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Postal Service misidentifies Statue of Liberty in stamp in a $3.5 million mistake

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posted on Jul, 6 2018 @ 10:16 AM
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The US Postal Service stamp design division found an image of the Statue of Liberty and used it on a stamp. Turns out that the image was of a replica statue in Las Vegas, not of the "original" in New York. So, the artist who made the statue sued the Postal Service and has been awarded 3.5 million bucks! If Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi (designer of Statue of Liberty New York) were still alive, could he sue the guy who made the replica?

USA TODAY SOURCE

It's a mistake that's costing the U.S. Postal Service $3.5 million – the Statue of Liberty Forever stamps released in 2010 didn't actually show New York's Lady Liberty. The photograph featured in the stamp design actually shows a Statue of Liberty replica outside the New York-New York casino hotel in Las Vegas. Stamps with the Las Vegas image were in circulation for at least three months before the Postal Service realized the mistake – 3 billion were printed. The Postal Service found the photograph on a stock image site and defended its decision to use it.


Robert Davidson, the replica's sculptor, didn't share the sentiment. He sued the government for copyright infringement, and a judge ruled in his favor.


Davidson's attorneys argued his version of Lady Liberty is unmistakably different from the original, because it is more "fresh-faced," "sultry" and even "sexier." Postal Service attorneys said the versions were too similar to notice any differences. The Postal Service made $70 million in profit from the stamp, which was retired in 2014. Friday, Federal Judge Eric Bruggink said the Las Vegas statue was an original design and ordered the Postal Service to pay $3.5 million to Davidson.

edit on 762018 by seattlerat because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 6 2018 @ 10:30 AM
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a reply to: seattlerat

This is hilarious!


I wonder if the people responsible received a perforated ear-drum because of the mistake. Maybe a good licking was involved. Maybe someone had to tear someone else a new one. Perhaps there was much stamping of feet. I wonder if any employees lost their post.




posted on Jul, 6 2018 @ 10:31 AM
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a reply to: seattlerat

Someone copied and pasted that image!
Bahahaha!
Serves them right for being lazy.






posted on Jul, 6 2018 @ 10:32 AM
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I don’t know anything about copyright infringement or what damages this artist suffered that justified a multimillion dollar payout... but it does seem kind of ironic that he’s upset the usps used a picture of his art without permission when his art was a copy of someone else’s art.



posted on Jul, 6 2018 @ 10:34 AM
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HA!!

I hate our litigious inclinations in this country, but in this case, I find it comical and warranted. How lazy was the person who ‘pulled up’ the stock image? Seriously. How lazy do you have to be to not at least double check it’s the real McCoy??

At least they “made $70 million in profit” from the fake.



posted on Jul, 6 2018 @ 10:34 AM
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Government action at it's finest.



posted on Jul, 6 2018 @ 10:35 AM
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originally posted by: havok
a reply to: seattlerat

Someone copied and pasted that image!
Bahahaha!
Serves them right for being lazy.





Yes it is odd thinking that they didn’t do anything much more sophisticated than a google image search for the picture used on official stamps. You’d think there would be a much more official process.... lots of committees, paperwork, red tape, and officially sanctioned selection of photos.



posted on Jul, 6 2018 @ 10:40 AM
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Like anybody would have even noticed on a 1 inch square.



posted on Jul, 6 2018 @ 10:48 AM
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Davidson's attorneys argued his version of Lady Liberty is unmistakably different from the original, because it is more "fresh-faced," "sultry" and even "sexier."


Effing 'artists'.



posted on Jul, 6 2018 @ 11:01 AM
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a reply to: seattlerat

So surely now the USPS sues the stock image website, yes?

Stock images don't mean 'free'. It means they're used under a licence agreement of some form, even if it's 'royalty free'.

I'd be checking the licence terms from the website if I were them. Or at least be suggesting that the artist sues the website instead.

Seems like yet another case of the government being an easy target for a payout.



posted on Jul, 6 2018 @ 11:22 AM
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a reply to: seattlerat

I'm sure that artist's $3.5M check is already in the mail.



posted on Jul, 6 2018 @ 12:51 PM
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If that was a stock image, the artist likely had no grounds to sue anyway. This seems more like a loony judge than an error on the post office.

That you all are laughing is stupid. Those are your tax dollars being siphoned by some chump con artist.



posted on Jul, 6 2018 @ 12:57 PM
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originally posted by: SR1TX
If that was a stock image, the artist likely had no grounds to sue anyway. This seems more like a loony judge than an error on the post office.

That you all are laughing is stupid. Those are your tax dollars being siphoned by some chump con artist.


Pretty sure stock images/sites come with a warning to verify each image for copyright.

I'm only an amateur graphic designer and I know this.



posted on Jul, 6 2018 @ 01:17 PM
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originally posted by: neo96


Davidson's attorneys argued his version of Lady Liberty is unmistakably different from the original, because it is more "fresh-faced," "sultry" and even "sexier."


Effing 'artists'.



GD right Davidson's version of Lady Liberty is sexier!!!

I can't take my eyes off of her...

Forgive me, Independence Day still has me aroused for all-things Freedom!!!



posted on Jul, 6 2018 @ 02:06 PM
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I told them to put Ivanna Trump on the stamp, but would they listen?



posted on Jul, 6 2018 @ 02:26 PM
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Wow this seems pretty insane! I mean really the postal service can’t just use one of the goverment domain pictures and not grab a random picture. I think it’s a pretty ridiculous suit though I mean is he paying the original designer to make his scale version? Why should he expect the goverment to pay him? This just shows the hyper litigious state of this country.
Shaking my head.



posted on Jul, 6 2018 @ 02:55 PM
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a reply to: BigDave-AR

His version is different and sexier. Ergo, sex sells. Or sues, as in this case.

edit on 6/7/18 by LightSpeedDriver because: Grammar!



posted on Jul, 6 2018 @ 03:56 PM
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The picture wasn't taken from a google search it was licensed.

arstechnica.com...


The Post Office licensed a photo of Davidson's statue from the image service Getty for $1,500, initially believing it was a photograph of the original statue. (The license only covered the rights to Getty's photograph of the statue—not the statue itself.)


This seems kind of insane either way that the sculptor of a comissioned work displayed in a public place holds the rights to photographs to his work. Also, why is the company that licensed the photo not being sued?

Also, this is what they based the payout on....


The court ultimately focused on the 3.24 percent of the stamps that were never used—either because they were lost or because they were retained by stamp collectors. These stamps represent pure profit for the Post Office, and the court concluded that it was reasonable for the Post Office to pay a per-stamp royalty for these stamps.

These unused stamps accounted for more than $70 million in Post Office revenue during the three years Davidson's image was used. The court awarded Davidson a five percent royalty for those unused stamps; it also awarded him $5,000 in damages for the nearly $5 billion worth of stamps that were used to pay postage. Total damages: $3.55 million.



It seems crazy unused stamps accounted for $70 million profit over three years...
edit on 6/7/2018 by dug88 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 6 2018 @ 03:58 PM
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a reply to: seattlerat

I would have awarded him nothing since that is not his art, he copied another's.



posted on Jul, 6 2018 @ 04:23 PM
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a reply to: dug88

Thanks for that additional info... but I don’t understand how they can say the stamps are unused. They are “forever” stamps, so they could be used at anytime. I have stamps I bought years ago that I’m still using...

Oh well, that’s a pretty minor itch in this big headscratching picture.



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