In a Stunning Mistake, the U.S. Post Office Violated an Artist's Copyright on Billions of Stamps. Now a Court Says It Owes Millions
Art Law

In a Stunning Mistake, the U.S. Post Office Violated an Artist’s Copyright on Billions of Stamps. Now a Court Says It Owes Millions

This is a crazy story about the Statute of Liberty, a Las Vegas hotel, and the U.S. Postal Service. Oh, and it’s also about copyright infringement. It starts with a lesson about why you should always check small things. It ends with the government-funded post office on the hook for just over $3.5 million–all the result of a simple mistake that took, at most, only a few hours to make. Here’s what happened, along with the bizarre mistake that sent things off the rails, and how a federal court had to figure out what to do with the mixup. (Bonus: a stunning detail buried in the court case that shows why the U.S. Post Office is potentially an absolute gold mine.) If you’ve ever bought a book of USA Forever stamps from the post office–especially stamps that had Lady Liberty on them between 2011 and 2014–you’re actually part of this story. In 2010, the post office decided to update its Forever stamps, and move from a drawing of the Liberty Bell to one of the Statue of Liberty. A, group of employees, including a manager of stamp development named Terry McCaffrey ,looked for something "different and unique." In a […]

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