accompany your deck. Perhaps the three largest North American publishers of deck book sets are:

  • Llewellyn Worldwide. Click here for Llewellyn's submission guidelines.

  • St. Martin's Press. St. Martin's Press does not accept unsolicited manuscripts; you'll need to have a literary agent to submit for you.

  • Inner Traditions (a.k.a. Bear & Company). Click here for Inner Traditions' submission guidelines.

Check the latest Writers Market guide for other suggestions on finding publishers whose focus might fit well with tarot-related products.

If you're outside of North America, or are willing to try to work with an overseas publisher, the following is a sampling of European companies that are regular publishers of cartomantic products:

Two other well-known Italian tarot publishers -- Lo Scarabeo and il Meneghello -- develop their projects in house and do not accept outside deck submissions.

We do not have the contact or submission information for any Asian publishing firms at this time.

Thanks to more advanced and affordable technology, a growing number of of deck creators are opting to publish their decks themselves. If you have a self-published deck (or are planning to self publish), we invite you to write to us at info@tarotgarden.com with your deck information if you have interest in selling or distributing your product through our website.

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This site maintained by The Tarot Garden; Jeannette K. Roth and Dan M. Pelletier, proprietors.

This page © 2001 - 2008, Jeannette Roth and the Tarot Garden, Inc. Images of tarot cards on this site are copyrighted to their respective designers, artists, and publishers, and are used for example purposes only; no copyright infringement is intended. Unauthorized use of our website material, including articles, text descriptions, database listings, image scans, and other Intellectual Properties contained herein, without our express written permission is strictly prohibited;.see our FAQ for additional information. Questions regarding this page should be directed to info@tarotgarden.com.