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What a liberty


In 2011 there was a great commotion in the United States about a 44c first class stamp with a close-up of the face of the Statue of Liberty. An attentive philatelist
discovered some suspicious details on the stamp and on the 15th of April of that year the United States Postal Service issued a press release in which the postal authority admitted that the image on the stamp was taken from a replica of the famous statue situated in the gambling city of Las Vegas.

However, the image became the subject of a lawsuit brought against the USPS by artist Robert S. Davidson, who claimed that the government mistakenly used a photograph of his Las Vegas sculpture of Lady Liberty for a stamp without permission.

Apparently the USPS employee overseeing the creation of a new “Forever” series stamp accidentally selected a Getty Images photo of Davidson’s statue, which has stood outside Las Vegas’s New York, New York Hotel & Casino since 1996.
The stamp was printed roughly 3.5 billion times before a collector noticed the mistake in 2011.

At the beginning of this month the artist was awarded 3.5 million dollars by the US Federal Court of Claims for breach of copyright. It was estimated that the USPS made 70 million dollars profit on the sale of the stamps.

I wonder if Mr. Davidson will reward the beady-eyed philatelist!


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